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The Best Australian Essays 2011


Douglas Adams

  • The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe
  • The Restaurant at the End of the Universe
  • Life, The Universe and Everything
  • So Long, and Thanks for all the Fish
  • Mostly Harmless
  • Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency
  • The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul

Naomi Alderman

Tara Altebrando

Stephen E. Ambrose

  • Band of Brothers

Martin Amis

Steven Amsterdam


Romy Ash

Jay Asher

Thea Astley

  • It’s Raining in Mango
  • A Kindness Cup

Jami Attenberg

  • The Middlesteins
  • The Melting Season
  • The Kept Man
  • Instant Love

Margaret Atwood

  • The Edible Woman
  • Surfacing
  • Lady Oracle
  • Life Before Man
  • Bodily Harm
  • The Handmaid’s Tale
  • Cat’s Eye
  • The Robber Bride
  • Alias Grace
  • The Blind Assassin
  • Oryx and Crake
  • The Penelopiad
  • The Year of the Flood


Murray Bail

  • Eucalyptus

Julia Baird

Kathryn Barker

Julian Barnes

JD Barrett

Dan Baum

Maxine Beneba-Clarke

Maeve Binchy

  • Light a Penny Candle
  • Echoes
  • The Lilac Bus
  • Firefly Summer
  • Silver Wedding
  • Circle of Friends
  • The Copper Beech
  • The Glass Lake
  • Evening Class
  • Tara Road
  • Scarlet Feather
  • Quentins
  • Nights of Rain and Stars
  • Whitethorn Woods
  • Heart and Soul
  • Minding Frankie
  • A Week in Winter

Tony Birch

Geoffrey Blainey

  • The Tyranny of Distance

Judy Blume

Hilary Burden

  • A Story of Seven Summers

Anthony Burgess


  •  The Outsider

Fiona Capp

Peter Carey

  • Amnesia
  • The Chemistry of Tears
  • Parrot and Oliver in America
  • His Illegal Self
  • Theft: A Love Story
  • Wrong About Japan
  • My Life as a Fake
  • 30 Days in Sydney: A Wildly Distorted Account
  • True History of the Kelly Gang
  • Jack Maggs
  • The Big Bazoohey
  • Collected Stories
  • The Unusual Life of Tristan Smith
  • The Tax Inspector
  • Oscar and Lucinda
  • Illywhacker
  • Bliss
  • The Fat Man in History
  • War Crimes

Paul D Carter

Suzanne Collins

Kenneth Cooke

  • Wake in Fright

Terrizita Corpus and Maggie Prewett

  • The Grumpy Lighthouse

Patricia Cornwell

Meredith Costain

Bryce Courtenay

  • The Power of One

Jim Crace

  • Continent
  • The Gift of Stones
  • Arcardia
  • Signals of Distress
  • The Slow Digestions of the Night
  • Quarantine
  • Being Dead
  • The Devils Larder
  • Six
  • The Pesthouse
  • On Heat
  • All That Follows
  • Harvest

Sloane Crossley

  • I Was Told There’d Be Cake
  • How Did You Get This Number?

Michael Cunningham

  • The Snow Queen
  • By Nightfall
  • Laws for Creations
  • Specimen Days
  • The Hours
  • At Home at the End of the World
  • Flesh and Blood

Sophie Cunningham

Dymphna Cusack and Florence James

  • Come in Spinner


Dalai Lama

  • The Art of Happiness

Michelle de Kretser

  • Questions of Travel

Gregoire Delacourt

  • The List of my Desires

Su Dharmapala

  • The Wedding Season

Junot Diaz

  • This is How You Lose Her
  • The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
  • Drown

Anita Diamant

  • The Red Tent

Phillip K Dick

Anh Do

Anthony Doerr

Norman Doidge

Emma Donoghue


  • Lives of the Poets


Nick Earls

  • Welcome to Normal
  • Zigzag Street

Ali Cobby Eckermann and Lionel Fogarty

  • Southerly – A Handful of Sand: words to the frontline edited by

Kim Edwards

Jennifer Egan

  • A Visit From the Goon Squad
  • The Keep
  • Look At Me
  • The Invisible Circus
  • Emerald City and Other Stories

