Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of the Arts, English and Media


This doctorate examines Australia’s contemporary fascination with crime and thriller writing, focusing specifically on its noir elements and the social, political and historical importance of the noir style. Part one, the exegesis, analyses contemporary Australian noir fiction, with particular attention given to class, gender and place. It examines narrative trends and analyses the social, political and economic concerns of noir novels. The research specifically seeks to identify whether there is a particularly Australian style of noir, and if so, what tropes and cultural concerns are specific to Australia.

Part two, creative project Cleave for Me, is a crime novel which incorporates the styles and concerns of noir fiction, while also investigating the ideological subtexts of noir. Cleave for Me is set in an alternative community in country NSW. The town’s inhabitants have moved from the city to seek a freer, less materialistic life, but as the price of marijuana skyrockets during the economic boom of the 1980s and money comes pouring in, their utopian ideals are shattered. The community ends up mirroring the corrupt society they escaped and ultimately becomes much worse, descending into paranoia, violence, drug abuse, sexual exploitation and death.

This thesis is unavailable until Wednesday, March 09, 2022



Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.