Some of our best Australian writers
Dove Grey Reader, writer of a respected and well-read UK book blog, is wondering about authors from our part of the world, so I thought I'd list some of our many great writers.
And please, Aussie book-loving friends, do add some names here in your comments. I've been out of the country for a couple of years, so there are bound to be some names I haven't come across yet.
There'll also be names I've forgotten in the rush to assure anyone thinking about Australian literature that there is more to read — so much more — than Patrick White. Yes. He won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1973, died in 1990, and is still revered. But please don't stop there.
I've put this list of authors, with a few notable titles, in alphabetical order, for easy access.
Murray Bail Eucalyptus 1998; Holden's Performance '02
Lily Brett Too Many Men '02, You Gotta Have Balls '06
Peter Carey Bliss '81, Illywhacker '85, etc. Bookers in '88 for Oscar and Lucinda and '01 for The True History of the Kelly Gang.
Peter Corris Doyen of Australian crime fiction. Cliff Hardy, his detective, appears in novels and short stories, including The Undertow '06
Bryce Courtenay Prolific, S. African-Australian. The Power of One '97, The Persimmon Tree '07
Robert Dessaix Essayist, novelist, journalist, well-known literary interviewer and commentator, Night Letters '96, Corfu '01, Travels with Turgenev '04 — see also this post by Ex Libris
Robert Drewe The Bodysurfers '83, The Drowner '97, The Shark Net '00
Nick Earls Fiction for adults and young adults. Zigzag Street '90s, Bachelor Kisses '90s, Perfect Skin '01, After Summer '05, Monica Bloom '06
Helen Garner Essayist, feature journalist, fiction and non-fiction writer. Monkey Grip '77, The Children's Bach '84, Cosmo Cosmolino '92, The First Stone '95
Kate Grenville Lilian's Story '85, Dark Places '94, The Idea of Perfection '99
Shirley Hazzard Bay of Noon '70, The Transit of Venus '80, The Great Fire '03
Thomas Keneally Playwright, screenwriter, author, made the Booker shortlist four times before winning in '82 for Schindler's Ark; also wrote The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith '72, An Angel in Australia 02, A Widow and Her Hero '07
David Malouf Poems, short stories, plays, novels. An Imaginary Life '78, Remembering Babylon '93, The Conversations at Curlow Creek '96
John Marsden One of the most popular Australian writers for children and young adults. So Much to Tell You '87, Tomorrow When the War Began '93 and the other six books in the series, to '97
Drusilla Modjeska Poppy '90, The Orchard '94, Stravinsky's Lunch '99, Timepieces '02
Sally Morgan Painter and writer. My Place '87
Craig Silvey Fabulous young Western Australian writer, whose first novel, Rhubarb, '04, was named WA's One Book for the 2005 Perth International Arts Festival
Randolph Stow Reclusive but wonderful Western Australian writer and poet. To the Islands '58, Tourmaline '63, The Merry-go-round in the Sea '65
Tim Winton Much-acclaimed and loved WA writer of novels, children's books, short stories and non-fiction. That Eye the Sky '86, Cloudstreet '91 etc. Shortlisted for the Booker in '95 for The Riders, and in '02 for Dirt Music.
Sue Woolfe Screenwriter, documentary writer and author. Painted Woman '89, Leaning Towards Infinity '96, The Secret Cure '03
Australia has some prestigious literature prizes. The Miles Franklin Award is given annually, for novels, while The Australian/Vogel Award is for younger writers (under 26, I think) who are very often the names to watch in future years. Then there are the Premier's Book Awards in each state.
Edited Dec 28.
This list is very light on in terms of older and classic Australian lit. I haven't mentioned Henry Handel Richardson, for example, or Marcus Clarke, Christina Stead, or Neville Shute ... I apologise!