(Not) being at home: Hsu Ming Teo’s Behind the Moon (2005) and Michelle de Kretser’s Questions of Travel (2012)

Research output: Contribution to Book/ReportChapterpeer-review


This article examines some interventions of Asian Australian writing into the debate over multiculturalism, and the shift from negative stereotyping of Asian migrants, to reification of racial divisions and propagation of a masked racism, to the creation of new alignments and the revival of pre-existing affiliations by migrant and secondgeneration subjects. It compares the practices of not-at-homeness by Asian migrants and their descendants and white Australians in Hsu Ming Teo’s Behind the Moon with those of a Sri Lankan refugee and a white Australian traveller in Michelle de Kretser’s Questions of Travel. The changing concepts of belonging in the novels show a realignment of core and periphery relations within the nation state under the pressures of multiculturalism and globalization: where home is and how it is configured are questions as important for white Australians whose sense of territory is challenged as they are for Asian migrants who seek to establish a new belonging.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMediating Literary Borders:
Subtitle of host publication Asian Australian Writing
EditorsJanet Mary Wilson , Chandani Lokuge
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)9781138570818
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jan 2018


  • Hsu Ming Teo
  • Michelle de Kretser
  • multiculturalism
  • white Australian
  • not-athomeness
  • Asian Australian writing
  • diaspora subjects


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