Australian Women Writers Challenge

Saturday, 12 January 2013

I have signed up this year for the Australian Women Writers Challenge.  The challenge is to commit to reading - and preferably reviewing - a certain amount of Australian women writers over the year.  Elizabeth Luedge began the challenge last year in response to the fact that male writers are more likely to be reviewed than female writers around the world, including this country.

And so here is the mixed bag of books I am planning on reading and reviewing for the year (mostly adult fiction, but also some YA, children's, fantasy and non-fiction):

  • Anna Funder - All That I Am
  • Helen Garner - The Children's Bach (a reread, seeing last time I read it I was chronically fatigued and now, years later, my memory is so bad that I can't even remember it)
  • Margo Lanagan - Sea Hearts
  • Geraldine Brooks - People of the Book
  • MJ Hyland - How the Light Gets In
  • Leanne Hall - This is Shyness
  • Alice Pung - Her Father's Daughter
  • Chardi Christian - The Selkie and the Fisherman
  • Enza Gandolfo - Swimming
  • Elizabeth Harrower - The Watch Tower
  • Simmone Howell - Notes from the Teenage Underground
  • Kylie Ladd - After the Fall
  • Favel Parrett - Past the Shallows
  • Ananda Braxton-Smith - Tantony

Lists can be deceiving, can't they.  You would think by looking at mine that I'm a connoisseur of Australian women's writers.  The reality is that I don't recognise many of these writers' names, let alone would know whether they are Australian.  I certainly wouldn't know any of them if I accidentally fell over them in the street.  (Well, except for Helen Garner, of course, and I would, like, totally, like, be so embarrassed if I fell on Helen Garner in the street 'cause, like, I would squeal a lot.  And I would probably recognise Ananda Braxton-Smith, because I went to uni with her back in the late '90s.  But it was a while ago now, and I have such a bad memory that maybe I wouldn't recognise her either).

So while I'm a bit self-conscious about my measly ability to be able to name Australian women writers, I am very happy that when I consulted my ongoing and regularly updated Books to Read list that there happened to be so many Aussie women writers on there.


  1. oh I adored Geraldine Brooke's "People of the Book", I would love to see that made into a movie

    what an interesting challenge to take up, i look forward to reading your reviews

  2. Love that logo, Sue!! Did you notice that the silhouette portrays a young girl on the right side and an old man on the left. So interesting, it could be purposeful, the back of the girl's hat is the front brim for the old man's, he has a slightly beaked nose and long beard made up out of her braid, tied with a bow (his nose). What comes to mind, instantly, is a breakthrough for Australian women writers as regards patriarchal type prejudice. Do you see it?

  3. Ooh, you adored it? Ooh, good, then. I look forward to reading it more, then. For some reason I have a feeling it's going to be stuffy and musty ... which is based most likely on my fear that it won't be as good as Year of Wonders was. I loved that book so much I've read it twice and my awful memory will probably allow me to read it again in a few years with few hassles. Have you read it?

    I'm a bit nervous about writing reviews, actually. I have very little experience :)

  4. No, I didn't notice that. Oooh, that's really cool, Sarah. Putting the patriarchal entitled old white man on the backside. Nice! :)


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