The Ship of Dreams: Masculinity in Contemporary New Zealand Fiction

Author(s): Alistair Fox

NZ Non Fiction

The first critical study to investigate at length how masculine subjectivities are represented in contemporary New Zealand fiction. Notoriously self-contained and private, Kiwi men are often reluctant to talk about their personal feelings and embarrassed at the thought that any private emotional difficulties could be exposed to critical examination. One must go to their imaginative literature to make contact with the reality that underlies the (often calculatedly deceptive) surface. In his investigation of these issues, Fox demonstrates the crucial importance of Pakeha and Maori cultural predispositions influencing masculine identity in this country - often at the cost of great psychic pain for the men involved. 232pp 235x155mm First publishd April 2008.


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Alistair Fox is Professor of English at the University of Otago. An internationally recognised Renaissance scholar, his past publications include the English Renaissance: Identity and Representation in Elizabethan England (Blackwell, 1997), Reassessing the Henrician Age: Politics and Reform 1500 - 1550 (Blackwell, 1986) and Thomas More: History and Providence (Yale, 1983). More recently, Professor Fox has been writing on contemporary New Zealand culture, with The Ship of Dreams being his first book-length foray into the field of New Zealand literature.

Introduction; 1 Reworking the Archetypes: Maurice Gee's Early Novels; 2 Maurice Gee's In My Father's Den and the Paradigm of Puritan Repression; 3 'The Hand of Grandfather on the Family': Maurice Gee's Plumb Trilogy; 4 The Inward Man: Maurice Gee's Games of Choice, Prowlers, and Going West; 5 Psychic Retreats and Homicidal Violence: Maurice Gee's The Burning Boy, Crime Story, Loving Ways, and Blindsight; 6 A Baby-Boomer Reports on Experience: Stevan Eldred-Grigg's Oracles and Miracles Trilogy and Shanghai Boy; 7 'A Price to Pay': Witi Ihimaera's The Matriarch; 8 Articulating the Subjectivities of the Divided Self: Witi Ihimaera's The Dream Swimmer; 9 The Dilemma of the Maori New Man: Inter-generational Conflict in The Matriarch, Bulibasha, The Whale Rider, and The Uncle's Story; 10 Sexuality, Masculinity, and Indigenous Identity in Ihimaera's Nights in the Gardens of Spain and The Uncle's Story; 11 The Effects of the 'Bad Mother' in the Fiction of Alan Duff: Both Sides of the Moon, One Night Out Stealing, and the Heke Trilogy; Conclusion; Notes; Bibliography; Index

General Fields

  • : 9781877372544
  • : Otago University Press
  • : Otago University Press
  • : September 2008
  • : 235mm X 155mm X 23mm
  • : New Zealand
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Alistair Fox
  • : Paperback
  • : 823
  • : 230
  • : Men's studies; Literary studies: from c 1900 -; Modern fiction