World (Postcolonial) Literature in English

Subject Librarian:
Alan Lupack


Office Hours:
By Appointment


    Postcolonial and Commonwealth Literature, General


    The Caribbean

    South Asia

    Southeast Asia

    Australia and New Zealand


   Postcolonial and Commonwealth Literature, General
   The Caribbean
   South Asia
   Southeast Asia
   Australia and New Zealand


   Postcolonial and Commonwealth Literature, General
   South Asia
   Africa and the Caribbean
   Australia and New Zealand
   The Middle East
   North America




   Postcolonial Theory
   Subaltern Studies


This guide broadly covers reference resources, books, journals, series, and web resources devoted to English-language literature originating outside of North America and the British Isles. The regions covered are the Caribbean, Africa, South Asia (India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Nepal), Australasia (Australia and New Zealand), and Southeast Asia (the Philippines, the Pacific Islands, and Singapore). Although Africans (especially Nigerians and South Africans) have produced a wealth of excellent writing in English, there have been disproportionately few book-length works devoted to their work; hence, I thought it best to subsume all the different national literatures of Anglophone Africa under a single category. Most South Asian writing in English has been produced by Indians; Pakistan and Sri Lanka have produced relatively few English-language authors of stature, and, consequently, very few scholarly books have been devoted specifically to Pakistani or Sri Lankan writing in English; scholarly books on Bangladeshi and Nepali writing in English are virtually nonexistent. As a result, I thought it best to subsume all five countries under the single category of South Asia, especially as book-length works often deal with authors from two or more of these countries. Similarly, because relatively few books have been published on individual Southeast Asian literatures in English, while several have been published on the writing of the region as a whole, I have combined them all into a single category. For each item, a brief description of its contents is provided, and, if available in the University of Rochester Libraries, location and call number information is also provided.

This short introductory essay explains the reasons why a guide to this field is necessary, explains my choice of nomenclature, and clarifies the criteria for inclusion of items within the guide.

1. The Importance of World Literature in English.


Since the 1960s, many of the best and most innovative English-language writers have not emerged from Britain or North America, but from former British colonies: V. S. Naipaul, Salman Rushdie, Derek Walcott, Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka, and many others. At the same time, for a variety of reasons, non-European cultures have become increasingly important objects of study in American universities in recent decades. Since nations in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and the Caribbean obtained their independence from Britain, France, Portugal, Spain, and the Netherlands, in the aftermath of the Second World War, they have become more significant actors in world affairs than they were during the colonial period. In the United States, one legacy of the Cold War has been a keener public interest in, and awareness of, the world beyond Europe, while Cold War-era Area Studies programs have multiplied the number of scholars, teachers, and students familiar with the languages, cultures, and histories of non-European societies. The liberalization of immigration policies in 1965 has also led to gradual demographic shifts in the United States, as increasing numbers of non-European immigrants have been allowed to settle in the country, while a growing proportion of the students enrolled in American colleges and universities are from formerly colonized nations in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and the Caribbean. For these and other reasons, American universities have increasingly incorporated into their curricular offerings the study of the histories, the literary, artistic, musical and intellectual traditions, and the economic, political, and social institutions of the non-European world, often provoking controversies such as the "culture wars" of the late 1980s and early 1990s. The emergence of so many excellent non-European English-language writers, coupled with the receptiveness of the American academy, has resulted in the gradually increasing importance, within university English departments, of English-language literature originating from outside of North America and the British Isles. There is thus a pressing need for a good on-line research guide for students at the University of Rochester, and elsewhere.

2. Naming the Field.

There has been a great deal of debate over the years about different names for this field of study, and this debate has reflected one of the biggest problems confronting scholars and students in the field: slotting their interests into existing departmental structures. For much of modern American, and indeed European, academic history, national, cultural and linguistic boundaries have been coextensive and conflatable. Dividing literature departments by nominally linguistic criteria has thus de facto divided them into separate national and cultural traditions: French literature has meant both literature in French and the literature of France, English literature has meant both literature in English and the literature of the British Isles and North America, and so on. Writers in English from other nations and cultures thus pose a problem of classification, and expose a tension between defining texts in terms of national and cultural affiliations, and defining them in terms of the language in which they are written. Texts in English from Nigeria, for example, often cannot be fully appreciated or understood without placing them in relation not only to British precursor texts, which is likely to happen effectively within English departments, but also to precursor texts and traditions in the Igbo or Yoruba languages, and, for that matter, in non-Nigerian languages such as Swahili or Arabic, which is far less likely to happen effectively within English departments as currently constituted. Similarly, generic, linguistic, intertextual and ideational nuances in modern Indian English-language writing often cannot be grasped when the texts are studied in isolation from Indian literary traditions in Hindi, Sanskrit, Bengali, Tamil, and other languages, and without sufficient knowledge of Indian history, society, and cultural practices. Should such texts then be approached primarily as part of "Indian literature"? At the same time, such texts often cannot be sufficiently understood in isolation from precursor texts and traditions in English from Britain, North America, and elsewhere. Should they then be approached primarily as part of "English literature"? Clearly, neither approach is adequate, as these texts are often related to multiple linguistic, cultural, and national traditions, and demand a criticism informed by a deep and wide-ranging familiarity with such traditions. This is often difficult to achieve when departments are defined by monolinguistic allegiances predicated on a notion of literature as being divisible into separate monolingual, mononational traditions. It is equally difficult to achieve, as Gayatri Spivak has repeatedly noted, within Comparative Literature departments because of their still almost exclusively Eurocentric orientation. This problem has been partially obscured by the proliferation of courses in ethnic American literature, emphasizing, say, African-American or Asian-American literature, but not the much vaster and more significant literature in English produced by Africans or Asians. Such courses are easier to accommodate within departments defined in monolingual, mononational terms.

