Australian Authors

Literary Prizes

Favourite Australian Poems

Other Australian Books

Matilda - a literary weblog

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Books are a large part of my life. I've got them lining the walls, piled up next to the bed, on tables, chairs and on just about every flat surface, and I still don't know what to say to the people who come to my house and ask, "so, have you read them all?"

Australian Authors

If you're an author from the USA (or possibly the UK) writing sf, horror or fantasy then you are well-covered on the Web. If you are Australian and writing what might loosely be termed serious modern fiction then you might as well not exist. Hence, the listing of various authors below. It'll take a while for this list to come together properly so bear with me. But check it out from time to time to see if anything new has cropped up.

As an added note, the names of authors listed here but which do not host a link to other pages are listed with the intention of setting up individual pages for them at some time in the future. I just don't know when.

Australian history is almost always picturesque; indeed, it is also so curious and strange, that it is itself the chiefest novelty the country has to offer and so it pushes the other novelties into second and third place. It does not read like history, but like the most beautiful lies; and all of a fresh new sort, no mouldy old stale ones. It is full of surprises and adventures, the incongruities, and contradictions, and incredibilities; but they are all true, they all happened.

Mark Twain, More Tramps Abroad, London, 1897


Glenda Adams
Jessica Anderson
Thea Astley
Murray Bail
Carmel Bird
Barcroft Boake
Rolf Boldrewood
Martin Boyd
Christopher Brennan
Peter Carey
Brian Castro
Dymphna Cusack
Victor Daley
Eleanor Dark
Liam Davison
C.J. Dennis
Garry Disher
Robert Drewe
Edward Dyson
Sumner Locke Elliott
Richard Flanagan
David Foster
Miles Franklin
Helen Garner
Mary Gilmore

W.T. Goodge
Adam Lindsay Gordon
Kate Grenville
Rodney Hall
Lee Harding
Frank Hardy
Charles Harpur
Nicholas Hasluck
Shirley Hazzard
Xavier Herbert
Janette Turner Hospital
David Ireland
Clive James
Kate Jennings
Elizabeth Jolley
George Johnston
Thomas Keneally
Henry Kendall
Christopher Koch
Henry Lawson
Lennie Lower
Roger McDonald
Andrew McGahan
Ronald McKie
James McQueen

David Malouf
David Marr
Alex Miller
Frank Moorhouse
Harry "Breaker" Morant
Gerald Murnane
John Shaw Neilson
D'Arcy Niland
John O'Brien
Ruth Park
A.B. "Banjo" Paterson
Dorothy Porter
Henry Handel Richardson
John Scott
Kenneth Slessor
Christina Stead
Dal Stivens
Randolph Stow
George Turner
Morris West
Tim Winton
Amy Witting


The following Australian authors have pages dedicated to them, it's just that I don't maintain them:

Goldie Alexander
Peter Corris
Sara Douglass
Hazel Edwards
Greg Egan
Mem Fox
Jackie French
Morris Gleitzman
Simon Haynes
Wendy James
Paul Jennings
Susan Johnson
Nicholas Jose
Sylvia Kelso
Shane Maloney
Peter Nicholson
Emily Rodda
Michael Robotham
David Rowbotham
Anne Summers
Lucy Sussex
Charlotte Wood


Literary Prizes

While I am not overly keen on the competitive nature of literary prizes, they do provide readers with a reasonable introduction to the literature of the period they aim to represent. I do not imply, by any means, that the winners of the following awards were the "best" of their year in all cases, it's just that I found some wonderful books in these lists that I may never have bothered to read if it hadn't been for the publicity they received in either winning or being shortlisted. And if the awards do nothing else, then they've given me some genuine reading pleasure.

The Booker Prize (or "Man Booker Prize" as it is now more properly known) is one of the the most prestigious literary prizes in the English-speaking world. Entrants for the award must be citizens of the British Commonwealth, Eire, Pakistan or South Africa. The award was first presented in 1969 and is made annually in late October.

I've recently carried out a full revamp of the Booker prize pages which pretty much finishes off all the work I need to do there - just a few missing books to find and include.

On an Australian front the winners of the Miles Franklin award provide quite a good introduction to Australian literature (in the form of novels) over the past 40 years or so, and the Australian/Vogel Award offers glimpses at possible literary futures.

Another prize that features Australian writers on a regular basis is the Commonwealth Writers Prize. This gives awards to the best novels written in English from various parts of the British Commonwealth. Books are chosen from the following four regions: Africa, The Carribean and Canada, Eurasia, South East Asia and South Pacific. Prizes are awarded for Best Novel and Best First Novel in each of the regions and then an overall winner in each category is chosen from the regional winners. The Prize has been awarded since 1987.

Of course the biggie is the Nobel Prize, and if you're looking for a full listing of the winners point your browser at the Nobel e-Museum page. To date Patrick White (in 1973) is the only Australian to be awarded the prize. Speculation on who might be the second centres mainly on Peter Carey, David Malouf and Les Murray. An article in a recent Melbourne newspaper thought that a thirty year period between Australian prizes seemed appropriate.

The US science fiction fan Laurie Mann maintains the AwardWeb page which now covers all the major Science Fiction, Crime, Children's and Literary awards from around the world.




