Monday musings on Australian literature: Some Aussie lit links
Well, folks, I’ve been back in Sydney over the last four days working on my aunt’s house. With that, and with Christmas looming, I’ve not have much time to think about Monday Musings for this week – or, more to the point, to spend time researching and writing it. I did have an idea, but that will have to wait.
So, instead, I’m just going to share a few interesting links that you may like to check out in any spare moments you have:
- 25 Aussie books by Australian women to read right now (published in The Guardian online, and written by Melbourne’s independent bookstore, Readings): This is a useful list, organised into categories like “If you like novels that transport you into the past…” and “If you prefer your fiction with some fantastical elements…”. The list includes the book I’ll be reviewing next, Eleanor Limprecht’s Long Bay; the book that I mentioned last week as being the most frequently picked best Aussie read this year, Charlotte Wood’s The natural way of things; one of the most reviewed books this year in my section of the Australian Women Writer’s Challenge, Robyn Cadwallader’s The anchoress; and two wonderful sounding short story collections, Abigail Ulman’s Hot little hands and Tegan Bennett Daylight’s Six bedrooms. All this says to me that it’s a list well worth checking out!
- Your summer reading guide for 2015 (from some RN, that is ABC Radio National, presenters): Last year I wrote a post on picks from RN presenters, picking out just the Aussie books. This year I’m just giving you the link, and you’ll have to pick out the Aussie ones yourselves – but you can look at the non-Aussie selections too, while you are at it! The Aussie picks include two memoirs that interest me, writer Gerald Murnane’s Something for the pain, which I hope to get to in the next month, and comedian Magda Szubanski’s Reckoning, which is garnering a lot of positive vibes.
- How Australian dystopian young adult fiction differs from its US counterparts was written in August this year, but I came across it when I was looking for links about Australian cli-fi in honour of the Paris Climate Change Conference. However, I’ve talked about cli-fi before, and so when I came across this article I thought I’d share it instead of looking further. I’m not an expert in this area at all – in YA fiction, I mean – and so I won’t say whether the conclusions drawn by writer, Diana Hodge, are valid or not, but I found her argument that Australian YA dystopian fiction resorts to “magical” abilities and a return to nature for resolution while American books are more likely to look to technical skills and knowledge in their protagonists rather interesting. I’d love to know what readers versed in YA dystopian fiction think.
Susan Wyndham, the Sydney Morning Herald’s literary editor, wrote about Aussie literary trends also back in August. She briefly looked at trends in Australian fiction through 2014 and into 2015, and identified issues like domestic violence and child abuse, and dystopias, as featuring in recent Australian literature. This makes sense given our society’s current preoccupations. But there are other issues too – like religious (in)tolerance, the plight of refugees and asylum-seekers, and racism? Are many books exploring these? I can think of a couple, but not many. What about you? (The rest of this pretty brief article is worth a read too.)
And there, I’m afraid, I’ll leave it … hope it’s been of some interest to you!
This is, of course, the last Monday Musings before Christmas. I do hope you all have an excellent holiday season, that you receive some exciting books, if you celebrate Christmas, and/or that you are able to make lots of wonderful time to read whatever books you have. Next week, I will do some annual reviews. Watch this space, if you are interested!