The 2016 Stella Prize Longlist announced!

The longlist for the 2016 Stella Prize has just been announced, and what an exciting list of Australian authors!

Named after one of Australia’s most important female authors, Stella Maria Miles Franklin, The Stella Prize celebrates Australian women’s contribution to literature, awarded last year to Emily Bitto for The Strays.

Don’t miss the chance to grab a copy of these fantastic books and judge them for yourself with the help of Booktopia.


The Women’s Pages

by Debra Adelaide

xthe-women-s-pagesEllis, an ordinary suburban young woman of the 1960s, is troubled by secrets and gaps in her past that become more puzzling as her creator, Dove, writes her story fifty years later. Having read Wuthering Heights to her dying mother, Dove finds she cannot shake off the influence of that singular novel: it has infected her like a disease. Instead of returning to her normal life she follows the story it has inspired to discover more about Ellis, who has emerged from the pages of fiction herself – or has she? – to become a modern successful career woman.

The Women’s Pages is about the choices and compromises women must make, their griefs and losses, and their need to fill in the absent spaces where other women – especially those who become mothers – should have been. And it is about the mysterious process of creativity, about the way stories are shaped and fiction is formed. Right up to its astonishing conclusion, The Women’s Pages asserts the power of the reader’s imagination, which can make the deepest desires and strangest dreams come true.

About the Author

Debra AdelaideDebra Adelaide is the author or editor of over twelve books, including the best-selling Motherlove series (1996-98) and Acts of Dog (2003). Her novels include The Hotel Albatross (1995), Serpent Dust (1998) and the best-selling The Household Guide to Dying (2008), which was sold around the world. In 2013 she published her first collection of short stories, Letter to George Clooney, which was long- and short-listed for three literary awards. Her most recent book is the edited collection, The Simple Act of Reading (2015). She is an associate professor in creative writing at the University of Technology, Sydney.

Learn more or grab your copy of The Women’s Pages here

Debra answers the Booktopia Book Guru’s Ten Terrifying Questions


The Other Side of the World

by Stephanie Bishop

xthe-other-side-of-the-world.Cambridge, 1963: Charlotte is struggling. With motherhood, with the changes marriage and parenthood bring, with losing the time and the energy to paint. Her husband, Henry, wants things to be as they were and can’t face the thought of another English winter.

A brochure slipped through the letterbox slot brings him the answer: ‘Australia brings out the best in you’.

Despite wanting to stay in the place that she knows, Charlotte is too worn out to fight. Before she has a chance to realise what it will mean, she is travelling to the other side of the world. Arriving in Perth, the southern sun shines a harsh light on both Henry and Charlotte and slowly reveals that their new life is not the answer either was hoping for. Charlotte is left wondering if there is anywhere she belongs and how far she’ll go to find her way home…

About the Author

Stephanie BishopStephanie Bishop’s first novel was The Singing, for which she was named one of the Sydney Morning Herald’s Best Young Australian Novelists. The Singing was also highly commended for the Kathleen Mitchell Award. Her second novel, The Other Side of the World, was shortlisted for the 2014 Australian/Vogel’s Literary Award.

Stephanie’s fiction and poetry have appeared in Southerly, Overland and Island and she is a frequent contributor to The Times Literary Supplement, The Australian, The Sydney Review Of Books, The Australian Book Review and the Sydney Morning Herald. She is a recipient of an Australia Council New Work Grant, an Asialink Fellowship, an Australian Society of Authors Mentorship, a Varuna Mentorship Fellowship and Varuna Residency Fellowship. She holds a PhD from Cambridge and is currently a lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of New South Wales.

Learn more or grab your copy of The Other Side of the World here


Panthers and the Museum of Fire

by Jen Craig

panthers-and-the-museum-of-fire
Panthers & the Museum of Fire
is a novella about walking, memory and writing.

The narrator walks from Glebe to a central Sydney cafe to return a manuscript by a recently-dead writer. While she walks, the reader enters the narrator’s entire world: life with family and neighbours, narrow misses with cars, her singular friendships, dinner conversations and work. We learn of her adolescent desire for maturity and acceptance through a brush with religion, her anorexia, the exercise of that power when she was powerless in every other aspect of her life.


About the Author

Jen CraigJen Craig is a fiction writer and a Doctoral candidate with the Writing and Society Research Centre at the University of Western Sydney.

Her short stories have appeared in HEAT, Southerly, Redoubt and the Redress Press anthology Shrieks. In addition to short fiction, she has worked with composers Stephen Adams and Michael Schneider in the production of texts for music performances, including the chamber opera A Dictionary of Maladies. Her first novel, Since the Accident, was published by Ginninderra Press in 2009. She teaches English language skills and creative writing, and blogs micro fiction.

Learn more or grab your copy of Panthers and the Museum of Fire here


Six Bedrooms

by Tegan Bennett Daylight

six bedroomsSix Bedrooms is about growing up; about discovering sex; and about coming of age. Full of glorious angst, embarrassment and small achievements.

Hot afternoons on school ovals, the terrifying promise of losing your virginity, sneaking booze from your mother’s pantry, the painful sophistication and squalor of your first share house, cancer, losing a parent.

