21 January 2009

NEW BOOK - Brian Castro's Fiction: The Seductive Play of Language (by Bernadette Brennan), Cambria Press, 2008

Brian Castro’s Fiction: The Seductive Play of Language
by Bernadette Brennan

Excerpt from the book blurb:

Brian Castro is one of the most innovative and challenging novelists writing in English today. By virtue of his childhood migration from Hong Kong to Australia, he is an Australian writer, but he writes from the margins of what might be termed mainstream Australian literature. In an Australian context, Castro has been linked with Patrick White because like White he is an intellectual, deeply ironic, modernist writer. His writing can also be comfortably situated within a wider circle of (largely European) modernist works by Marcel Proust, Franz Kafka, Walter Benjamin, Virginia Woolf, Thomas Mann, James Joyce, Gustav Flaubert, Vladimir Nabokov, W. G. Sebald, and the list goes on. Castro’s writing conducts richly intertextual conversations with these writers and their work.

Castro’s writing is linguistically and structurally adventurous. He revels in the ability of good experimental writing to open up imaginative possibilities for the reader. He strives always to encourage his reader’s imagination to embrace heterogeneity and uncertainty. His extensive engagement with the great modernist writers of the 20th century, combined with his Australian-Chinese cross-cultural concerns make his work unique amongst Australian writers.


Bernadette Brennan is a Lecturer in Australian Literature at the University of Sydney. Her current research interest is in the field of Literature and Ethics. She has published widely in Australian Literary Studies, JASAL, Southerly, Antipodes and The Round Table: The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs, Departures: How Australia Reinvents Itself (MUP 2002), Australian Literature and the Public Sphere (ASAL 1998) and Australian Writing and the City (ASAL 1999). She has co-edited JASAL (2005) and Southerly (2007) and is on the Editorial Board for Studies in Australasian Cinema. Bernadette’s edited collection Just Words?: Australian Authors Writing for Justice was published by UQP in January 2008. Other publications in 2008 include an edited collection of Noel Rowe’s critical essays and Brian Castro's Fiction: The Seductive Play of Language (Cambria Press).