Glassby, Wendy (2014) As much as fits upon an aibika leaf: Writing/reading fiction in a globalised world. PhD thesis, Murdoch University.


‘As much as fits upon an aibika leaf’ is a thesis of two parts: selected sections from a novel-length work of fiction and an exegesis. Both respond to the question of how we might differently represent other identities, cultures and experiences in a globalised world. The novel narrates the stories of a family of a blended culture and their experiences of being non-indigenous and non-western residents of the territories comprising Papua New Guinea prior to self-rule in 1975. The primary challenge of the creative work is the exploration of choices for form and content that do not limit the narrative to a definitive version of the world and its characters. Simultaneously, the creative work aims to demonstrate respect for and acknowledge a body of significant scholarly research that calls for responsible representational practices in order for a creative writer to meet her obligations to the (reading) community. The exegesis reflects on the challenges of representing the other in a globalised world and analyses two contemporary works of fiction. Both novels exhibit imaginative approaches and choices in content and form. The exegesis also assesses the impacts of the texts in terms of the possibilities for interpretation they open up, as it considers fiction’s significant role in crossing the borders of social difference while respecting those differences through imaginative creative choices.

Publication Type: Thesis (PhD)
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Arts
Supervisor: Surma, Anne