Similarly, faculty lines in non-British and -American literatures in English remain disproportionately thin, and often require faculty hires to represent vast geographic, cultural and historical swathes in a way that would be unacceptable to scholars specializing in other areas of literary studies, such as twentieth-century American or nineteenth-century British literature. Such hiring realities, which flatten diverse geographic, cultural and historical specificities into a single broad field, are directly linked to the constant search for broad (and thus inevitably unsatisfactory) rubrics for this field, such as "the new literatures in English," "post-colonial literature," "Commonwealth literature," and "Third World literature," instead of less ambitious, but more nationally or culturally specific labels. Each of these rubrics is problematic. Thus, "the new literatures in English" unduly emphasizes "newness"; what about nineteenth century Indian novelists such as Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, or early twentieth century West Indian poets such as Claude McKay? Similarly, "post-colonial literature" implies an exclusionary periodization: much significant literature was produced during the colonial period, before political independence was obtained, by writers such as R. K. Narayan, Amos Tutuola, Rabindranath Tagore, and others. "Commonwealth literature," on the other hand, is unnecessarily restrictive geographically, excluding not only Lusophone and Francophone countries, but also Anglophone countries that have never been members of the British Commonwealth, such as the Philippines. These labels are inevitably unsatisfactory, because the aim that necessitates them -- the creation of a unified literary field out of disparate texts, distinctly separate from other literary fields such as American or Russian literature -- is ultimately unsatisfactory as well. On the other hand, the use of more specifically national labels, such as "Indian literature," obscures textual affiliations to texts from other national traditions; such affiliations are, after all, quite common. The answer might be to approach literature on a global scale, through multilingual canon formation, based on selecting texts which stand out not only within their own linguistic traditions but also in a comparative context. This, however, would require the breakdown of departmental divisions. As a gesture towards this, I have framed this as a guide to "World Literature in English."

3. Criteria for Inclusion.

Since this guide is part of a set of guides on English literature, I have limited myself to English-language literatures, and ignored criticism on post-colonial texts in Portuguese, French, Spanish, Kikuyu, Hindi, and other languages. Aside from these linguistic bounds, I have also established certain geographic ones. There are often rancorous debates about which national literatures are legitimately postcolonial and which are not. Americans, Canadians, Australians, and New Zealanders sometimes claim to live in postcolonial societies, and view their national identity as having been formed in contradistinction to that of Britain. However, as they are former white settler colonies, whose literature continues to be dominated by the descendants of early or later settlers, most postcolonial scholars would hold that only literature written by native peoples in these countries would truly qualify. The United States, in addition, is viewed by some of these scholars as the very epitome of a modern neo-colonial nation, imposing its values and interests on a wide range of weaker countries. I have, however, based my decisions on inclusion on the more pragmatic criterion of usefulness to students. I have included both Australian and New Zealand literature, but have excluded American literature because of the central position it already occupies in American university curricula, and the immense variety of research guides on the subject that are already available online, including on this website. More debatably, I have also excluded Irish literature, despite fairly broad agreement that Ireland is a postcolonial country, simply because many Irish writers -- Wilde, Yeats, Joyce, Beckett -- are usually viewed as part of the British literary canon, since Ireland is geographically part of the British Isles. This guide also does not attempt to list and describe articles in periodicals. Instead, the focus is on listing and describing standard reference materials, important books, relevant journals, and websites of superior quality and utility.





Ashcroft, Bill, Gareth Griffiths, and Helen Tiffin. The Empire Writes Back: Theory and Practice in Post-Colonial Literatures. Second Edition. London: Routledge, 2002. (Rhees PR9080 .A85 2002)

This is an excellent overview of key issues in postcolonial literary studies, which updates the original 1989 edition. Areas covered include competing critical models of post-colonial literatures, issues of language use, and the relevance of indigenous theories of literature. Has an excellent index, and an extensive bibliography.

Ashcroft, Bill, Gareth Griffiths, and Helen Tiffin, eds. The Post-Colonial Studies Reader. London: Routledge, 1995. (Rhees PR9080 .P57 1995)

With almost five hundred pages of previously published essays, and extracts from most of the key critical and theoretical texts in postcolonial studies, this remains the single most comprehensive reader in the field. Homi K. Bhabha, George Lamming, Gayatri Spivak, Abdul JanMohamed, Benita Parry, Chinua Achebe, Aijaz Ahmad, Edward Said, Jenny Sharpe, Sara Suleri, Kwame Anthony Appiah, Simon During, Linda Hutcheon, Kumkum Sangari, Frantz Fanon, Partha Chatterjee, Timothy Brennan, Trinh T. Minh-ha, Stuart Hall, Chandra Talpade Mohanty, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, E. K. Braithwaite, Dipesh Chakrabarty, Bob Hodge, Vijay Mishra and Gauri Viswanathan are among those whose writings are included. The reader is thematically grouped into sections on universality and difference, representation and resistance, postmodernism and post-colonialism, nationalism, hybridity, ethnicity and indigeneity, feminism and post-colonialism, language, the body and performance, history, place, education, and production and consumption. While no substitute for reading the actual books from which the essays and extracts are taken, this reader remains a useful introduction to the wide range of concerns that define the field, and to most of its leading figures, many of whom remain unfamiliar to non-specialists. An index and extensive bibliography are also provided.

