A Perspective from the Periphery: Re-imagining Regional North Queensland Women's Stories Using Historical Fiction

Henry, Louise (2019) A Perspective from the Periphery: Re-imagining Regional North Queensland Women's Stories Using Historical Fiction. Text, 23 (54).

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In popular published accounts from settlement and into the early part of the twentieth century the North Queensland region was often portrayed as ‘wild’. This is a perception ripe for re-examination, particularly from the perspective of women of lower socio-economic standing, and something I am exploring through my own creative work. Writing historical fiction about my grandmother’s life in North Queensland in the first half of the twentieth century requires me to consider strategies to ethically re-imagine a peripheral history that is specific to regional geography, class, and gender. Such a task is complicated by the limited source material available about the lived experiences of poorer women living in North Queensland. The most fruitful sources are often first-hand accounts such as life writing, personal recollections, memoirs, letters, or journals. Along with oral histories, these artefacts make up the bulk of the primary archival material that forms the background and contextual groundwork for my historical fiction. These sources are highly individual accounts specific to the time, place and era in which they were written. Historical fiction relies on an ‘authenticity effect’ (Padmore 2017) to effectively build a past world, and this article explores some of the ways these primary sources can be utilised and integrated in historical fiction to effectively and ethically represent women living in the margins.

Item ID: 81278
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1327-9556
Keywords: Historical Fiction, Regional Writing, Women, North Queensland
Copyright Information: TEXT claims first publication rights, and copyright of all work published in TEXT remains with the author(s). As such, except as provided by the Australian Copyright Act 1968, no part of a publication may be reproduced, communicated to the public, except without the prior written permission of the copyright owner.
Date Deposited: 04 Dec 2023 22:16
FoR Codes: 36 CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING > 3602 Creative and professional writing > 360201 Creative writing (incl. scriptwriting) @ 60%
47 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 4705 Literary studies > 470502 Australian literature (excl. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander literature) @ 20%
43 HISTORY, HERITAGE AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 4303 Historical studies > 430302 Australian history @ 20%
SEO Codes: 13 CULTURE AND SOCIETY > 1301 Arts > 130103 The creative arts @ 50%
13 CULTURE AND SOCIETY > 1307 Understanding past societies > 130703 Understanding Australia’s past @ 50%
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