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Australian literature

Australian literature

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Australian literature is the written or literary work produced in the area or by the people of the Commonwealth of Australia and its preceding colonies. During its early western history, Australia was a collection of British colonies, therefore, its literary tradition begins with and is linked to the broader tradition of English literature
English literature
English literature is the literature written in the English language, including literature composed in English by writers not necessarily from England; for example, Robert Burns was Scottish, James Joyce was Irish, Joseph Conrad was Polish, Dylan Thomas was Welsh, Edgar Allan Poe was American, J....

. However, the narrative art of Australian writers (including modern Indigenous Australians
Indigenous Australians
Indigenous Australians are the original inhabitants of the Australian continent and nearby islands. The Aboriginal Indigenous Australians migrated from the Indian continent around 75,000 to 100,000 years ago....

 as well as Anglo-Celtic
Anglo-Celtic
Anglo-Celtic is a term used to describe people of British and Irish descent. The term today is mainly used outside of Britain and Ireland, particularly in Australia but also in Canada, New Zealand and the United States, where a significant diaspora is located....

 and multicultural migrant Australians) has, since 1788, introduced the character of a new continent into literature - exploring such themes as Aboriginality, mateship
Mateship
Mateship is an Australian cultural idiom that embodies equality, loyalty and friendship. There are two types of mateship, the inclusive and the exclusive; the inclusive is in relation to a shared situation , whereas the exclusive type is toward a third party...

, egalitarianism
Egalitarianism
Egalitarianism is a trend of thought that favors equality of some sort among moral agents, whether persons or animals. Emphasis is placed upon the fact that equality contains the idea of equity of quality...

, democracy
Democracy
Democracy is generally defined as a form of government in which all adult citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Ideally, this includes equal participation in the proposal, development and passage of legislation into law...

, migrant and national identity, distance from other Western nations and proximity to Asia, the complexities of urban living and the "beauty and the terror" of life in the Australian bush.

Notable Australian writers have included the novelists Marcus Clarke
Marcus Clarke
Marcus Andrew Hislop Clarke was an Australian novelist and poet, best known for his novel For the Term of his Natural Life.- Biography :...

, Miles Franklin
Miles Franklin
Stella Maria Sarah Miles Franklin, known as Miles Franklin was an Australian writer and feminist who is best known for her novel My Brilliant Career, published in 1901...

, Patrick White
Patrick White
Patrick Victor Martindale White , an Australian author, is widely regarded as an important English-language novelist of the 20th century. From 1935 until his death, he published 12 novels, two short-story collections and eight plays.White's fiction employs humour, florid prose, shifting narrative...

, Thomas Keneally
Thomas Keneally
Thomas Michael Keneally, AO is an Australian novelist, playwright and author of non-fiction. He is best known for writing Schindler's Ark, the Booker Prize-winning novel of 1982 which was inspired by the efforts of Poldek Pfefferberg, a Holocaust survivor...

 and Colleen McCullough
Colleen McCullough
Colleen McCullough-Robinson, , is an internationally acclaimed Australian author.-Life:McCullough was born in Wellington, in outback central west New South Wales, in 1937 to James and Laurie McCullough. Her mother was a New Zealander of part-Māori descent. During her childhood, her family moved...

, the bush poets Henry Lawson
Henry Lawson
Henry Lawson was an Australian writer and poet. Along with his contemporary Banjo Paterson, Lawson is among the best-known Australian poets and fiction writers of the colonial period and is often called Australia's "greatest writer"...

 and Banjo Paterson
Banjo Paterson
Andrew Barton "Banjo" Paterson, OBE was an Australian bush poet, journalist and author. He wrote many ballads and poems about Australian life, focusing particularly on the rural and outback areas, including the district around Binalong, New South Wales where he spent much of his childhood...

, historians Manning Clark
Manning Clark
Charles Manning Hope Clark, AC , an Australian historian, was the author of the best-known general history of Australia, his six-volume A History of Australia, published between 1962 and 1987...

 and Geoffrey Blainey
Geoffrey Blainey
Geoffrey Norman Blainey AC , is a prominent Australian historian.Blainey was born in Melbourne and raised in a series of Victorian country towns before attending Wesley College and the University of Melbourne. While at university he was editor of Farrago, the newspaper of the University of...

, the playwright David Williamson
David Williamson
David Keith Williamson AO is one of Australia's best-known playwrights. He has also written screenplays and teleplays.-Biography:...

 and leading expatriate writers Barry Humphries
Barry Humphries
John Barry Humphries, AO, CBE is an Australian comedian, satirist, dadaist, artist, author and character actor, best known for his on-stage and television alter egos Dame Edna Everage, a Melbourne housewife and "gigastar", and Sir Les Patterson, Australia's foul-mouthed cultural attaché to the...

, Robert Hughes
Robert Hughes (critic)
Robert Studley Forrest Hughes, AO is an Australian-born art critic, writer and television documentary maker who has resided in New York since 1970.-Early life:...

, Clive James
Clive James
Clive James, AM is an Australian author, critic, broadcaster, poet and memoirist, best known for his autobiographical series Unreliable Memoirs, for his chat shows and documentaries on British television and for his prolific journalism...

 and Germaine Greer
Germaine Greer
Germaine Greer is an Australian writer, academic, journalist and scholar of early modern English literature, widely regarded as one of the most significant feminist voices of the later 20th century....

.

Overview



Australian writers who have obtained international renown include the Nobel winning author Patrick White
Patrick White
Patrick Victor Martindale White , an Australian author, is widely regarded as an important English-language novelist of the 20th century. From 1935 until his death, he published 12 novels, two short-story collections and eight plays.White's fiction employs humour, florid prose, shifting narrative...

, as well as authors Peter Carey, Thomas Keneally
Thomas Keneally
Thomas Michael Keneally, AO is an Australian novelist, playwright and author of non-fiction. He is best known for writing Schindler's Ark, the Booker Prize-winning novel of 1982 which was inspired by the efforts of Poldek Pfefferberg, a Holocaust survivor...

, Colleen McCullough
Colleen McCullough
Colleen McCullough-Robinson, , is an internationally acclaimed Australian author.-Life:McCullough was born in Wellington, in outback central west New South Wales, in 1937 to James and Laurie McCullough. Her mother was a New Zealander of part-Māori descent. During her childhood, her family moved...

, Nevil Shute
Nevil Shute
Nevil Shute Norway was a popular British-Australian novelist and a successful aeronautical engineer. He used his full name in his engineering career, and 'Nevil Shute' as his pen name, in order to protect his engineering career from any potential negative publicity in connection with his novels.-...

 and Morris West
Morris West
Morris Langlo West AO was an Australian novelist and playwright, best known for his novels The Devil's Advocate , The Shoes of the Fisherman , and The Clowns of God . His books were published in 27 languages and sold more than 60 million copies worldwide...

. Notable contemporary expatriate authors include the feminist Germaine Greer
Germaine Greer
Germaine Greer is an Australian writer, academic, journalist and scholar of early modern English literature, widely regarded as one of the most significant feminist voices of the later 20th century....

, art historian Robert Hughes
Robert Hughes (critic)
Robert Studley Forrest Hughes, AO is an Australian-born art critic, writer and television documentary maker who has resided in New York since 1970.-Early life:...

 and humorists Barry Humphries
Barry Humphries
John Barry Humphries, AO, CBE is an Australian comedian, satirist, dadaist, artist, author and character actor, best known for his on-stage and television alter egos Dame Edna Everage, a Melbourne housewife and "gigastar", and Sir Les Patterson, Australia's foul-mouthed cultural attaché to the...

 and Clive James
Clive James
Clive James, AM is an Australian author, critic, broadcaster, poet and memoirist, best known for his autobiographical series Unreliable Memoirs, for his chat shows and documentaries on British television and for his prolific journalism...

.

Among the important authors of classic Australian works are the poets Henry Lawson
Henry Lawson
Henry Lawson was an Australian writer and poet. Along with his contemporary Banjo Paterson, Lawson is among the best-known Australian poets and fiction writers of the colonial period and is often called Australia's "greatest writer"...

, Banjo Paterson
Banjo Paterson
Andrew Barton "Banjo" Paterson, OBE was an Australian bush poet, journalist and author. He wrote many ballads and poems about Australian life, focusing particularly on the rural and outback areas, including the district around Binalong, New South Wales where he spent much of his childhood...

, C J Dennis and Dorothea McKellar. Dennis wrote in the Australian vernacular, while McKellar wrote the iconic patriotic poem My Country
My Country
"My Country" is an iconic patriotic poem about Australia, written by Dorothea Mackellar at the age of 19 while homesick in England. After travelling through Europe extensively with her father during her teenage years she started writing the poem in London in 1904 and re-wrote it several times...

. Lawson and Paterson clashed in the famous "Bulletin Debate
Bulletin Debate
thumb|250px|right|[[Henry Lawson]] with [[J.F. Archibald]], the co-founder of [[The Bulletin]]The "Bulletin Debate" was a famous dispute in The Bulletin magazine from 1892-93 between two of Australia's most iconic writers and poets: Henry Lawson and Andrew Barton "Banjo" Paterson.- Origin :At the...

" over the nature of life in Australia with Lawson considered to have the harder edged view of the Bush and Paterson the romantic. Lawson is widely regarded as one of Australia's greatest writers of short stories, while Paterson's poems remain amongst the most popular Australian bush poems. Significant political poets of the 20th century included Dame Mary Gilmore
Mary Gilmore
Dame Mary Gilmore DBE was a prominent Australian socialist poet and journalist.-Early life:Mary Jean Cameron was born on 16 August 1865 at Cotta Walla near Goulburn, New South Wales...

 and Judith Wright
Judith Wright
Judith Arundell Wright was an Australian poet, environmentalist and campaigner for Aboriginal land rights.-Biography:...

. Among the best known contemporary poets are Les Murray
Les Murray (poet)
Leslie Allan Murray, AO , known as Les Murray, is an Australian poet, anthologist and critic. His career spans over forty years, and he has published nearly 30 volumes of poetry, as well as two verse novels and collections of his prose writings...

 and Bruce Dawe
Bruce Dawe
Donald Bruce Dawe AO is an Australian poet, and is considered by many as one of the most influential Australian poets of all time.-Early life:...

, whose poems are often studied in Australian high schools.

Novelists of classic Australian works include Marcus Clarke
Marcus Clarke
Marcus Andrew Hislop Clarke was an Australian novelist and poet, best known for his novel For the Term of his Natural Life.- Biography :...

 (For the Term of His Natural Life
For the Term of his Natural Life
For the Term of His Natural Life, written by Marcus Clarke, was published in the Australian Journal between 1870 and 1872 , appearing as a novel in 1874. It is the best known novelisation of life as a convict in early Australian history...

), Miles Franklin
Miles Franklin
Stella Maria Sarah Miles Franklin, known as Miles Franklin was an Australian writer and feminist who is best known for her novel My Brilliant Career, published in 1901...

 (My Brilliant Career
My Brilliant Career
My Brilliant Career is a 1901 novel written by Miles Franklin.It is the first of many novels by Stella Maria Sarah Miles Franklin , one of the major Australian writers of her time. It was written while she was still a teenager, as a romance to amuse her friends...

) and Ruth Park
Ruth Park
Ruth Park, AM was a New Zealand-born author, who spent most of her life in Australia. Her best known works are the novels The Harp in the South and Playing Beatie Bow , and the children's radio serial The Muddle-Headed Wombat , which also spawned a book series .-Personal history:Park was born in...

 (The Harp in the South). In terms of children's literature, Norman Lindsay
Norman Lindsay
Norman Alfred William Lindsay was an Australian artist, sculptor, writer, editorial cartoonist, scale modeler, and boxer. He was born in Creswick, Victoria....

 (The Magic Pudding
The Magic Pudding
The Magic Pudding: Being The Adventures of Bunyip Bluegum and his friends Bill Barnacle and Sam Sawnoff is an Australian children's book written and illustrated by Norman Lindsay. It is a comic fantasy, and a classic of Australian children's literature....

) and May Gibbs
May Gibbs
Cecilia May Gibbs MBE was an Australian children's author, illustrator, and cartoonist. She is best-known for her gumnut babies , and the book Snugglepot and Cuddlepie....

 (Snugglepot and Cuddlepie
Snugglepot and Cuddlepie
Snugglepot and Cuddlepie is a series of books written by Australian author May Gibbs. The books chronicle the adventures of the eponymous Snugglepot and Cuddlepie. The central story arc concerns Snugglepot and Cuddlepie and their adventures along with troubles with the villains of the story, the ...

) are among the Australian classics, while eminent Australian playwrights have included Steele Rudd
Steele Rudd
Steele Rudd was the pseudonym of Arthur Hoey Davis an Australian author, best known for On Our Selection.-Early life:...

