Date of Award


Document Type



Edith Cowan University

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences

First Supervisor

Dr Richard Rossiter


This thesis takes the form of a novel titled The Albanian and an exegesis, “Place and Form in The Albanian". The novel spans the period from October 1989 to the end of 1991 and is set against a backdrop of Eastern European change and its effect on a small group of Albanian refugees and Rosa, a young woman from Western Australia. Rosa narrates the tale in first person, present tense. The novel begins with her arrival in Dubrovnik, where she meets a young Albanian man on the verge of exiling himself in order to survive ethnic persecution. He fascinates Rosa, because of his mixture of aggression and deep feeling and she sympathises with his plight. Rosa travels through the Balkans, passing through Bucharest during the early stages of the Communist overthrow and learning about history and politics, love and her sense of who she is. She is often dreaming of finding the young man again and eventually returns to Dubrovnik, Rosa is disappointed by the difference between what she has imagined during their time apart and who he is in reality but she accompanies him in search of political asylum in Sweden. This journey is a pivotal point in the relationship and Rosa leaves Europe, having begun to love him. Rosa returns home, to Bunbury, where life is unchanged and ordinary and she is torn by concurrent feelings of alienation and belonging. Again, she travels to meet the Albanian in Sweden. This time she learns about his culture, and the truth of his presence there. The novel ends in London in 1999. The exegesis is divided into three sections, all exploring issues of belonging and not belonging and how they relate to different aspects of The Albanian. The first section considers belonging, displacement and transit in the novel and how these states of being are used to explore Australian and refugee identity issues, meanings of home and exile. The second and third sections of the exegesis consider the placement of the novel within and outside established genres. The second section demonstrates the extent to which the novel fulfils the criteria of traditional autobiography through an exposition of sources, and then discusses variations in the genre and the novel's fictional elements. The third section of the exegesis demonstrates the adherence of the novel to traditional narrative form using Vladimir Propp’s Morphology of the Folktale, and goes on to explore postmodern elements which hybridise the text.

LCSH Subject Headings

Edith Cowan University. Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences - Dissertations

Refugees - Fiction


Access Note

Access to this thesis is restricted to the exegesis.

Included in

Fiction Commons