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Noticing that we've got some new friends from the Antipodes on the site, how about some recommendations from them of home-grown talent?


I've read one novel each of the following writers: Tim Winton*, Peter Carey and Kate Grenville, especially enjoying Dirt Music by the former and The Secret River by the latter. Oh yes, and a novel by Shirley Hazzard. Just in time, Katherine Mansfield of course.


*Cloudstreet on the TBR list

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I'm not from Australia or New Zealand. But I have read a few authors from those parts, and have others on my TBR.


Marcus Clarke - Australia's "best known" Victorian author.

Colleen McCullough - Morgan's Run is particularly good.

Thomas Keneally - as well as Schindler's Ark, he has written many excellent books.

Nerida Newton - Death Of A Waler (not read it, but came highly recommended)

Gary Disher - writes literature and crime.

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The two "West Island" authors I like are Andrew McGahan (1988) and Andrew Ricks (Eleven Months in Bunbury). Tim Winton has been mentioned previously here on BGO but isn't mentioned much here on the Mainland.


Damien Wilkins is my favourite New Zealand writer, but Julian Novitz (Holocaust Tours) and Ian Wedde are worth looking out for. Apparently Elizabeth Knox is big in the sci-fi/sci-fantasy arena. Lloyd Jones (Mister Pip) lives up the road from me, and I work with a woman who has a part time job at the Varsity library that Bill Manhire (The Wide White Page) calls home. Stewart wrote a wonderful review of The God Boy ("search items too short" for me to find it). The only Maori authors I know of are Allan Duff (he writes better screenplays than books) and Tom O'Connor.


Keep those Australian novelist suggestions coming. It's the topic of the next BGO read


And please don't lump the two countries together. There's the not insignificant matter of the Bledisloe Cup being fought for tomorrow.

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Colleen McCullough wrote what I believe is the best historical fiction series about the Roman empire/Julius Caesar. Six books, each over 1000 pages. Well worth the effort as she brings the history alive.

Trudi Cannavan is australian as well, I think. An excellent fantasy writer. Of course I only know authors that have already gained worldwide publication. It would be nice to learn of some hidden gems from that side of the planet though.

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by Ian Cross. A brilliant book.

That's the fellow! Hopefully the thread is still around or Stewart will repost it.


They're separate countries?

Separated by many things, you can have Ozzie Rules, Jerry Collins seems to be telling our cousins across the Tasman where they stand with rugby :D



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Chuntzy asked me to delete this thread, as we will be discussing Australian books next month as possible nominations for the Bookgroup, but it had already taken off before I got to it.


I think we can continue here, especially if our Australian members would care to let us know about their home-grown favourites. It might help us to narrow down our own suggestions before we nominate, so that Adrian doesn't have to prune the list to get it to manageable proportions next time ;)

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Chuntzy asked me to delete this thread, as we will be discussing Australian books next month as possible nominations for the Bookgroup, but it had already taken off before I got to it.
Maybe this will give us some good ideas for suggestions. I didn't have any until now.

I have just started Secret River but that seems to have been discussed in length already. Apart from that ... what kind of novels do I know ... Krey mentioned Colleen McCullough and (of course) I read Thorn Birds centuries ago (and fell in love with Richard Chamberlain as any other girl in the universe) ... then I read Peter Carey's True History of the Kelly Gang which is probably the only one of the books worth considering ... and, also decades ago, I used to read a lot of novels written by New Zealand author Mary Scott. She was a farmer's wife and wrote a lot of funny stories about people in her situation. But they are all sold out now.

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I'm ashamed to say I'm Australian and I haven't read many Australian authors :quiver: I feel like a traitor, because we do have quite a few very good ones - some of whom have won and/or been shortlisted many times for the world's major book prizes. e.g.:


Patrick White (Nobel Prize for Literature)

Peter Carey (multi international book award winner)

Tim Winton (multi international book award winner)

Thomas Kenealley

Elizabeth Jolley

Colleen McCullough

Germaine Greer (women's issues)

Robert Hughes (art critic)

Clive James

David Malouf

Shirley Hazzard

Bryce Courtney

Thea Astley


among others...


As far as I can remember, off the top of my head, I have so far only read


Colin Thiele's "Sun on the Stubble" (****, but I was 13),

Tim Winton's "Cloudstreet", "Dirt Music" and "The Turning" (all terrific *****),

"True Pleasures: A memoir of women in Paris", by Lucinda Holdforth (*****), and

"Almost French" by Sarah Turnbull (***1/2)


I haven't read books by the other authors on this list but must. So many to read, so little time.




