Australian Stories of Tax and Fairness: A Feminist Reading of Peter Carey's the Tax Inspector

Posted: 17 Jul 2003

See all articles by Miranda Stewart

Miranda Stewart

University of Melbourne - Law School; Australian National University (ANU) - Crawford School of Public Policy

Abstract

In his novel The Tax Inspector, Peter Carey presents us with a peculiarly Australian tale of taxation, pervasive tax evasion and a pervasive longing for a principled fairness. The Tax Inspector pits Maria, a heavily pregnant tax auditor, against the corrupt business of the Catchprice family, members of which are engaged in moral (and legal) crimes ranging from minor tax evasion to child sexual abuse. This article explores some of the stories, or myths, of tax and fairness in Australia through a feminist reading of The Tax Inspector. Reading literature can help us "discover ourselves" and our community (West Robin, "Economic Man and Literary Woman" in Narrative, Authority and Law (U Michigan P, 1993) 251, 254). The Tax Inspector enables new insight into the meaning of fairness in the Australian tax system because it brings together the ideal of fairness with narratives of the lived reality of wealth, poverty, inequality and tax evasion, as carried in the pregnant body of the Tax Inspector, Maria.

JEL Classification: K34, K42

Suggested Citation

Stewart, Miranda, Australian Stories of Tax and Fairness: A Feminist Reading of Peter Carey's the Tax Inspector. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=424240

Miranda Stewart (Contact Author)

University of Melbourne - Law School ( email )

Melbourne, Victoria 3010
Australia
+61 3 8344 6544 (Phone)

Australian National University (ANU) - Crawford School of Public Policy ( email )

7 Liversidge Street
Lennox Crossing
Canberra, ACT 0200
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://https://crawford.anu.edu.au/people/academic/miranda-stewart

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