We’re nearly at the finishing line of what has been a HUGE month of celebrating Australian literature. Don’t forget, buy anything from our Australian Stories collection and you could win a book pack worth $370!
Time to take stock. Here’s the list so far…
50. Paul Jennings
49. Ruth Park
48. Fiona Palmer
47. Anh Do
46. Anna Campbell
45. Colleen McCullough
44. Banjo Paterson
43. Anita Heiss
42. Helene Young
41. Melina Marchetta
40. Charlotte Wood
39. Liz Byrski
38. Hugh Mackay
37. Rachael Treasure
36. Judy Nunn
35. Thomas Keneally
34. Fiona McCallum
33. Kerry Greenwood
32. Di Morrissey
31. Christos Tsiolkas
30. Kylie Scott
29. Alison Lester
28. Tara Moss
27. Rachael Johns
26. Fiona McIntosh
25. Tony Park
24. Jacqueline Harvey
23. Helen Garner
22. Garth Nix
21. Kate Grenville
Tomorrow we announce Australia’s 10 Favourite Authors as voted by you! But today, we announce authors 20 -11 in the voting, a list that includes a Man Booker winner, a Pulitzer Prize winner and two past winners of the Australia’s Favourite Author title. The Top 10 is going to be pretty special!
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.
John Flanagan grew up in Sydney, Australia hoping to be a writer. It wasn’t until he wrote a highly uncomplimentary poem about a senior executive at the agency where he worked, however, that his talent was revealed.
John Flanagan’s Ranger’s Apprentice series originally comprised twenty short stories, which John wrote to encourage his twelve-year-old son, Michael, to enjoy reading. Ten years after writing them he decided to turn them into a novel to publish.
The series has come a long way since then, having been on The New York Times Best Seller list for over 80 weeks, with over 5 million copies being sold in the US alone.
The Ranger’s Apprentice series and his Brotherband series are available in more than one hundred countries, and have had multiple award shortlistings and wins in Australia and overseas.
Shaun Tan was born in 1974 and grew up in the northern suburbs of Perth, Western Australia. In school he became known as the ‘good drawer’ which partly compensated for always being the shortest kid in every class. He graduated from the University of WA in 1995 with joint honours in Fine Arts and English Literature, and currently works full time as a freelance artist and author in Melbourne.
Shaun began drawing and painting images for science fiction and horror stories in small-press magazines as a teenager, and has since become best known for illustrated books that deal with social, political and historical subjects through surreal, dream-like imagery.
Books such as The Rabbits, The Red Tree, The Lost Thing and the acclaimed wordless novel The Arrival have been widely translated throughout Europe, Asia and South America, and enjoyed by readers of all ages. Shaun has also worked as a theatre designer, and worked as a concept artist for the films Horton Hears a Who and Pixar’s WALL-E. He is currently directing a short film with Passion Pictures Australia; his most recently published book is The Oopsatoreum: inventions of Henry A. Mintox, written in conjunction with the Powerhouse Museum.
In 2007, Graeme completed his PhD in information systems and enrolled in the professional screenwriting course at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. He has made a number of short films and his screenplay, The Rosie Project, won the Australian Writers Guild/Inception Award for Best Romantic Comedy Script in 2010. While waiting for The Rosie Project to be produced, he turned it into a novel which in June 2012 won the Victorian Premier’s award for an unpublished fiction manuscript.
Readers of The Rosie Project will know that Graeme Simsion has a first-class sense of humour. At professional conferences he has given addresses from on top of a ladder, dressed as a duck, and he once engaged a group of spellbound chartered accountants in community singing.
Hannah Kent was born in Adelaide in 1985. As a teenager she travelled to Iceland on a Rotary Exchange, where she first heard the story of Agnes Magnúsdóttir.
Hannah is the co-founder and publishing director of Australian literary journal Kill Your Darlings, and is completing her PhD at Flinders University.
In 2011 she won the inaugural Writing Australia Unpublished Manuscript Award.
Burial Rites is her first novel. It has been translated into twenty languages.
