In Defence of “the lesser cousin of history”: An Interview with Rohan Wilson

Hamish Dalley, Rohan Wilson


In this interview, the Australian historical novelist Rohan Wilson discusses the intellectual, aesthetic, and political challenges of writing fiction about the colonial frontier. He highlights the tension between a widespread desire for knowledge of the "true" or actual past, and the novelist's freedom to explore human experience beyond the archive. He talks in particular about his first novel, The Roving Party, which explores genocide on the Tasmanian frontier, and its continuities with his newest work, set on the island a generation after the defeat of the Indigenous resistance.


Rohan Wilson; contemporary Australian fiction; the historical novel; the history wars; postcolonial guilt

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The Johns Hopkins University Press

ISSN: 1920-1222

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