Welcome to day two of the unveiling of Australia’s Favourite Novelist, as voted by you. Here’s the story so far:
50. Peter Temple
49. Jay Kristoff
48. Nikki Gemmell
47. Charlotte Wood
46. Andy Griffiths
45. Di Morrissey
44. Christina Stead
43. Christos Tsiolkas
42. Rachael Treasure
41. Morris Gleitzman
Don’t forget to pencil in January 25th as a big day on the calender as we celebrate the Australia Day weekend in style with the announcement of Australia’s top 10 Favourite Novelists, as well as the launch of our Australian Stories Initiative. There will also be loads of discounts and freebies on offer for the weekend.
But here we are. The countdown continues, 40-31 as voted by you.
Fleur McDonald grew up in Orrorroo, South Australia but completed her secondary education in Adelaide.
After school she spent a couple of years jillarooing in South Australia and Western Australia.
Fleur lives with her husband and two children on a station near Esperance in Western Australia. She is highly involved in the daily management of their 8000 acres.
She is the author of the bestselling novels Red Dust, Blue Skies and Purple Roads.
Jackie French’s writing career spans sixteen years, 42 wombats, 120 books for kids and adults, translations into nineteen languages, and slightly more awards than wombats, both in Australia and overseas.
Her books range from provocative historical fiction such as Hitler’s Daughter and They Came on Viking Ships to the hilarious international bestseller, Diary of a Wombat with Bruce Whatley, as well as many nonfiction titles such as The Fascinating History of Your Lunch, and To the Moon and Back (with Bryan Sullivan), the history of Australia’s Honeysuckle Creek and man’s journey to the moon.
In 2000, Hitler’s Daughter was awarded the CBC Younger Readers’ Award. To the Moon and Back won the Eve Pownall Award in 2005. Macbeth and Son, and Josephine Wants to Dance were both shortlisted for the 2007 CBC Awards.
Colin Milton Thiele (1920 – 2006) was renowned for his award-winning children’s fiction, most notably the novels Storm Boy, Blue Fin, the Sun on the Stubble series, and February Dragon.
Thiele wrote more than 100 books, which often described life in rural Australia, particularly the Eudunda, Barossa Valley, and Murray River/Coorong regions of South Australia. Several of his books have been made into films or television series.
In 1977 he was made a Companion of the Order of Australia, the second highest level of the order, for his services to literature and education.
Colleen McCullough was born in western New South Wales in 1937. A neuroscientist by training, she worked in various Sydney and English hospitals before settling into ten years of research and teaching in the Department of Neurology at the Yale Medical School in the USA.
In 1974 her first novel, Tim, was published in New York, followed by the bestselling The Thorn Birds in 1977 and a string of successful novels, including the acclaimed Masters of Rome series.
In 1980 she settled in Norfolk Island, where she lives with her husband, Ric Robinson, and a cat named Shady.
Fiona Palmer lives in the tiny rural town of Pingaring in Western Australia, three and a half hours south-east of Perth.
She discovered Danielle Steel at the age of eleven, and has now written her own brand of rural romance.
She has attended romance writers’ groups and received an Australian Society of Authors mentorship for her first novel, The Family Farm. She has followed on from its success with two more novels Heart of Gold and The Road Home.
Patrick White was born in England in 1912 and taken to Australia, where his father owned a sheep farm, when he was six months old. He was educated in England and served in the RAF, before returning to Australia after World War II.
Happy Valley, White’s first novel, is set in a small country town in the Snowy Mountains and is based on his experiences in the early 1930s as a jackaroo at Bolaro, near Adaminaby in south-eastern New South Wales.
White went on to publish twelve further novels (one posthumously), three short-story collections and eight plays. His novels include The Aunt’s Story and Voss, which won the inaugural Miles Franklin Literary Award, The Eye of the Storm and The Twyborn Affair.
He was the first Australian to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, in 1973, and is considered one of the foremost novelists of the twentieth century.
David Malouf is the author of ten novels and six volumes of poetry.
His novel The Great World was awarded both the prestigious Commonwealth Prize and the Prix Femina Estranger. Remembering Babylon was short-listed for the Booker Prize.
He has also received the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Award. He won the inaugural Australia-Asia Literary Award in 2008
He has lived in England and Tuscany however for the past three decades most of his time has been spent in Sydney.
Tara Moss is the author of the bestselling crime novels Fetish, Split, Covet, Hit and Siren. Her novels have been published in seventeen countries in eleven languages, and have earned critical acclaim around the world.
Her non-fiction writing has appeared in The Australian Literary Review, Vogue, ELLE, The Australian Women’s Weekly, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian, among other publications.
Moss hosted Natgeo Presents and the international crime documentary series Tara Moss Investigates on the National Geographic Channel, and has participated as a guest and panelist on numerous popular TV programs. She has also conducted hundreds of talks at literary festivals, schools, universities and corporate events.
The Paul Jennings phenomenon began with the publication of Unreal! in 1985. Since then, readers all around the world have devoured his books.
Paul Jennings has written over one hundred stories and has been voted ‘favourite author’ over forty times by children in Australia, winning every children’s choice award.
The top-rating TV series Round the Twist and Driven Crazy are based on a selection of his enormously popular short-story collections such as Unseen! which was awarded the 1999 Queensland Premier’s Literary Award for Best Children’s Book.
In 1995 he was made a Member of the Order of Australia for services to children’s literature and was awarded the prestigious Dromkeen Medal in 2001. Paul has sold more than 8 million books worldwide.
Keneally was known as “Mick” until 1964 but began using the name Thomas when he started publishing, after advice from his publisher to use what was really his first name. He is most famous for his Schindler’s Ark (later republished as Schindler’s List), which won the Booker Prize and is the basis of the film Schindler’s List.
Many of his novels are reworkings of historical material, although modern in their psychology and style.
In 1983 he was made an Officer of the Order of Australia. In March 2009, the Prime Minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd, gave an autographed copy of Keneally’s biography Lincoln to President Barack Obama as a state gift.
Don’t forget to come back tomorrow at midday as we continue to countdown to Australia’s Favourite Novelist!
About the Contributor
Andrew Cattanach is a regular contributor to The Booktopia Blog. He has been shortlisted for The Age Short Story Prize and was named a finalist for the 2015 Young Bookseller of the Year Award. He enjoys reading, writing and sleeping, though finds it difficult to do them all at once.
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