Kate Forsyth is the bestselling and award-winning author of more than twenty books, ranging from picture books to poetry to novels for both children and adults.
Since The Witches of Eileanan was named a Best First Novel of 1998 by Locus Magazine, Kate has won or been nominated for numerous awards, including a CYBIL Award in the US. She’s also the only author to win five Aurealis awards in a single year, for her Chain of Charms series – beginning with The Gypsy Crown – which tells of the adventures of two Romany children in the time of the English Civil War. Book 5 of the series, The Lightning Bolt, was also a CBCA Notable Book.
Kate’s books have been published in 14 countries around the world, including the UK, the US, Russia, Germany, Japan, Turkey, Spain, Italy, Poland and Slovenia.
She lives by the sea in Sydney, Australia, with her husband, three children, a rambunctious Rhodesian Ridgeback, a bad-tempered black cat, and many thousands of books.
Richard Flanagan was born in Longford, Tasmania, in 1961. He is descended from Irish convicts transported to Van Diemen’s Land in the 1840s. His father is a survivor of the Burma Death Railway. One of his three brothers is Australian Rules football journalist Martin Flanagan. He grew up in the remote mining town of Rosebery on Tasmania’s western coast.
His novels, Death Of A River Guide, The Sound Of One Hand Clapping, Gould’s Book Of Fish, The Unknown Terrorist, Wanting and The Narrow Road to the Deep North have received numerous honours and are published in twenty-six countries.
He directed a feature film version of The Sound Of One Hand Clapping. A collection of his essays is published as And What Do You Do, Mr Gable?
His latest book The Narrow Road to the Deep North won the 2014 Man Booker Prize for Fiction.
13. Bryce Courtenay
From the unlikeliest of beginnings, Bryce Courtenay’s sweeping epics found a place in the hearts of Australians everywhere.
Courtenay began writing novels at a relatively late stage in his life after over three decades in the advertising industry.
His first and arguably most well known book, The Power Of One, was first published in 1989 and was adapted soon after into an award-winning film.
His consistency of style and warmth of voice has kept readers enthralled since those early days, and he established himself as one of Australia’s most popular novelists. He has remained one of Australia’s most popular writers even after his passing in November 2012.
Australian-born Geraldine Brooks is an author and journalist who grew up in the Western suburbs of Sydney, and attended Bethlehem College Ashfield and the University of Sydney. She worked as a reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald for three years as a feature writer with a special interest in environmental issues.
In 1982 she won the Greg Shackleton Australian News Correspondents scholarship to the journalism master’s program at Columbia University in New York City. Later she worked for The Wall Street Journal, where she covered crises in the the Middle East, Africa, and the Balkans.
She was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in fiction in 2006 for her novel March. Her first novel, Year of Wonders, is an international bestseller, and People of the Book is a New York Times bestseller translated into 20 languages. She is also the author of the nonfiction works Nine Parts of Desire and Foreign Correspondence.
Raised on a healthy diet of Enid Blyton, Morton decided to become a writer after completing a summer Shakespeare course at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. Putting her dreams of acting aside she concentrated on writing and completed two manuscripts and began to construct the narrative of what would eventually become the bestseller The Shifting Fog.
Kate Morton’s books are published in 38 countries. The House at Riverton was a Sunday Times #1 bestseller in the UK in 2007 and a New York Times bestseller in 2008. The Shifting Fog won General Fiction Book of the Year at the 2007 Australian Book Industry Awards, and The House at Riverton was nominated for Most Popular Book at the British Book Awards in 2008.
Her second book, The Forgotten Garden, was a #1 bestseller in Australia and Spain, and a Sunday Times #1 bestseller in the UK in 2008. It won General Fiction Book of the Year at the 2009 Australian Book Industry Awards and was a New York Times bestseller in 2009. The Distant Hours was an international bestseller in 2010 and won General Fiction Book of the Year at the 2011 ABIAs. Kate was voted Australia’s Favourite Novelist by Booktopians in 2013.
Love Australian authors?
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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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