Benson, Eugene, and L. W. Connolly, eds. Encyclopedia of Post-Colonial Literatures in English. London: Routledge, 1994. (Koller-Collins and Rhees PR9080 .A52 E53 1994)

An admirably comprehensive collection of 1600 alphabetically arranged genre, subject, country and author entries, spanning the literatures in English of Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, the Caribbean, East Africa, Gibraltar, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Malta, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, St Helena, South Africa, South Central Africa, the South Pacific and West Africa. Unfortunately, the entries are already a decade out of date, and their quality is very uneven, reflecting the diverse backgrounds of the 574 contributors, drawn from around the world. However, the innovative nature of some of the subject entries, such as "Gandhi in Indian-English Literature" and "Ireland and Irish Values in Australia," is one of the major strengths of the book, as is the sheer number of author entries which provide not merely factual information but also concise critical commentary. Other useful features include extensive cross-references within articles, the inclusion of synoptic overviews at the beginning of some of the longer genre and subject entries, and a comprehensive index that is almost 200 pages long.

Boehmer, Elleke. Colonial and Postcolonial Literature: Migrant Metaphors. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990. (Rhees PR9080 .B64 1995)

An excellent introductory history of colonial and postcolonial writing, with a chronology of key events and publications, bibliography and index.

Brydon, Diana, ed. Postcolonialism: Critical Concepts. London: Routledge, 2000. 5 vols. (Koller-Collins JV51 .P67 2000)

This collection reprints 123 pieces (some of them essays, some of them extracts from monographs) in the field of postcolonial studies, and is divided into twelve parts: "Framing the Field," which surveys the range of meanings of postcolonialism; "Marxist, Liberation and Resistance Theory," which traces the evolution of postcolonialism out of political and economic analyses of imperialism, and out of anti-colonial resistance and liberation movements; "Manifestoes," which reprints various public declarations and manifestoes; "National, Third World and Postcolonial Identities," which explores various kinds of identities created by colonialism; "Colonial Discourse Analysis," which reprints some influential essays in the area of discourse analysis; "Orientalisms," which reprints essays influenced or provoked by Edward Said's Orientalism; "Thinking / Working Through Race," which comprises essays dealing with the category of race; "Feminisms and Gender Analysis," which includes essays on the changing symbolisms of the veil, and on the relations between western and non-western women; "Internal Colonialisms and Subaltern Studies," which reprints essays using "internal colonialism" and "subaltern" as an central analytic categories; "Challenging Eurocentrism," which collects essays explicitly challenging Eurocentrism; "Globalization, Transculturation and Neo-Colonialism," which reprints essays on the economic, political and cultural trends that have succeeded decolonization; and "Postcolonial Theory and The Disciplines," which examines the influence of post-colonialism in a range of different disciplines. Reprinted pieces include widely anthologized landmark essays by Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Kwame Anthony Appiah, Arif Dirlik, Stuart Hall, Abdul R. JanMohamed, Wilson Harris, and others.

Hawley, John C., ed. Encyclopedia of Postcolonial Studies. Westport: Greenwood Press, 2001. (Koller-Collins PN849 .U43 E53 2001)

This encyclopedia provides "a panoramic snapshot of the ongoing transformation" of world literatures. The volume includes alphabetically arranged essays of varying lengths devoted to topics and individuals "central to the discussion of postcolonial studies," including Francophone literature and authors. The entries include brief bibliographies for further reading.

McLeod, John. Beginning Postcolonialism. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2000. (Rhees PR9080 .M35 2000)

A good introductory overview of postcolonial studies, which provides historical background about its emergence and evolution as an academic discipline. Includes chapters on colonial discourses, nationalist representations, feminism, and diaspora, and every chapter also has a brief annotated bibliography.

Punter, David. Postcolonial Imaginings: Fictions of a New World Order. Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield, 2000. (Rhees PR9080 .P86 2000)

Punter’s thematically organized study argues for the “postcolonial” as an indissoluble part of the development of national imaginings and an alibi for the emergence of a violently assertive “new world order” committed to the management and obliteration of difference. He covers a wide range of canonical and non-canonical postcolonial texts, and tries to offer readings informed by a clear sense of literary and political context. An index and an extensive bibliography are also provided.

Quayson, Ato. Postcolonialism: Theory, Practice or Process? Cambridge: Polity Press, 2000. (Rhees PR9080 .Q39 2000)

Drawing on literary criticism, philosophy, anthropology, history and politics, Quayson offers a distinctive critical introduction to the field of postcolonial studies. Key issues covered include the implications of different kinds of interdisciplinary on postcolonial studies, the relationship between indigenous knowledge and contemporary historiography, the links between postmodernism and postcolonialism, and the relevance of feminist thought. Quayson’s book conceptualizes postcolonialism as a process of analysis rather than a historical moment, and in relating theoretical debates to contemporary culture, history, literature and political practice. Although he discusses a wide range of texts and authors, because Quayson is a specialist in Nigerian literature, he is able to offer an unusually extensive focus on African examples, which are often neglected in introductory guides to postcolonial studies, in favor of examples from South Asia and the Caribbean. An index and extensive bibliography are provided.

Stringer, Jenny, ed. The Oxford Companion to Twentieth Century Literature in English. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996. (Koller-Collins and Rare Books PR471 .O94 1996)

This standard reference work for twentieth century literature includes brief entries on many postcolonial writers.

