Australian Women Writers Bingo 2016


Work, and a brief holiday in Darwin for psych daughter’s graduation, have kept me away from home for almost all of October, and woefully behind in my reading and writing. But posts yesterday by Sue from Whispering Gums (here) and then Lisa from ANZ LitLovers (here) served to remind me that I had ‘planned’ to undertake one of the two AWW Bingo card challenges due for completion by 31 Oct (ie. today). About two thirds of my reading/reviewing falls under the categories of ‘Australian’ and ‘Women Writers’ so how hard could it be?

A quick check to make sure I have chosen the card that does not include poetry, and here we go.

A book with a mystery: I’ve read guy mysteries – Arthur Upfield and Peter Corris – but unfortunately none of Kerry Greenwood’s fabulous Phryne Fisher, not this year at least. I could have gone with a Liane Moriarty, her novels seem to have strategically placed ‘reveals’ and a final ‘mystery’ but decided to go with Nikki Gemmell’s Love Song (2001) which contains mysteries around the cause of the school fire, and the paternity of the baby to whom she is writing – Review.

A book by someone under 30: I could cheat and say I re-read My Brilliant Career (that would be re-re-re-re- at least) but I’ll go with Justine Ettler’s The River Ophelia (1996) – Review – and then look up her birth year – 1965 – out by 1.

A book that’s more than 10 years old: A book that’s more than 10 years old! At my age that’s just a new book waiting to be read. It made me think: what’s a recent book and what’s an old book? My dividing line would be the 1960s – Helen Garner’s Monkey Grip this side of the line and Kylie Tennant and so on on the far side. Anyway, I’ll go with Miles Franklin writing as Brent of Bin Bin and Up the Country (1928) – Review

A book by an Indigenous author: Well, that’s the easy one, I’ve reviewed at least four, but how about Pictures From My Memory, a memoir by Western Desert woman Lizzie Marrkilyi Ellis (2016) – Review

A best seller: I see some of my friends struggled with this, but as Liane Moriarty is billed as ‘New York best seller author’ this is my reward for reviewing Truly Madly Guilty (2016) – Review

A book set in the outback: My intention had been to go with another book by Indigenous authors, the lovely Two Sisters (2016), Ngarta and Jukuna, set in WA’s Great Sandy Desert, but it occurred to me only while I was driving/meditating today that “the Outback” is a white construct, based on the concept of the “hostile interior” and so probably not applicable to a story of traditional life. As I haven’t read We of the Never Never, or From Strength to Strength this year, or even Tracks or Gemmell’s Alice Springs/Cleave I’ll go with Mary Gaunt’s Kirkham’s Find (1897) – Review

A short story collection: With apologies to Helen Garner’s 2001 collection of essays, The Feel of Steel, which I greatly enjoyed, No Contest! Henry Handel Richardson, The Adventures of Cuffy Mahony and other stories (1979) – Review

A book published this year: I’ve already listed a few, so for something different, Sue Parritt’s SF novel, the second in a series, Pia and the Skyman (2016) – Review

Free Square: Saving the best for last? Well maybe. I’ve read some excellent books by (and about) Australian Women Writers this year and this is definitely one of them. Sylivia Martin’s life of poet, activist (and daughter of Nettie and Vance) Aileen Palmer, Ink in her Veins (2016) – Review


Making a start yesterday on this Friday’s post for Lisa’s Christina Stead Week





8 thoughts on “Australian Women Writers Bingo 2016

  1. Great write up Bill – and you’ve made me change, in the nick of time, my Monday Musings post. You’ll have to read it to see what I mean (or, you’ll get the trackback!)

    I think Garner needn’t be offended since The feel of steel is essays not stories! And I giggled at your bestseller response.

    Anyhow, thanks for playing. Have you posted your Bingo post on the AWW site – as a comment on the Bingo post? The link’s in my post. It would be lovely if you did.

    Love your photo too. Do I have to read Stead this week? Hmm, I suspect as usual I’ll be posting at the last minuter for that one.


    • I’m just home, my priorities seem to be wash, write, eat, drink, so though I’ve had a quick look at Monday musings it might take me till some time tomorrow to make a considered response. I noticed you talking about ‘indigenous’/’Aboriginal’ the other day and that’s what put thinking about the words we use at the front of my mind.


      • Any time you want to comment Bill is fun environment. You know I’m often late these days. As for terminology, I still don’t know what we whitefellas should use, but I usually use indigenous Australians. I used Aboriginal in my Dark emu post because that’s what Oasvoe used.


  2. Gosh, wouldn’t Stead be amazed to see her book propped there on the end of a – what is it? A 36 wheeler?!

    I’m a bit taken aback by what you say about The Outback as a white construct. You’re right of course, I just hadn’t thought of that… though I think you’d like my choice because it’s about a Chinese man in Broken Hill, not a bronzed Aussie Ocker.

    That author under 30 is a challenge for everyone…


  3. Good on you Bill. I’m afraid my AWW reading didn’t quite stretch to ticking the boxes on a complete bingo card – my AWW reading is nowhere near as much or as varied as yours.

    Your pic for Christina Stead Week is THE BEST.


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