I decided this week that I wanted to get to know my new home country a little better. To that end I am exploring some Australian literature. I’ve read English classics as part of my education, which also included points of focus on American classics as well. But, apart from “A Town Called Alice” I have read almost nothing about Australia (I have read Bill Bryson’s Notes from a Sunburnt Country, but I’m not sure that counts as high literature!). Recently I have devoured ‘The Road from Coorain” by Jill Ker Conway who grew up on a sheep station in the West of New South Wales and which tracks her experiences of the joys and hardships of that life. As soon as I opened the book I knew we were going to get along. You have probably read my long, overly descriptive and rambling prose on the landscape around me? Well Jill described her world in similar ways:
As a ‘coming of age’ story it deals with big issues and small, with personal and social awakening, with tragedy and love, with finding your place in the world and with all kinds of other issues big and small. I think this book might stay with me for a while.
What else should I be reading? Australian friends, what else is ‘classic’ Australian literature or central to understanding the Australian or Indigenous experience?