Australian Women Writers Challenge 2018


I don’t often participate in blog challenges, but I’m plunging into the 2018 Australian Women Writers Challenge. I’ve signed up to read and review six books for 2018.

In 2017, I read 8 books by Australian authors –7 by women:

Black Teeth: Zane Lovitt

A Loving, Faithful Animal: Josephine Rowe

The Puzzleheaded Girl: Christina Stead

Our Tiny, Useless Hearts: Toni Jordan

The Newspaper of Claremont Street: Elizabeth Jolley

My Last Confession: Helen Fitzgerald

The Dyehouse: Mena Calthorpe

A Little Tea, A little Chat: Christina Stead.

The first Australian book I ever read (I think) was Joan Lindsey’s Picnic at Hanging Rock. It took a while to sink in, but over time I realized that while I was hungry for Australian film and would actively seek out new titles, I was doing NOTHING to find and read Australian books. I also reasoned that since I loved this country’s films, I’d probably love their books too. Plus somewhere, in an alternate universe, I am an Australian. Dad took that trip to Australia House, but Mum nixed it… what could have been?…

But it’s very difficult to break into a country’s books (harder if there’s another language involved) but this is where Text publishing and fellow bloggers enter the picture. Text publishing has brought many wonderful Australian titles to the N. American market, and now I follow Gummie over at Whispering Gums  and Lisa at ANZLitlovers for tips. Lisa and Gummie: if you ever falter and wonder if you’re wasting your time blogging, be assured that you are not.

I also follow the blog of a genuine Australian writer Gert Loveday 

So I’m in for the count. Who will I read? Haven’t made my mind up yet but probably some Helen Garner for one.



Filed under Blogging

22 responses to “Australian Women Writers Challenge 2018

  1. I just checked your archive to see if you’ve read The Man Who Loved Children – by miles the best Stead in my opinion. Fiona McFarlane is another to read, as is the wonderful Ceridwen Dovey – who has a new book coming out in March.

  2. Oh, you must read Garner. Also highly recommend Harrower, but think you’ve read some of her work before, no? I think Zane Lovitt is a bloke, BTW, or maybe I have that wrong. Good luck with your challenge. I’m doing it too (third year in row).

    • Yes he’s male. I read 7 total last year 6 by women and ZL was the sole male. Yes I’ve read some Harrower novels, and I also read Garner’s This House of Grief which I loved even though I argued w/bits of it.

      • Apologies. I read that first sentence wrongly & thought you’d read 8 books by women. Garner’s stuff does invite arguments, I think, but I believe her heart is in the right place. I would recommend Joe Cinque’s Consolation if you can get it: it’s controversial but a powerful read.

        • I was surprised when I went over the Aussie books and found just ONE title by a male writer. Yes I have Joe Cinque’s Consolation. I wanted to give myself some time before I plunged into it after This House of Grief

      • I always argue with Garner! But she’s such a beautiful – and open – writer isn’t she?

        But I’m thrilled to bits that you’ve decided to join us Guy! Don’t forget to flag as “literary” any of that ilk you do – which most of those you’ve listed definitely will be. I’m glad you’re selected Josephine Rowe, and also Mena Calthorpe, but they all look good. I have read Zane Lovitt and liked him too – linked short stories as I recollect.

  3. I’m going to participate too.
    I’m cheating a bit, I’ve already a Miles Franklin and an Ada Cambridge to write about.
    Then, I don’t know.

  4. Sounds like a great goal to achieve. Not sure if you’ve already read stuff by these three, but I’ve enjoyed these three Australian authors: Patricia Carlon, June Wright and Jennifer Rowe.

  5. I participated twice in another Aussie Lit challenge and enykoec it a great deal. Not one of the books disappointed. I’ve been long tempted to do this one as well. Unfortunaley, I think I don’t have a smany books by women as by men and I don’t want to buy more. But I have one by Garner. Very controversial writer.

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