From National to Global: Writing and translating the Aotearoa New Zealand Short Story

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In today’s global literary marketplace, the short story from Aotearoa New Zealand reaches out to international and national reading publics thanks to the flourishing local literary scene which has boosted the genre’s status and reach, and the global orientation of many writers. This article compares 20th-century short stories with contemporary developments in the genre that present a global, diasporic imaginary rather than a national imaginary. It refers to the translation into Spanish of stories anthologized in Un país de cuento: Veinte relatos de Nueva Zelanda (A fairy tale land: Twenty stories from New Zealand), that represent the country’s early cultural nationalism by stressing location and identity. In recent writing, these preoccupations reappear as expansions and reworkings that overflow this earlier canon through an exploration of different spaces; these deterritorialize the national, and refocus the local, creating the impression of cultural fragmentation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-232
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Postcolonial Writing
Issue number2
Early online date30 Mar 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Mar 2020

Bibliographical note

Janet M. Wilson is Professor of English and Postcolonial Studies at the University of Northampton, UK. She has published widely on the literary and visual cultures of Australasia, and has a research interest in writing of the New Zealand diaspora. She is editor-in chief of the Journal of Postcolonial Writing.


  • globalization;
  • Aotearoa New Zealand short story; deterritorialization; home and belonging;
  • Spanish translation
  • national/diasporic imaginary;
  • home and belonging
  • deterritorialisation


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