Whispering Gums is now 15 months old and I’m still playing with what I am doing here – but one thing I haven’t played with is my desire to help promote Australian literature. And so I’ve decided to formalise this a bit through a weekly post titled “Monday musings on Australian literature”. This is somewhat of an experiment for me. I haven’t fully worked out how I’ll proceed – or where I’ll ramble – but I do hope to entice the occasional guest blogger to share some aspect of their experience of Australian literature. Watch this space.
How to start things going though? How about this?
5 random, and possibly little-known, facts about Australian literature
- Australia has only one Nobel Laureate in Literature: Patrick White in 1973
- Melbourne was the world’s second UNESCO City of Literature
- The first Australian-born woman to publish a novel in Australia was probably the pioneering botanist and journalist, Louisa Atkinson, with her Gertrude: the emigrant (1857)
- David Unaipon (1872-1967) is generally regarded to be the first indigenous Australian writer and is commemorated on the Australian $50 note and by the the David Unaipon Award for Unpublished Indigenous Writers
- The most taught Australian text in 2010 (in Australia), according to the Teaching Australian Literature website, is Kate Grenville’s The secret river.
Well, there’s the start – brief though it is. I hope in future weeks to explore in more depth all sorts of writers, works and issues relating to literature in Australia. It will be rather serendipitous. Meanwhile, I’d love to hear from you about your favourite Aussie writers…