Tegan Bennett Daylight’s powerful collection captures the dangerous, tilting terrain of becoming adult. Over these ten stories, we find acute portrayals of loss and risk, of sexual longing and wreckage, blunders and betrayals. Threaded through the collection is the experience of troubled, destructive Tasha, whose life unravels in unexpected ways, and who we come to love for her defiance, her wit and her vulnerability.

Stunningly written, and shot through with humour and menace, Six Bedrooms is a mesmerising collection of moments from adolescence through adulthood, a mix of all the potent ingredients that make up a life.

Tegan Bennett Daylight 20 May 2014 Carrington Hotel, Katoomba NSW Australia

About the Author

Tegan Bennett Daylight is a critic, teacher and fiction writer. She is the author of several books for children and teenagers, the novels Bombora, What Falls Away and Safety. Her stories appear in a wide range of Australian journals, including Griffith Review, Meanjin and Best Australian Stories. She lives in the Blue Mountains with her husband and two children.

 

Learn more or grab your copy of Six Bedrooms here


Hope Farm

by Peggy Frew

xhope-farm

It is the winter of 1985. Hope Farm sticks out of the ragged landscape like a decaying tooth, its weatherboard walls sagging into the undergrowth. Silver’s mother, Ishtar, has fallen for the charismatic Miller, and the three of them have moved to the rural hippie commune to make a new start.

At Hope, Silver finds unexpected friendship and, at last, a place to call home. But it is also here that, at just thirteen, she is thrust into an unrelenting adult world — and the walls begin to come tumbling down, with deadly consequences.

Hope Farm is the masterful second novel from award-winning author Peggy Frew, and is a devastatingly beautiful story about the broken bonds of childhood, and the enduring cost of holding back the truth.Peggy Frew

About the Author

Peggy Frew’s debut novel, House of Sticks, won the 2010 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an unpublished manuscript. Her story Home Visit won The Age short story competition. She has been published in New Australian Stories 2, Kill Your Darlings, The Big Issue, and Meanjin. Peggy is also a member of the critically acclaimed and award-winning Melbourne band Art of Fighting.

Learn more or grab your copy of Hope Farm here


A Few Days in the Country: And Other Stories

by Elizabeth Harrower

a-few-days-in-the-country-and-other-storiesOne day, Alice said, ‘Eric Lane wants to take me to -‘

For the first time, her mother attended, standing still.

Eric was brought to the house, and Eric and Alice were married before there was time to say ‘knife’. How did it happen? She tried to trace it back. She was watching her mother performing for Eric, and then (she always paused here in her mind), somehow, she woke up married and in another house.

Internationally acclaimed for her five brilliant novels, Elizabeth Harrower is also the author of a small body of short fiction. A Few Days in the Country brings together for the first time her stories published in Australian journals in the 1960s and 1970s, along with those from her archives—including ‘Alice’, published for the first time earlier this year in the New Yorker.

Essential reading for Harrower fans, these finely turned pieces show a broader range than the novels, ranginElizabeth Harrowerg from caustic satires to gentler explorations of friendship.

About the Author

Elizabeth Harrower is the author of the novels Down in the City, The Long Prospect, The Catherine Wheel, The Watch Tower and In Certain Circles, which was shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Fiction in 2015. A Few Days in the Country is her first collection of short stories.

Learn more or grab your copy of A Few Days in the Country: And Other Stories here


A Guide to Berlin

by Gail Jones

a-guide-to-berlinA Guide to Berlin is the name of a short story written by Vladimir Nabokov in 1925, when he was a young man of 26, living in Berlin.

A group of six international travellers, two Italians, two Japanese, an American and an Australian, meet in empty apartments in Berlin to share stories and memories. Each is enthralled in some way to the work of Vladimir Nabokov, and each is finding their way in deep winter in a haunted city. A moment of devastating violence shatters the group, and changes the direction of everyone’s story.

Brave and brilliant, A Guide to Berlin traces the strength and fragility of our connections through biographies and secrets.

About the Author

Gail JonesGail Jones is the author of two short-story collections, a critical monograph, and the novels Black Mirror, Sixty Lights, Dreams Of Speaking, Sorry and Five Bells. Three times shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award, her prizes include the WA Premier’s Award for Fiction, the Nita B. Kibble Award, the Steele Rudd Award, The Age Book of the Year Award, the Adelaide Festival Award for Fiction and the ASAL Gold Medal. She has also been shortlisted for international awards, including the IMPAC and the Prix Femina. Her fiction has been translated into nine languages.

Learn more or grab your copy of A Guide to Berlin here


The World Without Us

by Mireille Juchau

the-world-without-us

Told from the perspective of six, interconnected characters, The World Without Us is a tale of love in all its forms, a mystery and an elegy for a denatured landscape. It is about the ways we become lost to ourselves, and the transformative joys of being found.

After a fire destroys her family’s commune home, Evangeline is forced to start afresh in the north coast rainforest town with her child, and partner, Stefan Muller.

Years later, while tending the bees on their farm, Stefan discovers a car wreck, and not far off, human remains. While the locals speculate on who has gone missing from the transient hinterland town, Stefan’s daughters Tess and Meg, have a more urgent mystery. Where does their mother go each day, pushing an empty pram and returning wet, muddy and disheveled?