, David Williamson
David Williamson
David Keith Williamson AO is one of Australia's best-known playwrights. He has also written screenplays and teleplays.-Biography:...

, Alan Seymour
Alan Seymour
Alan Seymour , is an Australian playwright and author. He was educated at Perth Modern School, leaving at 15 after failing to complete the Junior Certificate. He found work as a radio announcer in a commercial radio station 6PM. During his two years there he wrote a number of short radio plays that...

 and Nick Enright
Nick Enright
-Life:He was drama captain of St Ignatius' College, Riverview in 1964, where, like Gerard Windsor and Justin Fleming, he was taught by Melvyn Morrow. At that school, he won the 1sts Debating Premiership in both 1966 and 1967....

.

Although historically only a small proportion of Australia's population have lived outside the major cities, many of Australia's most distinctive stories and legends originate in the outback
Outback
The Outback is the vast, remote, arid area of Australia, term colloquially can refer to any lands outside the main urban areas. The term "the outback" is generally used to refer to locations that are comparatively more remote than those areas named "the bush".-Overview:The outback is home to a...

, in the drovers
Drover (Australian)
A drover in Australia is a person, typically an experienced stockman, who moves livestock, usually sheep or cattle, "on the hoof" over long distances. Reasons for droving may include: delivering animals to a new owner's property, taking animals to market, or moving animals during a drought in...

 and squatters and people of the barren, dusty plains.

David Unaipon
David Unaipon
David Unaipon was an Australian Aboriginal of the Ngarrindjeri people, a preacher, inventor and writer. He was the most widely known Aboriginal in Australia, and broke stereotypes of Aboriginals...

 is known as the first indigenous author. Oodgeroo Noonuccal
Oodgeroo Noonuccal
Oodgeroo Noonuccal was an Australian poet, political activist, artist and educator. She was also a campaigner for Aboriginal rights...

 was the first Aboriginal Australian to publish a book of verse. A significant contemporary account of the experiences of Indigenous Australia can be found in Sally Morgan
Sally Morgan (artist)
Sally Jane Morgan is an Australian Aboriginal author, dramatist, and artist. Morgan's works are on display in numerous private and public collections in both Australia and around the world.-Early life:...

's My Place
My Place (book)
My Place is an autobiography written by artist Sally Morgan in 1987. It is about Morgan's quest for knowledge of her family's past and the fact that she has grown up under false pretences. The book is a milestone in Aboriginal literature and is one of the earlier works in indigenous writing.-...

.

Charles Bean
Charles Bean
Charles Edwin Woodrow Bean , usually identified as C.E.W. Bean, was an Australian schoolmaster, judge's associate, barrister journalist, war correspondent and historian....

, Geoffrey Blainey
Geoffrey Blainey
Geoffrey Norman Blainey AC , is a prominent Australian historian.Blainey was born in Melbourne and raised in a series of Victorian country towns before attending Wesley College and the University of Melbourne. While at university he was editor of Farrago, the newspaper of the University of...

, Robert Hughes
Robert Hughes (critic)
Robert Studley Forrest Hughes, AO is an Australian-born art critic, writer and television documentary maker who has resided in New York since 1970.-Early life:...

, Manning Clark
Manning Clark
Charles Manning Hope Clark, AC , an Australian historian, was the author of the best-known general history of Australia, his six-volume A History of Australia, published between 1962 and 1987...

 and Marcia Langton
Marcia Langton
Marcia Lynne Langton is one of Australia's leading Aboriginal scholars. She holds the Foundation Chair in Australian Indigenous Studies at the University of Melbourne, Australia...

 are authors of important Australian histories.

Aboriginal writers and themes


At the point of the first colonization, Indigenous Australians
Indigenous Australians
Indigenous Australians are the original inhabitants of the Australian continent and nearby islands. The Aboriginal Indigenous Australians migrated from the Indian continent around 75,000 to 100,000 years ago....

 had not developed a system of writing, so the first literary accounts of Aborigines come from the journals of early European explorers, which contain descriptions of first contact, both violent and friendly. Early accounts by Dutch explorers and the English bucaneer William Dampier
William Dampier
William Dampier was an English buccaneer, sea captain, author and scientific observer...

 wrote of the "natives of New Holland
New Holland (Australia)
New Holland is a historic name for the island continent of Australia. The name was first applied to Australia in 1644 by the Dutch seafarer Abel Tasman as Nova Hollandia, naming it after the Dutch province of Holland, and remained in use for 180 years....

" as being "barbarous savages", but by the time of Captain James Cook
James Cook
Captain James Cook, FRS, RN was a British explorer, navigator and cartographer who ultimately rose to the rank of captain in the Royal Navy...

 and First Fleet
First Fleet
The First Fleet is the name given to the eleven ships which sailed from Great Britain on 13 May 1787 with about 1,487 people, including 778 convicts , to establish the first European colony in Australia, in the region which Captain Cook had named New South Wales. The fleet was led by Captain ...

 marine Watkin Tench
Watkin Tench
Lieutenant-General Watkin Tench was a British Marine officer who is best known for publishing two books describing his experiences in the First Fleet, which established the first settlement in Australia in 1788...

 (the era of Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Jean-Jacques Rousseau was a Genevan philosopher, writer, and composer of 18th-century Romanticism. His political philosophy influenced the French Revolution as well as the overall development of modern political, sociological and educational thought.His novel Émile: or, On Education is a treatise...

), accounts of Aborigines were more sympathetic and romantic: "these people may truly be said to be in the pure state of nature, and may appear to some to be the most wretched upon the earth; but in reality they are far happier than ... we Europeans", wrote Cook in his journal on 23 August 1770.

David Unaipon
David Unaipon
David Unaipon was an Australian Aboriginal of the Ngarrindjeri people, a preacher, inventor and writer. He was the most widely known Aboriginal in Australia, and broke stereotypes of Aboriginals...

 (1872–1967) provided the first accounts of Aboriginal mythology written by an Aboriginal: Legendary Tales of the Aborigines; he is known as the first Aboriginal author. Oodgeroo Noonuccal
Oodgeroo Noonuccal
Oodgeroo Noonuccal was an Australian poet, political activist, artist and educator. She was also a campaigner for Aboriginal rights...

 (1920–1995) was a famous Aboriginal poet, writer and rights activist credited with publishing the first Aboriginal book of verse: We Are Going (1964). Sally Morgan
Sally Morgan (artist)
Sally Jane Morgan is an Australian Aboriginal author, dramatist, and artist. Morgan's works are on display in numerous private and public collections in both Australia and around the world.-Early life:...

's novel My Place
My Place (book)
My Place is an autobiography written by artist Sally Morgan in 1987. It is about Morgan's quest for knowledge of her family's past and the fact that she has grown up under false pretences. The book is a milestone in Aboriginal literature and is one of the earlier works in indigenous writing.-...

 was considered a breakthrough memoir in terms of bringing indigenous stories to wider notice. Leading Aboriginal activists Marcia Langton
Marcia Langton
Marcia Lynne Langton is one of Australia's leading Aboriginal scholars. She holds the Foundation Chair in Australian Indigenous Studies at the University of Melbourne, Australia...

 (First Australians
First Australians
First Australians is an Australian historical documentary series produced over the course of six years and first aired in October 2008. The documentary is part of a greater project that further consists of a hard-cover book, a community outreach program and a substantial website featuring over 200...

, 2008) and Noel Pearson ("Up From the Mission", 2009) are active contemporary contributors to Australian literature.

The voices of Indigenous Australians
Australian Aborigines
Australian Aborigines , also called Aboriginal Australians, from the latin ab originem , are people who are indigenous to most of the Australian continentthat is, to mainland Australia and the island of Tasmania...

 are being increasingly noticed and include the playwright
Playwright
A playwright, also called a dramatist, is a person who writes plays.The term is not a variant spelling of "playwrite", but something quite distinct: the word wright is an archaic English term for a craftsman or builder...

 Jack Davis
Jack Davis (playwright)
Jack Davis , was a notable Australian 20th Century playwright and poet, also an Indigenous rights campaigner. He was born in Western Australia, in the small town of Yarloop, and lived in Fremantle towards the end of his life. He was of the Aboriginal Noongar people, and much of his work dealt with...

 and Kevin Gilbert
Kevin Gilbert (author)
Kevin Gilbert was a 20th century Indigenous Australian activist, artist, poet, playwright and printmaker. He is also a past winner of the National Book Council prize for writers.- Life :...

. Writers coming to prominence in the 21st century include Kim Scott
Kim Scott
Kim Scott is an Australian novelist of Indigenous Australian ancestry. He is a descendant of West Australian Noongar people.- Biography :...

, Alexis Wright
Alexis Wright
Alexis Wright is an Indigenous Australian writer best known for winning the Miles Franklin Award for her 2006 novel Carpentaria....

, Tara June Winch
Tara June Winch
Tara June Winch is an Australian writer of Aboriginal and European descent. Her first book, Swallow the Air, won several major Australian literary awards.-Life:...

, in poetry Yvette Holt and in popular fiction Anita Heiss
Anita Heiss
Anita Heiss is a contemporary Australian author of Austrian and Indigenous Australian descent.Anita Heiss is from the Wiradjuri people though she grew up in and lives in Sydney. Her mother was brought up in a Catholic mission and her father is originally from Austria...

.

Indigenous authors who have won Australia's high prestige Miles Franklin Award
Miles Franklin Award
The Miles Franklin Literary Award is an annual literary prize for the best Australian ‘published novel or play portraying Australian life in any of its phases’. The award was set up according to the will of Miles Franklin , who is best known for writing the Australian classic My Brilliant Career ...

 include Kim Scott
Kim Scott
Kim Scott is an Australian novelist of Indigenous Australian ancestry. He is a descendant of West Australian Noongar people.- Biography :...

 who was joint winner (with Thea Astley
Thea Astley
Thea Astley was an Australian novelist and short story writer. She was a prolific writer who was published for over 40 years from 1958. At the time of her death, she had won more Miles Franklin Awards, Australia's major literary award, than any other writer...

) in 2000 for Benang
Benang
Benang is a 1999 Miles Franklin Award winning novel by Australian author Kim Scott. The award was shared with Drylands by Thea Astley.Reviewing the novel for The Hindu, K...

 and again in 2011 for That Deadman Dance
That Deadman Dance
That Deadman Dance is the third novel by Western Australian author Kim Scott. It was first published in 2010 by Picador and will be published in the UK, US and Canada in 2012 by Bloomsbury...

. Alexis Wright
Alexis Wright
Alexis Wright is an Indigenous Australian writer best known for winning the Miles Franklin Award for her 2006 novel Carpentaria....

 won the award in 2007 for her novel Carpentaria
Carpentaria
Carpentaria acuminata , the sole species in the genus Carpentaria, is a palm native to tropical coastal regions in the north of Northern Territory, Australia....

.

Many notable works have been written by non-indigenous Australians on Aboriginal themes. Examples include the poems of Judith Wright
Judith Wright
Judith Arundell Wright was an Australian poet, environmentalist and campaigner for Aboriginal land rights.-Biography:...

; The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith
The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith
The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith is a 1972 Booker Prize-nominated novel by Thomas Keneally, and a 1978 Australian film of the same name directed by Fred Schepisi. The novel is based on the life of bushranger Jimmy Governor....

 by Thomas Keneally
Thomas Keneally
Thomas Michael Keneally, AO is an Australian novelist, playwright and author of non-fiction. He is best known for writing Schindler's Ark, the Booker Prize-winning novel of 1982 which was inspired by the efforts of Poldek Pfefferberg, a Holocaust survivor...

, Ilbarana by Donald Stuart
Donald Stuart (novelist)
Donald Stuart was an Australian novelist whose works include stories with Aboriginal backgrounds, and a series recounting his experience as a POW in Burma in World War II.-Early career:...

, and the short story by David Malouf
David Malouf
David George Joseph Malouf is an acclaimed Australian writer. He was awarded the Neustadt International Prize for Literature in 2000, his 1993 novel Remembering Babylon won the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award in 1996, he won the inaugural Australia-Asia Literary Award in 2008, and he was...

: "The Only Speaker of his Tongue".

Histories covering Indigenous themes include Watkin Tench
Watkin Tench
Lieutenant-General Watkin Tench was a British Marine officer who is best known for publishing two books describing his experiences in the First Fleet, which established the first settlement in Australia in 1788...