Australian Authors

Favourite Australian Poems

Other Australian Books

Favourite Australian Poems

Over on my literary weblog, Matilda, I publish a poem each Saturday on the themes of books, writing, publishing and book-shops. Here are the first ten of them:

The Poet's Pay by Edward Dyson
Redivivus by C.J Dennis
Omarism by Victor Daley
Those Standard Authors by Edward Dyson
'The Bulletin' Stairs by E.J. Brady
Poets by C.J Dennis
Copy Paper by Edward Dyson
My Typewriter by Edward Dyson
The Censor by C.J Dennis
The Editor's Regrets by Norman Campbell

You can now find a selection of Edward Dyson's poems under the poetry section of the Edward Dyson page. Similarly for
Barcroft Boake,
Christopher Brennan,
Victor Daley,
W.T. Goodge,
Charles Harpur,
Adam Lindsay Gordon,
Henry Kendall,
Harry "Breaker" Morant,
John Shaw Neilson,
John O'Brien,
A.B. 'Banjo' Paterson.

Previous Poems:

Botany Bay by Anonymous
The Road to Gundagai by Anonymous
The Wild Colonial Boy by Anonymous
The Last To Leave by Leon Gellert
The Days When We Went Swimming by Henry Lawson
The Grog-an'-Grumble Steeplechase by Henry Lawson
Middleton's Rouseabout by Henry Lawson
Song of the Old Bullock Driver by Henry Lawson
The Song of Old Joe Swallow by Henry Lawson
The Teams by Henry Lawson
The Trenches by Frederic Manning
The Farmer Remembers the Somme by Vance Palmer
How M'Dougal Topped the Score by Thomas E Spencer




Australian Authors

Literary Prizes

Other Australian Books

Other Australian Books

There are a number of Australian books (or books about Australia) that I think require attention but which, for various reasons, don't fit into any of the previously defined categories. So this section is a general grab-bag of those items. They will be a mixture of fiction and non-fiction, and generally by Australian authors (but maybe not). I'd suggest you expect just about anything I think appropriate.

Fiction (Novels):

This section is starting to get a little unwieldy so I need to make a few changes in the months ahead. The first of these will be a re-design of the Miles Franklin Award pages which will remove a lot of the novels from the list below. Details of them will still be available, just in a different location. Until that occurs, however, the list will tend to grow a little longer. Bear with me.

The Book of Miles by David Astle
Too Many Men by Lily Brett
Company of Images by Janine Burke
The Art of the Engine Driver by Steven Carroll
For the Term of His Natural Life by Marcus Clarke
The Blindman's Hat by Bernard Cohen
Such is Life by Tom Collins
The Disappearances of Madalena Grimaldi by Marele Day
The Rose Grower by Michelle de Kretser
The Hand that Signed the Paper by Helen Demidenko
Night Letters by Robert Dessaix
The Company by Arabella Edge
The Mule's Foal by Fotini Epanomitis
The Service of Clouds by Delia Falconer
The House in the Light by Beverley Farmer
Oceana Fine by Tom Flood
Maestro by Peter Goldsworthy
To the Burning City by Alan Gould
Out of the Line of Fire by Mark Henshaw
The Golden Dress by Marion Halligan
The Mystery of the Hansom Cab by Fergus Hume
One For the Master by Dorothy Johnston
Nightpictures by Rod Jones
Avenue of Eternal Peace by Nicholas Jose
Kindling Does for Firewood by Richard King
Pegasus in the Suburbs by Jennifer Kremmer
The Boy in the Bush by D.H. Lawrence and M.L. Skinner
Camille's Bread by Amanda Lohrey
Gilgamesh by Joan London
Stiff by Shane Maloney
Smyrna by Tony Maniaty
The Mint Lawn by Gillian Mears
The Irishman by Elizabeth O'Conner
The Big Fellow by Vance Palmer
Building on Sand by David Parker
Three Dollars by Elliot Perlman
The French Mathematician by Tom Petsinis
Home is the Sailor by Nancy Phelan
What a Piece of Work by Dorothy Porter
Ilias by Jim Sakkas
Hiam by Eva Sallis
Mood Indigo by Mandy Sayer
Benang by Kim Scott
Love and Vertigo by Hsu-Ming Teo
Swimming in Silk by Darren Williams
Leaning Towards Infinity by Sue Wolfe

Fiction (Anthologies):

Contemporary Classics 65-95 edited by Don Anderson
Dreaming Down-Under edited by Jack Dann and Janeen Webb


Life after George by Hannie Rayson


A Small Unsigned Painting by Stephen Scheding


Stephanie's Journal by Stephanie Alexander
Spice Notes by Ian Hemphill


The Fatal Shore by Robert Hughes


The Complete Book of Australian Verse by John Clarke
The Penguin Book of Australian Verse edited by Harry Heseltine
All the Room by David Rowbotham

Political Biographies and Commentaries:

As It Happened by John Button
John Curtin: A Life by David Day
The Hawke Memoirs by Bob Hawke
The Hawke Ascendancy by Paul Kelly
Stirring the Possum by James McClelland
The Whitlam Government 1972-1975 by Gough Whitlam


The Spike by Damien Broderick

Social Commentaries:

A Secret Country by John Pilger


The Songlines by Bruce Chatwin



Australian Authors

Literary Prizes

Favourite Australian Poems

This page, and all contents, are copyright © 1995-2008 by emailing me: perry at, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The referback image at the bottom of the page is copyright © 1986 by Craig Hilton.

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Last modified: March 27, 2008.