Fiction and the Great Depression


Fiction and the Great Depression in Australia & New Zealand, London and Melbourne, Edward Arnold, 1979

“… a continually interesting and often original study, and marks a very definite break from orthodox Australian literary criticism, which over the past twenty years has become increasingly preoccupied with producing more and more minutely detailed empirical accounts of its own particular authors and works.” – Terry Sturm in Australian Literary Studies.

“… a major success.  He appears to have read everything relevant, and his study serves to dispel myths about the alleged working class orientation of Australian writing… raises sufficient questions to keep other scholars busy for years.” – John McLaren in Australian Book Review.

“… a multitude of virtues:  the skilled movement from the general to the specific;  the ample illustration;  the  preparedness to raise troublesome distinctions and qualifications;  the  methodical accumulation of evidence;  the willingness to introduce insightful comparisons with Commonwealth, U.S. and European literatures;  the flexibility  of moving far beyond the Depression years on reasonable premises;  the astute  use of plot summary only for clarification;  the sensible citation of supportive  statistical, historical, economic and sociological information.” – Lee Thompson in Span.

“The range and density of Reid’s study must be admired.  He demonstrates the inadequacy of the standard views of Australian fiction of this period, which has not previously been subject to such detailed examination, has much of interest to say on individual authors, and is continually thought-provoking.” – Elizabeth Webby in Review of English Studies.


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