Colleen McCullough: A Critical Companion

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Greenwood Press, Jan 1, 1996 - Literary Criticism - 187 pages
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Although best known for "The Thorn Birds," her blockbuster family saga set in her native Australia, Colleen McCullough is a versatile novelist who has written in a variety of genres. This is the first full-length examination of her work. It highlights her versatility and her refusal to be confined to any one genre or type of writing, even though that refusal has lost her part of the wide readership she gained with DEGREESIThe Thorn Birds DEGREESR. DeMarr discusses, analyzes, and evaluates each of McCullough's eight novels in turn, relates it to the genre to which it belongs, and compares it to her other work. This study also features a biographical chapter and a chapter which discusses the variety of genres in which McCullough has written.

DeMarr shows how McCullough's romances ("Tim" and "The Ladies of Missalonghi") and her other novels which make heavy use of romance elements ("The Thorn Birds" and "An Indecent Obession") differ dramatically from each other. She also compares McCullough's novels of ideas ("A Creed for the Third Millennium DEGREES" and the three recent historical novels set in ancient Rome, The Masters of Rome series). Each novel or series is discussed in a separate chapter, which contains sections on plot development and structure, character development, setting, style, and themes. Each novel is also examined from an alternate critical approach, such as feminist, allegorical, anti-generic, and deconstructionist criticism, to widen the reader's perspective. A complete bibliography of McCullough's work, general criticism, and listings of reviews of each novel complete the work. This work will be of particular interest to public and school libraries.

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A Writer of Many Genres
Tim 1974
The Thorn Birds 1977

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About the author (1996)

MARY JEAN DeMARR, is Professor Emerita of English and Women's Studies at Indiana State University. She is co-author, with Jane S. Bakerman, of two books, Adolescent Female Portraits in the American Novel, 1961-1981: An Annotated Bibliography (1983) and The Adolescent in the American Novel Since 1960 (1986). She is editor of In the Beginning: First Novels in Mystery Series (1995) and co-editor of The Dog Didn't Do It: Animals in Mysteries (forthcoming). Her major interests are modern American literature, women's literature, and detective and other popular fiction.

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