Abstract: Stephen Kinnane’s Shadow Lines (2003) pertains to the genre of Indigenous inter-generational life writing in which the younger generation of Indigenous writers substitutes white editors in recording the lives and memories of their own families and community elders, thus seizing a greater amount of control over the representations of Australian Indigenetiy. Kinnane extends the genre by appropriating the tools of colonial domination, most notably the archive, and by inscribing, in a self-reflective way, his own subjectivity in the text. As a result, Shadow Lines is a multilayered narrative that presents a functional and contented interracial marriage and family life of Kinnane’s grandparents, as a way of counteracting the close regulation and policing of Aboriginality in the early twentieth-century Western Australia. In addition, Kinnane juxtaposes the archival materials to other sources of information, mostly the orally transmitted memories of relatives and friends, thus reclaiming the agency of his ancestors and providing a truthful representation of their lives and the lives of the local Indigenous community.

Keywords: Shadow Lines; Stephen Kinanne; Indigenous inter-generational collaborative life writing; interracial marriage; appropriating colonial archive.

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