 (Narrative of the Expedition to Botany Bay et Complete Account of the Settlement at Port Jackson); Roderick J. Flanagan (The Aborigines of Australia, 1888); The Native Tribes of Central Australia by Spencer
Walter Baldwin Spencer
Sir Walter Baldwin Spencer KCMG was a British-Australian biologist and anthropologist.Baldwin was born in Stretford, Lancashire. His father, Reuben Spencer, who had come from Derbyshire in his youth, obtained a position with Rylands and Sons, cotton manufacturers, and rose to be chairman of its...

 and Gillen, 1899; the diaries of Donald Thompson
Donald Thompson
Sir Donald Thompson was a British Conservative Party politician. He was a Member of Parliament from 1979 until 1997.Thompson attended Holy Trinity School, Halifax, and Hipperholme Grammar School...

 on the subject of the Yolngu
Yolngu
The Yolngu or Yolŋu are an Indigenous Australian people inhabiting north-eastern Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory of Australia. Yolngu means “person” in the Yolŋu languages.-Yolŋu law:...

 people of Arnhem Land
Arnhem Land
The Arnhem Land Region is one of the five regions of the Northern Territory of Australia. It is located in the north-eastern corner of the territory and is around 500 km from the territory capital Darwin. The region has an area of 97,000 km² which also covers the area of Kakadu National...

 (c.1935-1943); Alan Moorehead
Alan Moorehead
Alan McCrae Moorehead OBE was a war correspondent and author of popular histories, most notably two books on the nineteenth-century exploration of the Nile, The White Nile and The Blue Nile . Australian-born, he lived in England, and Italy, from 1937.-Biography:Alan Moorehead was born in...

 (The fatal Impact, 1966); Geoffrey Blainey
Geoffrey Blainey
Geoffrey Norman Blainey AC , is a prominent Australian historian.Blainey was born in Melbourne and raised in a series of Victorian country towns before attending Wesley College and the University of Melbourne. While at university he was editor of Farrago, the newspaper of the University of...

 (Triumph of the Nomads, 1975); Henry Reynolds
Henry Reynolds (historian)
Henry Reynolds is an eminent Australian historian whose primary work has focused on the frontier conflict between European settlement of Australia and indigenous Australians.-Education and career:...

 (The Other Side of the Frontier
The Other Side of the Frontier
The Other Side of the Frontier: Aboriginal Resistance to the European invasion of Australia is a history book published in 1981 by Australian historian Henry Reynolds...

, 1981); and Marcia Langton
Marcia Langton
Marcia Lynne Langton is one of Australia's leading Aboriginal scholars. She holds the Foundation Chair in Australian Indigenous Studies at the University of Melbourne, Australia...

 (First Australians, 2008). Differing interpretations of Aboriginal history are also the subject of contemporary debate in Australia, notably between the essayists Robert Manne
Robert Manne
Robert Manne is a professor of politics at La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia.Born in Melbourne, Manne's earliest political consciousness was formed by the fact that his parents were Jewish refugees from Europe and his grandparents were victims of the Holocaust...

 and Keith Windshuttle.

Letters written by notable Aboriginals leaders like Bennelong
Bennelong
Woollarawarre Bennelong was a senior man of the Eora, an Aboriginal people of the Port Jackson area, at the time of the first British settlement in Australia, in 1788...

 and Sir Douglas Nicholls
Douglas Nicholls
Sir Douglas Ralph "Doug" Nicholls KCVO, OBE, was a prominent Aboriginal Australian from the Yorta Yorta people. He was a professional athlete, Churches of Christ pastor and church planter, ceremonial officer and a pioneering campaigner for reconciliation.Nicholls was the first Aboriginal person to...

 are also retained as treasures of Australian literature, as is the historic Yirrkala bark petitions
Yirrkala bark petitions
The Yirrkala bark petitions 1963 are historic Australian documents that were the first traditional documents prepared by Indigenous Australians that were recognised by the Australian Parliament, and are thus the first documentary recognition of Indigenous people in Australian law.Wali Wunungmurra,...

 of 1963 which is the first traditional Aboriginal document recognised by the Australian Parliament.

AustLit's BlackWords project provides a comprehensive listing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Writers and Storytellers.

Early and classic works



For centuries before the British settlement of Australia, European writers wrote fictional accounts of an imaginings of a Great Southern Land. In 1642 Abel Janszoon Tasman landed in Tasmania
Tasmania
Tasmania is an Australian island and state. It is south of the continent, separated by Bass Strait. The state includes the island of Tasmania—the 26th largest island in the world—and the surrounding islands. The state has a population of 507,626 , of whom almost half reside in the greater Hobart...

 and after examining notches cut at considerable distances on tree trunks, speculated that the newly discovered country must be peopled by giants. Later, the British satirist, Jonathan Swift
Jonathan Swift
Jonathan Swift was an Irish satirist, essayist, political pamphleteer , poet and cleric who became Dean of St...

, set the land of the Houyhnhnms of Gulliver's Travels
Gulliver's Travels
Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World, in Four Parts. By Lemuel Gulliver, First a Surgeon, and then a Captain of Several Ships, better known simply as Gulliver's Travels , is a novel by Anglo-Irish writer and clergyman Jonathan Swift that is both a satire on human nature and a parody of...

 to the west of Tasmania. In 1797 the British Romantic poet Robert Southey
Robert Southey
Robert Southey was an English poet of the Romantic school, one of the so-called "Lake Poets", and Poet Laureate for 30 years from 1813 to his death in 1843...

—then a young Jacobin
Jacobin
Jacobin may refer to:* Jacobin , a member of the Jacobin club, or political radical, generally* The Jacobin Club, a political club during the French Revolution* Jacobin , an American leftist political magazine....

—included a section in his collection, "Poems," a selection of poems under the heading, "Botany Bay Eclogues," in which he portrayed the plight and stories of transported convicts in New South Wales
New South Wales
New South Wales is a state of :Australia, located in the east of the country. It is bordered by Queensland, Victoria and South Australia to the north, south and west respectively. To the east, the state is bordered by the Tasman Sea, which forms part of the Pacific Ocean. New South Wales...

.

Among the first true works of literature produced in Australia were the accounts of the settlement of Sydney by Watkin Tench
Watkin Tench
Lieutenant-General Watkin Tench was a British Marine officer who is best known for publishing two books describing his experiences in the First Fleet, which established the first settlement in Australia in 1788...

, a captain of the marines on the First Fleet
First Fleet
The First Fleet is the name given to the eleven ships which sailed from Great Britain on 13 May 1787 with about 1,487 people, including 778 convicts , to establish the first European colony in Australia, in the region which Captain Cook had named New South Wales. The fleet was led by Captain ...

 to arrive in 1788. In 1819, poet, explorer, journalist and politician William Wentworth
William Wentworth
William Charles Wentworth was an Australian poet, explorer, journalist and politician, and one of the leading figures of early colonial New South Wales...

 published the first book written by a white Australian: A Statistical, Historical, and Political Description of the Colony of New South Wales and Its Dependent Settlements in Van Diemen's Land, With a Particular Enumeration of the Advantages Which These Colonies Offer for Emigration and Their Superiority in Many Respects Over Those Possessed by the United States of America, in which he advocated an elected assembly for New South Wales, trial by jury and settlement of Australia by free emigrants rather than convicts

Early popular works tended to be the 'ripping yarn' variety, telling tales of derring-do against the new frontier
Frontier
A frontier is a political and geographical term referring to areas near or beyond a boundary. 'Frontier' was absorbed into English from French in the 15th century, with the meaning "borderland"--the region of a country that fronts on another country .The use of "frontier" to mean "a region at the...

 of the Australian outback
Outback
The Outback is the vast, remote, arid area of Australia, term colloquially can refer to any lands outside the main urban areas. The term "the outback" is generally used to refer to locations that are comparatively more remote than those areas named "the bush".-Overview:The outback is home to a...

. Writers such as Rolf Boldrewood (Robbery Under Arms
Robbery Under Arms
Robbery Under Arms is a classic Australian novel by Rolf Boldrewood . It was first published in serialised form by The Sydney Mail between July 1882 and August 1883, then in three volumes in London in 1888...

), Marcus Clarke
Marcus Clarke
Marcus Andrew Hislop Clarke was an Australian novelist and poet, best known for his novel For the Term of his Natural Life.- Biography :...

 (For the Term of His Natural Life
For the Term of his Natural Life
For the Term of His Natural Life, written by Marcus Clarke, was published in the Australian Journal between 1870 and 1872 , appearing as a novel in 1874. It is the best known novelisation of life as a convict in early Australian history...

) and Joseph Furphy
Joseph Furphy
Joseph Furphy , is widely regarded as the "Father of the Australian novel". He mostly wrote under the pseudonym Tom Collins, and is best known for his novel Such is Life , regarded as an Australian classic.-Biography:Furphy was born at Yering Station in Yering, Victoria...

 embodied these stirring ideals in their tales and, particularly the latter, tried to accurately record the vernacular
Vernacular
A vernacular is the native language or native dialect of a specific population, as opposed to a language of wider communication that is not native to the population, such as a national language or lingua franca.- Etymology :The term is not a recent one...

 language of the common Australian. These novel
Novel
A novel is a book of long narrative in literary prose. The genre has historical roots both in the fields of the medieval and early modern romance and in the tradition of the novella. The latter supplied the present generic term in the late 18th century....

ists also gave valuable insights into the penal colonies
Penal colony
A penal colony is a settlement used to exile prisoners and separate them from the general populace by placing them in a remote location, often an island or distant colonial territory...

 which helped form the country and also the early rural settlements.

In 1838
1838 in Australia
See also:1837 in Australia,other events of 1838,1839 in Australia and theTimeline of Australian history.- Governors:Governors of the Australian colonies:*Governor of New South Wales - Sir George Gipps...

 The Guardian: a tale by Anna Maria Bunn
Anna Maria Bunn
Anna Maria Bunn was the anonymous author of The Guardian: a Tale , the first novel published on mainland Australia and the first in the continent by a woman...

 was published in Sydney. It was the first Australian novel printed and published in mainland Australia and the first Australian novel written by a woman. It is a Gothic
Gothic fiction
Gothic fiction, sometimes referred to as Gothic horror, is a genre or mode of literature that combines elements of both horror and romance. Gothicism's origin is attributed to English author Horace Walpole, with his 1764 novel The Castle of Otranto, subtitled "A Gothic Story"...

 romance.

Miles Franklin
Miles Franklin
Stella Maria Sarah Miles Franklin, known as Miles Franklin was an Australian writer and feminist who is best known for her novel My Brilliant Career, published in 1901...

 (My Brilliant Career
My Brilliant Career
My Brilliant Career is a 1901 novel written by Miles Franklin.It is the first of many novels by Stella Maria Sarah Miles Franklin , one of the major Australian writers of her time. It was written while she was still a teenager, as a romance to amuse her friends...

) and Jeannie Gunn
Jeannie Gunn
Jeannie Gunn OBE was an Australian novelist, teacher and Returned and Services League of Australia volunteer.- Life :...

 (We of the Never Never
We of the Never Never
We of the Never Never is an autobiographical novel by Jeannie Gunn. Although published as a novel, it is an account of the author's experiences in 1902 at Elsey Station near Mataranka, Northern Territory in which she changed the names of people to obscure their identities. She published this book...

) wrote of lives of European pioneers in the Australian bush from a female perspective. Albert Facey
Albert Facey
Albert Barnett Facey was an Australian writer and World War I veteran, whose main work was his autobiography, A Fortunate Life, now considered a classic in Australian literature. :)-Early life:...

 wrote of the experiences of the Goldfields and of Gallipoli
Battle of Gallipoli
The Gallipoli Campaign, also known as the Dardanelles Campaign or the Battle of Gallipoli, took place at the peninsula of Gallipoli in the Ottoman Empire between 25 April 1915 and 9 January 1916, during the First World War...

 (A Fortunate Life
A Fortunate Life
A Fortunate Life is an autobiographical novel written by Albert Facey and was published in 1981 and tells the complete story of his life. It chronicles his early life in Western Australia, his experiences as a private during the Gallipoli campaign of World War I and his return to civilian life...

). Ruth Park
Ruth Park
Ruth Park, AM was a New Zealand-born author, who spent most of her life in Australia. Her best known works are the novels The Harp in the South and Playing Beatie Bow , and the children's radio serial The Muddle-Headed Wombat , which also spawned a book series .-Personal history:Park was born in...

 wrote of the sectarian divisions of life in impoverished 1940s inner city Sydney (The Harp in the South). The experience of Australian PoWs in the Pacific War
Pacific War
The Pacific War, also sometimes called the Asia-Pacific War refers broadly to the parts of World War II that took place in the Pacific Ocean, its islands, and in East Asia, then called the Far East...

 is recounted by Nevil Shute
Nevil Shute
Nevil Shute Norway was a popular British-Australian novelist and a successful aeronautical engineer. He used his full name in his engineering career, and 'Nevil Shute' as his pen name, in order to protect his engineering career from any potential negative publicity in connection with his novels.-...

 in A Town Like Alice
A Town Like Alice
A Town Like Alice is a novel by the British author Nevil Shute about a young Englishwoman in Malaya during World War II and in outback Australia post-war....

 and in the autobiography of Sir Edward Dunlop
Edward Dunlop
Lieutenant Colonel Sir Ernest Edward "Weary" Dunlop, AC, CMG, OBE was an Australian surgeon who was renowned for his leadership while being held prisoner by the Japanese during World War II.-Early life and family:...

. Alan Moorehead
Alan Moorehead
Alan McCrae Moorehead OBE was a war correspondent and author of popular histories, most notably two books on the nineteenth-century exploration of the Nile, The White Nile and The Blue Nile . Australian-born, he lived in England, and Italy, from 1937.-Biography:Alan Moorehead was born in...

 was an Australian war correspondent and novelist who gained international acclaim.

Children's literature


Perennial favourites of Australian children's literature include Norman Lindsay
Norman Lindsay
Norman Alfred William Lindsay was an Australian artist, sculptor, writer, editorial cartoonist, scale modeler, and boxer. He was born in Creswick, Victoria....

's The Magic Pudding
The Magic Pudding
The Magic Pudding: Being The Adventures of Bunyip Bluegum and his friends Bill Barnacle and Sam Sawnoff is an Australian children's book written and illustrated by Norman Lindsay. It is a comic fantasy, and a classic of Australian children's literature....

, Ethel Pedley
Ethel Pedley
Ethel Charlotte Pedley was an Australian author and musician.Pedley's most well-known book is Dot and the Kangaroo, which featured a little girl named Dot who becomes lost in the Australian outback, and is helped to find her way back home by a friendly kangaroo. The illustrations were drawn by...

's Dot and the Kangaroo
Dot and the Kangaroo
-Film adaptations:The book was adapted into a film in 1977 which featured a combination of animation and live-action. The main character, Dot, was voiced by Barbara Frawley. The film also featured Spike Milligan as the voice of Platypus. The movie featured an original soundtrack including several...

, May Gibbs
May Gibbs
Cecilia May Gibbs MBE was an Australian children's author, illustrator, and cartoonist. She is best-known for her gumnut babies , and the book Snugglepot and Cuddlepie....

' Snugglepot and Cuddlepie
Snugglepot and Cuddlepie
Snugglepot and Cuddlepie is a series of books written by Australian author May Gibbs. The books chronicle the adventures of the eponymous Snugglepot and Cuddlepie. The central story arc concerns Snugglepot and Cuddlepie and their adventures along with troubles with the villains of the story, the ...

, Ruth Park
Ruth Park
Ruth Park, AM was a New Zealand-born author, who spent most of her life in Australia. Her best known works are the novels The Harp in the South and Playing Beatie Bow , and the children's radio serial The Muddle-Headed Wombat , which also spawned a book series .-Personal history:Park was born in...

's The Muddleheaded Wombat; Dorothy Wall
Dorothy Wall
Dorothy Wall was a New Zealand-born author and illustrator of children's fiction books. She is most famous for creating Blinky Bill, an anthropomorphic koala who was the central character in her books Blinky Bill: the Quaint Little Australian , Blinky Bill Grows Up and Blinky Bill and Nutsy...

's Blinky Bill
Blinky Bill
Blinky Bill is an anthropomorphic koala and children's fictional character created by New Zealand-born Australian author Dorothy Wall. The character of Blinky first appeared in Brooke Nicholls' 1933 book, Jacko - the Broadcasting Kookaburra, which was illustrated by Wall...

 and Mem Fox
Mem Fox
Mem Fox, AM is an Australian writer of children's books and an educationalist specialising in literacy. Fox is semi-retired and lives in Adelaide.-Career:...

's Possum Magic. These classic works employ Anthropomorphism
Anthropomorphism
Anthropomorphism is any attribution of human characteristics to animals, non-living things, phenomena, material states, objects or abstract concepts, such as organizations, governments, spirits or deities. The term was coined in the mid 1700s...

 to bring alive the creatures of the Australian bush, thus Bunyip Bluegum of The Magic Pudding is a koala who leaves his tree in search of adventure, while Dot of Dot and the kangaroo is a little girl lost in the bush, who befriends a group of marsupials. May Gibbs crafted a story of protagonists modelled on the appearance of young Eucalyptus (gum tree) nuts and pitted these gumnut babies, Snugglepot and Cuddlepie
Snugglepot and Cuddlepie
Snugglepot and Cuddlepie is a series of books written by Australian author May Gibbs. The books chronicle the adventures of the eponymous Snugglepot and Cuddlepie. The central story arc concerns Snugglepot and Cuddlepie and their adventures along with troubles with the villains of the story, the ...

, against the antagonist Banksia men
Banksia
Banksia is a genus of around 170 species in the plant family Proteaceae. These Australian wildflowers and popular garden plants are easily recognised by their characteristic flower spikes and fruiting "cones" and heads. When it comes to size, banksias range from prostrate woody shrubs to trees up...

.

The Children's Book Council of Australia
Children's Book Council of Australia
The Children's Book Council of Australia is a not for profit organisation which aims to engage the community with literature for young Australians. The CBCA presents annual awards for books of literary merit, for outstanding contribution to Australian children's literature.-Awards:The first...

 presents annual awards for books of literary merit, for outstanding contribution to Australian children's literature. Notable winners and shortlisted works have inspired several well-known Australian films from original novels, including The Silver Brumby
Silver Brumby
The Silver Brumby series is a collection of children's books by Australian author Elyne Mitchell. They recount the life and adventures of Thowra, a magnificent pale brumby stallion, and his descendants, and are set in the Snowy Mountains region of Australia....

 series, a collection by Elyne Mitchell
Elyne Mitchell
Elyne Mitchell, OAM was an Australian author noted for the Silver Brumby series of children's novels...

 which recount the life and adventures of Thowra, a Snowy Mountains
Snowy Mountains
The Snowy Mountains, known informally as "The Snowies", are the highest Australian mountain range and contain the Australian mainland's highest mountain, Mount Kosciuszko, which reaches 2,228 metres AHD, approximately 7310 feet....

 brumby
Brumby
A Brumby is a free-roaming feral horse in Australia. Although found in many areas around the country, the best-known brumbies are found in the Australian Alps region in south-eastern Australia. Today, most of them are found in the Northern Territory, with the second largest population in Queensland...

 stallion
Stallion
A Stallion is a male horse.Stallion may also refer to:* Stallion , an American pop rock group* Stallion , a figure in the Gobot toyline* Stallion , a character in the console role-playing game series...

; Storm Boy (1964), by Colin Thiele
Colin Thiele
Colin Milton Thiele, AC was an Australian author and educator. He was renowned for his award-winning children's fiction, most notably the novels Storm Boy, Blue Fin, the Sun on the Stubble series, and February Dragon.- Biography :Thiele was born in Eudunda in South Australia to a Barossa German...

, about a boy and his pelican and the relationships he has with his father, the pelican, and an outcast Aboriginal man called Fingerbone; the Sydney based Victorian era time travel adventure Playing Beattie Bow
Playing Beatie Bow (film)
Playing Beatie Bow is a 1986 Australian drama film directed by Donald Crombie. The screenplay by Peter Gawler and Irwin Lane is based on the novel by Ruth Park.-Plot summary:...

 (1980) by Ruth Park
Ruth Park
Ruth Park, AM was a New Zealand-born author, who spent most of her life in Australia. Her best known works are the novels The Harp in the South and Playing Beatie Bow , and the children's radio serial The Muddle-Headed Wombat , which also spawned a book series .-Personal history:Park was born in...

; and, for older children and mature readers, Melina Marchetta
Melina Marchetta
Melina Marchetta is an Australian writer and teacher. She is the middle child of three daughters. Melina is best known as the author of Looking For Alibrandi. She has twice been awarded the CBCA Book of the Year for Older Readers, in 1993 and 2004.- Biography :Melina Marchettaborn in Sydney on 25...

's 1993 novel about a Sydney high school girl Looking for Alibrandi
Looking for Alibrandi
Looking for Alibrandi is a 1999 Australian film written by Melina Marchetta based on the novel of the same name. The film sets in the 1990s Sydney, New South Wales and starring Australian actors, including Pia Miranda as Josephine Alibrandi, the film's main character, Anthony LaPaglia as her...

.

Paul Jennings
Paul Jennings (Australian author)
Paul Jennings AM is an English-born Australian children's book writer. His books mainly feature short stories that lead the reader through an unusual series of events that end with a twist.-Biography:...

 is a prolific writer of contemporary Australian fiction for young people whose career began with 1985's collection of short stories Unreal! and whose popular works include Round The Twist which was adapted for television.

A generation of expatriate authors


A generation of leading contemporary international writers who left Australia for Britain and the United States in the 1960s have remained regular and passionate contributors of Australian themed literary works throughout their careers including: Clive James
Clive James
Clive James, AM is an Australian author, critic, broadcaster, poet and memoirist, best known for his autobiographical series Unreliable Memoirs, for his chat shows and documentaries on British television and for his prolific journalism...

, Robert Hughes
Robert Hughes (critic)
Robert Studley Forrest Hughes, AO is an Australian-born art critic, writer and television documentary maker who has resided in New York since 1970.-Early life:...

, Barry Humphries
Barry Humphries
John Barry Humphries, AO, CBE is an Australian comedian, satirist, dadaist, artist, author and character actor, best known for his on-stage and television alter egos Dame Edna Everage, a Melbourne housewife and "gigastar", and Sir Les Patterson, Australia's foul-mouthed cultural attaché to the...

, Geoffrey Robertson
Geoffrey Robertson
Geoffrey Ronald Robertson QC is an Australian-born human rights lawyer, academic, author and broadcaster. He holds dual Australian and British citizenship....

 and Germaine Greer
Germaine Greer
Germaine Greer is an Australian writer, academic, journalist and scholar of early modern English literature, widely regarded as one of the most significant feminist voices of the later 20th century....

. Several of these writers had links to the Sydney Push
Sydney Push
The Sydney Push was a predominantly left-wing intellectual sub-culture in Sydney from the late 1940s to the early '70s. Well known associates of the Push include Jim Baker, John Flaus, Harry Hooton, Margaret Fink, Sasha Soldatow, Lex Banning, Eva Cox, Richard Appleton, Paddy McGuinness, David...

 intellectual sub-culture in Sydney from the late 1940s to the early '70s; and to Oz
Oz (magazine)
Oz was first published as a satirical humour magazine between 1963 and 1969 in Sydney, Australia and, in its second and better known incarnation, became a "psychedelic hippy" magazine from 1967 to 1973 in London...

, a satirical magazine originating in Sydney, and later produced in London (from 1967 to 1973).

After a long media career, Clive James remains a leading humourist and author based in Britain whose memoir series is rich in reflections on Australian society (including his recent book Cultural Amnesia
Cultural Amnesia
Cultural Amnesia are an English post-punk music group, first active between 1979 and 1983 as participants in the so-called cassette culture of the late 1970s and early 1980s in the UK...

). Robert Hughes has produced a number of historical works on Australia (including The Art of Australia (1966) and The Fatal Shore
The Fatal Shore
The Fatal Shore. The epic of Australia's founding, by Robert Hughes, published 1987 by Harvill Press, is a historical account of the United Kingdom's settlement of Australia as a penal colony with convicts. The book details the period 1770 onwards through white settlement to the 1840s, when...

 (1987)). Barry Humphries took his dadaist absurdist
Absurdist fiction
Absurdist fiction is a genre of literature, most often employed in novels, plays or poems, that focuses on the experiences of characters in a situation where they cannot find any inherent purpose in life, most often represented by ultimately meaningless actions and events...

 theatrical talents and pen to London in the 60s, becoming an institution on British television and later attaining popularity in the USA. Humphries' outlandish Australian caricatures, including Edna Everage, Barry McKenzie
Barry McKenzie
Barry "Bazza" McKenzie is a fictional character originally created by the Australian comedian Barry Humphries for a comic strip, written by Humphries and drawn by New Zealand artist Nicholas Garland, in the British satirical magazine Private Eye.-Background:The Private Eye comic strips were...

 and Les Patterson have starred in books, stage and screen to great acclaim over five decades and his biographer Anne Pender described him in 2010 as the most significant comedian since Charles Chaplin. His own literary works include My Gorgeous Life. As Edna Everage., 1989 and My Life As Me: A Memoir, 2002. Geoffrey Robertson QC is a leading international human rights lawyer, academic, author and broadcaster whose books include The Justice Game, 1998. Leading feminist Germain Greer, author of The Female Eunuch
The Female Eunuch
The Female Eunuch is a book first published in 1970 that became an international bestseller and an important text in the feminist movement. The author, Germaine Greer, became well known in broadcast media of the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada and her home of Australia...

, has spent much of her career in England but continues to study, critique condemn and adore her homeland (recent work includes Whitefella Jump Up: The Shortest Way To Nationhood, 2004).