Thieme, John. Post-Colonial Studies: The Essential Glossary. London: Hodder Headline Group, 2003. (Koller-Collins JV22 .T45 2003)

This glossary contains 400 entries on important concepts, terms, movements, and historical events, and literary, political and theoretical figures. The entries are clearly and succinctly written, and extensively cross-referenced. A bibliography is included at the end of the book.

Walder, Dennis. Post-Colonial Literatures in English: History, Language, Theory. Oxford: Blackwell, 1998. (Rhees PR9080 .W25 1998)

This introductory guide to postcolonial literatures in English is divided into two parts. The first part deals with historical, linguistic and theoretical issues. The second consists of three case studies, focusing on Indian fiction in English, Caribbean and Black British poetry, and contemporary South African literature. The final chapter of the book considers questions of what might follow "After Post-Colonialism."



Gikandi, Simon, ed. Encyclopedia of African Literature. New York: Routledge, 2003. (Koller-Collins PL8010 .E63 2003)


Intended to provide "a comprehensive body of knowledge on African literature from the earliest times to the present," which "will be both an essential resource for teaching and an invaluable companion to independent study." This book's biggest strength is its deliberate breadth of scope, which sets it apart from all other significant reference works in the field: it does not limit itself to a single linguistic tradition, but instead attempts to cover literature by Africans across the spectrum of African and European languages; it does not limit itself to a specific historical period, but ranges across pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial periods; and it does not restrict itself to any specific geographical region of Africa. Contains almost 700 alphabetically arranged entries, on specific writers and movements, regional and linguistic literary traditions, institutions of literary production, historical and cultural issues, and theoretical concepts. Inevitably, for a one volume compendium, most of the entries consist of only a single, concise paragraph. Has an excellent index.


Killam, Douglas, and Ruth Rowe, eds. The Companion to African Literatures. Oxford: James Currey, 2000. (Koller-Collins and Rhees Reference PR9340 .C65 2000)

A collection of alphabetically arranged entries on African authors, specific works, specific languages and their literatures, literary genres and sub-genres, and relations between African literature and extra-literary influences such as politics and religion. Includes maps, a country-author guide, a select list of topics and themes and a section on suggested further reading.

Parekh, Pushpa Naidu, and Siga Fatima Jagne, eds. Postcolonial African Writers: A Bio-bibliographical Critical Sourcebook. London: Fitzroy Dearborn, 1998. (Rhees PL8010 .P585 1998b)

This sourcebook comprises 60 entries, each devoted to a specific author. Each entry includes a brief biography, an extensive discussion of major works and themes, a brief summary of the author's critical reception, and a bibliography of primary and secondary works. The book also includes a bibliography and index.



Goslinga, Marian. Caribbean Literature: A Bibliography. London: Scarecrow Press, 1998. (Koller-Collins and Rhees PN849.C3 G69 1998)


Indexes primary works by authors from the Spanish-speaking, English-speaking, French-speaking and Dutch-speaking Caribbean, as well as published monographs and essay collections about them. Also indexes major anthologies and surveys. While very useful for identifying lesser-known authors and their writings, the failure to index dissertations and journal articles makes its listings of secondary materials far from comprehensive. Coverage also does not extend beyond 1996. The contents are arranged by region, but there are author and title indexes for ease of reference.

James, Louis. Caribbean Literature in English. London and New York: Longman, 1999. (Rhees PR9205 .J36 1999)

One of the best introductory books on Caribbean English-language literature, it is divided into five parts. Part 1 examines the two parallel cultures that developed in the British Caribbean in the slave era; part 2 outlines the emergence of a common Caribbean literature; part 3 examines the shaping of the distinctive Caribbean aesthetic; part 4 examines the integration of African and Indian cultures into Caribbean national cultures; and part 5 is devoted to individual Caribbean authors, with an emphasis on V. S. Naipaul, Wilson Harris, Derek Walcott, Edward Kamau Braithwaite, and Earl Lovelace. Includes an introduction outlining the peculiar problems of defining Anglophone Caribbean literature, a postscript surveying the role of Caribbean writing in Anglophone world literature, a chronology, bibliographies, an index and a map.



Devy, G. N. Indian Literary Criticism: Theory and Interpretation. Hyderabad: Orient Longman, 2002. (Rhees PK2903 .I52 2002)



A primer in Indian traditions of literary criticism, including translated extracts from the Sanskrit-language theorists Bharatamuni, Bholkappiyar, Bhartrhari, Dandin, Anandavardhana, Dhananjaya, Kuntaka, Abhinavagupta, Jnanesvara, and Rupa Goswami; from the critical writings of Persian-language writers Amir Khusrau and Al-Badaoni; from the Hindi-language theorist Keshavadasa and the Urdu-language poet and critic Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib; and from twentieth century Indian critics in various languages, including Tagore, Aurobindo, Mardhekar, Nemade, Spivak, Krishnamoorthy, Hiriyanna, Ramanujan, Patankar and Kakar. This reader is an excellent introduction to the range of Indian literary theory, although, inevitably, there are also many striking omissions, such as Nagnajita's treatise on structural aesthetics, Madhusudan Saraswati's writings conceptualizing Bhakti as a rasa, J. Krishnamurti's writings on art and literature, Ashis Nandy, Ram Vilas Sarma, etc. The novice reader, therefore, should not view the range of authors represented as comprehensive.

