Countdown to Australia’s Favourite Novelist: 40-31 as voted by you

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.


40. Fleur Mcdonald

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.

Our Pick

Our Pick

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.

Click here to go to Fleur Mcdonald’s author page


39. Jackie French

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.

Our Pick

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.

Click here to go to Jackie French’s author page


38. Colin Thiele

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.

Our Pick

Our Pick

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.

Click here to go to Colin Thiele’s author page


37. Colleen McCullough

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.

Our Pick

Our Pick

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.

Click here to go to Colleen McCullough’s author page


36. Fiona Palmer

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.

Our Pick

Our Pick

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.

Click here to go to Fiona Palmer’s author page


35. Patrick White

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.

Our Pick

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.

Click here to go to Patrick White’s author page


34. David Malouf

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.

Our Pick

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.

Click here to go to David Malouf’s author page


33. Tara Moss

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.

Our Pick

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.

Click here to go to Tara Moss’ author page


32. Paul Jennings

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.

Our Pick

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.

Click here to go to Paul Jenning’s author page


31. Thomas Keneally

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.

Our Pick

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.

Click here to go to Thomas Keneally’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

Guest Blogger: Publisher Meredith Curnow Wishes Patrick White a Happy 100th Birthday

HAPPY 100TH BIRTHDAY PATRICK WHITE

Patrick White was born on this day in England in 1912. He was then taken to Australia, where his father owned a sheep farm, when he was six months old. He was educated in England at Cheltenham College and King’s College, Cambridge. He settled in London, where he wrote several unpublished novels, then served in the RAF during the war. He returned to Australia after the war.
He became the most considerable figure in modern Australian literature, awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1973. The great poet of Australian landscape, he turned its vast empty spaces into great mythic landscapes of the soul. His position as a man of letters was controversial, provoked by his acerbic, unpredictable public statements and his belief that it is eccentric individuals who offer the only hope of salvation. He died in September 1990.

Random House Australia has worked to bring Patrick White back in this his centenary year. All of his novels and his excoriating memoir Flaws in the Glass are available as eBooks and we have published new editions of a number of his novels including the film tie-in edition of The Eye of The Storm, Vintage Classics editions of The Aunt’s Story and The Tree of Man and commemorative editions of Voss and The Vivisector.

If you want to celebrate Patrick White’s centenary and start reading his books I recommend you start with The Hanging Garden.  The manuscript for this part of a novel (part one of three we think, around 45,000 words) was found amongst his papers after he died and it is such a beautiful story, simply told that it could not be left lying in a box to be examined only by silverfish and PhD students.

Happy birthday Patrick White!

Booktopia would like to thank Meredith Curnow for sharing her thoughts with the Booktopia Blog and our readers.

Meredith Curnow is the Knopf Vintage publisher at Random House Australia. This role gives her the honour and pleasure of publishing established writers of the calibre of Gail Jones, Tom Keneally, Frank Moorhouse, Roger McDonald, David Malouf and writers at an earlier stage of their career including Deborah Forster, Kate Forsyth and Jacqueline Lunn. Prior to joining Random House, Meredith was the director of the Sydney Writers’ Festival.

Click here to buy The Hanging Garden

Click here to see all of Patrick White’s titles


And here is the Book Guru’s review: The Hanging Garden may just change the way Patrick White is thought of by Australian readers. For many years now, the mere mention of his name has sent shivers down readers’ spines. Granted, for a small percentage of readers, these were the shivers of ecstasy but for the vast majority they were aroused by fear, dread and, for some, loathing. Australia’s only recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature has long polarised Australia’s readers. He is a writer we are told we ought to respect but as many find his prose impenetrable this imperative has more often than not borne the fruit of resentment.

The Hanging Garden is different and comes to us at the right moment. As I see it, Australian literature is enjoying a popular revival. A more accessible prose style has been embraced by many of our best writers. From Kim Scott’s That Deadman Dance, to Charlotte Wood’s Animal People, to Christos Tsiolkas’ The Slap, we can sense a new confidence emerging. In such a climate The Hanging Garden is bound to find a receptive audience.

Begun by an ailing Patrick White back in 1981, The Hanging Garden was left unfinished at the time of his death. What we have been left with appears to have been Part One of a larger novel. Unfinished but by no means incomplete The Hanging Garden describes the experience of two refugee children brought to the relative safety of Sydney, Australia during WWII. A Greek/Australian girl, Eirene rescued from Greece during the English retreat and an English boy, Gilbert, who narrowly escaped oblivion during the London Blitz.

Told largely from Eirene’s point of view The Hanging Garden is a story of adolescent love, with all of its latent complications, its beauty and its disquiet.

Patrick White brings Gilbert and Eirene’s experiences in wartime Sydney to life with a lightness of touch which belies the depths of each word’s foundations. A great wisdom informs each scene and yet we read swiftly and eagerly. There is a startlingly raw truth to this story which conjured up in me long forgotten memories. This is great writing for our time. A book which will remind some of Sumner Locke Elliot’s Careful He Might Hear You and others of Roger McDonald’s When Colts Ran.