Other contemporary works and authors


Patrick White
Patrick White
Patrick Victor Martindale White , an Australian author, is widely regarded as an important English-language novelist of the 20th century. From 1935 until his death, he published 12 novels, two short-story collections and eight plays.White's fiction employs humour, florid prose, shifting narrative...

 became the first Australian to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature
Nobel Prize in Literature
Since 1901, the Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded annually to an author from any country who has, in the words from the will of Alfred Nobel, produced "in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction"...

 in 1973 "for an epic and psychological narrative art which has introduced a new continent into literature". He published 12 novels, two short-story collections and eight plays. J. M. Coetzee who was born in South Africa and was resident there when awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature
Nobel Prize in Literature
Since 1901, the Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded annually to an author from any country who has, in the words from the will of Alfred Nobel, produced "in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction"...

 in 2009 http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/2003/, now lives in Adelaide, South Australia, and is an Australian citizen. http://mg.co.za/article/2006-03-06-jm-coetzee-becomes-an-australian-citizen

Colleen McCullough
Colleen McCullough
Colleen McCullough-Robinson, , is an internationally acclaimed Australian author.-Life:McCullough was born in Wellington, in outback central west New South Wales, in 1937 to James and Laurie McCullough. Her mother was a New Zealander of part-Māori descent. During her childhood, her family moved...

's The Thorn Birds
The Thorn Birds
The Thorn Birds is a 1977 best-selling novel by Colleen McCullough, an Australian author.In 1983 it was adapted as a television mini-series that, during its television run 27–30 March, became the United States' second highest rated mini-series of all time behind Roots; both series were produced by...

, 1977, is Australia's highest selling novel and one the biggest selling novels of all time - with around 30 million copies sold by 2009.

A prolific writer of global renown has been Thomas Keneally
Thomas Keneally
Thomas Michael Keneally, AO is an Australian novelist, playwright and author of non-fiction. He is best known for writing Schindler's Ark, the Booker Prize-winning novel of 1982 which was inspired by the efforts of Poldek Pfefferberg, a Holocaust survivor...

 whose notable works include The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith
The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith
The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith is a 1972 Booker Prize-nominated novel by Thomas Keneally, and a 1978 Australian film of the same name directed by Fred Schepisi. The novel is based on the life of bushranger Jimmy Governor....

, 1972 and Schindler's Ark
Schindler's Ark
Schindler's Ark is a Booker Prize-winning novel published in 1982 by Australian Thomas Keneally, which was later adapted into the highly successful movie Schindler's List directed by Steven Spielberg...

, 1982. This latter work was the inspiration for the film Schindler's List
Schindler's List
Schindler's List is a 1993 American film about Oskar Schindler, a German businessman who saved the lives of more than a thousand mostly Polish-Jewish refugees during the Holocaust by employing them in his factories. The film was directed by Steven Spielberg, and based on the novel Schindler's Ark...

. Other notable Australian novels converted to celluloid include: Paul Brickhill
Paul Brickhill
Paul Chester Jerome Brickhill was an Australian writer, whose World War II books were turned into popular movies.-Biography:...

's The Great Escape
The Great Escape (book)
The Great Escape is an insider's account by Paul Brickhill of the 1944 mass escape from the German prisoner of war camp Stalag Luft III for British and Commonwealth airmen. As a prisoner in the camp, he participated in the escape plan but was debarred from the actual escape 'along with three or...

; Pamela Lyndon Travers
P. L. Travers
Pamela Lyndon Travers OBE was an Australian novelist, actress and journalist, popularly remembered for her series of children's novels about the mystical and magical nanny Mary Poppins...

' Mary Poppins
Mary Poppins
Mary Poppins is a series of children's books written by P. L. Travers and originally illustrated by Mary Shepard. The books centre on a magical English nanny, Mary Poppins. She is blown by the East wind to Number Seventeen Cherry Tree Lane, London and into the Banks' household to care for their...

; Morris West
Morris West
Morris Langlo West AO was an Australian novelist and playwright, best known for his novels The Devil's Advocate , The Shoes of the Fisherman , and The Clowns of God . His books were published in 27 languages and sold more than 60 million copies worldwide...

's The Shoes of the Fisherman
The Shoes of the Fisherman
The Shoes of the Fisherman is a 1963 novel by the Australian author Morris West, as well as a 1968 film based on the novel.The book reached #1 on the New York Times bestseller list for adult fiction on 30 June 1963, and became the #1 bestselling novel in the United States for that year, according...

 and Bryce Courtenay
Bryce Courtenay
Arthur Bryce Courtenay AM is a South-African-born naturalized Australian novelist and one of Australia's most commercially successful authors.-Background and early years:...

's The Power of One
The Power of One
The Power of One is a novel by Bryce Courtenay, first published in 1989. Set in South Africa during the 1930s and 1940s, it tells the story of an Anglo-African boy who, through the course of the story, acquires the nickname of Peekay. The Power of One is a novel by Bryce Courtenay, first published...

.

Peter Carey has twice won the Man Booker Prize for Fiction with 1988's Oscar and Lucinda
Oscar and Lucinda
Oscar and Lucinda is a novel by Peter Carey which won the 1988 Booker Prize, the 1989 Miles Franklin Award, and was shortlisted for The Best of the Booker.-Plot introduction:...

 and 2001's True History of the Kelly Gang
True History of the Kelly Gang
True History of the Kelly Gang is an historical novel by Australian writer Peter Carey. It was first published in Brisbane by the University of Queensland Press in 2000. It won the 2001 Man Booker Prize and the Commonwealth Writers Prize in the same year. Despite its title, the book is fiction and...

. DBC Pierre's Vernon God Little
Vernon God Little
Vernon God Little is a novel by DBC Pierre. It was his debut novel and won the Booker Prize in 2003.-Plot introduction:The title character is a fifteen-year-old boy who lives in a small town in the U.S. state of Texas...

 won the Booker Prize in 2003.

Other notable writers to have emerged since the 1970s include Kate Grenville
Kate Grenville
Kate Grenville is one of Australia's best-known authors. She's published nine novels, a collection of short stories, and four books about the writing process....

, David Malouf
David Malouf
David George Joseph Malouf is an acclaimed Australian writer. He was awarded the Neustadt International Prize for Literature in 2000, his 1993 novel Remembering Babylon won the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award in 1996, he won the inaugural Australia-Asia Literary Award in 2008, and he was...

, Janette Turner Hospital
Janette Turner Hospital
Janette Turner Hospital is a novelist and short story writer who has lived for most of her adult life in Canada or the U.S., principally Boston , Kingston and Columbia...

, Marion Halligan
Marion Halligan
Marion Mildred Halligan AM is an Australian writer and novelist. She was born and educated in Newcastle, New South Wales, and worked as a school teacher and journalist before publishing her first short stories. Halligan has served as chairperson of the Literature Board of the Australia Council and...

, Susan Johnson
Susan Johnson (Australian author)
Susan Johnson is an Australian author of literary fiction, memoir, short stories and essays. She has been a full-time writer since 1985, with occasional stints of journalism at Australian newspapers, journals and magazines.- Personal background :...

, Christopher Koch
Christopher Koch
Christopher John Koch, AO, Australian novelist, was born in Hobart in 1932. He has twice won the Miles Franklin Award. In 1995 he was made an Officer of the Order of Australia for contribution to Australian literature....

, Alex Miller
Alex Miller
Alex Miller is a Scottish association football coach and former player. As a player, he had a 15 year career with Rangers. As a manager, he won the 1991 Scottish League Cup with Hibernian...

, Shirley Hazzard
Shirley Hazzard
Shirley Hazzard is an Australian author of fiction and nonfiction. She was born in Australia, but holds citizenship in Great Britain and the United States...

, Richard Flanagan
Richard Flanagan
Richard Flanagan is a novelist from Tasmania, Australia.-Early life:Flanagan was born in Longford, Tasmania, in 1961, the fifth of six children. He is descended from Irish convicts transported to Van Diemen's Land in the 1840s. His father is a survivor of the Burma Death Railway. One of his three...

, Gerald Murnane
Gerald Murnane
- Life :Murnane was born in Coburg, Melbourne, and has almost never left the state of Victoria. Parts of his childhood were spent in Bendigo and the Western District. In 1956 he matriculated from De La Salle College Malvern....

, Brenda Walker
Brenda Walker
Brenda Walker is an Australian writer. She studied at the University of New England in Armidale and, after gaining a PhD in English at the Australian National University, she moved to Perth in 1984. She is now Winthrop Professor of English and Cultural Studies at the University of Western Australia...

, Rod Jones and Tim Winton
Tim Winton
Timothy John "Tim" Winton , is an Australian novelist and short story writer.-Life:Winton was born in Perth, Western Australia, but moved at a young age to the regional city of Albany....

.

James Clavell
James Clavell
James Clavell, born Charles Edmund DuMaresq Clavell was an Australian-born, British novelist, screenwriter, director and World War II veteran and prisoner of war...

 in The Asian Saga
The Asian Saga
The Asian Saga is a series of six novels written by James Clavell between 1962 and 1993. The novels all center on Europeans in Asia, and together they explore the impact on East and West of the meeting of these two distinct civilizations.-Overview:...

 discusses an important feature of Australian literature: its portrayal of far eastern culture, from the admittedly even further east, but nevertheless western cultural
Western culture
Western culture, sometimes equated with Western civilization or European civilization, refers to cultures of European origin and is used very broadly to refer to a heritage of social norms, ethical values, traditional customs, religious beliefs, political systems, and specific artifacts and...

 viewpoint, as Nevil Shute
Nevil Shute
Nevil Shute Norway was a popular British-Australian novelist and a successful aeronautical engineer. He used his full name in his engineering career, and 'Nevil Shute' as his pen name, in order to protect his engineering career from any potential negative publicity in connection with his novels.-...

 did. Clavell was also a successful screenwriter
Screenwriter
Screenwriters or scriptwriters or scenario writers are people who write/create the short or feature-length screenplays from which mass media such as films, television programs, Comics or video games are based.-Profession:...

 and along with such writers as Thomas Keneally
Thomas Keneally
Thomas Michael Keneally, AO is an Australian novelist, playwright and author of non-fiction. He is best known for writing Schindler's Ark, the Booker Prize-winning novel of 1982 which was inspired by the efforts of Poldek Pfefferberg, a Holocaust survivor...

, who won the Booker Prize for Schindler's Ark
Schindler's Ark
Schindler's Ark is a Booker Prize-winning novel published in 1982 by Australian Thomas Keneally, which was later adapted into the highly successful movie Schindler's List directed by Steven Spielberg...

 (the book Schindler's List
Schindler's List
Schindler's List is a 1993 American film about Oskar Schindler, a German businessman who saved the lives of more than a thousand mostly Polish-Jewish refugees during the Holocaust by employing them in his factories. The film was directed by Steven Spielberg, and based on the novel Schindler's Ark...

 is based on), has expanded the topics of Australian literature far beyond that one country. Other novelists to use international themes are David Malouf
David Malouf
David George Joseph Malouf is an acclaimed Australian writer. He was awarded the Neustadt International Prize for Literature in 2000, his 1993 novel Remembering Babylon won the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award in 1996, he won the inaugural Australia-Asia Literary Award in 2008, and he was...

, Beverley Farmer
Beverley Farmer
Beverley Anne Farmer is an Australian novelist and short story writer.Beverley Farmer was born in Melbourne. She was educated at Mac.Robertson Girls' High School and the University of Melbourne where she graduated with a BA in 1960.She has worked in various jobs, mainly teaching and waitressing...

 and Rod Jones.

Histories


.
History has been an important discipline in the development of Australian writing. Watkin Tench
Watkin Tench
Lieutenant-General Watkin Tench was a British Marine officer who is best known for publishing two books describing his experiences in the First Fleet, which established the first settlement in Australia in 1788...

 (1758–1833) - a British officer who arrived with the First Fleet
First Fleet
The First Fleet is the name given to the eleven ships which sailed from Great Britain on 13 May 1787 with about 1,487 people, including 778 convicts , to establish the first European colony in Australia, in the region which Captain Cook had named New South Wales. The fleet was led by Captain ...

 in 1788 - later published two books on the subject of the foundations of New South Wales: Narrative of the Expedition to Botany Bay and Complete Account of the Settlement at Port Jackson. Written with a spirit of humanity his accounts are considered by writers including Robert Hughes
Robert Hughes (critic)
Robert Studley Forrest Hughes, AO is an Australian-born art critic, writer and television documentary maker who has resided in New York since 1970.-Early life:...

 and Thomas Keneally
Thomas Keneally
Thomas Michael Keneally, AO is an Australian novelist, playwright and author of non-fiction. He is best known for writing Schindler's Ark, the Booker Prize-winning novel of 1982 which was inspired by the efforts of Poldek Pfefferberg, a Holocaust survivor...

 to be essential reading for the early history of Australia.

