Articles on Australian literature

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The pyjama girl mystery, as featured in Famous Detective Stories no. 6. State Library of New South Whales

A criminal record: women and Australian true crime stories

Once typecast as 'bad' or 'good' in true crime tales, women are now more likely to be presented as complex figures in them. And many more women are writing true crime themselves.
Joan of Arc depicted on horseback in an illustration from a 1505 manuscript. Wikimedia Commons

Friday essay: Joan of Arc, our one true superhero

Forget Wonder Woman and Batman. The Maid of Orléans - an uneducated, teenage girl who led armies to victory - is a hero for our times.
Eugenia Falleni in 1920. An Italian-born-woman-turned-Sydney-dwelling-man, Falleni was convicted of murder in 1920. Wikimedia

Friday essay: tall ships, tall tales, and the mysteries of Eugenia Falleni

An Italian-born-woman-turned-Sydney-dwelling-man, Eugenia Falleni was convicted of murder in 1920. Researching a novel about Falleni left this author literally, and figuratively, at sea.
Shortlisted Stella authors, clockwise from top left: Cory Taylor, Maxine Beneba Clarke, Catherine de Saint Phalle, Heather Rose, Emily Maguire and Georgia Blain. Stella Prize/The Conversation

Unflinching, luminous, and moving, the Stella shortlist will get under your skin

All six books nominated for the Stella Prize - to be announced tonight - engage the brain, and the heart. These are books that matter because they show us how to live in desperate times.
Georgia Blain: Her work draws attention to the tiny incandescent moments that make up our lives. Scribe Publications

Goodbye Georgia Blain: a brave and true chronicler of life

The Australian writer Georgia Blain, who died last week, wrote extraordinary portraits of family relationships, in luminous prose, with devastating insight. And when she became ill, she wrote about her cancer.
How many non-white writers are published in Australia each year? Is their job to remain at the exotic margins of our literary culture? Siryk Denys/shutterstock

Diversity, the Stella Count and the whiteness of Australian publishing

A recent attempt to broaden the Stella Count by measuring the diversity of writers reviewed proved to be a hard ask. Is the bigger problem here the whiteness of our publishing industry?
Judith Wright: she opened our eyes to our dark history, to modernist poetry and to the beauty of our landscape. courtesy of Meredith McKinney

Friday essay: Judith Wright in a new light

Judith Wright was possibly our greatest poet and a passionate social activist. But a new biography suggests that in writing her family memoirs, Wright avoided evidence that her settler forebears likely participated in the murder of Aborigines.
Carl Rahl’s Orestes Pursued by the Furies (1852). Wikimedia

Guide to the classics: Christina Stead’s The Beauties and Furies

The tale of a married woman who joins her lover in Paris, The Beauties and Furies is a modernist classic. Like Joyce's Ulysses, the action is concentrated in one city, but dreams are nightmarish in this city of night, not light.
Michael Mohammed Ahmad asks us to reconsider who the insiders and outsiders are in modern Australia. Sally Tsoutas

Radical, young, Muslim: the Arab-Australian novel in the 21st century

Arab-Australian identity is not some singular, homogeneous label. Rather it exists as a spectrum and contains more complexity and diversity than the mainstream media allow.
The burden of creating a more inclusive, fairer and more tolerant society is carried by the younger generation. Hadi Zaher/Flickr

How Australian dystopian young adult fiction differs from its US counterparts

There are many similarities between blockbusting young adult novels such as The Hunger Games series and Australian books such as Taronga – but there are also clear differences in their messages for the young.
Deciding on the winner of a literary award is, in the end, a highly subjective process. RebeccaVC1

Literary awards and Joan London’s The Golden Age

Joan London's The Golden Age won the Kibble Award last week, having been shortlisted – but unsuccessful – in several high-profile prizes previously. Deciding on winners is a highly subjective process.
Sofie Laguna last night became the fourth woman to win the Miles Franklin award in as many years. Allen&Unwin

Sofie Laguna’s Miles Franklin win helps keep half the world visible

If a society should be judged by the way it treats its children, and those who are struggling on the margins, then Laguna’s work once again proves that the novel is a crucial means for drawing attention to the burning problems of our times.
Dramatic in its effect, Fly away Peter is a requiem to the fallen and damaged of the first world war. Photo: Zan Wimberley. Sydney Chamber Opera

Fly Away Peter on the opera stage is a masterful adaptation

One of the few Australian novels dealing with the first world war, David Malouf's Fly Away Peter, has been adapted for the opera stage – and the Sydney Chamber Opera's production is a great success.
An opera based on David Malouf’s Fly Away Peter opens in Sydney this weekend. Carriageworks/Toby Burrows

Fly Away Peter: when Australian literature goes to the opera

Sydney Chamber Opera's production of David Malouf's 1982 novel Fly Away Peter opens this weekend. It's not the first opera adaptation of Australian literature – and there are reasons to hope it's not the last.
Bitto has remarked on the major impact of the Stella Prize and the conversations it has encouraged about women writers. Jone

Debut novelist Emily Bitto wins the Stella Prize

Emily Bitto has won the 2015 Stella Prize for her debut novel, The Strays. The prize is now in its third year and was established to redress the way in which women writers were typically overlooked for major literary prizes
The “MONA effect” has set Tasmania’s arts scene on fire – will Richard Flanagan’s Man Booker win do the same for its literature? EPA/FACUNDO ARRIZABALAGA

The Flanagan effect: Tasmanian literature in the limelight

Richard Flanagan's 2014 Man Booker Prize has put Tasmanian writing in the spotlight – and the announcement of new state literary prizes has helped too. So what is distinctive about Tasmanian literature?
The new waterfront in Australian literature: Parramatta. Lina Hayes/Flickr

The new Australian literary frontier: writing Western Sydney

Despite boasting a population of 2 million people – more than South Australia, the Northern Territory, Tasmania and the ACT combined – Western Sydney has, to date, had little impact on the literary pulse…

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