Huang, Guiyou. Asian American Poets: A Bio-Bibliographical Critical Sourcebook. Westport: Greenwood Press, 2002. (Rhees PS153.A84 A826 2002)

Each entry includes a brief biography, an analysis of the author's major works and themes, and a bibliography of primary and secondary sources. Iyengar, K. R. Srinivasa. Indian Writing in English. Revised and Updated Edition. New Delhi: Sterling, 1983. (Rhees PR9484.3 .S7 1983) Although over twenty years old, this remains the most detailed single volume history of Indian writing in English, at over 800 pages. Although it does not include writers of the past two decades, and omits many earlier writers rediscovered through more recent scholarship, it nevertheless provides a useful overview.

Mehrotra, A. K., ed. A History of Indian Literature in English. New York: Columbia University Press, 2003. (Rhees PR9489.6 .H57 2003)

A collection of 24 essays by different authors, notable for foregrounding several often under-researched authors, such as Behramji Malabari, Govardhanram Tripathi, Cornelia Sorabji and Verrier Elwin. The quality of the essays is uneven: Eunice de Souza's essay on Nirad C. Chaudhuri, for example, is pedestrian, mostly descriptive, with little meaningful analysis or interpretation. Exemplary essays, on the other hand, include Sunil Khilnani's "Gandhi and Nehru: The Uses of English," and Pankaj Mishra's "R. K. Narayan."

Naik, M. K. A History of Indian English Literature. New Delhi: Sahitya Akademi, 1982. (Rhees PR9484.3 .N35 1982)

A dated, but still useful, history of Indian writing in English from 1809 to 1979. Although Naik's history closes just before the advent of Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children, and leaves out early writers such as Din Muhammad, it remains a handy overview and has a useful bibliography.

Nelson, Emmanuel S., ed. Writers of the Indian Diaspora: A Bio-Bibliographical Critical Sourcebook. Westport: Greenwood Press, 1993. (Rhees PR9485.45 .W75 1993)

A collection of entries on 58 Indian diasporic writers. Each entry includes a brief biography, a description of the writer's major works and themes, a summary of the critical reception accorded the writer, and a selective bibliography of pertinent primary and secondary works. The book also includes an introduction by Nalini Natarajan, an appendix listing the domiciles of the writers covered, and an index.

Rahman, Tariq. A History of Pakistani Literature in English. Lahore: Vanguard, 1991. (Not available in the University of Rochester Libraries.)

Sanga, Jaina, ed. South Asian Novelists in English: An A-to-Z Guide. Westport: Greenwood, 2003. (Koller-Collins Reference PR9496.2.S6 S68 2003)

As an organizational strategy, this book restricts itself to novelists born in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, thus ruling out many significant novelists of South Asian origin who were born elsewhere, such as G. V. Desani and Hanif Kureishi. The book is organized alphabetically, with one entry for each of the 57 novelists selected for inclusion. Each entry contains a brief biography, a section on major works and themes, a section on critical reception, and a detailed bibliography of primary and secondary works. The book also includes an index and a brief Selected Bibliography of anthologies of South Asian writing, secondary sources and periodicals.

Spencer, Dorothy M. Indian Fiction in English: An Annotated Bibliography. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1960. (Rhees PR9780 .S74i)

This annotated bibliography includes both fiction and autobiographies published before 1960, whether originally written in English or translated into English. Many of the entries, however, are not annotated, most of annotations are too brief to be really useful, and the actual bibliography is only 54 pages. The rest of the book is devoted to an "Introductory Essay on Indian Society, Culture and Fiction," which is rife with errors, as in its opening line: "The novel as a literary form in India is a product of the British impact." Spencer appears to have relatively little first-hand knowledge of Indian society, culture or fiction, and the essay thus relies on other authorities, such as G. Morris Carstairs and A. L. Kroeber, whose work, published in the 1950s, has long since been bracketed as highly problematic.

Walsh, William. Indian Literature in English. New York: Longman, 1990. (Rhees PR9484.4 .W35 1990)

A well-known, concise history of Indian writing in English, in six chapters. Chapter 2 deals with non-fictional prose, by Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Swami Vivekananda, Rabindranath Tagore, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, M. K. Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Nirad C. Chaudhuri, R. K. Narayan, and Ved Mehta. Chapter 3 concentrates on fiction by the "founding fathers": Mulk Raj Anand, Raja Rao, R. K. Narayan and G. V. Desani. Chapter 4 deals with later novelists: Khushwant Singh, Balachandra Rajan, Manohar Malgonkar, Bhabani Bhattacharya, Attia Hosain, Santha Rama Rau, Nayantara Sahgal, Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, Anita Desai, Kamala Markandaya, Shashi Deshpande, and Salman Rushdie. Chapter 5 is devoted to modern Indian poetry by Nissim Ezekiel, R. Parthasarthy, Keki N. Daruwalla, Kamala Das, Arun Kolatkar, Shiv K. Kumar, Jayanta Mahapatra, A. K. Mehrotra, Gieve Patel, A. K. Ramanujan. Chapter 6 deals with India in English fiction, specifically by Kipling, Edward Thompson, L. H. Myers, E. M. Forster, Paul Scott, and J. G. Farrell.





Goetzfridt, Nicholas J. Indigenous Literature of Oceania: A Survey of Criticism and Interpretation. Westport: Greenwood Press, 1995. (Rhees PN849.O26 .I53 1995)

Simms, Norman Toby. Writers From the South Pacific: A Bio-Bibliographic Critical Encyclopedia. Washington: Three Continents Press, 1991. (Not available in the University of Rochester Libraries.)

Singh, Kirpal, ed. Interlogue: Studies in Singapore Literature. 4 vols. Singapore: Ethos Books, 1998-2001. (Not available in the University of Rochester Libraries.)