Shereen El Feki

Bret Easton Ellis

  • Less Than Zero
  • The Rules of Attraction
  • American Pyscho
  • The Informers
  • Glamorama
  • Lunar Park
  • Imperial Bedrooms
  • Tranquil Reflections

Ben Elton

Cary Elwes

Anne Enright

  • The Portable Virgin
  • The Wig My Father Wore
  • What Are You Like?
  • The Pleasure of Eliza Lynch
  • Making Babies: Stumbling into Motherhood
  • The Gathering
  • Taking Pictures
  • Yesterday’s Weather
  • The Forgotten Waltz
  • The Horse Whisperer

Tess Evans

Frederick Exley

  • A Fan’s Notes
  • Pages From a Cold Island
  • Last Notes From Home


Albert Facey

Richard Ford

  • A Piece of My Heart
  • The Ultimate Good Luck
  • The Sportswriter
  • Wildlife
  • Independence Day
  • The Lay of the Land
  • Canada
  • Rock Springs
  • Women with Men: Three Stories
  • A Multitude of Sins
  • Vintage Ford

Gayle Forman

Karin Fossum

  • In the Darkness
  • Don’t Look Back
  • He Who Fears the Wolf
  • When the Devil Holds the Candle
  • Calling Out For You
  • Black Seconds
  • The Murder of Harriet Krohn
  • The

Miles Franklin

  • My Brilliant Career

Kinky Friedman

  • Moab is my Washpot
  • The Fry Chronicles
  • The Ode Less Travelled
  • Making History
  • The Liar
  • Hippopotamus
  • Fateful
  • The Dark Fields

Peter Goldsworthy

  • Maestro

Alison Goodman

  • Singing the Dogstar Blues
  • Killing the Rabbit
  • The Two Pearls of Wisdom
  • Eona
  • A New Kind of Death

Charlaine Harris

Elizabeth Harrower

  • The Watch Tower
  • Down in the City
  • The Long Prospect
  • The Catherine Wheel

Sonya Hartnett

  • Wilful Blue
  • Sleeping Dogs
  • The Devil Latch
  • Princes
  • All of my Dangerous Friends
  • Stripes on the Sidestep Wolf
  • Thursday’s Child
  • Forest
  • The Silver Donkey
  • Surrender
  • The Ghost’s Child
  • Butterfly
  • The Midnight Zoo
  • Trouble All the Way
  • Sparkle and Nightfall
  • The Glass House
  • Black Foxes
  • Of a Boy
  • Landscape with Animals

Lisa Heidke

  • Stella Makes Good

Zoe Heller

Ernest Hemingway

  • The Sun Also Rises
  • A Farewell to Arms
  • To Have and Have Not
  • For Whom the Bell Tolls
  • Across the River and into the Trees
  • The Old Man and the Sea

Kaui Hart Hemmings

  • The Descendants

Xavier Herbert

  • Capricornia

L. S. Hilton

  • In My Skin
  • The Romantic

Gail Honeyman

Chloe Hooper

  • The Tall Man

Robert Hughes

  • The Fatal Shore

Lindsay Hunter

Aldous Huxley

  • This is how
  • Carry Me Down
  • How the Light Gets In


Eowyn Ivey


Antoni Jach

  • Napoleon’s Double
  • My Hundred Lovers
  • Life in Seven Mistakes
  • The Broken Book
  • A Better Woman
  • Hungry Ghosts
  • Messages from Chaos
  • Flying Lessons
  • A Big Life
  • Latitudes
  • Women Love Sex

George Johnston


Hanif Kureishi

Thomas Keneally

  • Schindler’s Ark
  • The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith

Cate Kennedy

Gayle Kennedy and Ross Carnsew

  • Just the Skin You’re Livin’ In

Hannah Kent

Stephen King

Michael Kimball

  • Big Ray
  • Us
  • Dear Everybody
  • The Way the Family Got Away

Karl Ove Knausgård

  • Ute at verden
  • A Time to Every Purpose Under Heaven
  • Min Kamp – My Struggle (6 volumes)

