Recommended non-fiction books by Australian women

Song Spirals: Sharing Women's Wisdom of Country Through Songlines

Song Spirals: Sharing Women’s Wisdom of Country Through Songlines

Gay'wu Group of Women

Songspirals is a rare opportunity for outsiders to experience Aboriginal women's role in crying the songlines in a very authentic and direct form. 

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 Read reviewThe Girls

The Girls

Chloe Higgins

A memoir of enormous power: of family, loss, and sexuality which recalls Kate Holden, Fiona Wright or Sarah Krasnostein.

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Australianama: The South Asian Odyssey in Australia

Australianama: The South Asian Odyssey in Australia

Samia Khatun

An evocative and gracefully written reflection on cultural encounters between Aboriginals and Indians in the Outback, from the nineteenth century.

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Arab, Australian, Other: Stories on Race and Identity

Arab, Australian, Other: Stories on Race and Identity

Randa Abdel-Fattah, Sara Saleh

An anthology that aims to smash the stereotypes of Arabs in Australia that too often proliferate in mainstream media.

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Banking Bad

Banking Bad

Adele Ferguson

How corporate greed broke our trust and failed Australia.

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The Joy of High Places

The Joy of High Places

Patti Miller

They didn't know it, but Patti Miller and her brother, Barney, shared something in common - a passion for the illuminating joy of wild nature - with all its challenges and dangers. In this extraordinary book, Patti tells the story...

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 Read reviewSee What You Made Me Do

See What You Made Me Do

Jess Hill

Combining exhaustive research with riveting storytelling, See What You Made Me Do dismantles the flawed logic of victim-blaming and challenges everything you thought you knew about domestic and family violence.

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Storytime

Storytime

Jane Sullivan

In Storytime, author and literary critic Jane Sullivan takes us from Wonderland to Narnia, Moomintroll to Mr Toad and from Winnie the Pooh to the Magic Pudding, to find out why her favourite childhood books were so vitally...

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 Read reviewFake

Fake

Stephanie Wood

A powerful, richly layered investigative story for our times, drawing on the personal stories of the author and other women who have been drawn into relationships based on duplicity and false hope.

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Waste Not Everyday

Waste Not Everyday

Erin Rhoads

All the tips, tricks and motivation you need to transition to a less wasteful life.

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Refugee Rights and Policy Wrongs

Refugee Rights and Policy Wrongs

Jane McAdam, Fiona Chong

Everyone has the right to seek asylum under international law, but public discourse in Australia about refugees is dominated by scare-mongering and political point-scoring. Jane McAdam and Fiona Chong provide a wholly updated...

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The Agile Executive: Embracing Career Risks and Rewards

The Agile Executive: Embracing Career Risks and Rewards

Marianne Broadbent

The Book is in three parts -- Lead Yourself with Purpose, Lead Others with Resolve, and Lead with Insight from Others. Not only is this book for the experienced executive but also has important advice for those embarking on a...

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Everywhere I Look

Everywhere I Look

Helen Garner

Helen Garner is one of Australia's greatest writers. Her short non-fiction has enormous range. Spanning fifteen years of work, Everywhere I Look is a book full of unexpected moments, sudden shafts of light, piercing intuition,...

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 Read reviewNight Games: Sex, Power and Sport

Night Games: Sex, Power and Sport

Anna Krien

'The Pies beat the Saints and the city of Melbourne was still cloaked in black and white crepe paper when the rumour of a pack rape by celebrating footballers began to surface. By morning, the head of the sexual crimes squad...

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Unpolished Gem

Unpolished Gem

Alice Pung

Offers a vivid and ironic sense of two worlds. Combines the story of Pung's life growing up in suburban Footscray, with the inherited stories of the women in her family.

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The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka

The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka

Clare Wright

Ten years in the research and writing, inimitably bold, entertaining and irreverent in style, Clare Wright's The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka is a fitting tribute to the unbiddable women of Ballarat-women who made Eureka a story for...

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 Read reviewThe Wife Drought

The Wife Drought

Annabel Crabb

Why women need wives, and men need lives. 'I need a wife' It's a common joke among women juggling work and family. But it's not actually a joke. Having a spouse who takes care of things at home is a Godsend on the domestic front....

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My Place

My Place

Sally Morgan

Traces the experiences of Sally Morgan's life, growing up in Perth in the 50s & 60s. Through the memories and images of her childhood and adolescence, vague hints and echoes begin to emerge and a fascinating story unfolds - a...