Jim Parker, a Sydney teacher escaping his own troubles arrives in their clannish community. One morning he stumbles upon Evangeline, naked by a river with a hammer and some rope. Their charged encounter propels Evangeline’s past into the present and sparks a change in all their lives.

Meanwhile ten year old Tess, mute since the loss of her youngest sister, attempts to escape. Will getting lost help her discover where she belongs? As the rainy season descends, and each of the family are separated by flood, they realise nothing is what it seems.

About the Author

Mireille JuchauMireille Juchau is a Sydney-based writer of novels, short fiction, essays, scripts and reviews. The World Without Us is her third novel, and won the 2016 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Fiction. Her first, Machines for Feeling was shortlisted for the 1999 Vogel/Australian Literary Award and the second, Burning In, was published by Giramondo Publishing in 2007. It was shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Literary Award 2008, Commonwealth Writers’ Prize 2008, the Age Book of the Year Award 2008 and the Nita B. Kibble Award 2008. She has a PhD in writing and literature and teaches at universities and in the community.

Learn more or grab your copy of The World Without Us here

Mireille answers the Booktopia Book Guru’s Ten Terrifying Questions


A Short History of Richard Kline

by Amanda Lohrey

a-short-history-of-richard-klineAll his life, Richard Kline has been haunted by a sense that something is lacking. He envies the ease with which some people slip – seemingly unquestioningly – into contented suburban life or the pursuit of wealth.

As he moves into middle age, Richard grows increasingly angry. But then a strange event awakens him to a different way of living. He finds himself on a quest, almost against his own will, to resolve the ‘divine discontent’ he has suffered since childhood. From pharmaceuticals to new age therapies and finding a guru, Richard’s journey dramatises the search for meaning in today’s world.

This moving and audacious novel is a pilgrim’s progress for the here and now. Suffused with yearning and a sense of the mystical, this extraordinary novel is one of Lohrey’s finest offerings yet.

About the Author

Amanda LohreyAmanda Lohrey is the author of the acclaimed novels The Morality of Gentlemen, Camille’s Bread and The Philosopher’s Doll; the novella Vertigo; as well as the award-winning short story collection Reading Madame Bovary. She has also written two Quarterly EssaysGroundswell and Voting for Jesus. In 2012 she was awarded the Patrick White Literary Award.

 

 

Learn more or grab your copy of A Short History of Richard Kline here

Watch Amanda talking about A Short History of Richard Kline here


Anchor Point

by Alice Robinson

anchor-pointAs her parents clash over unwashed dishes and unlit fires, ten-year-old Laura works hard to keep the household running. When her mother disappears into the bush, Laura finds a farewell note and makes an impulsive decision that alters the course of her family’s life. Despite her anger and grief, Laura helps her father clear their wild acreage to carve out a farm. But gradually they realise that while they may own the land, they cannot tame it – nor can they escape their past.

Anchor Point charts Laura’s life over the course of four decades as she tries to hold her family together and find her place in the world. Eventually, she has to confront the choices she has made and decide where she truly belongs. This is an eloquent, arresting and quintessentially Australian novel that no reader will easily forget.

About the Author

Alice RobinsonAlice Robinson is a lecturer in creative writing at Melbourne Polytechnic. She has a PhD in creative writing from Victoria University, and her work has appeared in publications including Kill Your Darlings, Overland, The Lifted Brow and Arena Magazine. Anchor Point is her debut novel.

Learn more or grab your copy of Anchor Point here


The Natural Way of Things

by Charlotte Wood

the-natural-way-of-thingsTwo women awaken from a drugged sleep to find themselves imprisoned in a broken-down property in the middle of a desert. Strangers to each other, they have no idea where they are or how they came to be there with eight other girls, forced to wear strange uniforms, their heads shaved, guarded by two inept yet vicious armed jailers and a ‘nurse’.

The girls all have something in common, but what is it? What crime has brought them here from the city? Who is the mysterious security company responsible for this desolate place with its brutal rules, its total isolation from the contemporary world?

Doing hard labour under a sweltering sun, the prisoners soon learn what links them: in each girl’s past is a sexual scandal with a powerful man. They pray for rescue – but when the food starts running out it becomes clear that the jailers have also become the jailed. The girls can only rescue themselves…charlotte-wood

The Natural Way of Things is a gripping, starkly imaginative exploration of contemporary misogyny and corporate control, and of what it means to hunt and be hunted. Most of all, it is the story of two friends, their sisterly love and courage.

About the Author

Charlotte Wood is the author of five novels and a book of non-fiction, and editor of The Writer’s Room Interviews magazine. Her last novel, Animal People, was longlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award and her other books have been shortlisted for many prizes including the Christina Stead Prize for Fiction.

 

Learn more about The Natural Way of Things here

Read John Purcell’s review of The Natural Way of Things


Small Acts of Disappearance

by Fiona Wright

xsmall-acts-of-disappearance.jpg.pagespeed.ic.P6LX3_YIbeSmall Acts of Disappearance is a collection of ten essays that describes the author’s affliction with an eating disorder which begins in high school, and escalates into life-threatening anorexia over the next ten years. Fiona Wright is a highly regarded poet and critic, and her account of her illness is informed by a keen sense of its contradictions and deceptions, and by an awareness of the empowering effects of hunger, which is unsparing in its consideration of the author’s own actions and motivations.

