Text Classics

 Read reviewA Lifetime on Clouds

A Lifetime on Clouds

Gerald Murnane, Andy Griffiths

A Lifetime on Clouds is funny, honest and sweetly told: a less ribald, Catholic Australian Portnoy's Complaint.

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 Read reviewThe Young Desire it

The Young Desire it

Kenneth Mackenzie, David Malouf

Published in London in 1937 to wide acclaim, The Young Desire It a stunning debut novel about coming of age: intimate & lyrical account of first love, & rich evocation of rural Western Australia. It won Australian Literature...

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 Read reviewLillipilly Hill

Lillipilly Hill

Eleanor Spence, Ursula Dubosarsky

Lillipilly Hill is the story of Harriet Wilmot and her family, who have come to live in an inherited house in the New South Wales town of Barley Creek at the end of the nineteenth century - a delightful...

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 Read reviewThe Women in Black

The Women in Black

Madeleine St.John, Bruce Beresford

Written by a superb novelist of contemporary manners, this is a fairytale which illuminates the extraordinariness of ordinary lives.

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 Read reviewThe Watch Tower

The Watch Tower

Elizabeth Harrower, Joan London

The Watch Tower is a novel of relentless and acute psychological power, from one of Australia's greatest writers.

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 Read reviewThe Commandant

The Commandant

Jessica Anderson, Carmen Callil

He jumped down to the wharf and walked alone out of the torchlight to stand behind Letty. Frances looked from his face to her sister's, and once again felt the weakening flush of fear. She was too much at the mercy of her company,...

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 Read reviewThey're a Weird Mob

They’re a Weird Mob

Nino Culotta, Jacinta Tynan

A hilarious snapshot of the immigrant experience, by a writer with a brilliant ear for the Australian way with words.

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 Read reviewCosmo Cosmolino

Cosmo Cosmolino

Helen Garner, Ramona Koval

The fragile domestic balance of a share house is exploded in this classic Australian novel about friendship, faith and miracles.

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Katherine Mansfield - Selected Stories

Katherine Mansfield - Selected Stories

Katherine Mansfield, Emily Perkins

Mansfield is considered to be amongst the finest short-story writers of the twentieth century.These are twenty-three of her best stories.

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Diary of a Bad Year

Diary of a Bad Year

J. M. Coetzee, Peter Goldsworthy

An eminent Australian writer is invited to contribute to a book entitled Strong Opinions . For him, troubled by Australia's complicity in the wars in the Middle East, it is a chance to air some urgent concerns: how should a...

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The Dig Tree

The Dig Tree

Sarah Murgatroyd, Geoffrey Blainey

Wills knew that he was fading fastest. On 26 June, he decided the only honourable thing to do was to sacrifice himself to save his companions. 'Without some change,' he wrote, 'I see little chance for any of us'. In 1860, an...

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Rose Boys

Rose Boys

Peter Rose, Brian Matthews

What exactly is the message of Robert Rose? One year after his death, twenty-six years after just another of our crashes, knowing the effect it had on his family and friends, and thousands of others who hardly knew him, I want...

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The Explorers: Text Classics

The Explorers: Text Classics

Tim Flannery

The explorers of Australia tell an epic story of courage and suffering, of dispossession and conquest, of a moving frontier between European invaders and the Aboriginal custodians of the continent. This compelling anthology...

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An Iron Rose

An Iron Rose

Peter Temple, L A Carlyon

When Mac Faraday's best friend is found hanging, the assumption is suicide. But Mac is far from convinced.

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The Essence of the Thing

The Essence of the Thing

Madeleine St.John, Helen Trinca

Nicola shouldn't have stepped out to buy cigarettes because the man she finds when she returns is not the same Jonathan. That Jonathan would never have simply, unilaterally, decided that she should 'move out'. So a shocked Nicola...

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Wish

Wish

Peter Goldsworthy, James Bradley

Adrift after his divorce, J.J. takes a job teaching sign language to a gorilla. Their relationship takes an unexpected turn...

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Eat Me

Eat Me

Linda Jaivin, Krissy Kneen

Introduced by Krissy Kneen First published in 1995, Eat Me became an instant international bestseller and caused a scandal in the US. Julia is a photographer, Chantal edits a fashion magazine, Helen is a feminist academic and...

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Fairyland

Fairyland

Sumner Locke Elliot, Dennis Altman

The final book by Sumner Locke Elliott, the award-winning author of Careful, He Might Hear You.

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Dancing on Coral

Dancing on Coral

Glenda Adams, Susan Wyndham

A satirical journey from Sydney to New York, through the extremes of the '60sWon Australia's highest literary honour in 1987.

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Death in Brunswick

Death in Brunswick

Boyd Oxlade, Shane Maloney

A cult hit later made into a film starring Sam Neill, Death in Brunswick is a classic Australian comedy.

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Amy's Children

Amy’s Children

Olga Masters, Eva Hornung

The moving, uncliched story of Amy, who leaves her three children in their grandmother's care while she seeks work.

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Julia Paradise

Julia Paradise

Rod Jones, Emily Maguire

He would relive for a long time everything she said to him in the room at the mission. He would recall the way her voice had grown thicker and thicker, and how her head had begun to hang to one side from the exhaustion of her...

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The House That Was Eureka

The House That Was Eureka

Nadia Wheatley, Toni Jordan

When Noel and Evie come together in adjoining terrace houses in Sydney's inner city, something more powerful than a dream sets the past back in motion. Winner of NSW State Literary Award 1985 and CBC Book of the Year Commended,...