Williams, Mark. Post-Colonial Literatures in English: Southeast Asia, New Zealand, and the Pacific, 1970-1992. New York: G. K. Hall, 1996. (Rhees Z3008.L58 W55 1996)

Yap Fuan, Tim. Singapore Literature: A Select Bibliography of Critical Writings. Singapore: National University of Singapore Library, 2000. (Not available in the University of Rochester Libraries.)



Andrews, Barry G., and William H. Wilde. Australian Literature to 1900: A Guide to Information Sources. Detroit: Gale, 1980. (Rhees Z4021 .A54)

An excellent, though dated, annotated guide to eighteenth and nineteenth century Australian literature, divided into three parts. The first part is a selective, annotated general bibliography of secondary materials such as bibliographies and bibliographic guides, literary histories, collections of critical essays, literary anthologies, and periodicals. The second consists of individual treatments of 66 authors, providing brief biographical introductions, then listing publication details of bibliographic works on them, primary works by them, and critical sources, usually annotated. The third part consists of annotated bibliographies of nonfiction prose in various genres, such as travel writing, biographies, autobiographies, memoirs, and histories. Includes a name index, and a title index.

Bennett, Bruce, and Jennifer Strauss, eds. The Oxford Literary History of Australia. Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1998. (Rhees PR9604.3 .O93 1998)

A magisterial history of Australian literature, with chapters by leading scholars such as Bruce Bennett, Robert Dixon, Susan Lever, Richard Nile, Adam Shoemaker, and Graeme Turner. Two chapters are devoted to Australian literature before 1850, three to the era 1851-1914, three to the period 1914-1939, and three to the years between 1940 and 1965. Six chapters are devoted to Australian literature since 1965, including individual chapters on general literary culture, poetry, drama, fiction, and indigenous literature. Includes extensive endnotes, an excellent guide to reference material, a detailed chronology and an index.

Burns, James. New Zealand Novels and Novelists, 1861-1979, an Annotated Bibliography. Auckland: Heinemann, 1973. (Rhees Z4114.F4 B83)

Callahan, David, ed. Contemporary Issues in Australian Literature. London: Frank Cass, 2002. (Rhees PR9609.6 .C65 2002)


A collection of essays, previously published in a special issue of Australian Studies, Vol.15, No.2 (Winter 2000). Includes essays on Mudrooroo and Patrick White. Has an index.

Day, A. Grove. Modern Australian Prose, 1901-1975: A Guide to Information Sources. Detroit: Gale Research, 1980. (Rhees PR9604.3 .D38)

An excellent, though dated, annotated guide to twentieth century Australian prose, divided into four parts. The first part is a selective, annotated general bibliography of secondary materials such as bibliographies and bibliographic guides, literary histories, collections of critical essays, literary anthologies, and periodicals. The second consists of individual treatments of 50 authors, providing concise biographical introductions, then listing publication details of bibliographic works on them, primary works by them, and critical sources, usually annotated. The third part consists of annotated bibliographies of nonfictional literature in various genres, such as travel writing, biographies, autobiographies, essays, military and naval writing, and writing about aborigines. The fourth part is devoted to Australian drama, and lists bibliographies, works of history and criticism, and plays. Includes an author index, a title index, and a subject index.

Dutton, Geoffrey, ed. Literature of Australia. Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin, 1964. (Rhees PR9604.6 .D8)

A collection of essays by 23 leading early critics of Australian fiction, poetry and drama, including Leonie Kramer, G. A. Wilkes, and Norman Jeffares. Part I consists of an introductory essay on the Australian social setting, survey essays on Australian poetry before and after 1920, and survey essays on Australian fiction before and after 1920. Part II consists of essays devoted to individual writers, groups of writers, and Australian drama. Writers with essays devoted to them include Henry Randel Richardson, Kenneth Slessor, Judith Wright, Douglas Stewart, A. D. Hope, James McAuley, and Patrick White. Part III consists of general bibliographies, as well as brief bio-bibliographical entries on individual authors. The collection does not include non-narrative prose within its purview. A brief index is provided.

Goodwin, Ken. A History of Australian Literature. London: Macmillan, 1986. (Rhees PR9604.3 .G6)

A concise history of Australian literature. Includes a chapter on the period from 1788 to 1880, a chapter on the writers associated with Sydney Bulletin between 1880 and 1900 (Henry Lawson, Barbara Baynton, 'Banjo' Patterson, Joseph Furphy, Miles Franklin, and Christopher Brennan), a chapter on writers of the early 1900s, a chapter to the 1920s and 1930s (including Christina Stead), a chapter on the 1930s and 1940s (including A. D. Hope and James McAuley), a chapter on symbolic and social-realist fiction (including Patrick White), a chapter on the 1960s, and a chapter on post-1970 writers, including aboriginal and immigrant writers. Includes a brief bibliography, chronology, and index.


Green, H. M. A History of Australian Literature, Pure and Applied. 2 vols. Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1961. (Rhees PR9604.3 .G7)

Still the most detailed history of Australian literature, over 1400 pages long, and divided into 4 periods: 1789-1850 (over one hundred pages); 1850-1890 (two hundred pages); 1890-1923 (five hundred pages); and 1923-1950 (six hundred pages). Not only are fiction, drama and poetry covered exhaustively, but there is also ample coverage of various forms of non-fiction prose writing, by journalists, politicians, historians, scientists, and social scientists. Also includes a brief essay on literary developments in the 1950s, and a comprehensive index.


