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Mckay, Belinda Jane

Belinda McKay is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Arts at Griffith University. She has co-edited the Queensland Review since its inception in 1994, and is the editor of Unmasking Whiteness: Race relations and Reconciliation (1999).
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By The Book

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By the Book is an indispensable history of the literature of Queensland from its establishment as a separate colony in the mid-nineteenth century through major economic, political and cultural transformations to the beginning of the twenty-first century. Queensland figures in the Australian imagination as a frontier, a place of wild landscapes and wilder politics, but also as Australia’s playground, a soft tourist paradise of warm weather and golden beaches. Based partly on real historical divergences from the rest of Australia, these contradictory images have been questioned and scrutinised in Queensland literature for 150 years, and writers today maintain that complicated imaginative relationship with the idea of Queensland as both different and paradoxical. By the Book looks at Queensland literature in terms of its regional cultures, while also devoting chapters to Indigenous writing, writing for children and travel writing. In the process it rediscovers lost literary traditions and forgotten writers to stir the imagination. Re-evaluations of early writers like Rosa Praed and George Essex Evans set contemporary writers like David Malouf, Janette Turner Hospital and Venero Armanno in a new context. ‘Thorough in scholarship and historical research, fascinating in its anecdotal bypaths, this reference work is indispensable to Australian literary studies.’ – Janette Turner Hospital ‘By the Book contains an enormous wealth of original research and information about Queensland writing.’ – Professor Robert Dixon