Jagose, Annamarie 1965-
JAGOSE, Annamarie 1965-
PERSONAL: Born 1965, in Ashburton, New Zealand. Education: Victoria University, B.A., Ph.D., 1992.
CAREER: University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia, senior lecturer in English, beginning 1992; University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand, associate professor of film, television, and media studies, 2003—.
AWARDS, HONORS: Best First Fiction prize, PEN Society of Authors, 1994, and Best First Book Award, New Zealand Society of Authors, both for In Translation; Deutz Medal for Fiction, Montana New Zealand Book Awards, and Victorian Premier's Literary Award for Fiction, both 2004, both for Slow Water.
Lesbian Utopics, Routledge (New York, NY), 1994.
Queer Theory: An Introduction, New York University Press (New York, NY), 1996.
Inconsequence: Lesbian Representation and the Logic of Sexual Sequence, Cornell University Press (Ithaca, NY), 2002.
In Translation, Allen & Unwin (St. Leonards, New South Wales, Australia), 1995.
Lulu: A Romance, Victoria University Press (Wellington, New Zealand), 1998.
Slow Water, Victoria University Press (Wellington, New Zealand), 2003.
Also editor, with Chris Berry, of Australia Queer. Contributor to Intimacy, edited by Lauren Berlant, University of Chicago Press (Chicago, IL), 2000, and Cross Purposes: Lesbian Studies, Feminist Studies, and the Limits of Alliance, edited by Dana Heller, Indiana University Press (Bloomington, IN), 1997. Coeditor, GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies; member of editorial board, Genders.
SIDELIGHTS: Annamarie Jagose was born in New Zealand and has taught at the university level in that country and in Australia. Her writings include nonfiction work, focusing on gay and lesbian studies, and fiction. In Queer Theory, she traces the history of same-sex relations and social movements throughout the twentieth century, including gay liberation, lesbian feminism, and the embrace of the concept of "queer" as a positive identification. Her work, which is informed by the theories of post-structuralism, challenges readers to think in new ways not only about homosexuality, but about basic notions of gender and sexuality.
Jagose's first novel, In Translation, was well received; it concerns a love triangle played out between India and New Zealand that is kept alive through air-mail letters concerning the translation of a Japanese novel. In her novel Lulu: A Romance, Jagose tells a strange story of two research scientists, Mitch and Kate, whose lives are disrupted by Lulu, a chimpanzee they are using in their study of language development. Kate wants to treat Lulu like the research subject that she is, but Mitch is charmed by the animal; the erotic relationship between the two humans is even derailed by issues related to Lulu. The novel "explores the often fickle relationship between communication and sexuality," noted Wendy Cavenett in a review for This Swirling Sphere. "Mixing the chemistry of attraction with the science of psychology and linguistics, Jagose has created a unique take on the tenuous threesome syndrome." Cavenett concluded: "More than just a modern romance, Jagose's Lulu is an exceptionally penned tale that explores the complexities of everyday life, the subtleties of language and the ambiguity of gender-based assumptions."
Slow Water is based on historical fact. It depicts a boat journey to New Zealand and Australia during the 1830s. The central character, William Yate, is an apprentice grocer who leaves England to work as a missionary. Eventually, he is disgraced when his homosexual affair with one of the ship's mates is revealed by another missionary. Reviewing the book for the Sydney Morning Herald, Michael McGirr remarked that the novel "has a wide emotional range. It is also written in unpragmatically ornate prose. At times, Jagose's prose is exacting; at other times, delightful."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
New Zealand Book Council Web site,http://www.bookcouncil.org.nz/ (November 10, 2004), "Annamarie Jagose."
Sydney Morning Herald Online,http://www.smh.com.au/ (June 7, 2003), Michael McGirr, review of Slow Water.
This Swirling Sphere Web site,http://www.thei.aust.com/ (November 10, 2004), Wendy Cavenett, review of Lulu: A Romance.*