I nearly forgot to do this, but I’m home, on holidays, I can do it now. That’ll make seven pending posts, so this week will look a bit busy, as will next week as we knock over Gen 2.
I’m impressed by the new releases I listed in Best Reads 2017, I’ve read nothing like that – quantity or quality – this year past. Three or four crime fiction on audiobook and that’s it. Elizabeth Tan’s Rubik was the best ‘new release’ I read but it’s actually 2017, and I squeezed in the marvellous Tracker before New Years but that’s 2017 too. The nearest I got is my current bedtime reading, AS Patrić’s The Butcherbird Stories (2018). Must do better! I’ve already read my first 2019, and written a review, which I’ll put up in a day or two (Sue/Whispering Gums lists her best of 2019 new releases here).
Here are my lists for 50, 100, 150 and 200 years ago drawn from Annals of Australian Literature, with just one review. I’ve read a few of them (4 or 5), and notably Frank Dalby Davidson’s, The White Thorntree (1968) which marks an important step between the 1950s and what we baby boomers regard as modernity.
There were 25 novels published, the best of them (ie. the ones I recognise) –
Thea Astley, A Boat Load of Home Folk
Di Cilento, The Manipulator
Kenneth Cook, The Wine of God’s Anger
Frank Dalby Davidson, The White Thorntree
David Ireland, The Chantic Bird
Joan Lindsay, Picnic at Hanging Rock
Morris Lurie, The London Jungle Adventures of Charlie Hope
John Rowe, Count Your Dead (important anti-Vietnam War novel)
Christina Stead, The Puzzleheaded Girl (review: ANZLL)
Morris West, The Tower of Babel
In the Others category there were
Keith Dunstan, Wowsers which caused a bit of a stir
Kit Denton, A Walk Around my Cluttered Mind
Gwen Harwood, Poems vol.II
Dorothy Hewett, Windmill Country
Sumner Locke Elliott, Rusty Bugles
Colin Roderick, Suckled by a Wolf (I wonder what that’s about)
Gavin Souter, A Peculiar People: New Australia in Paraguay
Ian Turner, The Australian Dream
44 books published, 11 more than the previous year, though one was in French, and including two immortal books for children.
May Gibbs, Snugglepot and Cuddlepie
Norman Lindsay, The Magic Pudding
Bernard Cronin, The Coastlanders
Ewart, Front Lines (can’t identify ‘Ewart’, the NLA credits Boyd Cable)
Doris Egerton Jones, The Year Between
Sydney de Loghe, One Crowded Hour
GG McCrae, John Rous
Donald MacLean, The Luck of the Gold Moidore
Margaret Marlowe, The Women Who Wait
Steele Rudd, Memoirs of Corporal Keeley
Mollie Skinner, Letters of a V.A.D.
Paul Wenz, Bonnes Gens de la Grande Guerres
Arthur Wright, Over the Odds
Arthur Wright, The Breed Holds Good
Arthur Wright, When Nuggets Glistened
CJ Dennis, Digger Smith
Mary Gilmore, The Passionate Heart
Henry Lawson, Selected Poems
Murdoch ed., The Oxford Book of Australian Verse
Just six books! And Steele Rudd and Mary Fullerton were born.
Catherine Helen Spence, The Author’s Daughter
Richmond Thatcher, Mr Newcombe in Search of a Cattle Station
One book, which is one more than the previous six years.
Thomas Wells, Michael Howe, the Last and Worst of the Bushrangers of Van Diemen’s Land (reprinted in 1966)
I know I don’t need to remind you of Australian Women Writers Gen 2 Week 13-19 Jan. 2018. In writing this post I see I have been overlooking Mollie Skinner – here with Letters of a V.A.D. (1918) – who co-wrote The Boy in the Bush with DH Lawrence.
Also, seeing the Chantic Bird (1968) reminds me that Lisa (ANZLitLovers) has persuaded me to have a David Ireland ‘year’. So over the course of 2019 I hope that by my own efforts and by some judicious sharing of yours, I can put up reviews for all his novels. I’ll commence a David Ireland page with a list of his works, and what reviews I can find, once Gen 2 Week is over.
Joy Hooton and Harry Heseltine, Annals of Australian Literature, 2nd Ed., OUP, Melbourne, 1992