The essays offer perspectives on the eating disorder at different stages in Wright’s life, at university, where she finds herself in a radically different social world to the one she grew up in, in Sri Lanka as a fledgling journalist, in Germany as a young writer, in her hospital treatments back in Sydney.

They combine research, travel writing, memoir, and literary discussions of how writers like Christina Stead, Carmel Bird, Tim Winton, John Berryman and Louise Glück deal with anorexia and addiction; together with accounts ofFiona Wright family life, and detailed and humorous views of hunger-induced situations of the kind that are so compelling in Wright’s poetry.

About the Author

Fiona Wright’s poetry book, Knuckled, won the Dame Mary Gilmore Award for a first collection. Her poems and essays have been published in the Australian, Meanjin, Island, Overland, The Lifted Brow, Seizure and HEAT.

Learn more or grab your copy of Small Acts of Disappearance here


Charlotte Wood’s The Natural Way of Things optioned for film

Australian author Charlotte Wood should be mighty pleased with herself.

Her most recent book, The Natural Way of Things, was this month shortlisted for the 2016 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award, is the front-runner for the 2016 Miles Franklin Literary Award and has now been optioned for a film by producers Katia Nizic and Emma Dockery.

Released last year, the book opens with two women awakening from a drug-induced sleep, only to find themselves imprisoned in a dilapidated property in the middle of the Australian outback. Their heads have been shaven and they’ve been placed in restrictive clothing. They have no idea where they are, how they came to be in their present state or what their connection is to the eight other woman facing the same situation. The women all have something in common, but what is it?

 

At its core, the book explores issues of misogyny and corporate control.

“We knew instantly this was a story that needed to be told,” said Nizic and Dockery. “It feels personal and specific, but also speaks to women the world over. It is incredible to be given this opportunity to feature so many women in prominent, meaningful roles, in front of and behind the camera.”

And Wood’s opinion of the female producers:

“One of the things they said in their pitch was that there hasn’t been an Australian film with an extensive young, female ensemble cast like this since Picnic at Hanging Rock – that stuck in my head and would not let go,” Wood’s told The Guardian. “I thought, imagine if this could be the next Picnic? I have total faith in these young women to make something astonishing.”

Learn more about The Natural Way of Things here!

BOOK REVIEW: The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood (Review by John Purcell)

Charlotte WoodCharlotte Wood’s latest novel, The Natural Way of Things, seethes with an anger the source of which doesn’t seem to be the text itself. Speaking with her, she does admit on reading an early draft to being surprised at discovering this underlying anger in her novel.

Charlotte’s last novel, Animal People, sought out the smoothed over hypocrisy of modern life. The sound of muffled laughter accompanied each page.

The Natural Way of Things is different. Different to her other work in many ways. There is Charlotte’s crisp realism, her economy of words, her precision, but she has used these tools to conjure up an alternative present, one which sits frighteningly close to reality. A plausible dystopian vision.

The books opens with two women waking in some sort of prison, they have been drugged and are groggy. Neither woman can conceive of how they might have come to be in prison. Neither woman can make sense of the way they are being treated.

A few pages in and we find that these women are not alone. There are other women, and the one thing all seem to share is that they have been involved in some sexual scandal, or were the victims of sexual abuse, or were young women having fun. Too much fun, their incarceration seemed to declare.

Born of the incessAnimal Peopleant reporting of sexual crimes against women where the victim is made out to be the perpetrator, The Natural Way of Things takes this world only one or two steps forward. Shaming women in the media might not be enough for the next government. Australia has been guilty of locking up women for less in the past, and a future government might find it expedient to punish women for being victims of sexual crimes. This makes Charlotte angry, it seems. So she wrote The Natural Way of Things from this reservoir of anger without quite realising it. And what she has written will be one of the most talked about novels of the year. Because unlike a lot of us when we’re angry, Charlotte kept her cool.


The Natural Way of Things
by Charlotte Wood

She hears her own thick voice deep inside her ears when she says, ‘I need to know where I am.’ The man stands there, tall and narrow, hand still on the doorknob, surprised. He says, almost in sympathy, ‘Oh, sweetie. You need to know what you are.’

Two women awaken from a drugged sleep to find themselves imprisoned in a broken-down property in the middle of a desert. Strangers to each other, they have no idea where they are or how they came to be there with eight other girls, forced to wear strange uniforms, their heads shaved, guarded by two inept yet vicious armed jailers and a ‘nurse’.

The girls all have something in common, but what is it? What crime has brought them here from the city? Who is the mysterious security company responsible for this desolate place with its brutal rules, its total isolation from the contemporary world?

Doing hard labour under a sweltering sun, the prisoners soon learn what links them: in each girl’s past is a sexual scandal with a powerful man. They pray for rescue – but when the food starts running out it becomes clear that the jailers have also become the jailed. The girls can only rescue themselves…

The Natural Way of Things is a gripping, starkly imaginative exploration of contemporary misogyny and corporate control, and of what it means to hunt and be hunted. Most of all, it is the story of two friends, their sisterly love and courage…


About the Author

Charlotte Wood profile picCharlotte Wood is an Australian fiction writer.

