Reading Australia Essays

Reading Australia: 'Romulus, My Father' by Raimond Gaita

Kári Gíslason
31 March 2015

In a critical moment of reflection and pause, Romulus, My Father offers the reader a key to its interpretation. The author – philosopher Raimond Gaita – tells us that ‘Plato said that those who love and seek wisdom are clinging in recollection to things they once saw’. This reference to the Greek philosopher’s work < ... More

Reading Australia: 'Miss Peabody's Inheritance' by Elizabeth Jolley

Delys Bird
24 March 2015

Elizabeth Jolley’s personal and publishing history is well known. She migrated from the United Kingdom to Western Australia with her husband, Leonard, and their three children in 1959, when Leonard was appointed Librarian at the University of Western Australia. Although she had been writing from a young age and had brought a great ... More

Reading Australia: 'The Narrow Road to the Deep North' by Richard Flanagan

Kerryn Goldsworthy
22 April 2016

When Richard Flanagan won the 2014 Man Booker Prize for his sixth novel, The Narrow Road to the Deep North, it was not the first time that he had won an international fiction prize; his third novel, Gould's Book of Fish (2001), won the Commonwealth Writers Prize in 2002. Nor was it the first time that one of his novels had caused deep division amon ... More

Bernadette Brennan on 'The Children's Bach' by Helen Garner for Reading Australia

Bernadette Brennan
24 March 2015

‘For our house is our corner of our world … If we look at it intimately, the humblest dwelling has beauty.’

Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space (1958)

Houses, and their domestic spaces of intimacy and negotiation, sit at the core of Hel ... More

Susan Sheridan on 'It's Raining in Mango' by Thea Astley for Reading Australia

Susan Sheridan
17 February 2015

It’s Raining in Mango: Pictures from the Family Album was first published in 1987, on the eve of the bicentenary of white settlement in Australia, when many versions of the story of Australia were advanced and debated. Thea Astley’s book presents a family, the Laffeys, as a microcosm of the national story. It is a novel made up of stories told by Connie ... More

Kerryn Goldsworthy on 'Tirra Lirra by the River' by Jessica Anderson for Reading Australia

Kerryn Goldsworthy
11 February 2015

In 1978, Australia’s two most coveted national literary prizes of the time were both won by women: Helen Garner’s first novel Monkey Grip (1977) won the National Book Council Award for fiction, and the Miles Franklin Literary Award was won by Tirra Lirra by the River (1978), Jessica Anderson’s fourth novel. Both of these books have since become c ... More

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