This article provides an overview of a research project investigating contemporary literary representations of Melbourne’s inner and outer suburban spaces. It will argue that the city represented by local writers is an often more complex way of envisioning the city than the one presented in public policy and cultural discourses. In this view, the writer’s vision of a city does not necessarily override or provide a “truer’ account but it is in the fictional city where the complexity of the everyday life of a city is most accurately portrayed. The article will also provide an overview of the theoretical framework for reading the fictional texts in this way, examining how Soja’s concept of Thirdspace (2006) provides a place to engage “critically with theoretical issues, while simultaneously being that space where the debate occurs” (Mole 2008: 3)
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