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Your post reminded me of two authors I didn't mention earlier i.e Robert Hughes and Clive James, both of whose non-fiction I really admire, the former for his art history and, of course, The Fatal Shore. and the latter because he's so d....d knowledgeable about everything in the arts and witty. Have you read his memoirs?

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She lives in a village about 15 miles from here - by Australian terms, I guess that makes her practically next door?

We know her more for writing about local planning isues these days :D

This may be a PC/MAC thing, but there's no blank line between your posts, megustaleer. In this case it's OK as the break is obvious but it's been confusing in other posts.

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Another author that's not been menioned is Keri Hulme. Her first (and only thus far) novel won the Booker Prize back in 1985. If she has anything else left in the tank then she'll be up there with Marilynne Robinson for one of the most lengthy literary reprises yet seen. Barring Salinger releasing a novel tomorrow, of course.

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Sorry, I don't know what you mean...I can't visualize it.

Can you explain?

It's not that much of a problem (especially in short posts) but some times it's confusing.





Line 3


Line 4


I'm seeing no gaps between lines 1 and 2 but a gap between lines 3 and 4. Your posts are coming out like lines 1 and 2, and when there lots of them it's more difficult to scan.


But really, it's not that important :rolleyes:

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Hi all,


As some people may already know from elsewhere, David Malouf is a great favourite of mine and is indeed the author of what is probably my favourite book, "The Great World". However, I would hate to discuss that book in a group as I think it is one of those treasures which are for a private reading only - and, no, not because of any "naughty bits".


I also really enjoy Peter Carey's writing, and would be keen to discuss one of his books, perhaps his latest offering, "Theft".


One of my favourite books, an autobiography, is "The Shark Net", by Robert Drewe. It is perhaps special because he, like me, is a baby boomer and it concerns him growing up in Perth, as did I. I would love to nominate either Drewe's "Grace", his most recent novel, which I think should be fairly easily obtainable, or "Our Sunshine", which is his take on Ned Kelly. I know quite a few members seem to have read "The True History of the Kelly Gang", but I'm sure Robert Drewe's handling of this larger than life historical figure - cold blooded killer or maltreated hero? - would be very, very different.


I've never read anything by Kate Grenville but would certainly support any nomination for one of her books as she is one of those authors I keep meaning to get around to. Tim Winton is just a big no, no for me as I don't enjoy his writing style at all and have read a couple of his books only to see what all the fuss is about re his work.


Cheers ...

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My knowledge of antipodean literature is patchy to say the least.


Peter Carey is a favourite on the basis of "Oscar and Lucinda" and "My Life as a Fake", but I believe he's mostly New York based these days so does he still count?


Peter Moore writes the kind of beerily bloke-ish travel books you'd perhaps expect an Australian to write. Also on the travel front, whilst not an Aussie himself, Bruce Chatwin's "The Songlines" is a distinctive and impressive piece of travel writing on Australia.


On the TBR mountain is Malcolm Knox's "Adult Book", chiefly for its cricket content (its set during a Test match at the Sydney Cricket Ground) rather than its racy title, honest.


As for Kiwis, I've read Alan Duff's "Once Were Warriors" having been mightily impressed by the film version, but that's about it. I have a friend who adores all things NZ, and has passed on books such as "The Bone People" and Catherine Chidgey's "In A Fishbone Church" to me which I'm ashamed to say have been laguishing on the TBR mountain for years. I know said friend is also a big fan of Witi Ihimaera too, whose work is, I think, aimed at younger readers.


My mum's a big fan of the classic crime writer Ngaio Marsh, who I believe was a New Zealander too.

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Bryce Courtenay is a victim of literary snobbism, unfortunately. He's considered "lowbrow / for the masses". Maybe these criticisms aren't deserved. Maybe he's simply too successful to be thought of as talented.


I've never read him, I intend to, but it's not a priority of mine.


To the person who asked, yes I read one of Clive James's biographies - "Unreliable Memoirs" - about 20 years ago. I remember it to be quite funny, and remember he described living near Sydney airport and loved watching planes (and still does), but I can't remember much else about it. However, I think I can still recommend it, because I know it did entertain me right the way through.

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