Hadgraft, Cecil. Australian Literature: A Critical Account to 1955. London: Heinemann, 1960. (Rhees PR9604.3 .H3)

An early critical history of Australian literature, divided into three sections. The first, briefest section covers literature from 1788 to 1880. The second deals with the era from the 1880s to the 1930s, while the final section deals with the 1940s and early 1950s. The emphasis is on poets, essayists and writers of fiction; drama is not included. Hadgraft's considered verdict is that the most significant contribution of Australian literature has been in poetry.


Hope, A. D. Australian Literature, 1950-1962. Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1963. (Rhees PR9604.3 .H6)

A short essay, intended as an extension to H. M. Green's monumental A History of Australian Literature, 1789-1950. A few paragraphs each are devoted to background, poetry, the novel, the short story, drama, criticism, and magazines and anthologies.


Jaffa, Herbert. Modern Australian Poetry, 1920-1970: A Guide to Information Sources. Detroit: Gale, 1979. (Rhees Z4024.P7 J34)

An excellent, though dated, annotated guide to modern Australian poetry, divided into ten sections. The first section is a selective, annotated general bibliography of bibliographies and bibliographic guides, and reference resources such as literary histories, biographies, literary anthologies, and periodicals. The second is an annotated bibliography of major books on modern Australian poetry, including histories, critical surveys, and collections of critical essays. Section 3 lists and describes major anthologies of poetry, and section 4 lists and describes major scholarly articles. Section 5 consists of individual treatments of major poets, providing brief biographical introductions, then listing publication details of bibliographic works on them, primary works by them, and critical sources, usually annotated. Sections 6, 7 and 8 are devoted to the Jindyworobak poets, the Angry Penguins, and the expatriate poets, respectively. Sections 9 and 10 deal with other poets, and with younger poets. Includes an index.

Jones, Joseph, and Johanna Jones. New Zealand Fiction. Boston: Twayne, 1983. (Rhees PR9632.2 .J6 1983)

A concise survey of New Zealand fiction, with six chapters devoted to the novel, and the seventh to the short story. The emphasis is on novels published before 1945, with all of the first four chapters devoted to the period between 1860 and 1945. The brevity of the survey (the main text is only 88 pages) mostly precludes detailed discussions of individual texts and authors, and its scope extends only as far as 1980, but it is nevertheless a clear and accessible guide for beginning students. Includes a chronology, endnotes, a bibliography, and an index.

Jones, Joseph, and Johanna Jones. Australian Fiction. Boston: Twayne, 1983. (Rhees PR9612.2 .J66 1983)

An excellent, concise introductory survey. The first two chapters are devoted to pre-1901 fiction; the next two to the period from 1901-1945; and the last two to postwar fiction. The brevity of the survey (the main text is only 127 pages) mostly precludes detailed discussions of individual texts and authors, and its scope extends only as far as 1980, but it is nevertheless a clear and accessible guide for beginning students. Includes endnotes, a bibliography, and an index.


Kramer, Leonie, ed. The Oxford History of Australian Literature. Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1981. (Rhees PR9604.3 .O9 1981)

A selective, critical history of Australian literature, divided into separate sections on fiction (by Adrian Mitchell), drama (by Terry Sturm), and poetry (by Vivian Smith), which omits popular literature, and non-fiction prose such as documentary writing, memoirs, essays, diaries, and letters. Includes an excellent reference bibliography compiled by Joy Hooton, endnotes, and an index.


Lever, Richard, James Wieland, and Scott Findlay, eds. Post-Colonial Literatures in English: Australia, 1970-1992. New York: G. K. Hall, 1996. (Rhees Z4021 .L48 1996)

A selective, annotated bibliography of academic criticism of Australian literature, published between 1970 and 1992. Section 1 is devoted to reference aids, section 2 to surveys and overviews, section 3 to non-fiction, section 4 to critical sources on drama, section 5 to critical sources on fiction, section 6 to critical sources on poetry, and section 7 to critical sources pertaining to individual authors. Reviews and newspaper articles are not indexed; all academic publications, as well as PhD dissertations, are. Includes a subject index and an author index.


Lock, Fred, and Alan Lawson. Australian Literature: A Reference Guide. Second Edition. Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1980. (Rhees PR9604.3 .L6 1980)

A comprehensive guide to reference sources with information about Australian literature, totaling 417 entries. Chapter 1 describes the basic bibliographies, catalogues, finding-lists, and indexes relevant to Australian literature. Chapter 2 lists non-bibliographical reference sources such as dictionaries, literary handbooks, and literary and cultural histories. Chapter 3 enumerates available reference sources on individual Australian authors: bibliographies, edited texts, textual studies, and scholarly biographies. Chapter 4 describes the major current periodicals in the field of Australian literature and literary studies. Chapter 5 is a summary guide to the strengths of Australian research library collections, especially of manuscripts. Chapter 6 is devoted to books on the methods of literary research, such as biographical research, analytical bibliography, and the use of manuscripts. Chapter 7 describes organizations concerned with Australian literature. Includes an author index, and an index of titles and subjects.


Pierce, Peter, ed. The Oxford Literary Guide to Australia. Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1987. (Rhees PR9601 .O9 1987)

A literary guide to the various states, territories, cities, and towns of Australia, including an author index, photographs, and a map of each state. Useful for background information about specific locations where Australian literary works are set, and for literary anecdotes.


Robinson, Roger and Nelson Wattie, eds. The Oxford Companion to New Zealand Literature. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1998. (Koller-Collins Reference PR9620.2 .O88 1998)

Designed to complement the Oxford History of New Zealand Literature in English, this is a comprehensive collection of over 1500 entries by more than 90 contributors. Because it is intended to complement the History, it does not contain any survey essays on specific genres or periods. The focus, instead, is on entries devoted to specific authors and texts: 680 authors are included, and 110 texts have individual entries devoted to them. 125 entries deal with Maori writers, texts and topics.


