Welcome to day two of the countdown of Australia’s Favourite Novelists, as voted by you, to celebrate our month of Australian Stories. Here’s the story so far:
50. Kate Grenville
49. Mandy Magro
48. Colleen McCullough
47. Bronwyn Parry
46. Anna Campbell
45. Margareta Osborn
44. Morris Gleitzman
43. Dianne Blacklock
42. Keri Arthur
41. Graeme Simsion
Today the countdown continues, 40-31 as voted by Booktopia users.
Judy Nunn’s career has been long, illustrious and multifaceted. After combining her internationally successful acting career with scriptwriting for television and radio, Judy decided in the 1990s to turn her hand to prose.
Her first three novels, The Glitter Game, Centre Stage and Araluen, set respectively in the worlds of television, theatre and film, became instant bestsellers, and the rest is history, quite literally in fact. She has since developed a love of writing Australian historically-based fiction and her fame as a novelist has spread rapidly throughout Europe where she is published in English, German, French, Dutch, Czech and Spanish.
Fleur McDonald grew up in Orrorroo, South Australia but completed her secondary education in Adelaide.
After school she spent a couple of years jillarooing in South Australia and Western Australia.
Fleur lives with her husband and two children on a station near Esperance in Western Australia. She is highly involved in the daily management of their 8000 acres.
She is the author of the bestselling novels Red Dust, Blue Skies and Purple Roads.
Felicity was born in Germany and attended boarding school in the UK while her parents travelled the world with the British army. She thinks the long boring plane trips home played an important part in helping her to develop her creative imagination.
Felicity settled with her parents in Western Australia in 1976, became a nurse, married young and had three children. Not surprisingly, it took ten years to complete an Arts degree (English lit) at UWA.
In 1990 Felicity and her family moved to a small farm 40 kilometers NE of Perth where she established a Suffolk sheep stud, reared orphan kangaroos and embarked upon a life of crime writing.
Liz Byrski was born and brought up in England and has lived in Western Australia since 1981.
She is the author of a number of non-fiction books, and has worked as a staff and freelance journalist, a broadcaster with ABC Radio and an adviser to a minister in the WA Government.
Liz now lectures in professional writing at Curtin University. She is also the author of Gang of Four; Food, Sex and Money; Belly Dancing for Beginners; Trip of a Lifetime, Bad Behaviour and Last Chance CafÈ.
A fourth generation grazier, Nicole Alexander spent six years at boarding school in Sydney, completed a BA through the University of New England before taking up a marketing career in Singapore and Australia.
Eleven years ago she returned to the family’s wheat/cattle station in Moree, northern New South Wales and is now its business manager. Not only is she a working partner and business manager of a mixed agricultural property but she is also a talented writer.
Her poetry, travel and genealogy articles have been published in Australia, America and Singapore. She has a Master of Letters in creative writing and is currently working on her next book.
Nikki Gemmell has written the novels, Shiver, Cleave, Lovesong, The Bride Stripped Bare, Wih My Body and The Book Of Rapture, as well as the non-fiction book Pleasure: An Almanac for the Heart. Her work has been internationally critically acclaimed and translated into many languages.
In France she’s been described as a female Jack Kerouac, in Australia as one of the most original and engaging authors of her generation and in the US as one of the few truly original voices to emerge in a long time.
The French literary review “Lire” has included her in a list of what it calls the 50 most important writers in the world – the ones it believes will have a significant influence on the literature of the 21st century. The criteria for selection included a very individual voice and unmistakeable style, as well as an original choice of subject. Nikki Gemmell was selected along with such novelists as Rick Moody, Zadie Smith, Jonathan Safran Froer, Rohinton Mistry, Tim Winton, Colum McCann, Michel Faber and Hari Kunzru among others.
34. Helen Garner
Helen Garner’s first novel, Monkey Grip, was published in 1977, and immediately established her as an original voice on the Australian literary scene. She is known for incorporating and adapting her personal experiences in her fiction, something that has brought her both praise and criticism, particularly with her novels, Monkey Grip and The Spare Room.
Throughout her career, Garner has written both fiction and non-fiction. She attracted controversy with her book The First Stone about a sexual harassment scandal in a university college. She has also written for film and theatre, and has consistently won awards for her work.
In subsequent books, she has continued to adapt her personal experiences. Her later novels include The Children’s Bach and Cosmo Cosmolino. In 2008 she returned to fiction writing with the publication of The Spare Room, a fictional treatment of caring for a dying cancer patient, based on the illness and death of Garner’s friend Jenya Osborne. She has also published several short story collections: Honour & Other People’s Children: two stories, Postcards from Surfers and My Hard Heart: Selected Fictions.
Richard Flanagan was born in Longford, Tasmania, in 1961. He is descended from Irish convicts transported to Van Diemen’s Land in the 1840s. His father is a survivor of the Burma Death Railway. One of his three brothers is Australian Rules football journalist Martin Flanagan. He grew up in the remote mining town of Rosebery on Tasmania’s western coast.
His novels, Death Of A River Guide, The Sound Of One Hand Clapping, Gould’s Book Of Fish, The Unknown Terrorist, Wanting and The Narrow Road to the Deep North have received numerous honours and are published in twenty-six countries.
He directed a feature film version of The Sound Of One Hand Clapping. A collection of his essays is published as And What Do You Do, Mr Gable? His latest book The Narrow Road to the Deep North was published last year to widespread acclaim.
Tara Moss is the author of the bestselling crime novels Fetish, Split, Covet, Hit and Siren. Her novels have been published in seventeen countries in eleven languages, and have earned critical acclaim around the world.
Her non-fiction writing has appeared in The Australian Literary Review, Vogue, ELLE, The Australian Women’s Weekly, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian, among other publications.
Moss hosted Natgeo Presents and the international crime documentary series Tara Moss Investigates on the National Geographic Channel, and has participated as a guest and panelist on numerous popular TV programs. She has also conducted hundreds of talks at literary festivals, schools, universities and corporate events.
Melina Marchetta’s first novel, Looking for Alibrandi, swept the pool of literary awards for young adult fiction in 1993, winning the Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Book of the Year Award (Older Readers) among many others. In 2000 it was released as a major Australian film, winning an AFI award and an Independent Film Award for best screenplay as well as the NSW Premier’s Literary Award and the Film Critics Circle of Australia Award.
Melina taught secondary school English and history for 10 years, during which time she released her second novel, Saving Francesca, in 2003, followed by On the Jellicoe Road in 2006, and Finnikin of the Rock in 2008. Saving Francesca won the CBC Book of the Year Award for Older Readers. On the Jellicoe Road was also published in the US as Jellicoe Road, and it won the prestigious American Library Association’s Michael L Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature in 2009. In 2008, Melina’s first work of fantasy, Finnikin of the Rock, won the Aurealis Award for Best Young Adult Novel and was shortlisted for the 2009 CBCA Award for Older Readers.
Melina’s most recent novel, The Piper’s Son, was published in 2010 and has been long-listed for the Miles Franklin Award and shortlisted for the New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards. Melina’s novels have been published in more than sixteen countries and twelve languages.
This story originally appeared on Booktopia.com.au