Australia as an (in)hospitable home in Peter Carey’s A Long Way from Home (2017)


The concepts of “house” and “home” constitute two poles of experience which negotiate the space between economic and emotional safety. Associated with material well-being and personal relationships, they may serve as litmus-paper tests to probe the economic and personal situation of people living on a given territory. The last to-date novel by the Australian novelist Peter Carey, A Long Way from Home (2017), takes up the issue of Australia as a metaphorical home to diverse groups of people: the white descendants of British colonisers, post-WWII survivors and immigrants, and the indigenous Aboriginal inhabitants of the continent. Employing the plot of the all-around-the-country car race, the novel shows how the land, seemingly homely and open to everybody, may be read as a palimpsest of trauma and pain, and quite inhospitable to many of its inhabitants. Referring to the concepts of the picaresque and chronotope, this article will argue that both the metaphoric and the literal meaning of the concepts of house and home are employed in the novel to disclose and discuss the internal and immigration policy of the Australia of the 1950s.


house and home, picaresque, chronotope, racial and ethnic policy, postcolonialism

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Published : 2022-08-01

Klonowska, B. (2022) “ Australia as an (in)hospitable home in Peter Carey’s A Long Way from Home (2017)”, Crossroads. A Journal of English Studies, (36). doi: 10.15290/CR.2022.36.1.05.

Barbara Klonowska
Catholic University of Lublin, Poland  Poland

Barbara Klonowska is an assistant professor in the English Department at the Catholic University of Lublin, Poland. She teaches British literature and culture, and has published on contemporary British fiction and film. Her book-length studies include Contaminations: Magic Realism in Contemporary British Fiction (2006), and Longing for Romance: British Historical Romances 1990-2010 (2014). Her academic interests focus on contemporary literature, literary theory, magic realism in fiction and film, and cinematographic utopias and dystopias.