Her fourth novel, Animal People, will be released by Allen & Unwin in October 2011. Her
most recent work was to edit Brothers & Sisters, a collection of short stories and non-f
iction about siblings by 12 of Australia’s finest writers.

Her last novel, The Children, was described by Australian Book Review as “a graceful and empathetic portrayal of one family seeking to understand itself,” and The Australian described her as “a captivating, questing writer whose work is well worth watching”.

The Children was shortlisted for the Australian Book Industry Association’s literary fiction book of the year. Charlotte’s previous novel, The Submerged Cathedral, was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize in its region 2005.

Her first book, Pieces of a Girl, was also shortlisted for several prizes.

Visit Charlotte Wood’s Booktopia Author Page

       The Submerged CathedralThe ChildrenLove and Hunger

Countdown to Australia’s Favourite Novelist: 20-11 as voted by you


Welcome to day four of the countdown of Australia’s Favourite Novelists, as voted by you, to celebrate our month of Australian Stories.

Don’t forget to pencil in January 24th on the calender as we celebrate the Australia Day weekend in style with the announcement of Australia’s top 10 Favourite Novelists!

Today the countdown continues, 20-11 as voted by you.


20. Geraldine Brooks

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.

people-of-the-book

Our Pick

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.

Click here to go to Geraldine Brooks’ author page


19. Rachael Johns

An English teacher by trade, a supermarket owner by day, a mum 24/7, and a writer by night. That’s some of the ingredients that make up one of the most successful Romance Writers in Australia, Rachael Johns.

In a relatively short space of time, Rachael has shown herself a force to be reckoned with, helping to bolster a new movement in Australian Romance writing. At 17 she began writing, enlightened by the thought that she could create whatever ending she liked, and almost a decade later, after many, many attempts at writing different types of novels, she joined the Romance Writers of Australia association.

outback-dreams

Our Pick

It was there that Rachael learnt there was more to writing a book than just typing out random thoughts. She learnt about the craft, conflict, consistent characters, etc, and also discovered that she loved contemporary romance.

She lives in rural Western Australia with her husband and their three children.

Congratulations Rachael on coming 10th in the vote for Australia’s Favourite Novelist for 2013.

Click here to go to Rachael Johns’ author page


18. Ruth Park

Another in a long line of writers born elsewhere yet able to capture Australian life so beautifully, Ruth Park’s writing has had a lasting effect on both adults and children for over 60 years.

Born in Auckland to a Scottish father and a Swedish mother, Park moved to Australia in 1942 where she had lined up a job with another newspaper.

Our Pick

Her first novel was The Harp in the South, a graphic story of Irish slum life in Sydney, which has been translated into 37 languages. Even though it was acclaimed by literary critics, the book proved controversial with sections of the public due to its candour. It remains her most popular novel and has never been out of print.

Between 1946 and 2004, she received numerous awards for her contributions to literature in both Australia and internationally including the Miles Franklin Award for Swords and Crowns and Rings in 1977. She was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 1987.

Click here to go to Ruth Park’s author page


17. Andy Griffiths

Andy Griffiths is one of Australia’s most popular children’s writers. He is the author of over 20 books, including nonsense verse, short stories, comic novels and plays. Over the past 15 years Andy’s books have been New York Times bestsellers, won over 50 children’s choice awards, been adapted as a television cartoon series and sold over 5 million copies worldwide.

the-39-storey-treehouse

Our Pick

Andy has had a long-standing collaboration with illustrator Terry Denton. Their latest collaboration is The 13-Storey Treehouse which was voted ABIA’s 2012 Book of the Year for Older Readers, and September 2012 sees the hugely anticipated The 26-Storey Treehouse. Meanwhile Andy and Terry are also working on a collection of inspirational writing exercises called Once Upon a Slime for English teachers and emerging writers and illustrators to be published in April 2013.

Click here to go to Andy Griffiths’ author page


16. Kate Forsyth

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.

the-wild-girl

Our Pick

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.

Click here to go to Kate Forsyth’s author page


15. Christos Tsiolkas

Christos Tsiolkas was born in Melbourne in 1965. Loaded, his first novel, was published in 1995 and later made into the award-winning film Head On. In 1996 he collaborated with Sasha Soldatow on the dialogue Jump Cuts. His novel The Jesus Man was published in 1999.

barracuda

Our Pick

He is the author of several plays including Who’s Afraid of the Working Class?, Dead Caucasians and Non Parlo di Salo, co-written with Spiro Economopoulos.

His critically acclaimed novel Dead Europe was published in 2005 and in 2008 he reached bestselling status with the bold The Slap which won the Commonwealth Writers Prize and was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award.

Click here to go to Christos Tsiolkas’ author page


14. Isobelle Carmody

Isobelle Carmody is Australia’s most highly acclaimed author of fantasy titles for older readers.

