Big Readers Forum Index


Hello from Australia---Aussie authors!
Page Previous  1, 2, 3  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Big Readers Forum Index -> What are you reading?
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
MikeAlx



Joined: 17 Nov 2008
Posts: 2105


Location: Seaford, East Sussex

PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 12:32 am    Post subject:  Reply with quote

A more recent 'fun' read from an Aussie was "Jennifer Government", Max Barry's satire on consumerism/corporate culture gone mad.



_________________
Cheers, Mike
quality folder printing online
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
bookfreak



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 165


Location: Malta

PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 9:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another Australian author is Christina Stead, widely acclaimed and nominated for the Nobel Prize several times.  
The only novel of hers that I have read is The Man Who Loved Children, which is purportedly her finest and most famous.   It is a rather overlong story of an extremely dysfunctional family, set in 1930's USA (where Stead lived for several years).  The father is an egomaniac and his wife and five children suffer under him.   There are many scenes of wild comedy, some of pitiful sadness and a horrifying climax.  Sounds grim, but although a dark study of domestic terror it is seriously and movingly written and indeed I found it a great novel.


Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
chris-l



Joined: 27 Nov 2008
Posts: 731



PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only Christina Stead I have read was 'A Little Tea, a Little Chat' and it really didn't encourage me to continue with the author. This one was also set in the USA and certainly was over-long. I think it was the total lack of sympathy in, and for, any of the characters which it made it such hard going. They were a pretty grim bunch and I was rather glad to see the back of them!


Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Green Jay



Joined: 13 Jan 2009
Posts: 1605


Location: West Sussex

PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 6:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bookfreak wrote:
Another Australian author is Christina Stead, widely acclaimed and nominated for the Nobel Prize several times.
The only novel of hers that I have read is The Man Who Loved Children, which is purportedly her finest and most famous. It is a rather overlong story of an extremely dysfunctional family, set in 1930's USA (where Stead lived for several years). The father is an egomaniac and his wife and five children suffer under him. There are many scenes of wild comedy, some of pitiful sadness and a horrifying climax. Sounds grim, but although a dark study of domestic terror it is seriously and movingly written and indeed I found it a great novel.


I read a few Christina Stead novels when Virago started up its lovely modern classics list. I read Letty Fox: Her Luck because I loved the cover painting - and the cheeky title. Then The Man Who Loved Children (a Penguin edition) - which I think I read twice, but possibly only out of desperation, not having access to many books at the time. The People With The Dogs rings a bell, and For Love Alone, which had a misfit teenage girl trying to find her way in life. Letty Fox was fun. But looking back, they did seem awfully rambling and hard work to get to the weird and wonderful bits, full of strange characters, yearnings and frustrations. I read something about Stead later, that she was quite high handed about her fiction and did not submit to editing or much re-reading of her own work - it definitely shows. I don't think something like this would get published at all these days. But maybe we can say that about many books, and not as criticism, just that they would never reach the light of day as not being commercial enough.


Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Klara Z



Joined: 21 Nov 2008
Posts: 173


Location: London

PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2009 4:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello, again! I'm now in Cairns, Queensland, and I've just finished Ruth Park's (fairly late, I think) novel, 'Swords, Crowns and Rings' an epic story of the early 20th century and the  depression---beginning in 1907 and ending in 1931. Excellent and very moving. I'm about to take 'For the term of his Natural Life' out of my suitcase---probably the first great Australian novel?

An Oz writer I much admire is Henry Handel Richardson---The Fortunes of Richard Mahoney--which I read many years ago---and I have read one novel by Patrick White, 'Riders in the Chariot'. Looking forward to looking for bookshops when I arrive in Sydney later this week....


Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Caro



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 2979


Location: Owaka, New Zealand

PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2009 5:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Klara,
When we were in Cairns for a couple of weeks several years ago I read a book by Ian Idriess (I think that was his name) which was written in the mid-20th century about his time working in the inland part of the area, tin-mining.  (I am now a little hazy about the details - may not have been tin-mining and I can't remember if it was a memoir or written as a novel now.  Either way it was based on his experiences and was really very interesting if you like to know a bit of the history of the place.  Cairns is not a very old centre.  

Cheers, Caro.


Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Vita



Joined: 25 Nov 2008
Posts: 130


Location: Hampshire, UK

PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2009 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Klara,
I just caught up with this thread. I was envying you being in Adelaide and having access to the bookshops there. South Australia is my 'other home' so I know it well. On my last visit the Mary Martin bookshop was my new discovery.

Ruth Park has written some wonderful children's books too. 'Playing Beattie Bow' for older children, The Muddle Headed Wombat for littles and so many more.

Having been through school and college in Oz we always had a good mix of British and Australian authors in English Lit. (Mentioning Henry Handel Richardson took me back to 'doing' The Getting of Wisdom at college.) It was a shock when I began teaching here in the UK in the mid-70s that children's libraries were almost exclusively devoted to British authors. One colleague even suggested that there weren't really any Australian authors because she had never heard of any and then when I attempted to put that misconception straight she intimated that if they were any good beyond local appeal she would have heard of them. Things have changed a little since then!

As you have been in Queensland - hope you were able to keep dry - I wonder if you read any David Malouf, Rembering Babylon, perhaps.



_________________
Vita
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
janetmp



Joined: 12 Jan 2010
Posts: 11


Location: Walsall West Midlands UK

PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 5:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Has anyone read A Fortunate Life by A B Facey.? I  found it an inspiring read. What did others think?


Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
VillageDuckpond



Joined: 30 Dec 2009
Posts: 57


Location: Cambridge, UK

PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 5:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jan

On your recommendation I have already done an inter-county library reservation for this book. If it is anything like the last time I did an inter-county library reservation the book took three months to arrive, came from the British Library and should I have lost it I would have been charged 70! Needless to say I didn't take it on holiday with me despite the fact that it was the perfect size for a week's holiday reading!

Long live public libraries .......


Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Castorboy



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 1798


Location: Castor Bay Auckland NZ

PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 8:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vita wrote:
Klara, Ruth Park has written some wonderful children's books too. Playing Beatie Bow for older children, The Muddle Headed Wombat for littles and so many more.

I have just discovered this obituary for Ruth Park who died, aged 93, the week before Christmas. There is more on www.nzherald.co.nz/arts-literature/news/article.cfm?c_id=18&objectid=10695001



Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Big Readers Forum Index -> What are you reading? All times are GMT
Page Previous  1, 2, 3  Next
Page 2 of 3

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

Card File  Gallery  Forum Archive
Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group
Big Readers Theme by Mike Alexander
Based on Artemis by Vjacheslav Trushkin
Create your own free forum | Buy a domain to use with your forum