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The Plains

The Plains

Gerald Murnane, Wayne Macauley

This haunting novel is a classic of Australian literature. A nameless young man arrives on the plains and begins to document the strange and rich culture of the plains families. As his story unfolds, the novel becomes, in the...

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The Watcher in the Garden

The Watcher in the Garden

Margo Lanagan, Joan Phipson

A complex and gripping novel of human relationships from one of Australia's foremost authors for young adults.

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The Quiet Earth

The Quiet Earth

Craig Harrison, Bernard Beckett

'I was sitting bolt upright in bed breathing fast and staring at the wall. The daylight was streaming into the motel room through the slats of the blinds. I seemed to have been awake, and asleep, for ages...' John Hobson, a...

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The Dying Trade

The Dying Trade

Peter Corris, Charles Waterstreet

A thrilling Australian classic that introduces the literary icon Cliff Hardy.

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A Woman of the Future

A Woman of the Future

David Ireland, Kate Jennings

Introduced by Favel Parrett 'Mother's stomach bellied out like a sail. Young, she was unable to say no to anyone who asked her to make love. Her reasons for her behaviour were all her own; never, after she'd had me did she allow...

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The Odd Angry Shot

The Odd Angry Shot

William Nagle, Paul Ham

The Odd Angry Shot is the seminal account of Australian soldiers in the Vietnam War. Brief and bracing, tragic yet darkly funny, it portrays a close-knit group of knockabout SAS fighters: their mateship, homesickness and fears;...

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The Unknown Industrial Prisoner

The Unknown Industrial Prisoner

David Ireland, Peter Pierce

Winner of the Miles Franklin Award in 1971, this is a ruthless and comic portrait of working class Australia.

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I Own the Racecourse!

I Own the Racecourse!

Patricia Wrightson, Kate Constable

A children's classic about a boy with a disability, published in the US in 1968 as A Racecourse For Andy.

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Bring Larks and Heroes

Bring Larks and Heroes

Thomas Keneally, Geordie Williamson

This novel is set in a remote British penal colony in the 1790s. It gives an insight into the settlement of hungry transports and corrupt soldiers, and tells the story of Corporal Phelim Halloran, and the demands made on him - by...

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Ash Road

Ash Road

Ivan Southall, Maurice Saxby

An action-packed Australian adventure story, about courage, friendship and survival in the face of a seemingly insurmountable bushfire.

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Strine

Strine

Afferbeck Lauder, John Clarke

How's your ebb tide? Do you sign on the dotted lion? Is your tea nature Orpheus Rocker? Who is Charlie Charm Puck in 'Waltzing Matilda'? There was never any book about Australian speech like Strine or about posh British speech...

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Careful, He Might Hear You

Careful, He Might Hear You

Sumner Locke Elliot, Robyn Nevin

It's the Great Depression. Six-year-old PS is an orphan. He lives in Sydney with his Aunt Lila. But all that is about to change. Now his Aunt Vanessa has decided to take proper care of him.

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Hills End

Hills End

Ivan Southall, James Moloney

First released in 1962, this groundbreaking adventure novel was among the first true 'young adult' literature ever published in Australia.

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Wake in Fright

Wake in Fright

Kenneth Cook, Peter Temple

Wake in Fright is the original and greatest outback horror story. Bundanyabba and its citizens will forever haunt its readers.

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Outbreak of Love

Outbreak of Love

Martin Boyd, Chris Womersley

The story of a marriage under threat, it is a comedy of manners which carries an undercurrent of unease, reflecting the contrasting issues of approaching war and the personal conflict between the head and the heart.

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 Read reviewDown in the City

Down in the City

Elizabeth Harrower, Delia Falconer

Devastating debut novel from the author of The Watch Tower, hailed by The Washington Post as 'a brilliant achievement'.

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A Difficult Young Man

A Difficult Young Man

Martin Boyd, Sonya Hartnett

A Difficult Young Man (1955) charts the complex personal relationships in an upper middle class Anglo-Australian family. It won the Australian Literature Society Gold Medal in 1956

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The Cardboard Crown

The Cardboard Crown

Martin Boyd, Brenda Niall

A lost classic of Australian literature. Boyd is a deeply humane novelist, a writer of family sagas without peer.

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They Found a Cave

They Found a Cave

Nan Chauncy, John Marsden

Four English orphans - Cherry, Nigel, Brick and Nippy - migrate to Tasmania, to the care of their Aunt Jandie on her farm outside Hobart. Their arrival is greeted with enthusiasm by young farm boy Tas, and weeks of exploration and...

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Jonah

Jonah

Louis Stone, Frank Moorhouse

One side of the street glittered like a brilliant eruption with the light from a row of shops; the others, lined with houses, was almost deserted, for the people, drawn like moths by the glare, crowded and jostled under the...

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Such is Life

Such is Life

Joseph Furphy, David Malouf

A classic of the Australian outback, SUCH IS LIFE is the farcical, tragic reminiscences of Tom Collins, philosopher and rogue.

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My Brilliant Career

My Brilliant Career

Miles Franklin, Jennifer Byrne

This is not a romance--I have too often faced the music of life to the tune of hardship to waste time in snivelling and gushing over fancies and dreams; neither is it a novel, but simply a yarn--a real yarn. Oh!

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1788

1788

Watkin Tench, Tim Flannery

An extraordinary first-hand account of the early years of Australian settlement, 1788 is highly readable and hugely entertaining.

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