Ron and Eric, being much more on the ball than me, blogged days ago about Roger McDonald's winning Australia's premier prize for fiction: The Miles Franklin Literary Award.
Mc Donald's novel: The Ballad of Desmond Kale is set in early colonial Australia and about the attempts to bread sheep that will 'magically' produce fine wool. The book blurb promises a brilliant vision of colonial chaos.
I feel I have a vested interest in it already. A more dynamic branch of my family tree, the Shearers, emigrated to Australia and introduced the first merino sheep. And if you don't believe me, you can ask my Uncle Bill and my Canadian Cousin, Glen, who have spent years researching our collective history!
Anyway, there's plenty of excellent Australian fiction being written, but not a great deal seems to find it's way in to the bookshops here unless it gets picked up by an international publishing house or wins a prestigious award. Has anyone seen Kate Grenville's Commonwealth Prize Winning The Secret River in the bookshops here?
Ron and Dean? I'm promoting you to my official Antipodean correspondents and would love to hear your best recent Aussie reads. (You might as well do something useful if you're going to hang out here!)
You can read more about McDonald's win in the Australian.