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French Minister of Culture Frédéric Mitterrand presents Estonian composer Arvo Pärt (centre) with the highest decoration in France, Knight of the National Order of the Legion of Honour, in 2011. Wikimedia Commons

The case for the music of Arvo Pärt

Arvo Pärt created contemplative and innovative music during the most oppressive years of the Soviet Union.
During the 1890s Sibelius cemented his position as Finland’s leading composer. Allan Watt/ Helsinki, Sibelius Monument

The case for the music of Jean Sibelius

The classical music world is marking the 150th anniversary of Finnish composer Jean Sibelius with concerts across Finland and in Australia too. But who was the man behind the music?
What renders this work a classic, a book that every Australian should read? Palo

The case for The Commandant by Jessica Anderson

“We knew it in words, yet kept it secret,” says Frances, the young sister-in-law of Patrick Logan, the eponymous – and notoriously cruel – commandant of Moreton Bay penal colony in Jessica Anderson’s ground-breaking…
Can literary works play a productive part in the process of reconciliation? butupa

The case for Gail Jones’ Sorry

The time has now come for the nation to turn a new page in Australia’s history by righting the wrongs of the past and so moving forward with confidence to the future. – Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s apology…
David Malouf’s Imaginary Life plays out in the hillsides of the Black Sea. What’s so Australian about that? Hans Juul Hansen

The case for David Malouf’s An Imaginary Life

… further from the far, safe place where I began, the green lands of my father’s farm, further from the last inhabited outpost of the known world, further from speech even, into the sighing grasslands…
Popular fiction and artistic merit are often considered mutually exclusive – not here. chiaralily

The case for Peter Temple’s The Broken Shore

Crime novel covers are often plastered with endorsements: “A terrific read,” “A real page-turner,” or “Author Y is the next Author X.” It’s far less common to read quotes such as the following from Fairfax…
A deeply moving novel about loss, grief and an unconventional coming of wisdom. yaruman5

The case for Randolph Stow’s To the Islands

Randolph Stow’s To the Islands (1958) is an astonishing novel, a work of poetic skill and political subtlety – and one that is rarely mentioned today. Its omission from Australian literary syllabuses and…
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (red helmet) is briefed about tanks containing radioactive water by Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant chief Akira Ono. EPA/Sankei Shimbun Pool

The case for Mark Willacy’s Fukushima

Many readers will know the name Mark Willacy, an Australian journalist who was the ABC’s North Asian correspondent for five years. On March 11, 2011, he would witness events that would redefine Japan as…
This quest is frequently represented as the illusion created by flat landscapes, by plains, with the promise on the horizon. Monash University

The case for Gerald Murnane’s The Plains

It could be claimed (and I am about to) that Gerald Murnane’s 1982 novel The Plains has the most compelling opening in Australian fiction: Twenty years ago, when I first arrived on the plains, I kept my…
Democracy is deeply defective but it’s all that we have. Justus Hayes

The case for The First Man in Rome by Colleen McCullough

If you had to argue for the merits of one Australian book, one piece of writing, what would it be? Welcome back to our occasional series in which our authors make the case for a work of their choosing…
Ned Kelly’s Jerilderie Letter is not your standard bushranger confessional, it’s a searing document of prophecy and self-mythologisation. Raymond Barlow

The case for Ned Kelly’s Jerilderie Letter

If you had to argue for the merits of one Australian book, one piece of writing, what would it be? See the end of this article for information on how to get involved. Ned Kelly’s Jerilderie Letter was…
David Ireland’s 1976 novel The Glass Canoe leads its readers into the world of a dying tribe of drinkers. matthewwu88

The case for David Ireland’s The Glass Canoe

If you had to argue for the merits of one Australian book, one piece of writing, what would it be? Welcome back to our occasional series in which our authors make the case for a work of their choosing…
The London Underground provides the setting for Capital. Chris Jones

The case for Capital, Volume One by Anthony Macris

If you had to argue for the merits of one Australian book, one piece of writing, what would it be? Welcome back to our occasional series in which our authors make the case for a work of their choosing…
Telling stories for black and white alike involves a difficult negotiation of cultures and contexts. Luke Redmond

The case for Gularabulu by Paddy Roe

If you had to argue for the merits of one Australian book, one piece of writing, what would it be? Welcome back to our occasional series in which our authors make the case for a work of their choosing…
A family’s fluctuations in fortune impact upon “the dark side of their married life”. Amanda Slater

The case for The Fortunes of Richard Mahony by Henry Handel Richardson

If you had to argue for the merits of one Australian book, one piece of writing, what would it be? Welcome to our occasional series in which our authors make the case for a work of their choosing. See…
The most magical moment of Matilda’s life is when she meets Feather, a wild bird-man whom she loves with all her heart. Alfonso Jimenez

The case for The Ghost’s Child by Sonya Hartnett

If you had to argue for the merits of one Australian book, one piece of writing, what would it be? Welcome to our occasional series in which our authors make the case for a work of their choosing. See…
Johnny Warren argued that no other sport reflects life the way football does. Dan Himbrechts/AAP Image

The case for Sheilas, Wogs and Poofters by Johnny Warren

If you had to argue for the merits of one Australian book, one piece of writing, what would it be? Welcome to our occasional series in which our authors make the case for a work of their choosing. See…
Set in the 1890s, this is one of few novels about a girl’s maturation that has come to be understood as a “classic”. State Library of Victoria

The case for Henry Handel Richardson’s The Getting of Wisdom

If you had to argue for the merits of one Australian book, one piece of writing, what would it be? Welcome to our occasional series in which our authors make the case for a work of their choosing. See…
Bryson gives us a comprehensive and rigorous exploration of the Azaria Chamberlain case. matthiassiegel

The case for John Bryson’s Evil Angels

If you had to argue for the merits of one Australian book, one piece of writing, what would it be? Welcome to our occasional series in which our authors make the case for a work of their choosing. See…
“Scott’s novel is not in denial of the brutal realities of the colonial process.” sarah_browning

The case for Kim Scott’s That Deadman Dance

If you had to argue for the merits of one Australian book, one piece of writing, what would it be? Today, we start an occasional series in which our authors make the case for a work of their choosing…

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