Everybody talks about the classics…but think of it for a little. Our best contemporary geniuses willlater on become great classics; perhaps even greater than the writers we consider best in history. So check out this countdown on the top 10 Modern Australia fiction authors to get some ideas for your summer readings.
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- Helen Garner
Helen Garner is a very highly acclaimed Australian author, who won the National Book Council Award for Australian Literature back in the 70s. She won the award for her novel called “Monkey Grip” which portrays in a very realistic manner everyday living in Melbourne, Australia. The author is also renowned for several short fiction pieces, and her other novels include: The Spare Room, The Children’s Bach, The First Stone and Cosmo Cosmolino. The Spare Room is a very interesting novel telling the story of a woman who has been caring for her terminally ill friend.
- David Malouf
He is a Brisbane born author rising to fame with two important novels: Harland’s Half Acre and Johnno. David Malouf won the Miles Franklin Award for his work The Great World (1991). Regarding his most recent works, he published Ransom in 2009, but he also made the shortlist for the Man Booker International Prize for his contribution to literature. David Malouf is an extremelyhighlyappraised contemporary author, having very good chances to win the Nobel Prize in Literature.
- Alex Miller
He was born in the UK, but lived in Australia since he was 16. Alex Miller is an author known to write with great enthusiasm and fascination about his home country now, Australia. The novel The Ancestor Game published in 1993 brought him the Miles Franklin Award, and his Stone Country brought him the same success in 2003. Stone Country is considered one of themost valuablepieces of writing that address aboriginal related issues of the Australian landscape.
- Geraldine Brooks
Native Australian writer, now living in the USA. Her highly acclaimed novel “March” brought her the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. “March” is actually a sequel to the American classic Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. Critics highly acclaimed her for other two non-fiction novels, Foreign Correspondence and Nine Parts of Desire. Both fiction and non-fiction research works of the novelist reflect her tremendous journalistic skills. Her latest novel is “Caleb’s Crossing” published in 2011.
- Thomas Keneally
Born and raised in Sidney, Thomas Keneally rose to fame with his novel Schindler’s Ark for which he won the Booker Prize back in 1982. This book was the basis for the “Schindler’s List” movie adaptation that won Best Picture at the Oscars. Another important novel that was made into a movie is his “The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith” (1978). In 2013, he published The Daughters of Mars, which is his 29th novel.
- Peter Carey
Peter Carey is a double winner of the Booker Prize for his novels The True History of the Kelly Gang and Oscar & Lucinda. The author has also won three times the Miles Franklin Award for his following novels: Jack Maggs, Oscar & Lucinda, Bliss. In 2012, he published the historical novel The Chemistry of Tears.
- Tim Winton
Tim Winton is an extremely popular author, known for his beautiful portrayal and stories revolving around natural scenery such as the ocean, the sea, and amazing landscapes. He is a four times winner of the Miles Franklin Award for his works “Cloudstreet”, “Breath”, “Dirt Music” and “Shallows”. According to many literature related surveys among the population, “Cloudstreet” led the charts.
- Shirley Hazzard
Shirley Hazard is Australian born, but she lived most of her life overseas. The greatest majority of her novels portray Australian characters and their lives and adventures on the European continent. Her best work is considered to be “The Transit of Venus”, and this novel also won the American National Book Critics Circle Award. Other important works of Shirley Hazzard include The Evening of the Holiday, The Bay of Noon and The Great Fire for which she won the Miles Franklin Award in 2004.
- Kate Grenville
In 1985, she won the Australian Award (Vogel) for her book Lillian’s Story which has been made into a movie in 1985. She also won the Orange Prize for fiction in 2000 for her novel The Idea of Perfection. “The Secret River” is the first part of a trilogy for which she was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award in 2006. The other two novels from the trilogy are Sarah Thornhill and The Lieutenant.
- Murray Bail
The author was born in Adelaide but now lives in Sydney. He is widely known for his works “Eucalyptus” , “Homesickness” and “Holden’s Performance”. In 2012, he published “The Voyage” which is an amazing life contemplation of the main character, an Australian inventor trying to sell his piano in Vienna, Austria.
These are the 10 most important featured Australian contemporary authors and their most prolific works of fiction or non-fiction. Scroll through the listings, and select the writer or novel that you believe is closest to your literary tastes.