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Old 10-17-2012, 06:43 PM   #1
K. Molen
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Recommendations Wanted: Australian-set Books by Australian Writers

I'm on a bit of a foreign* writer kick at the moment, as I'm finding it an amazing way to get genuine insight into another culture.

My latest discovery is the South African crime writer Deon Meyer. When I read his books it almost feels like I'm reading a science fiction or fantasy book, in that his stories are set in a whole other world, with another set of cultural values, terminology and geography than one that I'm used to.

And unlike with sci-fi and fantasy, I like that when reading a foreign author, who is primarily writing for his local audience, you don't get any of the explanatory exposition and self-concious world-building you often get in those other genres.

Anyway... as the thread title would suggest, I'm looking for recommendations of Australian authors that write stories set in Australia. Anyone's got any suggestions?

* Foreign to me, obviously.

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Old 10-17-2012, 08:01 PM   #2
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Three of my favourites;

I Can Jump Puddles - Allan Marshall
Harp in the South - Ruth Park
A Forutunate Life - Albert Facey
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Old 10-17-2012, 09:20 PM   #3
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Not sure if it's what you're looking for, but I'm currently reading The Tomorrow Series by Australian author John Marsden and enjoying it very much. You might want to explore his other books, as well.
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Old 10-17-2012, 09:25 PM   #4
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[waves hand wildly] Two of my very favorites:

Cloudstreet by Tim Winton
The Secret River by Kate Grenville

I have a bit of a "thing" for Australian fiction, which might be a bit odd since I've never even been there.

eP
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Old 10-17-2012, 10:30 PM   #5
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Seeing as you listed Deon Meyer I've gone with crime authors Peter Temple, Peter Corris and Shane Maloney
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Old 10-18-2012, 12:30 AM   #6
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Kerry Greenwood writes quirky detective stories set in Melbourne - the Phryne Fisher series in the 1920s, and the Corinna Chapman series, which is set in contemporary Melbourne. One of each of these series is currently discounted by Poisoned Pen Press.

"The Fortunes of Richard Mahoney", by Henry Handel Richardson, is a classic Australian novel, set in the days of the Victorian gold rush. The author was actually a woman, Ethel Florence Richardson.
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Old 10-18-2012, 02:23 AM   #7
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I liked all of David Crooks' books. They cover a variety of topics, but are all historical fiction usually based on a true story.

In the mystery genre, it is hard to beat Vicki Tyley's books. Very well-written, taut, suspense stories. I think of her as the Australian P.D. James.

Also in historical fiction, if you are willing to go for a New Zealander, try the books by Shayne Parkinson. Nearly everyoine I know who has read her books has praised them.
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Old 10-18-2012, 04:15 AM   #8
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Other authors you could read include Lennie Lower, John O'Grady (Nino Culotta) and Frank Hardy.

However, if it's a feel for relatively contemporary culture you're after, melmac's recommended Peter Temple, Peter Corris and Shane Maloney are definitely your best bets.
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Old 10-18-2012, 07:13 AM   #9
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"Voss" by Patrick White, a tremendous novel set mostly in the Outback...

http://www.amazon.com/Voss-Penguin-C...&keywords=voss
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Old 10-18-2012, 10:24 AM   #10
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Wow, lots of suggestions here. Thanks a lot everyone, I'll be sure to look into each recommendation before I pick my next read. Bookmarking this thread too, as I'm sure I'll be referring back to it.

Thanks again.
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Old 10-18-2012, 10:53 AM   #11
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There's the Outback Series, by Aaron Fletcher.

Unfortunately, only one of the books is available as an ebook: Outback Station, located at

http://www.amazon.com/Outback-Statio...0571895&sr=1-1



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Old 10-18-2012, 10:00 PM   #12
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One of my favorite writers is Kate Morton. She is Australian, but most of her books are set in the UK. Her best (IMO), The Forgotten Garden, is set in both the UK and Australia.
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Old 10-19-2012, 04:08 AM   #13
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Vicki Tyley ... She's actually a New Zealander but has lived in Australia many years and she's an MR member, her Crime Thrillers are ALL fantastic see

http://www.vickityley.com/

She's Available on Amazon and many other booksites,

Very Highly Recommended,
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Old 10-26-2012, 09:16 PM   #14
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I like the classics, though they're obviously not going to give you much insight into contemporary Australia. I read a lot more contemporary Australiana as a kid.

Miles Franklin - My Brilliant Career (but she should have gone with the other guy...)
Ethel Turner - Seven Little Australians (our answer to Little Women)
Mary Durack - Kings in Grass Castles
Elyne Mitchell - The Silver Brumby series (for children)
Colin Thiele - esp February Dragon (no, not fantasy. Mostly children/YA fiction, but contemporary.)

For contemporary cultural insight, your best bet might be family sagas / romantic dramas like those of Judy Nunn.

For a SF take, try
Sean McMullen
Isobelle Carmody (beware that the Obernewtyn series is still not finished after 25 years and only 6 books so far, though Wikipedia tells me that the last is due next year.)
Cordwainer Smith - Norstrilia (ok, he's not Australian and the book is not set in Australia, strictly speaking)

And of course there is
Terry Pratchett - The Last Continent. As stated in the blurb, it is "not a book about Australia. It’s just vaguely Australian."
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Old 10-28-2012, 03:03 AM   #15
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Just read a delightful novel:

The Cartographer
Peter Twohig

It's about an 11 year old boy in 1959 Melbourne (Aus), who takes himself on many adventures with wonderful zeal and adventure.

A mixture of a boys own (for adults to read) and an espionage novel for tweens.

Wonderful, especially as it's a first novel.

Amazon's got it:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Cartograph.../dp/B005U7CVL4

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