Ross, Robert L. Australian Literary Criticism, 1945-1988: An Annotated Bibliography. New York and London: Garland, 1989. (Rhees Z4024.C8 R67 1989)

An excellent, but slightly dated, annotated guide to modern Australian literary criticism, divided into 7 parts. Part 1 is devoted to general materials, such as literary histories, anthologies, critical surveys, periodicals, and bibliographies. Part 2 is devoted to international views, part 3 to special topics such as aborigines, fiction about the convict period, film, history and culture, language, media and publishing, multicultural writing, universities and Australian literary studies, and women's studies. Part 4 is devoted to fiction, part 5 to poetry, part 6 to drama, and part 7 consists of individual treatments of 42 authors, listing publication details of bibliographic works on them, primary works by them, and critical sources, usually annotated. Includes an index to authors of articles and books, editors, and interviewers, and an index to authors and subjects.


Samuels, Selina, ed. Australian Literature, 1788-1914. Detroit: Gale, 2001. (online and Rhees Level B Lounge)

Volume 230 of the Dictionary of Literary Biography series. Follows the usual DLB format for entries, with a listing of primary works, a long biographical essay, a list of references, and an entry on known holdings of the author's papers. All significant Australian writers who produced at least their first important work before 1914, are included.


Samuels, Selina. Australian Writers, 1915-1950. Detroit: Gale, 2002.  (online and Rhees Level B Lounge)

Volume 260 of the Dictionary of Literary Biography series. Follows the usual DLB format for entries, with a listing of primary works, a long biographical essay, a list of references, and an entry on known holdings of the author's papers. All significant Australian writers of the period are included.


Samuels, Selina, ed. Australian Writers, 1950-1975. Detroit: Gale, 2004.  (online and Rhees Level B Lounge)

Volume 289 of the Dictionary of Literary Biography series. Follows the usual DLB format for entries, with a listing of primary works, a long biographical essay, a list of references, and an entry on known holdings of the author's papers. All significant Australian writers of the period are included.


Shoemaker, Adam. Black Words, White Page: Aboriginal Literature, 1929-1988. St. Lucia: University of Queensland Press, 1988. (Rhees PR9608.2.A96 S56)

A comprehensive history of Australian aboriginal literature, in which chapters of general social history alternate with chapters of literary history, with an emphasis on the period from 1963 to 1988. Chapter 1 deals with the situation of the aborigines in the 1930s; chapter 2 with popular White perceptions of the aborigines in the 1930s, as evidenced by the historical fiction of Ion L. Idriess, as opposed to the more sympathetic perceptions in Katharine Prichard's Coonardoo, and Xavier Herbert's Capricornia. Chapter 3 deals with the situation of the aborigines in the 1940s and 1950s; chapter 4 with perceptions of aborigines in the writings of White authors of the 1940s and 1950s such as Judith Wright, Donald Stuart, T. G. H. Strehlow, Robert M. Berndt, Mary Durack, Frederick B. Vickers, Patrick White, and Douglas Lockwood. Chapter 5 briefly outlines the social history of the aborigines in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. Chapter 6 examines views of Australian history in aboriginal literature, with an emphasis on Jack Davis and Colin Johnson; and chapter 7 examines sex and violence in the writings of the aboriginal novelists Colin Johnson, Faith Bandler, and Archie Weller. Chapter 8 is devoted to the aboriginal poets Oodgeroo Noonuccal, Jack Davis, Kevin Gilbert, Colin Johnson, and Lionel Fogarty, and two White poets dealing with aborigines, Les Murray and Bruce Dawe. Chapter 9 is devoted to aboriginal dramatists, such as Kevin Gilbert, Robert Merritt, Jack Davis, and Gerald Bostock, as well as representations of aborigines by White dramatists such as Katharine Prichard, David Ireland, Dymphna Cusack, Bill Reed, Dorothy Hewett, Jill Shearer, and Thomas Keneally. Includes a bibliography and index.


Sturm, Terry, ed. The Oxford History of New Zealand Literature in English. Auckland: Oxford University Press, 1991. (Rhees PR9624.3 .O94 1991)

A collection of 9 survey essays by different authors. Chapter 1 deals with Maori literature, chapter 2 with nonfiction, chapter 3 with the novel, chapter 4 with the short story, chapter 5 with drama, chapter 6 with poetry, chapter 7 with children's literature, chapter 8 with popular fiction, and chapter 9 with publishing, patronage, and literary magazines. The tenth chapter is a 100 page discursive bibliography, which is the most up-to-date one presently available. Includes endnotes and an index.

Wilde, William H., Joy Hooton, and Barry Andrews. The Oxford Companion to Australian Literature. Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1985. (Rhees Reference PR9600.2 .W55 1985)

A comprehensive collection of alphabetically arranged entries on specific Australian authors and literary works, intended to be "of interest to the general reader as well as of use to students of Australian literature and related fields." The author entries also include entries on historians, critics, and journalists. Other entries, encompassing "literary, historical and other cultural contexts," are also included, such as entries on literary journals, libraries, publishers, cultural organizations, cinema, broadcasting, Australian English, and the Australian States. Inevitably, for a one volume compendium, most of the entries consist of only a single, concise paragraph.


Staff Login | Privacy Statement | Copyright & Fair Use

Copyright © 1998-2014 University of Rochester Libraries. All Rights Reserved.