She began her first book, Obernewtyn, when she was fourteen and since then she has written some of our greatest works of fantasy. She is perhaps best known for her Obernewtyn Chronicles and for her novel The Gathering (joint winner of the 1993 Children’s Literature Peace Prize and the 1994 CBC Book of the Year Award).

the-sending

Our Pick

Another of her novels, Greylands, was joint winner of the 1997 Aurealis Award for Excellence in Speculative Fiction – Young Adult Division, and was named a White Raven at the 1998 Bologna Children’s Book Fair. She has also written many short stories for both children and adults.

Isobelle divides her time between Prague in the Czech Republic and her home on the Great Ocean Road in Australia.

Click here to go to Isobelle Carmody’s author page


13. Fiona McIntosh

Fiona McIntosh is a fantasy author originally born in Brighton, England. At the age of nineteen, she travelled first to Paris and later to Australia, where she has lived ever since.

She worked for many years in the travel industry but after her shift to full-time writing she roams the world researching and drawing inspiration for her novels.

the-tailor-s-girl

Our Pick

Adelaide is her home base, which she shares with her husband and twin sons, but Fiona does most of her writing from the peace of southern Tasmania.

To date she has written 24 adult novels across various genres and seven novels for children.

Click here to go to Fiona McIntosh’s author page


12. Rachael Treasure

fifty-bales-of-hay

Our Pick

Rachael Treasure currently lives in southern rural Tasmania with her two young children, Rosie and Charlie. Her three novels, Jillaroo, The Stockmen, and The Rouseabout, have all been bestsellers in Australia, selling more than 100,000 combined copies by the end of 2007. In 2008 Random House signed her to a 4 book contract for British release.

A former jillaroo and reporter for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on rural affairs, she is a passionate working dog trainer and in 2007 received Tasmania’s rural woman of the year award.

Click here to go to Rachael Treasure’s author page


JohnFlanagan

11. John Flanagan

John Flanagan’s bestselling Ranger’s Apprentice adventure series originally comprised twenty short stories, which John wrote to encourage his twelve-year-old son, Michael, to enjoy reading. The series has come a long way since then.

the-royal-ranger

Our Pick

Now sold to more than twenty countries, the series regularly appears on the New York Times Bestseller List and has been shortlisted in children’s book awards in Australia and overseas. John, a former television and advertising writer, lives with his wife, Leonie, in the Sydney beachside suburb of Manly. He is currently writing further titles in the Ranger’s Apprentice series.

Click here to go to John Flanagan’s author page


Check out our Australian Stories section, full of the best Aussie Titles as well as prizes and giveaways!


Don’t forget to come back tomorrow at 10am as we continue to countdown to Australia’s Favourite Novelist!

Countdown to Australia’s Favourite Novelist: 50-41 as voted by you

Booktopia would like to give a massive thanks again to everyone who has voted in to decide who is Australia’s Favourite Novelist. Without you we wouldn’t be able to have this celebration of outstanding Aussie Writers.

The votes have been counted and we have our top 50, and it’s a wonderful list full of surprises. It reflects the diversity and vibrancy of Australian Literature both past and present, as well as a reminder of an exciting future ahead of us.

At Midday (EST) every day this week we’ll be announcing the list in groups of ten. The top ten will be announced at Midday on Friday the 25th of January.

So without further ado, here’s the 50-41 placings for Australia’s Favourite Novelist, as voted by you.


50. Peter Temple

Peter Temple is the author of nine novels, including four books in the Jack Irish series. He has won the Ned Kelly Award for Crime Fiction five times, and his widely acclaimed novels have been published in over twenty countries.

Our Pick

The Broken Shore won the UK’s prestigious Duncan Lawrie Dagger for the best crime novel of 2007 and Truth won the 2010 Miles Franklin Literary Award, the first time a crime writer has won an award of this calibre anywhere in the world.

Temple’s first two novels Bad Debts and Black Tide have been made into films with Guy Pearce starring as Jack Irish.

Click here to go to Peter Temple’s author page


49. Jay Kristoff

Jay Kristoff was born and brought up in Perth. He grew up reading and collecting books and spent most of his free time playing Dungeons & Dragons.

He graduated with an Arts degree and then spent ten years in the field of creative advertising for which he won several awards.

Our Pick

Our Pick

Jay is the author of The Lotus Trilogy, a Japanese-inspired fantasy series published in 2012.

He currently lives in Melbourne with his wife and dog.

Click here to go to Jay Kristoff’s author page


48. Nikki Gemmell

Nikki Gemmell has written the novels, Shiver, Cleave, Lovesong, The Bride Stripped Bare, Wih My Body and The Book Of Rapture, as well as the non-fiction book, Pleasure: An Almanac for the Heart. Her work has been internationally critically acclaimed and translated into many languages.

In France she’s been described as a female Jack Kerouac, in Australia as one of the most original and engaging authors of her generation and in the US as one of the few truly original voices to emerge in a long time.

Our Pick

Our Pick

The French literary review “Lire” has included her in a list of what it calls the fifty most important writers in the world – the ones it believes will have a significant influence on the literature of the 21st century. The criteria for selection included a very individual voice and unmistakeable style, as well as an original choice of subject. Nikki Gemmell was selected along with such novelists as Rick Moody, Zadie Smith, Jonathan Safran Froer, Rohinton Mistry, Tim Winton, Colum McCann, Michel Faber and Hari Kunzru among others.