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Reckoning: A Memoir

Reckoning: A Memoir

Magda Szubanski

Heartbreaking, joyous, traumatic, intimate and revelatory, Reckoning is the book where Magda Szubanski, one of Australia's most beloved performers, tells her story

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 Read reviewMoving Among Strangers: Randolph Stow and My Family

Moving Among Strangers: Randolph Stow and My Family

Gabrielle Carey

Two literary lives defined by storytelling and secrets As her mother Joan lies dying, Gabrielle Carey writes a letter to Joan's childhood friend, the reclusive novelist Randolph Stow. This letter sets in motion a literary...

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The Invisible History of the Human Race: How DNA and History Shape Our Identities and Our Futures

The Invisible History of the Human Race: How DNA and History Shape Our Identities and Our Futures

Christine Kenneally

The Invisible History of the Human Race describes how biology, psychology, and history shape us as individuals.

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 Read reviewKiffy Rubbo: curating the 1970s

Kiffy Rubbo: curating the 1970s

Janine Burke, Helen Hughes

How one woman helped shape the Australian art world.

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 Read reviewPosition Doubtful: mapping landscapes and memories

Position Doubtful: mapping landscapes and memories

Kim Mahood

Imagine the document you have before you is not a book but a map. It is well-used, creased, and folded, so that when you open it, no matter how carefully, something tears, and a line that is neither latitude nor longitude opens in...

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 Read reviewBad Behaviour

Bad Behaviour

Rebecca Starford

Everyone remembers those stomach churning teenage years full of angst, hormones and changes. When you are locked up away from your parents in a complicated world of teenagers and authority figures, the trauma of those years can be...

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 Read reviewThe Tall Man: Death and Life on Palm Island

The Tall Man: Death and Life on Palm Island

Chloe Hooper

The story of Palm Island, the tropical paradise where one morning Cameron Doomadgee swore at a policeman and forty minutes later lay dead in a watch-house cell. It is the story of that policeman, the tall, enigmatic Christopher...

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Finding Eliza: Power and Colonial Storytelling

Finding Eliza: Power and Colonial Storytelling

Larissa Behrendt

A vital Aboriginal perspective on colonial storytelling Indigenous lawyer and writer Larissa Behrendt has long been fascinated by the story of Eliza Fraser, who was purportedly captured by the local Butchulla people after she was...

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 Read reviewSmall Acts of Disappearance

Small Acts of Disappearance

Fiona Wright

Small Acts of Disappearance is a collection of ten essays that describes the authors affliction with an eating disorder which begins in high school, and escalates into life-threatening anorexia over the next ten years. Fiona...

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Dear Life: On Caring for the Elderly: Quarterly Essay 57

Dear Life: On Caring for the Elderly: Quarterly Essay 57

Karen Hitchcock

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Into The Woods: The Battle For Tasmania's Forests

Into The Woods: The Battle For Tasmania’s Forests

Anna Krien

For decades, the Tasmanian wilderness has been the site of bitter struggle. Sawmillers and police face off with protestors deep in the forest, while political games are played in the courts and parliaments. At stake is the future...

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Chasing Asylum

Chasing Asylum

Eva Orner

Filmmaker Eva Orner takes us on a personal, gripping and compelling journey to show us how she came to make her documentary about Australia's asylum seeker policies.

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Atomic Thunder: The Maralinga Story

Atomic Thunder: The Maralinga Story

Dr Elizabeth Tynan

In 1950 Australian prime minister Robert Menzies blithely agreed to atomic tests that offered no benefit to Australia and relinquished control over them - and left the public completely in the dark. This book reveals the...

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Yassmin's Story

Yassmin’s Story

Yassmin Abdel-Magied

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Damned Whores and God's Police

Damned Whores and God’s Police

Anne Summers

Sexual harassment, domestic violence and date rape had not been named, although they certainly existed, when Damned Whores and God's Police was first published in 1975. That was before the Sex Discrimination Act of 1984 and before...

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 Read reviewAvalanche

Avalanche

Julia Leigh

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Private Lives, Public History

Private Lives, Public History

Anna Clark

The past is consumed on a grand scale: popularised by television programs, enjoyed by reading groups, walking groups, historical societies and heritage tours, and supported by unprecedented digital access to archival records. Yet...

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 Read reviewWasted: A Story of Alcohol, Grief and a Death in Brisbane

Wasted: A Story of Alcohol, Grief and a Death in Brisbane

Elspeth Muir

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 Read reviewDress, Memory: A Memoir of My Twenties in Dresses

Dress, Memory: A Memoir of My Twenties in Dresses

Lorelei Vashti

A charming coming-of-age memoir in which every dress tells a story. Dress, Memory is about a decade in dresses. Perceptive and poignant, humorous and heartwarming, it's the story of growing up and growing into yourself. It's about...

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