Saying the unsayable
Imagining reconciliation in Gail Jones’s Sorry
In her novel Sorry (2007), Australian novelist and essayist Gail Jones engages in a reflection on the ethics of reconciliation. Written in response to her wish to acknowledge the debt to the Stolen Generations, Sorry offers new possibilities of ethical mourning, allowing the dead to return and the voiceless to speak. This article explores the ways in which Jones not only fashions a narrative that bypasses the unsayable dimension of Australia’s history and the representational difficulties inherent in trauma but also fosters the empathetic imagination through a metadiscursive discussion of the act of reading. Self-referentiality and self-reflexivity are also examined, as they allow Jones to draw attention to her novel’s writerly elaborations and offer an alternative to standard reconciliation practices.
Published online: 03 December 2015
Baronian, Marie-Aude & Mireille Rosello
2008 Interview: Gail Jones. January Magazine. http://www.januarymagazine.com/profiles/gailjones.html (last accessed on 1 May 2015).
Gelder, Ken & Jane M. Jacobs
Gooder, Haydie & Jane M. Jacobs
Hosking, Susan Elizabeth
2011 Water, soap and sanitation: Assimilationist whitewash and Stolen Generations narratives in South-West Australia. In Landscape, Place and Culture: Linkages between Australia and India, Deb N. Bandyopadhyay, Paul Brown & Christopher Conti (eds.). Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars, 218–236.
2012 Collisions of authority: Nonunitary narration and textual authority in Gail Jones’ Sorry . In Encounters: Place, Situation, Context, Cassandra Atherton, Rhonda Dredge, Katya Johanson, Antonia Pont, Ruby Todd & Patrick West (eds.). Canberra: The Australasian Association of Writing Programs. http://www.aawp.dreamhosters.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/McCrea.pdf (last accessed on 1 May 2015).
2012 Five Bells with novelist Gail Jones. Writers and Company. CBC Radio. http://www.cbc.ca/player/Radio/Writers+and+Company/2012/ID/2313221830/ (last accessed on 1 May 2015).
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