Click here to go to Nikki Gemmell’s author page


47. Charlotte Wood

Charlotte Wood is the author of four novels – Pieces of a Girl, The Submerged Cathedral, The Children and Animal People, as well as a collection of short personal reflections on cooking, Love & Hunger.

She was also editor of the anthology of writing about siblings, Brothers & Sisters (2009). Her books have been critically well received and frequently short-listed for prizes.

Our Pick

Our Pick

Animal People was longlisted for the 2012 Miles Franklin Award. She has a background in journalism and has also taught writing at a variety of levels

She currently lives in Sydney. She is working on a fifth novel. Charlotte Wood also writes about food and cooking at her blog, http://www.howtoshuckanoyster.com.

Click here to go to Charlotte Wood’s author page


46. Andy Griffiths

Andy Griffiths is one of Australia’s most popular children’s writers. He is the author of over 20 books, including nonsense verse, short stories, comic novels and plays. Over the past 15 years Andy’s books have been New York Times bestsellers, won over 50 children’s choice awards, been adapted as a television cartoon series and sold over 5 million copies worldwide.

Our Pick

Our Pick

Andy has had a long-standing collaboration with illustrator Terry Denton. Their latest collaboration is The 13-Storey Treehouse which was voted ABIA’s 2012 Book of the Year for Older Readers, and September 2012 sees the hugely anticipated The 26-Storey Treehouse. Meanwhile Andy and Terry are also working on a collection of inspirational writing exercises called Once Upon a Slime for English teachers and emerging writers and illustrators to be published in April 2013.

Click here to go to Andy Griffiths’ author page


45. Di Morrissey

Di Morrissey  is one of Australia’s most popular female novelists. She grew up in Pittwater, north of Sydney.

She became a journalist on London’s Fleet Street, and worked for CBS in Honolulu. After moving back to Australia, she published her first book ‘Heart of the Dreaming’ which instantly became a bestseller. Since then she has published another 20 bestsellers.

Our Pick

Our Pick

Morrissey is an environmentalist and activist. She has been a longtime supporter of Aung San Suu Kyi and has visited Burma several times where she is now helping raise funds to build a monastery school in Sagaing. Morrissey’s latest book, The Golden Land, is set in Burma.

Click here to go to Di Morrissey’s author page


44. Christina Stead

Christina Stead (1902-1983) was an Australian novelist and short-story writer acclaimed for her satirical wit and psychological penetration. She wrote 15 novels and several volumes of short stories in her lifetime.

Her first novel, Seven Poor Men of Sydney, dealt with the lives of radicals and dockworkers. Stead’s best-known novel, with the ironic title The Man Who Loved Children, is largely based on her own childhood, and was first published in 1940. It was not until the poet Randall Jarrell wrote the introduction for a new American edition in 1965 that the novel began to receive a larger audience.

Our Pick

Our Pick

In 2005, the magazine Time included The Man Who Loved Children in their “100 Best Novels from 1923–2005”, and in 2010 American author Jonathan Franzen hailed the novel as a “masterpiece” in The New York Times. Stead’s Letty Fox: Her Luck, often regarded as an equally fine novel, was officially banned in Australia for several years because it was considered amoral and salacious.

Click here to go to Christina Stead’s author page


43. Christos Tsiolkas

Christos Tsiolkas was born in Melbourne in 1965. Loaded, his first novel, was published in 1995 and later made into the award-winning film Head On. In 1996 he collaborated with Sasha Soldatow on the dialogue Jump Cuts. His novel The Jesus Man was published in 1999.

Our Pick

Our Pick

He is the author of several plays including Who’s Afraid of the Working Class?, Dead Caucasians and Non Parlo di Salo, co-written with Spiro Economopoulos.

His critically acclaimed novel Dead Europe was published in 2005 and in 2008 he reached bestselling status with the bold The Slap which won the Commonwealth Writers Prize and was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award.

Click here to go to Christos Tsiolkas’ author page


42. Rachael Treasure

Rachael Treasure currently lives in southern rural Tasmania with her two young children, Rosie and Charlie. Her three novels, Jillaroo, The Stockmen, and The Rouseabout, have all been bestsellers in Australia, selling more than 100,000 combined copies by the end of 2007. in 2008 Random House signed her to a 4 book contract for British release.

Our Pick

Our Pick

A former jillaroo and reporter for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on rural affairs, she is a passionate working dog trainer and in 2007 received Tasmania’s rural woman of the year award.

Click here to go to Rachael Treasure’s author page


41. Morris Gleitzman

Morris Gleitzman grew up in England and came to Australia when he was sixteen. He was a frozen-chicken thawer, sugar-mill rolling-stock unhooker, fashion-industry trainee, student, department-store Santa, TV producer, newspaper columnist and screenwriter until he wrote his first children’s novel in 1993.

Our Pick

He is now one of the world’s best-known and loved children’s authors. Gleitzman tackles tough subjects in a funny and offbeat way . He has never set out to write “issues books” and says that his writing is as much for himself as for his readers.

