In an age of increasing mobility, the house signifies stability. Its living spaces may seem a sanctuary, or a prison, or both at different times. Representing an achievement of men and women as makers, houses stand somewhere between the tent and the castle in the great chain of dwelling places, with aspirations generally expressed towards the latter. For at least a century, Australians have been majority suburban dwellers. Australian houses have generally been stand-alone structures, and the spaces within and between them are constituent elements in the identity of their inhabitants. There is an economics and a politics, but also a poetics of space which can be applied to housing.1 Creative writers often negotiate the limits of the various spaces they have inhabited, especially when they attempt to re-forge the houses of their childhood.
Bennett, Bruce, Living Spaces: Some Australian Houses of Childhood, Kunapipi, 16(2), 1994.