Australian literature is one of the world's richest, dealing not only with "local" Australian themes and issues but with those at the forefront of global literary discussion. This book offers a fresh look at Australian literature, taking a broad view of what literature is and viewing it with Australian cultural and societal concerns in mind. Especially relevant is the heightened role of indigenous people and issues following the landmark 1992 Mabo decision on Aboriginal land rights. But attention to other multicultural connections and the competing pull of Australia's continued connection to Great Britain are also enlightening. Chapters are devoted to internationally prominent writers such as Patrick White, Peter Carey, David Malouf, and Christina Stead; fast-rising authors such as Gerald Murnane and Tim Winton; less-publicized writers such as Xavier Herbert and Dorothy Hewett; and on prose fiction, poetry, and drama, women's and gay and lesbian writing, children's literature, and science fiction. The Companion goes beyond Eurocentric ideas of national literary history to reveal the full, resplendent variety of Australian writing. CONTRIBUTORS: NICHOLAS BIRNS, REBECCA MCNEER, ALI GUMILLYA BAKER, GUS WORBY, ANITA HEISS, RUTH FEINGOLD, WENCHE OMMUNDSEN, SUSAN JACOBOWITZ, DEBORAH MADSEN, MARGUERITE NOLAN, TANYA DALZIELL, RICHARD CARR, DAVID MCCOOEY, MARYROSE CASEY, BRIGID ROONEY, JOHN BESTON, JOHN SCHECKTER, WERNER SENN, CAROLYN BLISS, PAUL GENONI, LYN JACOBS, NICOLE MOORE, OUYANG YU, JAROSLAV KUSNIR, BRIGID MAGNER, RUSSELL BLACKFORD, TONI JOHNSON-WOODS, THEODORE F. SHECKELS, ALICE MILLS, GARY CLARK, DAMIEN BARLOW, LEIGH DALE Nicholas Birns teaches literature at the New School in New York City and is the editor of Antipodes. Rebecca McNeer is Associate Dean Emerita at Ohio University Southern.