Wednesday, November 14, 2007

An Australian Reading List

If you, like me, feel a great yawning hole in your head where some knowledge of Australian literature should be, you might like to check out Australian Classics by Jane Gleeson-White which is reviewed in The Australian.

The book:
... reintroduces 50 classics of Australian Literature - including novels, non-fiction, children's literature and poetry - from the last 200 years ... an accessible companion to our literature and a story of writing in Australia from the nineteenth century to the present.
The table of contents provides a very useful reading list for those who want an introduction to some of the best antipodean literature:
Robbery Under Arms by Rolf Boldrewood (1826-1915)

Such is Life by Joseph Furphy (1843-1912)

The Sick Stockrider by Adam Lindsay Gordon (1883-1870)

His Natural Life by Marcus Clarke (1846-1881)

The Chosen Vessel by Barbara Baynton (1857-1929)

'The Man From Snowy River' by Banjo Paterson (1864-1941)

Nationality by Mary Gilmore (1865-1962)

The Drover's Wife by Henry Lawson (1867-1922)

Lilith by Christopher Brennan (1870-1932)

Seven Little Australians by Ethel Turner (1870-1958)

The Getting of Wisdom by Henry Handel Richardson (1870-1946)

The Gentle Water Bird by John Shaw Neilson (1872-1942)

My Brilliant Career by Miles Franklin (1879-1954)

The Magic Pudding by Norman Lindsay (1879-1969)

Coonardoo by Katharine Susannah Prichard (1883-1969)

10 for 66 and all that by Arthur Mailey (1886-1967)

Lucinda Brayford by Martin Boyd (1893-1972)

A Fortunate Life by AB Facey (1894-1982)

Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay (1896-1984)

Five Bells by Kenneth Slessor

Capricornia by Xavier Herbert

The Man Who Loved Children by Christina Stead

The Pea-pickers by Eve Langley

A Letter from Rome by AD Hope

Voss by Patrick White

My Brother Jack by George Johnston

Woman to Child' by Judith Wright

Tirra Lirra by the River by Jessica Anderson

Power Without Glory by Frank Hardy

'No More Boomerang' by Oodgeroo Noonuccal

Storm Boy by Colin Thiele

The Lucky Country by Donald Horne

Milk and Honey by Elizabeth Jolley

The Acolyte by Thea Astley

The Glass Canoe by David Ireland

The Tyranny of Distance by Geoffrey Blainey

The Transit of Venus by Shirley Hazzard

An Imaginary Life by David Malouf

The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith by Thomas Keneally

Visitants by Randolph Stow

Grand Days by Frank Moorhouse

The Buladelah-Taree Holiday Song Cycle by Les Murray

The Fatal Shore by Robert Hughes

The Plains by Gerald Murnane

Monkey Grip by Helen Garner

Our Sunshine by Robert Drewe

True History of the Kelly Gang by Peter Carey

Lilian’s Story by Kate Grenville

My Place by Sally Morgan

Cloudstreet by Tim Winton
Some of these texts can be downloaded in PDF format from the book's website.

Incidentally, the text that Malaysian readers are likely to know best is Lawson's The Drover's Wife which is currently on the Form Four English syllabus.


Amir said...

The Australian text that Malaysians (the ones cursed with a longish memory) would also remember is Turtle Beach by Blanche D'Alpuget, which is set in Malaysia. It caused no fuss upon publication but then got various people here hot and bothered when the film adaptation was released abut a decade later, in 1992. Salleh Ben Joned wrote about it in an As I Please column.

Chet said...

I am familiar with Picnic at Hanging Rock as a movie.

I think The Man from Snowy River was also made into a movie.

Poppadumdum said...

Where's The Thorn Birds???

Dean said...

I was at a poetry reading on Thursday night in Darlinghurst (to get to which I struggled down Cleveland Street then left into Crown Street) and a young woman with bleached-blonde hair named Tessa said she liked Dorothy Porter very much.

Tessa then went on the read a poem she herself wrote, about her father, who could snatch frogs out of the air with one hand.

How the frogs got in the air in the first place, however, is a mystery (especially in Sydney).

Anonymous said...

I read Tim Winton's Cloudstreet just a few months ago and loved it. I devoured it in just a few days -- incredibly strong, poetic writing, and unforgettable characters.

-- Preeta

Argus Lou said...

I agree with Preeta regarding 'Cloudstreet'. It's a thick tome but one goes through it quickly.

Read and enjoy a couple of David Malouf's books, too.

"The Magic Pudding" is quaint , er, magical (!).

Argus Lou said...

Er, sorry. Meant to type "read and enjoyed..."

bibliobibuli said...

preeta - i really loved tim winton's "dirt music" and am so looking forward to "cloudstreet"

Anonymous said...

Sound cool.. free books. Let's see if they're any good. There're not that many good Australian writers. I mean I don't see why they don't write something like what you see on "McLeod's Daughters".

I mean, you know what I mean, right ? fiction that can be easily described as "Australian", about Australia (or at least Australia's idealized image of itself.)

bibliobibuli said...

There're not that many good Australian writers.

*sound of this blogger choking*

Argus Lou said...

Ditto here.
How many Australian authors has this person read, I wonder?

Start with Peter Carey, Tim Winton, David Malouf, and tell me if they're not good. Man!

bibliobibuli said...

anon just attempting a wind-up, argus lou!