Click here to go to Morris Gleitzman’s author page


Don’t forget to come back tomorrow at midday as we continue to countdown to Australia’s Favourite Novelist!

Award-winning author Charlotte Wood reveals her Five Favourite Australian Authors

animal-people

Award-winning author

Charlotte Wood

author of The Children, Animal People, Love and Hunger and many more

reveals her

Five Favourite Australian Authors

                                                   —————————————————

I hate picking favourites; mine change all the time. But here are Five Australian novelists I really love.



Patrick White

Because of his humanity, the depth of his perception, his humour and his boldness with language. The Solid Mandala is one of my most cherished books.

Click here to buy The Solid Mandala by Patrick White



Helen Garner

Garner’s precision, the clarity of her gaze and her willingness to turn that gaze on herself as much as her characters – she is an inspiration to me and always will be. The Spare Room is a masterpiece of truthful fiction.

Click here to buy The Spare Room by Helen Garner



the-great-arch

Vicki Hastrich

Author of just two novels so far, but what novels they are. Swimming with the Jellyfish and The Great Arch are both full of wit, charm, quiet ambition and astounding language, but her compassion and empathy are what shimmer long after the technical dazzle quietens.

Click here to buy The Great Arch by Vicki Hastrich



Tegan Bennett Daylight

Like Garner, Daylight is so clear-eyed it makes you weep. Her newest stories, about the turning point between adolescence and adulthood, have made me gasp with the shame and pain of recognition. I have learned more from Daylight’s writing than almost anyone else’s – her novels are Safety, What Falls Away and Bombora.



Joan London

The Good Parents is one of the Australian novels I most loved in the past decade. London has the kind of serious, literary ambition that can be easily overlooked because of its subtlety and grace, but her writing is true, confident, soaringly good. I cannot wait to see what she does next.

Click here to buy The Good Parents by Joan London


Charlotte is shortlisted for Booktopia’s: Australia’s Favourite Author.

Be sure to check out (and subscribe to) Charlotte’s new literary magazine The Writer’s Room Interviews

And check out Charlotte’s answers in Booktopia’s Famous Ten Terrifying Questions here. Below is a little taste….

5. Considering the innumerable artistic avenues open to you, why did you choose to write a novel?

I think fiction is the only place for me, really, and a novel provides a bigger space to muck around in than a short story. It’s nice to visit other places sometimes – I’m writing non-fiction at the moment – but I’m getting homesick for the novel, and can’t wait to walk through the door again. A novel allows me space to breathe, spread out, and think.

Click here to go to Charlotte’s author page on Booktopia,
Australia’s Local Bookstore

SHORT REVIEW: Love and Hunger: Thoughts on the Gift of Food By Charlotte Wood (Review by John Purcell)

I have just finished Charlotte Wood’s Love and Hunger and urge everyone to read it, especially those who must cook every night and resent it, or avoids cooking when they can because they consider it a chore. This book has the power to reignite a passion for life, friendship, food and the everyday.

Part memoir and part recipe book, Love and Hunger can be read cover to cover, as I did, just like a novel, or can be dipped into when the moment requires. Charlotte’s unusual cook book is the wise friend many of us do not have ready at hand 24/7.

Love and Hunger is a guide, an encouragement and an inspiration.

(Available in May 2012)

‘A love of food oozes from Charlotte’s every pore in this wonderful book. Her recipes and ideas come with great practical advice but even better her warmth and emotional honesty reflect the generosity of food and continually made me smile (sometimes with nudging tears). ‘So many tidbits shared, so many ‘aha’ moments and things I needed to know!’ – Maggie Beer

Blurb: The award-winning author of The Children and Animal People, explores the solitary and shared pleasures of cooking and eating in an ode to good food, prepared and presented with minimum fuss and maximum love.

‘What’s important is the fact of eating together – the gathering at the table, the conviviality.’

Love & Hunger is a distillation of everything Charlotte Wood has learned over more than twenty years about cooking and the pleasures of simple food well made. In this age of gastro-porn and the fetishisation of food, the pressure to be as expert as the chefs we’ve turned into celebrities can feel overwhelming.

Cooking represents ‘creativity in its purest form’. It is meditation and stimulation, celebration and solace, a gift both offered and received. It can nourish the soul – and the mind – as well as the body. Love & Hunger will make you long to get into the kitchen to try the surprising tips and delicious recipes, and will leave you feeling freshly inspired to cook with joy for the people you love.

Love & Hunger is a gift for all who value the solitary and shared pleasures of cooking and eating. Like a simple but glorious meal, this feast of a book is infused with warmth and generosity.

An instant antidote to such madness is this wise and practical book – an ode to good food, prepared and presented with minimum fuss and maximum love.

Acclaimed and award-winning novelist Charlotte Wood also writes the popular cookery blog How to Shuck an Oyster and is a brilliant home cook and food enthusiast.

An invitation to dinner at Charlotte’s house is always cause for celebration.

Order Love and Hunger: Thoughts on the Gift of Food
By Charlotte Wood from Booktopia,
Australia’s No. 1 Online Book Shop

Read Charlotte’s answers to my Ten Terrifying Questions

Read my Review of Charlotte’s Gobsmackingly Brilliant Novel Animal People

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