Charles Bean
Charles Bean
Charles Edwin Woodrow Bean , usually identified as C.E.W. Bean, was an Australian schoolmaster, judge's associate, barrister journalist, war correspondent and historian....

 was the official war historian of the First World War and was influential in establishing the importance of ANZAC in Australian history and mythology, with such prose as "Anzac stood, and still stands, for reckless valor in a good cause, for enterprise, resourcefulness, fidelity, comradeship and endurance, that will never own defeat". (see works including The Story of ANZAC: From the Outbreak of War to the End of the First Phase of the Gallipoli Campaign May 4, 1915, 1921).

Australia in the War of 1939–1945 is a 22 volume official history dedicated to Australia's Second World War efforts. the series was published by the Australian War Memorial
Australian War Memorial
The Australian War Memorial is Australia's national memorial to the members of all its armed forces and supporting organisations who have died or participated in the wars of the Commonwealth of Australia...

 between 1952 and 1977. The main editor was Gavin Long
Gavin Long
Gavin Merrick Long OBE was an Australian journalist and military historian. He was the general editor of the Australia in the War of 1939–1945 and the author of three of the 22 volumes in the series....

.

A significant milestone was the historian
Historian
A historian is a person who studies and writes about the past and is regarded as an authority on it. Historians are concerned with the continuous, methodical narrative and research of past events as relating to the human race; as well as the study of all history in time. If the individual is...

 Manning Clark
Manning Clark
Charles Manning Hope Clark, AC , an Australian historian, was the author of the best-known general history of Australia, his six-volume A History of Australia, published between 1962 and 1987...

's six volume History of Australia, which is regarded by some as the definitive account of the nation. Clark had a talent for narrative prose and the work (published between 1969 and 1987) remains a popular and influential work. Clark's one time student Geoffrey Blainey
Geoffrey Blainey
Geoffrey Norman Blainey AC , is a prominent Australian historian.Blainey was born in Melbourne and raised in a series of Victorian country towns before attending Wesley College and the University of Melbourne. While at university he was editor of Farrago, the newspaper of the University of...

 stands as another to have deeply influenced Australian historiography. His important works include The Tyranny of Distance, 1966 and Triumph of the Nomads: A History of Ancient Australia, 1975.

Robert Hughes
Robert Hughes (critic)
Robert Studley Forrest Hughes, AO is an Australian-born art critic, writer and television documentary maker who has resided in New York since 1970.-Early life:...

' much-debated history The Fatal Shore. The epic of Australia's founding, 1987, is a popular and influential work on early Australian history.

Marcia Langton
Marcia Langton
Marcia Lynne Langton is one of Australia's leading Aboriginal scholars. She holds the Foundation Chair in Australian Indigenous Studies at the University of Melbourne, Australia...

 is one of the principal contemporary Indigenous Australian academics and her 2008 collaboration with Rachel Perkins
Rachel Perkins
Rachel Perkins is a film and television director, film and television producer and a writer. She is known for her films Bran Nue Dae, Radiance and One Night the Moon. Perkins is an Arrernte woman from Central Australia, who was raised in Canberra by parents Eileen and Charles Perkins...

 chronicles Australian history from an indigenous perspective: First Australians. An Illustrated History
First Australians
First Australians is an Australian historical documentary series produced over the course of six years and first aired in October 2008. The documentary is part of a greater project that further consists of a hard-cover book, a community outreach program and a substantial website featuring over 200...

.

Writing and identity



A complicated, multi-faceted relationship to Australia is displayed in much Australian writing, often through writing about landscape. Barbara Baynton
Barbara Baynton
Barbara Janet Ainsleigh Baynton, Lady Headley was an Australian writer, made famous for Bush Studies which was written in retaliation to Henry Lawson's works.- Life :...

's short stories from the late 19th century/early 20th century convey people living in the bush, a landscape that is alive but also threatening and alienating. Kenneth Cook
Kenneth Cook
Kenneth Cook was a prolific Australian journalist, film director, screenwriter, TV personality and novelist best known for his works Wake in Fright, which is still in print five decades after its first publication, and the humorous Killer Koala trilogy.Born in Lakemba, New South Wales, Cook...

's Wake in Fright (1961) portrayed the outback as a nightmare with a blazing sun, from which there is no escape. Colin Thiele
Colin Thiele
Colin Milton Thiele, AC was an Australian author and educator. He was renowned for his award-winning children's fiction, most notably the novels Storm Boy, Blue Fin, the Sun on the Stubble series, and February Dragon.- Biography :Thiele was born in Eudunda in South Australia to a Barossa German...

's novels reflected the life and times of rural and regional Australians in the 20th century, showing aspects of Australian life unknown to many city dwellers.

In Australian literature, the term mateship
Mateship
Mateship is an Australian cultural idiom that embodies equality, loyalty and friendship. There are two types of mateship, the inclusive and the exclusive; the inclusive is in relation to a shared situation , whereas the exclusive type is toward a third party...

 has often been employed to denote an intensly loyal relationship of shared experience, mutual respect and unconditional assistance existing between friends (mates) in Australia. This relationship of (often male) loyalty has remained a central subject of Australian literature from colonial times to the present day. In 1847, Alexander Harris wrote of habits of mutual helpfulness between mates arising in the "otherwise solitary bush" in which men would often "stand by one another through thick and thin; in fact it is a universal feeling that a man ought to be able to trust his own mate in anything". Henry Lawson
Henry Lawson
Henry Lawson was an Australian writer and poet. Along with his contemporary Banjo Paterson, Lawson is among the best-known Australian poets and fiction writers of the colonial period and is often called Australia's "greatest writer"...

, a son of the Goldfields wrote extensively of an egalitarian mateship, in such works as A Sketch of Mateship and Shearers, in which he wrote:
They tramp in mateship side by side -
The Protestant and Roman
They call no biped lord or sir
And touch their hat to no man.


What it means to be Australian is another issue that Australian literature explores. Miles Franklin
Miles Franklin
Stella Maria Sarah Miles Franklin, known as Miles Franklin was an Australian writer and feminist who is best known for her novel My Brilliant Career, published in 1901...

 struggled to find a place for herself as a female writer in Australia, fictionalising this experience in My Brilliant Career
My Brilliant Career
My Brilliant Career is a 1901 novel written by Miles Franklin.It is the first of many novels by Stella Maria Sarah Miles Franklin , one of the major Australian writers of her time. It was written while she was still a teenager, as a romance to amuse her friends...

 (1901). Marie Bjelke Petersen
Marie Bjelke Petersen
Marie Caroline Bjelke Petersen was a Danish-born Australian novelist and physical culture teacher. She wrote nine popular romance novels between 1917 and 1937...

's popular romance novels, published between 1917 and 1937, offered a fresh upbeat interpretation of the Australian bush. The central character in Patrick White
Patrick White
Patrick Victor Martindale White , an Australian author, is widely regarded as an important English-language novelist of the 20th century. From 1935 until his death, he published 12 novels, two short-story collections and eight plays.White's fiction employs humour, florid prose, shifting narrative...

's The Twyborn Affair
The Twyborn Affair
The Twyborn Affair is a novel by Australian Nobel laureate Patrick White, first published in 1979. The three parts of the novel are set in a villa on the French Riviera before the First World War, a sheep station on the edge of Australia's Snowy Mountains in the inter-war period, and in London in...

 tries to conform to expectations of pre–World War II Australian masculinity but cannot, and instead, post-war, tries out another identity—and gender—overseas. Peter Carey has toyed with the idea of a national Australian identity as a series of 'beautiful lies', and this is a recurrent theme in his novels. Andrew McGahan
Andrew McGahan
Andrew McGahan is a bestselling Australian novelist, best known for his cult first novel Praise, and for his Miles Franklin Award-winning novel The White Earth.-Early life and education:...

's Praise (1992) and Christos Tsiolkas
Christos Tsiolkas
-Biography:He was born and grew up in Melbourne and was educated at Blackburn High School and the University of Melbourne where he completed an Arts Degree in 1987. www.austlit.edu.au. Retrieved 2007-07-22. He edited the student newspaper Farrago in 1988....

's Loaded (1995) introduced a 'gritty realism' take on questions of Australian identity in the 1990s, though an important precursor to such work was Helen Garner
Helen Garner
Helen Garner is an award-winning Australian novelist, short-story writer, screenwriter and journalist.-Life:Garner was born in Geelong, Victoria, the eldest of six children. She attended Manifold Heights State School, Ocean Grove State School and then The Hermitage in Geelong...

's Monkey Grip
Monkey Grip (novel)
Monkey Grip is a novel by Australian writer Helen Garner, her first published book. It initially received a mixed critical reception, but has now become accepted as a classic of modern Australian literature. A film based on the novel, also titled Monkey Grip, was released in 1982.-Plot summary:The...

 (1977).

Australian literature has had several scandals surrounding the identity of writers. The 1944 Ern Malley
Ern Malley
Ernest Lalor "Ern" Malley was a fictitious poet and the central figure in Australia's most celebrated literary hoax. The poet, and his entire body of work, were created in one day in 1944 by writers James McAuley and Harold Stewart as a hoax on Max Harris, Angry Penguins, the modernist magazine he...

 affair led to an obscenity trial and is often blamed for the lack of modernist poetry
Modernist poetry in English
Modernist poetry in English is generally considered to have emerged in the early years of the 20th century with the appearance of the Imagists. In common with many other modernists, these poets wrote in reaction to the perceived excesses of Victorian poetry, with its emphasis on traditional...

 in Australia. To mark the 60th anniversary of the Ern Malley affair, another Australian writer, Leon Carmen, set out to make a point about the prejudice of Australian publishers against white Australians. Unable to find publication as a white Australian he was an instant success using the false Aboriginal identity of Wanda Koolmatrie
Wanda Koolmatrie
Wanda Koolmatrie was an Indigenous Australian pseudonym used by white Australian Leon Carmen.In 1994, the Aboriginal publishing house Magabala Books published a novel entitled My Own Sweet Time. The author was supposedly Wanda Koolmatrie, an aboriginal woman born to the Pitjantjatjara people in 1949...

 with My Own Sweet Time. In the 1980s Streten Bozik also managed to become published by assuming the Aboriginal identity of B. Wongar. In the 1990s, Helen Darville
Helen Darville
Helen Dale , also known as Helen Darville and Helen Demidenko, is an Australian writer and lawyer.While studying English literature at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, she wrote The Hand that Signed the Paper, a novel about a Ukrainian family who become both bystanders and perpetrators...

 used the pen-name "Helen Demidenko" and won major literary prizes for her Hand that Signed the Paper before being discovered, sparking a controversy over the content of her novel, a fictionalised and highly tendentious account of the Nazi occupation of the Ukraine. Mudrooroo
Mudrooroo
Colin Thomas Johnson, better known by his nom de plume, Mudrooroo is a novelist, poet, essayist and playwright. He has been described as one of the most enigmatic literary figures of Australia and since 2001 he has been living in Kapan, Nepal...

—previously known as Colin Johnson—was acclaimed as an Aboriginal writer until his Aboriginality came under question (his mother was Irish/English and his father was Irish/African-American, however he has strong connections with Aboriginal tribes); he now avoids adopting a specific ethnic identity and his works deconstruct such notions.

Poetry




Poetry
Poetry
Poetry is a form of literary art in which language is used for its aesthetic and evocative qualities in addition to, or in lieu of, its apparent meaning...

 played an important part in the founding of Australian literature. Henry Lawson
Henry Lawson
Henry Lawson was an Australian writer and poet. Along with his contemporary Banjo Paterson, Lawson is among the best-known Australian poets and fiction writers of the colonial period and is often called Australia's "greatest writer"...

, son of a Norwegian sailor born in 1867, was widely recognised as Australia's poet of the people and, in 1922, became the first Australian writer to be honoured with a state funeral. Two poets who are amongst the great Australian poets are Christopher Brennan
Christopher Brennan
Christopher John Brennan was an Australian poet and scholar.-Biography:Brennan was born in Sydney, to Christopher Brennan , a brewer, and his wife Mary Ann , née Carroll, both Irish immigrants....

 and Adam Lindsay Gordon
Adam Lindsay Gordon
Adam Lindsay Gordon was an Australian poet, jockey and politician.- Early life :Gordon was born at Fayal in the Azores, son of Captain Adam Durnford Gordon who had married his first cousin, Harriet Gordon, both of whom were descended from Adam of Gordon of the ballad...

