What to read
Australia produces some of the best and most talented writers, generation after generation and it is nice to see these writers being praised and highlighted at the most recent Frankfurt Book Fair
We have picked some of our favourite authors and books for you to explore; which we are sure will tempt fiction readers everywhere.
Praiseworthy by Alexis Wright
The new novel from Alexis Wright. The only writer to have won both the Stella Prize and the Miles Franklin Literary Award.
Praiseworthy is an epic set in the north of Australia, told with the richness of language and scale of imagery for which Alexis Wright has become renowned. In a small town dominated by a haze cloud, which heralds both an ecological catastrophe and a gathering of the ancestors, a crazed visionary seeks out donkeys as the solution to the global climate crisis and the economic dependency of the Aboriginal people. His wife seeks solace from his madness in following the dance of butterflies and scouring the internet to find out how she can seek repatriation for her Aboriginal/Chinese family to China. One of their sons, called Aboriginal Sovereignty, is determined to commit suicide. The other, Tommyhawk, wishes his brother dead so that he can pursue his dream of becoming white and powerful. This is a novel which pushes allegory and language to its limits, a cry of outrage against oppression and disadvantage, and a fable for the end of days.
Edenglassie by Melissa Lucashenko
Melissa Lucashenko award winning author of Too Much Lip, new novel Edenglassie is a must read!
When Mulanyin meets the beautiful Nita in Edenglassie, their saltwater people still outnumber the British. As colonial unrest peaks, Mulanyin dreams of taking his bride home to Yugambeh Country, but his plans for independence collide with white justice.
Two centuries later, fiery activist Winona meets Dr Johnny. Together they care for obstinate centenarian Granny Eddie, and sparks fly, but not always in the right direction. What nobody knows is how far the legacies of the past will reach into their modern lives.
Gunflower by Laura Jean McKay
Gunflower is brilliant new novel from multi-award-winning author Laura Jean McKay. The perfect read for short story fans.
A family of cat farmers gets the chance to set the felines free. A group of chickens tells it like it is. A female-crewed ship ploughs through the patriarchy. A support group finds solace in a world without men.
With her trademark humour, energy, and flair, McKay offers glimpses of places where dreams subsume reality, where childhood restarts, where humans embrace their animal selves and animals talk like humans.
The stories in Gunflower explode and bloom in mesmerising ways, showing the world both as it is and as it could be.
Stone Yard Devotional by Charlotte Wood
Stella Prize winner Charlotte Wood has another amazing new title in her heavy stack, Stone Yard Devotional.
A woman abandons her city life and marriage to return to the place of her childhood, holing up in a small religious community hidden away on the stark plains of the Monaro.
She does not believe in God, doesn’t know what prayer is, and finds herself living this strange, reclusive life almost by accident. As she gradually adjusts to the rhythms of monastic life, she finds herself turning again and again to thoughts of her mother, whose early death she can’t forget.
Disquiet interrupts this secluded life with three visitations. First comes a terrible mouse plague, each day signalling a new battle against the rising infestation.
Second is the return of the skeletal remains of a sister who left the community decades before to minister to deprived women in Thailand – then disappeared, presumed murdered.
Finally, a troubling visitor to the monastery pulls the narrator further back into her past.
With each of these disturbing arrivals, the woman faces some deep questions. Can a person be truly good? What is forgiveness? Is loss of hope a moral failure? And can the business of grief ever really be finished?
Other noteworthy authors and novels include:
Bad art mother by Edwina Preston
Paradise estate by Max Easton
Anita Heiss, winner of the Indigenous Writer’s Prize at the 2022 New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards for Bila Yarrudhanggalangdhuray River of Dreams.