Mudrooroo: A Likely Story reads the fiction of one of Australia’s most controversial and enigmatic literary figures against the backdrop of the likelihood that he assumed an Aboriginal identity to which he was not entitled. As he is neither black nor white, Colin Johnson (a.k.a. Mudrooroo) writes on issues of identity and belonging from the position of an outsider. The book argues that the experimental nature of Johnson’s creative body of work coupled with the complexities of his ‘in-between’ status, mean that both the man and his writing evade neat categorisation within mainstream literary criticism. Also examined here is how the denial of his white mother impacts upon the gender politics of Johnson’s fiction in a way that opens up exciting new possibilities for critical comment and textual analysis.
Bruxelles, Bern, Berlin, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2007. 261 pp.
Contents: An important new perspective on the debate over Johnson’s identity linked to the analysis of his fiction – The complexities
of identity formation tied to notions of belonging within the constraints of Australia’s racial boundaries and power relations
– Issues of ‘in/authenticity’ and the future place of the author’s creative body of work in Australian literature – The complex
notion of ‘passing’ within the trans-cultural coded exegesis of racial classification in Australia – The textual appropriation
of the Indigenous female body as a stage for masculinist (colonial) discourses.