; Gordon was once referred to as the "national poet of Australia" and is the only Australian with a monument in Poets' Corner
Poets' Corner
Poets' Corner is the name traditionally given to a section of the South Transept of Westminster Abbey because of the number of poets, playwrights, and writers buried and commemorated there. The most recent additions were a memorial floor stone unveiled in 2009 for the founders of the Royal Ballet...

 of Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey
The Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, popularly known as Westminster Abbey, is a large, mainly Gothic church, in the City of Westminster, London, United Kingdom, located just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English,...

 in England.

Both Gordon's and Brennan's (but particularly Brennan's) works conformed to traditional styles of poetry, with many classical allusions, and therefore fell within the domain of high culture. However, at the same time Australia was blessed with a competing, vibrant tradition of folk songs and ballad
Ballad
A ballad is a form of verse, often a narrative set to music. Ballads were particularly characteristic of British and Irish popular poetry and song from the later medieval period until the 19th century and used extensively across Europe and later the Americas, Australia and North Africa. Many...

s. Henry Lawson
Henry Lawson
Henry Lawson was an Australian writer and poet. Along with his contemporary Banjo Paterson, Lawson is among the best-known Australian poets and fiction writers of the colonial period and is often called Australia's "greatest writer"...

 and Banjo Paterson
Banjo Paterson
Andrew Barton "Banjo" Paterson, OBE was an Australian bush poet, journalist and author. He wrote many ballads and poems about Australian life, focusing particularly on the rural and outback areas, including the district around Binalong, New South Wales where he spent much of his childhood...

 were two of the chief exponents of these popular ballads, and 'Banjo' himself was responsible for creating what is probably the most famous Australian verse, "Waltzing Matilda
Waltzing Matilda
"Waltzing Matilda" is Australia's most widely known bush ballad. A country folk song, the song has been referred to as "the unofficial national anthem of Australia"....

". At one point, Lawson and Paterson contributed a series of verses to The Bulletin
The Bulletin
The Bulletin was an Australian weekly magazine that was published in Sydney from 1880 until January 2008. It was influential in Australian culture and politics from about 1890 until World War I, the period when it was identified with the "Bulletin school" of Australian literature. Its influence...

 magazine in which they engaged in a literary debate about the nature of life in Australia. Lawson said Paterson was a romantic and Paterson said Lawson was full of doom and gloom. Lawson is widely regarded as one of Australia's greatest writers of short stories, while Paterson's poems The Man From Snowy River and Clancy of the Overflow
Clancy of the Overflow
"Clancy of The Overflow" is a poem by Banjo Paterson, first published in The Bulletin, an Australian news magazine, on 21 December 1889. The poem is typical of Paterson, offering a romantic view of rural life, and is one of his best-known works.-History:...

 remain amongst the most popular Australian bush poems. Romanticised views of the outback and the rugged characters that inhabited it played an important part in shaping the Australian nation's psyche
Psyche (psychology)
The word psyche has a long history of use in psychology and philosophy, dating back to ancient times, and has been one of the fundamental concepts for understanding human nature from a scientific point of view. The English word soul is sometimes used synonymously, especially in older...

, just as the cowboy
Cowboy
A cowboy is an animal herder who tends cattle on ranches in North America, traditionally on horseback, and often performs a multitude of other ranch-related tasks. The historic American cowboy of the late 19th century arose from the vaquero traditions of northern Mexico and became a figure of...

s of the American Old West
American Old West
The American Old West, or the Wild West, comprises the history, geography, people, lore, and cultural expression of life in the Western United States, most often referring to the latter half of the 19th century, between the American Civil War and the end of the century...

 and the gaucho
Gaucho
Gaucho is a term commonly used to describe residents of the South American pampas, chacos, or Patagonian grasslands, found principally in parts of Argentina, Uruguay, Southern Chile, and Southern Brazil...

s of the Argentine pampa
Pampa
The Pampas are the fertile South American lowlands, covering more than , that include the Argentine provinces of Buenos Aires, La Pampa, Santa Fe, Entre Ríos and Córdoba, most of Uruguay, and the southernmost Brazilian State, Rio Grande do Sul...

 became part of the self-image of those nations.

Other poets who reflected a sense of Australian identity include C J Dennis and Dorothea McKellar. Dennis wrote in the Australian vernacular ("The Sentimental Bloke
The Sentimental Bloke
The Sentimental Bloke is an Australian silent film based on the 1915 poem The Songs of a Sentimental Bloke by C.J. Dennis.The film, from the Southern Cross Feature Film Company of Adelaide, was made by Raymond Longford and Lottie Lyell, at that time the best known partnership in Australian cinema...

"), while McKellar wrote the iconic patriotic poem My Country
My Country
"My Country" is an iconic patriotic poem about Australia, written by Dorothea Mackellar at the age of 19 while homesick in England. After travelling through Europe extensively with her father during her teenage years she started writing the poem in London in 1904 and re-wrote it several times...



Prominent Australian poets of the 20th century include Dame Mary Gilmore
Mary Gilmore
Dame Mary Gilmore DBE was a prominent Australian socialist poet and journalist.-Early life:Mary Jean Cameron was born on 16 August 1865 at Cotta Walla near Goulburn, New South Wales...

, A. D. Hope
A. D. Hope
Alec Derwent Hope AC OBE was an Australian poet and essayist known for his satirical slant. He was also a critic, teacher and academic.-Life:...

, Judith Wright
Judith Wright
Judith Arundell Wright was an Australian poet, environmentalist and campaigner for Aboriginal land rights.-Biography:...

, Gwen Harwood
Gwen Harwood
Gwen Harwood AO , née Gwendoline Nessie Foster, was an Australian poet and librettist. Gwen Harwood is regarded as one of Australia's finest poets, publishing over 420 works, including 386 poems and 13 librettos. She won numerous poetry awards and prizes...

, Kenneth Slessor
Kenneth Slessor
Kenneth Adolf Slessor OBE was an Australian poet and journalist. He was one of Australia's leading poets, notable particularly for the absorption of modernist influences into Australian poetry. The Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry is named after him.-Life:Slessor was born Kenneth Adolphe...

, Les Murray
Les Murray (poet)
Leslie Allan Murray, AO , known as Les Murray, is an Australian poet, anthologist and critic. His career spans over forty years, and he has published nearly 30 volumes of poetry, as well as two verse novels and collections of his prose writings...

, Bruce Dawe
Bruce Dawe
Donald Bruce Dawe AO is an Australian poet, and is considered by many as one of the most influential Australian poets of all time.-Early life:...

 and more recently John Forbes
John Forbes (poet)
-Life:John Forbes was born in Melbourne, Australia, but during his childhood his family lived in northern Queensland, Malaya and New Guinea. He went to Sydney University and his circle of friends included the poets Robert Adamson, Martin Johnston, and John Tranter...

 and John Tranter
John Tranter
John Ernest Tranter is an Australian poet, publisher and editor. He has a long list of achievements in writing, publishing and broadcasting...

 and Judith Beveridge
Judith Beveridge
Judith Beveridge is a contemporary Australian poet, editor and academic.-Biography:Judith Beveridge was born in London, England, arriving in Australia with her parents in 1960. Completing a BA at UTS she has worked in libraries, teaching, as a researcher and in environmental regeneration...

. More recent and emerging Australian poets include Anna Krien, Andrew Slattery and Sarah Holland-Batt
Sarah Holland-Batt
Sarah Holland-Batt is a contemporary Australian poet and academic.-Biography:Born in Southport, Queensland, Sarah Holland-Batt grew up in Australia and the United States. She was educated at the University of Queensland, where she received First Class Honours in Literary Studies and an MPhil in...

.

Contemporary Australian poetry is mostly published by small, independent book publishers. However, other kinds of publication, including new media and online journals, spoken word and live events, and public poetry projects are gaining an increasingly vibrant and popular presence. 1992-1999 saw poetry/art collabotrations in Sydney/Newcastle buses & Ferries - Artransit from Meuse Press
Meuse Press
Meuse Press http://meusepress.tripod.com/Meuse.htm is an Australian Press publishing a range of “poetry outreach” projects in a number of media ranging from a literary magazine to poetry published on the surface of a river. Founded by Bill Farrow & Les Wicks...

. Some of the more interesting and innovative contributions to Australian poetry have emerged from artist-run galleries in recent years, such as Textbase
Textbase
Textbase is a collective of writers and artists in Melbourne, Australia that have been producing collaborative artworks in text and visual arts since 1996. The group has been advancing an avant-garde poetics and art practice since its inception. In 1998 Textbase ventured into small press publishing...

 which had its beginnings as part of the 1st Floor gallery in Fitzroy. In addition, Red Room Company is a major exponent of innovative projects.

Plays


European traditions came to Australia with the First Fleet
First Fleet
The First Fleet is the name given to the eleven ships which sailed from Great Britain on 13 May 1787 with about 1,487 people, including 778 convicts , to establish the first European colony in Australia, in the region which Captain Cook had named New South Wales. The fleet was led by Captain ...

 in 1788, with the first production being performed in 1789 by convicts : The Recruiting Officer
The Recruiting Officer
The Recruiting Officer is a 1706 play by the Irish writer George Farquhar, which follows the social and sexual exploits of two officers, the womanising Plume and the cowardly Brazen, in the town of Shrewsbury to recruit soldiers...

 by George Farquhar
George Farquhar
George Farquhar was an Irish dramatist. He is noted for his contributions to late Restoration comedy, particularly for his plays The Recruiting Officer and The Beaux' Stratagem .-Early life:...

. Two centuries later, the extraordinary circumstances of the foundations of Australian theatre were recounted in Our Country's Good
Our Country's Good
Our Country's Good is a 1988 play written by British playwright, Timberlake Wertenbaker, adapted from the Thomas Keneally novel The Playmaker. The story concerns a group of Royal Marines and convicts in a penal colony in New South Wales, in the 1780s, who put on a production of The Recruiting...

 by Timberlake Wertenbaker
Timberlake Wertenbaker
- Biography :Wertenbaker grew up in the Basque Country of France near Saint-Jean-de-Luz. She attended schools in Europe and the US before settling permanently in London...

: the participants were prisoners watched by sadistic guards and the leading lady was under threat of the death penalty. The play is based on Thomas Keneally
Thomas Keneally
Thomas Michael Keneally, AO is an Australian novelist, playwright and author of non-fiction. He is best known for writing Schindler's Ark, the Booker Prize-winning novel of 1982 which was inspired by the efforts of Poldek Pfefferberg, a Holocaust survivor...

's novel The Playmaker
The Playmaker
The Playmaker is a novel based in Australia written by the Australian author Thomas Keneally.In 1789 in Sydney Cove, the remotest penal colony of the British Empire, a group of convicts and one of their captors unite to stage a play...

.

After Australian Federation in 1901, plays evidenced a new sense of national identity. On Our Selection (1912) by Steele Rudd
Steele Rudd
Steele Rudd was the pseudonym of Arthur Hoey Davis an Australian author, best known for On Our Selection.-Early life:...

, told of the adventures of a pioneer farming family and became immensely popular. In 1955, Summer of the Seventeenth Doll
Summer of the Seventeenth Doll
Summer of the Seventeenth Doll is a pioneering Australian play written by Ray Lawler and first performed at the Union Theatre in Melbourne, Australia, on 28 November 1955...

 by Ray Lawler
Ray Lawler
Raymond Evenor Lawler is an influential Australian actor, dramatist and producer. His most notable play was his tenth, Summer of the Seventeenth Doll , which had its premiere in Melbourne in 1955. The play changed the direction of Australian drama...

 portrayed resolutely Australian characters and went on to international acclaim. A new wave of Australian theatre debuted in the 1970s with the works of writers including David Williamson
David Williamson
David Keith Williamson AO is one of Australia's best-known playwrights. He has also written screenplays and teleplays.-Biography:...

, Barry Oakley and Jack Hibberd
Jack Hibberd
Dr Jack Hibberd is an Australian playwright.-Biography:Hibberd studied medicine at the University of Melbourne, where he resided at Newman College and practised as a clinical immunologist in Melbourne from 1964 until 1973...

. The Belvoir St Theatre
Belvoir St Theatre
Belvoir St Theatre is an Australian theatre venue in Sydney. The venue in Belvoir Street, Surry Hills previously operated as the Nimrod Theatre, and was founded as "Belvoir St" in 1984 by Sue Hill and Chris Westwood...

 presented works by Nick Enright
Nick Enright
-Life:He was drama captain of St Ignatius' College, Riverview in 1964, where, like Gerard Windsor and Justin Fleming, he was taught by Melvyn Morrow. At that school, he won the 1sts Debating Premiership in both 1966 and 1967....

 and David Williamson
David Williamson
David Keith Williamson AO is one of Australia's best-known playwrights. He has also written screenplays and teleplays.-Biography:...

. Williamson is Australia's best known playwright, with major works including: The Club
The Club (play)
The Club is a satirical play by Australian playwright David Williamson, that follows the fortunes of a football club over the course of a season. It explores the clashes between "human loyalty versus materialistic gain". It was inspired by the backroom dealings and antics of the Victorian Football...

