Text Classics

Out of the Line of Fire

Out of the Line of Fire

Mark Henshaw, Stephen Romei

I felt as though I was walking on a precariously thin, transparent laminate between the mirror image of two separate worlds. Any minute, if I lost my footing and missed meeting the foot which rose to meet mine, I ran the risk of...

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The Catherine Wheel

The Catherine Wheel

Elizabeth Harrower, Ramona Koval

Clemency James falls for the unpredictable Christian, and what follows is a relationship of intensity and conflict powerfully described.

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 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 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 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 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

A unique insight into the role of the fiction writer in society. A beautiful book, made up of the most ordinary things in the world, and makes them into a thing of music and magic.

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The Dig Tree

The Dig Tree

Sarah Murgatroyd, Geoffrey Blainey

In 1860 Robert O'Hara Burke led a cavalcade out of Melbourne. Accompanied by William Wills, he was prepared to risk everything to be the first European to cross the Australian continent. Sarah Murgatroyd reveals new historical and...

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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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Dark Places

Dark Places

Kate Grenville, Louise Adler

The tale of a man who believes he has the right to conquer the mocking flesh of any woman.

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Stiff

Stiff

Shane Maloney, Lindsay Tanner

My heart pumped hard and fast, fed by the jitter of adrenaline coursing through my veins. This was getting beyond a joke...Don't you just hate it when somebody tries to kill you and you don't know who or why?

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The Even More Complete Book of Australian Verse

The Even More Complete Book of Australian Verse

John Clarke

In the author's own words: possibly the most important anthology ever published.

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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 Home Girls

The Home Girls

Olga Masters, Geordie Williamson

Between the publication of The Home Girls , in 1982, and her death, Olga Masters was acclaimed as one of Australia's finest writers. Her short stories, distinguished by their acute observation of human behaviour, drew comparison...

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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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Homesickness

Homesickness

Murray Bail, Peter Conrad

Thirteen men and women on a world tour, a package of pool-sides, museums, hotels and shops. But no matter where they go - Africa, England, South America, New York or Russia - they find nothing as they expected. Challenged by...

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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 Dying Trade

The Dying Trade

Peter Corris, Charles Waterstreet

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

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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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The Glass Canoe

The Glass Canoe

David Ireland, Nicolas Rothwell

The story of a man who sees life through his beer glass--his 'glass canoe'.

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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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All the Green Year

All the Green Year

Don Charlwood, Michael McGirr

'The year I remember best from those days is 1929.

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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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The Fringe Dwellers

The Fringe Dwellers

Nene Gare, Melissa Lucashenko

First published in 1961A fictionalized account of the author's ten years living alongside Aboriginal peopleImmediately acclaimed as a groundbreaking novel.

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The Scarecrow

The Scarecrow

Ronald Hugh Morrieson, Craig Sherborne

Ronald Hugh Morrieson combines Boys' Own adventure, psychological thriller, small-town saga and family farce to produce a unique masterpiece.

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The Australian Ugliness

The Australian Ugliness

Robin Boyd, Christos Tsiolkas

There can be few other nations which are less certain than Australia as to what they are and where they are. Brilliant, witty, scathing, The Australian Ugliness is the classic postwar account of Australian society, how we live in...

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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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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...

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The Middle Parts of Fortune

The Middle Parts of Fortune

Frederic Manning, Simon Caterson

Ernest Hemingway called this breathtaking account of the Great War 'the finest and noblest book of men in war'.

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The Songs of a Sentimental Bloke

The Songs of a Sentimental Bloke

C.J. Dennis, Jack Thompson

Introduced by Jack Thompson The Songs of a Sentimental Bloke, a comic verse novel, was first published in book form in 1915 and sold more than sixty thousand copies in nine editions within a year. By the mid-1970s nearly three...

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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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Happy Valley

Happy Valley

Patrick White, Peter Craven

Originally published in 1939, Happy Valley is set in a small country town in the Snowy Mountains. Based on Patrick White's own experiences in the early 1930s as a jackaroo at Bolaro, near Adaminaby in south-eastern New South...

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Bush Studies

Bush Studies

Barbara Baynton, Helen Garner

First published 1902, Bush Studies is famous for an unsentimental depiction of frontier life with its particular difficulties for women.

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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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The Fortunes of Richard Mahony

The Fortunes of Richard Mahony

Henry Handel Richardson, Peter Craven

He had never got within measurable distance of what he called life, at all...deep down in him, he knew, was an enormous residue of vitality...It was like a buried treasure, jealously kept for the event of his one day catching up...

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Life and Adventures 1776-1801

Life and Adventures 1776-1801

John Nicol, Tim Flannery

At length, almost to our sorrow, we made the land upon the 3rd of June 1790, just one year all but one day from our leaving the river. We landed all our convicts safe.

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Terra Australis: Matthew Flinders' Great Adventures in the Circumnavigation of Australia

Terra Australis: Matthew Flinders' Great Adventures in the Circumnavigation of Australia

Matthew Flinders, Tim Flannery

First published in two-volumes in 1814, this is the enthralling account of the circumnavigation of Australia, by the man who gave our country its name. Edited and introduced by Tim Flannery, Flinders tells of meeting with...

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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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