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Xavier Herbert, author

Love Is a Many-Splendoured Thing, film 1955

The Fusion Literature pages identify examples of literature in which the principle characters are of fusion backgrounds and/or the setting involves a 'fusionscape' of some sort.

As a general comment, literary characters of mixed racial or ethnic origins are usually (almost always) represented as people with problems, and the problems arise from unresolved aspects of their fusion heritage. 'Love' and 'betrayal' are common words in the literature of fusion.

The links on the left will take you to either reviews and discussions of particular works of fusion literature, or to similar discussions of fusion themes in literature (which are hard to find), or to biographies and other material about authors who have written fusion literature.

This list of literary works with a fusion theme or character is constantly being added to, and suggestions for further additions are always most welcome - click on the 'email author' button at the top of the page. For the time being these are arranged according to the country in which the story is set, but this may change as more works are identified and transnational themes begin to emerge.

Australia
  1. Xavier Herbert, Capricornia: a novel of North Australia, Angus & Robertson, Sydney 1938
    Written with ruthless courage ...packed with substance...there is the steady recurrence of the sinister 'black velvet' theme, knock, knock, knock in your brain...Australian life is seen from a new angle.... [review, Australian Quarterley]

  2. Leonard Mann, Venus Half-Caste, Hodder & Stoughton, London 1963
    "...about a beautiful and intelligent half-caste aborigine, and her fight to become accepted in a white society; and about the three men who influence her life ... a sensitive portrayal of character, an authentic and unglamourised Australian background... [fly-leaf]

  3. Sophie Masson, The Hand of Glory, Hodder, Sydney 2002
    ...a fascinating parallel history of Australia - an exotic backdrop to this tale of murder, mystery and the supernatural ...The colony of Esperance, which occupies the southwest of Western Australia, was founded by the French in 1795 ...Voudespers, who are descendants of the freed West African and Haitian slaves who had intermarried with the local native clans, as well as French settlers;...[fictional historical notes at back]


China and Hong Kong
  1. Diana Chang, The Frontiers of Love, Ace Books/Harborough Publishing Co., London 1957
    Three young Eurasians experience love and betrayal, disillusionment and fulfilment in Shanghai. [cover]

  2. Han Suyin, A Many-Splendoured Thing, Penguin Books, Harmondsworth 1952/1960
    ...beautiful love story ... [set against] a tumultuous background of contemporary history ... the symbolic and passionate relationship between the Chinese woman doctor and the British newspaperman... [fly leaf]


India
  1. John Masters, Bhowani Junction, Joseph, London 1954 (film 1956)
    Set shortly before India achieved independence. Victoria is the mixed-race child of a railway worker. Patrick, also an Anglo-Indian, considers himself her boyfriend, but her feelings towards him are platonic. In self-defence, Victoria kills an English officer who has attempted to rape her, and is helped to avoid detection by an Indian, Ranjit, who hopes to marry her. She then becomes involved in an exercise to capture a local terrorist, along with her commanding officer, Rodney Savage, with whom she has an affair. [wikipedia article]

  2. William Dalrymple, White Mughals: love and betrayal in eighteenth-century India, Flamingo/Harper Collins, London 2003
    ...By this time one in three British men in India were living with Indian women, many taking on Indian ways, cloths, habits and even religions, crossing cultures to become 'White Mughals'. This romantic and ultimately tragic tale of love across forbidden boundaries took place in a world almost entirely unexplored by history [back cover]