Discovering books set in Australia...

Take me straight to the books! 

Australia - the land of sun and sea - of bronzed bodies on the beach and cuddly koalas in the trees. Well - that might be the stereotype, but by delving into books set in Australia, you will discover a far more rich and complex country than is commonly presented in the tourism commercials.

It is true that the Australian landscape is often a feature of many Australian novels, but you are more likely to find our characters coming to terms with the isolation and harshness of their surroundings than lying on a beautiful beach and soaking up the sun. Books like Peter Carey's Oscar and Lucinda, Secrets of the Sea by Nicholas Shakespeare and Kate Grenville's The Secret River are all examples of how the landscape and its challenges are vital to many Australian stories.

Australian literature has long been filled with silent, brooding men who have spent too much time alone in 'the outback', whether they be convicts, settlers, drovers or farmers - so it is not uncommon to find our male characters struggling to come to terms with their relationships, even in contemporary novels. Evie Wyld's After the Fire, a Still Small Voice and Dirt Music by Tim Winton are just two examples.

If crime fiction is your thing then Peter Temple is among the best in the genre, his novels immersing you in the Melbourne underworld - and don't despair if you DO want a bit of sun, sand and Sydney -  there's always some chick lit like Clare Naylor's Dog Handling or Pants on Fire by Maggie Alderson to take you there.

So start exploring the books set in Australia we have selected for you below - and enjoy the wonderfully diverse country that you will find there. 

If you are visiting us from the Americas, please feel free to visit our US site.

 

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