, Emerald City
Emerald City (play)
Emerald City is a 1987 play by Australian playwright David Williamson, a satire about two entertainment industries: film and publishing.-Story:...

, and Brilliant Lies
Brilliant Lies
Brilliant Lies is an Australian film released in 1996, produced by Bayside Pictures and Beyond Films.Directed by Richard Franklin.Produced by Sue Farrelly, Kim McKillop and Richard Franklin....

.

In The One Day of the Year, Alan Seymour
Alan Seymour
Alan Seymour , is an Australian playwright and author. He was educated at Perth Modern School, leaving at 15 after failing to complete the Junior Certificate. He found work as a radio announcer in a commercial radio station 6PM. During his two years there he wrote a number of short radio plays that...

 studied the paradoxical nature of the ANZAC Day
ANZAC Day
Anzac Day is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand, commemorated by both countries on 25 April every year to honour the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps who fought at Gallipoli in the Ottoman Empire during World War I. It now more broadly commemorates all...

 commemoration by Australians of the defeat of the Battle of Gallipoli
Battle of Gallipoli
The Gallipoli Campaign, also known as the Dardanelles Campaign or the Battle of Gallipoli, took place at the peninsula of Gallipoli in the Ottoman Empire between 25 April 1915 and 9 January 1916, during the First World War...

. Ngapartji Ngapartji, by Scott Rankin and Trevor Jamieson, recounts the story of the effects on the Pitjantjatjara people of nuclear testing in the Western Desert during the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

. It is an example of the contemporary fusion of traditions of drama in Australia with Pitjantjatjara actors being supported by a multicultural cast of Greek, Afghan, Japanese and New Zealand heritage.

Eminent contemporary Australian playwrights include David Williamson
David Williamson
David Keith Williamson AO is one of Australia's best-known playwrights. He has also written screenplays and teleplays.-Biography:...

, Alan Seymour
Alan Seymour
Alan Seymour , is an Australian playwright and author. He was educated at Perth Modern School, leaving at 15 after failing to complete the Junior Certificate. He found work as a radio announcer in a commercial radio station 6PM. During his two years there he wrote a number of short radio plays that...

, the late Nick Enright
Nick Enright
-Life:He was drama captain of St Ignatius' College, Riverview in 1964, where, like Gerard Windsor and Justin Fleming, he was taught by Melvyn Morrow. At that school, he won the 1sts Debating Premiership in both 1966 and 1967....

 and Justin Fleming
Justin Fleming
Justin Fleming , born Sydney, Australia is a playwright and author. He has written for theatre, music theatre, television and cinema and his works have been produced and published in Australia, the US, Canada, the UK, Belgium, Poland and France...

. The Australian government supports a website (australianplays.org The Home of Australian Playscripts | AustralianPlays.org) that aims to combine playwright biographies and script information. Scripts are also available there.

Science fiction and fantasy


Crime



The Crime fiction
Crime fiction
Crime fiction is the literary genre that fictionalizes crimes, their detection, criminals and their motives. It is usually distinguished from mainstream fiction and other genres such as science fiction or historical fiction, but boundaries can be, and indeed are, blurred...

 genre is currently thriving in Australia, most notably through books written by Kerry Greenwood
Kerry Greenwood
Kerry Greenwood is a solicitor from Melbourne, Australia. She is also the author of many plays and books, most notably a string of historical detective novels centred on the character of Phryne Fisher. She writes mysteries, science-fiction, historical fiction, and children's stories, as well as...

, Shane Maloney
Shane maloney
Shane Maloney born in Hamilton, Victoria is a Melbourne author best known as the creator of the Murray Whelan series of crime novels.-Life and career:...

, Peter Temple
Peter Temple
Peter Temple is an Australian crime fiction writer.Formerly a journalist and journalism lecturer, Temple turned to fiction writing in the 1990s. His Jack Irish novels are set in Melbourne, Australia, and feature an unusual lawyer-gambler protagonist...

, Barry Maitland
Barry Maitland
Barry Maitland is an Australian author of crime fiction. After studying architecture at Cambridge, Maitland practised and taught in the UK before moving to Australia, where he became a Professor of Architecture with the University of Newcastle...

 and Peter Corris
Peter Corris
Peter Robert Corris is an Australian academic, historian, journalist and a novelist of historical and crime fiction...

, among others.

Literary journals



Most recent Australian literary journals have originated from universities, and specifically English or Communications departments. They include:
  • Meanjin
    Meanjin
    Meanjin is an Australian literary journal. The name - pronounced Mee-AN-jin - is derived from an Aboriginal word for the land where the city Brisbane is located.It was founded in December 1940, in Brisbane, by Clem Christesen...

  • Overland
    Overland (literary journal)
    Overland is an Australian literary and cultural journal. It was founded in 1954, under the auspices of the Realist Writers Group in Melbourne, Australia, with Stephen Murray-Smith being the first editor. The current editor is Jeff Sparrow. The journal has a left-wing orientation.- External links :*...

  • Island
  • HEAT
    HEAT (magazine)
    HEAT was an international Australian literary magazine published by Giramondo Publishing and the University of Western Sydney.- History :...

  • Southerly
    Southerly (journal)
    Southerly is an Australian literary magazine, established in the 1930s. It is currently published in hardcopy and online three times a year, and carries fiction and poetry by established and new authors as well as reviews and critical essays...

  • Westerly
    Westerly (Australian literary magazine)
    Westerly is a literary magazine that is produced at the University of Western Australia English Department since 1956. It is currently publishes two issues a year....

  • Verandah
  • Rubric


Other journals include:
  • Sleepers Almanac
  • Going Down Swinging
  • Voiceworks
  • Australian Book Review
    Australian Book Review
    Australian Book Review is Australia's leading literary review. Created in 1961 the ABR is an independent non-profit organisation that publishes articles, reviews, commentaries, essays, and new writing...

  • Page Seventeen
  • Wet Ink
    Wet Ink
    Wet Ink magazine is an Australian magazine devoted to publishing new Australian writing, with an emphasis on new and emerging writers. Published quarterly, it features fiction, poetry and creative non-fiction, plus an interview with a writer and book reviews. Work published ranges from 'literary'...

  • Red Leaves / 紅葉
    Red Leaves / 紅葉
    Red Leaves / 紅葉 is an English-language and Japanese bi-lingual literary magazine.-Description:Based out of Melbourne, Australia and Tokyo, Japan, Red Leaves / 紅葉 is edited by writers Kirk Marshall and Yasuhiro Horiuchi, and designed by Liberty Browne. The inaugural issue was translated by Sunny...

  • Kill Your Darlings
  • harvest
  • Etchings


A number of newspapers also carry literary review supplements:
  • Australian Literary Review
    Australian Literary Review
    The Australian Literary Review was a monthly supplement to The Australian newspaper established in September 2006 and published on the first Wednesday of each month. It was considered to be a continuation of The Australian's Review of Books, which was a supplement published between 1996 and 2001...



Established online journals include:

Awards


Current literary awards in Australia include:
  • Anne Elder Award
    Anne Elder Award
    The Anne Elder Trust Fund Award for poetry is administered by the Victorian branch of the Fellowship of Australian Writers and is awarded annually, as the Anne Elder Award, for the best first book of poetry published in Australia. It was established in 1976 and currently has a prize of A$1000 for...

  • The Australian/Vogel Literary Award
    The Australian/Vogel Literary Award
    The Australian/Vogel Literary Award is an Australian literary award for unpublished manuscripts by writers under the age of 35. The prize money, currently A$20,000, is the richest and most prestigious award for an unpublished manuscript in Australia...

  • Children's Book Council of Australia
    Children's Book Council of Australia
    The Children's Book Council of Australia is a not for profit organisation which aims to engage the community with literature for young Australians. The CBCA presents annual awards for books of literary merit, for outstanding contribution to Australian children's literature.-Awards:The first...

  • Ditmar Award
    Ditmar Award
    The Ditmar Award has been awarded annually since 1969 at the Australian National Science Fiction Convention to recognise achievement in Australian science fiction and science fiction fandom...

     Science Fiction (includes Fantasy & Horror)
  • Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry
    Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry
    The Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry is awarded annually as part of the New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards for a book of collected poems or for a single poem of substantial length published in book form...

  • Mary Gilmore Prize
    Mary Gilmore Prize
    The Mary Gilmore Prize for the best first book of poetry is given to a first book of poetry from the previous two years; prior to 1998 it was awarded annually...

     for a first book of poetry
  • Miles Franklin Award
    Miles Franklin Award
    The Miles Franklin Literary Award is an annual literary prize for the best Australian ‘published novel or play portraying Australian life in any of its phases’. The award was set up according to the will of Miles Franklin , who is best known for writing the Australian classic My Brilliant Career ...

  • New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards
    New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards
    The New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards were established in 1979 by the New South Wales Premier Neville Wran. Commenting on its purpose, Wran said: "We want the arts to take, and be seen to take, their proper place in our social priorities...

  • Patrick White Award
    Patrick White Award
    The Patrick White Award is an annual literary prize established by Patrick White. White used his 1973 Nobel Prize in Literature award to establish a trust for this prize....

  • Prime Minister's Literary Awards
    Prime Minister's Literary Awards
    The Australian Prime Minister's Literary Awards were announced at the end of 2007 by the incoming Rudd Ministry following the 2007 election. They are administered by the Minister for the Arts....

  • Queensland Premier's Literary Awards
    Queensland Premier's Literary Awards
    The Queensland Premier's Literary Awards were inaugurated in 1999 and have grown to become a leading literary awards program within Australia, with $225,000 in prizemoney over 14 categories. One of Australia's richest prizes, top categories offer up to $25,000 for 1st prize.-Fiction Book...

  • Victorian Premier's Literary Award
    Victorian Premier's Literary Award
    The Victorian Premier's Literary Awards were created by the Victorian Governmentwith the aim of raising the profile of contemporary creative writing and Australia's publishing industry....

  • Western Australian Premier's Book Awards
    Western Australian Premier's Book Awards
    The Western Australian Premier's Book Awards is an award for books, scripts, digital narrative and a People's Choice. Awards are provided by the Government of Western Australia, and the awards process is managed by the State Library of Western Australia...



Australian authors are also eligible for a number of other significant awards such as:
  • Commonwealth Writers' Prize
    Commonwealth Writers' Prize
    Commonwealth Writers is an initiative by the Commonwealth Foundation to unearth, develop and promote the best new fiction from across the Commonwealth. It's flagship are two literary awards and a website...

  • Man Booker Prize
    Man Booker Prize
    The Man Booker Prize for Fiction is a literary prize awarded each year for the best original full-length novel, written in the English language, by a citizen of the Commonwealth of Nations, Ireland, or Zimbabwe. The winner of the Man Booker Prize is generally assured of international renown and...

  • Orange Prize for Fiction
    Orange Prize for Fiction
    The Orange Prize for Fiction is one of the United Kingdom's most prestigious literary prizes, annually awarded to a female author of any nationality for the best original full-length novel written in English, and published in the United Kingdom in the preceding year...


See the List of Australian literary awards for a more comprehensive listing of Australian literary awards.

See also

  • Australian outback literature of the 20th century
    Australian outback literature of the 20th century
    This article refers to the works of poets and novelists and specialized writers who have written about the Australian outback from first-hand experience. This is a wide and important field of study, particularly as it frequently addresses race relations in Australia, often from a non-political...

  • List of Australian novelists
  • List of Australian poets
  • List of years in Australian literature
  • Australian performance poetry
    Australian performance poetry
    Australian performance poetry is not a recent phenomenon in English-speaking Australia. It would not be beyond credibility to identify Henry Lawson as Australia's first professional performance poet, but there had been many performance poets in Australia prior to Lawson from the First Fleet onwards...

  • Tasmanian literature
    Tasmanian literature
    Tasmania, given its small geographic size and population has a strong literary culture. Historically Tasmania provides an interesting literary background with visits from early European explorers such as the Dutchman Abel Tasman, the Frenchmen Bruni d'Entrecasteaux and Marion du Fresne and then...

  • Tasmanian Gothic
    Tasmanian Gothic
    Tasmanian Gothic is an artistic and literary genre that merges the traditions of Gothic Literature with the history and natural features of Tasmania.-Origins:...

  • New South Wales Premier's History Awards
    New South Wales Premier's History Awards
    The State Government of New South Wales, Australia established the Premier's History Awards in 1997. In 2005 the name of the awards was changed to NSW History Awards...

  • Australian History Awards
    Australian History Awards
    -The Allan Martin Award:This biennial award has been named for A. W. Martin and is administered jointly by the Australian National University and The Australian Historical Association. The award is to encourage "early career historians" for work relating to Australian History...


External links