Moving and beautiful, The Hanging Garden is a Patrick White novel we can all read with pleasure. Five Stars.

Reviewed by John Purcell. This review was first published in Bookseller+Publisher magazine

Click here to order The Hanging Garden

And the winner is (drumroll please)… Congratulations to the Winners of Booktopia’s April Competitions!

The Hanging Garden

Five lucky customers will receive a Patrick White book pack containing 1 of each of the following:

The Tree of Man

Patrick White : A Life

The Aunt’s Story

And the winners are…

N. Berryman, Inverell, NSW

K. Treloar, Melbourne, VIC

C. Stratigos, Clothiers Creek, NSW

R. Bain, Sydney, NSW

W. Lawrance, Denmark, WA

Click here to buy The Hanging Garden from Booktopia,
Australia’s No. 1 Online Book Shop


Gourmet Pilgrim

One lucky customer will receive all three Gourmet Pilgrim titles. Each book comes in a stylish tin and is a must for any lover of good food.

Gourmet Pilgrim : Germany

Gourmet Pilgrim: Spain

Gourmet Pilgrim : Italy (2nd Edition)

And the winner is…

J. Reid, Sale, VIC

Click here to buy the Gourmet Pilgrim series from Booktopia,
Australia’s No. 1 Online Book Shop


Paper Bliss

One lucky customer will receive this beautiful pack containing Small & Large Button Paper Envelopes, Wooden Lead Pencils, Colour Pencils, Paper Threaded Tags, Shell Shaped Buttons & Paper Tags and String.

And the winner is…

S. Thompson, Jerrabomberra, NSW

Click here to buy Paper Bliss from Booktopia,
Australia’s No. 1 Online Book Shop


Want to be a winner too? Click here to view this month’s competitions

To view our Terms and Conditions, click here

REVIEW: The Hanging Garden by Patrick White – reviewed by John Purcell

The Hanging Garden may just change the way Patrick White is thought of by Australian readers. For many years now, the mere mention of his name has sent shivers down readers’ spines. Granted, for a small percentage of readers, these were the shivers of ecstasy but for the vast majority they were aroused by fear, dread and, for some, loathing. Australia’s only recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature has long polarised Australia’s readers. He is a writer we are told we ought to respect but as many find his prose impenetrable this imperative has more often than not borne the fruit of resentment.

The Hanging Garden is different and comes to us at the right moment. As I see it, Australian literature is enjoying a popular revival. A more accessible prose style has been embraced by many of our best writers. From Kim Scott’s That Deadman Dance, to Charlotte Wood’s Animal People, to Christos Tsiolkas’ The Slap, we can sense a new confidence emerging. In such a climate The Hanging Garden is bound to find a receptive audience.

Begun by an ailing Patrick White back in 1981, The Hanging Garden was left unfinished at the time of his death. What we have been left with appears to have been Part One of a larger novel. Unfinished but by no means incomplete The Hanging Garden describes the experience of two refugee children brought to the relative safety of Sydney, Australia during WWII. A Greek/Australian girl, Eirene rescued from Greece during the English retreat and an English boy, Gilbert, who narrowly escaped oblivion during the London Blitz.

Told largely from Eirene’s point of view The Hanging Garden is a story of adolescent love, with all of its latent complications, its beauty and its disquiet.

Patrick White brings Gilbert and Eirene’s experiences in wartime Sydney to life with a lightness of touch which belies the depths of each word’s foundations. A great wisdom informs each scene and yet we read swiftly and eagerly. There is a startlingly raw truth to this story which conjured up in me long forgotten memories. This is great writing for our time. A book which will remind some of Sumner Locke Elliot’s Careful He Might Hear You and others of Roger McDonald’s When Colts Ran.

Moving and beautiful, The Hanging Garden is a Patrick White novel we can all read with pleasure. Five Stars.

Reviewed by John Purcell. This review was first published in Bookseller+Publisher magazine

Click here to order The Hanging Garden

THE EYE OF THE STORM by Patrick White

UPDATE:

THE EYE OF THE STORM by Patrick White

Patrick White’s seminal book about family relationships and the stuff of love and hate has been made into a film which will be screening from September 15. You can read all about the book, and see the film trailer, here. The film stars Charlotte Rampling, Geoffrey Rush and Judy Davies.

Continue reading

FILM: Patrick White’s The Eye of the Storm

FILM: The Eye of the Storm

Directed by Fred Schepisi

In a Sydney suburb, two nurses, a housekeeper and a solicitor attend to Elizabeth Hunter as her expatriate son and daughter convene at her deathbed. In dying, as in living, Mrs Hunter remains a formidable force on those around her. It is via Mrs Hunter’s authority over living that her household and children vicariously face death and struggle to give consequence to life.

Estranged from a mother who was never capable of loving them Sir Basil, a famous but struggling actor in London and Dorothy, an impecunious French princess, attempt to reconcile with her. In doing so they are reduced from states of worldly sophistication to floundering adolescence.

The children unite in a common goal – to leave Australia with their vast inheritance. Moving through Sydney’s social scene, they search for a way to fulfil their desire. Using the reluctant services of their family lawyer Arnold Wyburd, a man long Continue reading

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