Oliver Dennis

Tales From Oz

The Literature of Australia: An Anthology


W W Norton & Co 1,465pp £35 order from our bookshop

A commonplace about Australian writing is that its traditions – or anti-traditions – are hard to pin down. It wasn’t so long ago that the idea of an Australian literature existing at all was treated, in some quarters, as a bit of a joke. The novels of Patrick White almost single-handedly put that perception to bed, and today the standing of Australia’s most prominent writers – including Peter Carey, Clive James, Les Murray and Shirley Hazzard – is everywhere taken for granted. Yet The Literature of Australia does not capitalise on that hard-won security, being notable, chiefly, for the uncertainty of its taste.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter