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Monash University Publishing to publish contemporary Australian literature series

Monash University Publishing will launch a new series of literary criticism in 2018 focusing on contemporary Australian writers.

The press will publish two volumes in the ‘Contemporary Australian Writers’ series a year, with the aim of ‘encouraging broad discussion about the contribution of particular writers to [the] national conversation’. Each volume will be a short book of around 40,000 words in length, featuring a literary critic tackling the works of a notable contemporary writer who has not yet been ‘canonised’.

The series will launch in August 2018 with Patrick Allington writing on Maria Tumarkin. Other works commissioned for the series, which will be edited by Melinda Harvey, include Julieanne Lamond on Amanda Lohrey and Emmett Stinson on Gerald Murnane.

Monash University Publishing director Nathan Hollier told Books+Publishing that Harvey will match the critics with the subjects, with the selection of authors to be informed by ‘a survey of literary studies scholars and critics’.

Hollier said the series was inspired by ‘a vision of Australian society in which the literary works of the nation’s most important writers are read and discussed by all Australian citizens’, and hopes it will promote the value of creative writers in the national conversation.

He adds: ‘Much literary scholarship is unfortunately preoccupied with supposedly universal (rather than socially specific) philosophical concerns, while literary journalists can reduce questions of literary value to personal taste. So I thought there was space for this series.’


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