Michelle Knight

Malcolm Knox

  • The Life

CJ Koch

  • The Year of Living Dangerously

Ramona Koval

  • Samovar

Anna Krien


Kylie Ladd 

Into My Arms

Sophie Laguna

Margo Lanagan

▪               Sea Hearts

Derek Landy

Stieg Larsson

Stephanie Laurens

▪               Captain Jack’s Woman (part of theBastion Club series)

Hugh Laurie

▪               The Gunseller

Benjamin Law

▪               The Family Law

▪               Gaysia

Margaret Lawrence

▪               The Diviners

Julia Leigh

Elmore Leonard

▪               Get Shorty

David Leviathan

Tao Lin

▪               Tai Pei

Joan Lindsay

▪               The PIcnic at Hanging Rock

Norman Lindsay

▪               The Magic Pudding

Marjorie M Liu

▪               Tiger Eye

▪               Wild Thing

Lorna Little and Janice Lyndon

▪               The Mark Of The Wagarl

Zane Lovitt

▪               The Midnight Promise

Lennie Lower

▪               Here’s Luck

Judith Lucy

▪               Drink Smoke Pass Out

▪               The Lucy Family Alphabet

Sergei Lukyanenko

▪               Night Watch

▪               Day Watch

▪               Twilight Watch/Dusk Watch

▪               Last Watch

▪               New Watch


Ricky Macourt

▪               Jali Boy

Emily Maguire

▪               Fishing For Tigers

Adeline Yen Mah

Bob Mainwaring

▪               Escape to Van Diemen’s Land

Shane Maloney

▪               Stiff

▪               The Brush-Off

▪               Nice Try

▪               The Big Ask

▪               Something Fishy

▪               Sucked In

David Malouf

▪               An Imaginary Life

▪               Ransom

Hilary Mantel

▪               Wolf Hall

▪               Bring Up the Bodies

Melina Marchetta

▪               Looking for Alibrandi

▪               Saving Francesca

▪               On the Jellicoe Road

▪               Finnikin of the Rock

▪               The Piper’s Son

▪               The Gorgon in the Gully

▪               Froi of the Exiles

▪               Quintara of Charyn

Yann Martel

▪               Life of Pi

George RR Martin

▪               The Game of Thrones

▪               A Clash of Kings

▪               A Storm of Storms

▪               A Feast for Crows

▪               A Dance with Dragons

▪               The Winds of Winter

▪               A Dream of Spring

Steve Martin

▪               Shopgirl

Richard Matheson

▪               I Am Legend

Alexander McCall Smith

▪               Portugese Irregular Verbs

▪               The Finer Points of Sausage Dogs

▪               At the Villa of Reduced Circumstances

Cormac McCarthy

▪               The Orchard Keeper

▪               Outer Dark

▪               Child of God

▪               Suttree

▪               Blood Meridian or the Evening Redness in the West

▪               All the Pretty Horses

▪               The Crossing

▪               Cities of the Plain

▪               No Country for Old Men

▪               The Road

Maureen McCarthy

▪               The Convent

▪               Queen Kat, Carmel and St Jude

Val McDermid

The Tony Hill and Carol Jordan Series

Kate Branigan Series

  • Dead Beat
  • Kick Back
  • Crack Down
  • Clean Break
  • Blue Genes
  • Star Struck

Karen Pirie Series

Fiona McFarlane

John McGahern

  •  The Barracks
  • The Dark
  •  The Leavetaking
  •  The Pornographer
  • Amongst Women
  •  That They May Face the Rising Sun

Michael McGirr

▪               Things You Get For Free

▪               Bypass – The Story of a Road

▪               The Lost Art of Sleep

 Brenton E McKenna

▪                Ubby’s Underdogs: The Legend of the Phoenix Dragon

Andrew McMillan

▪               An Intruder’s Guide to East Arnhem Land

Sue McPherson

▪               Grace Beside Me

Richelle Mead

▪               Vampire Academy

▪               Frostbite

▪               Shadow Kiss

▪               Blood Promise

▪               Spirit Bound

▪               Last Sacrifice

Gladys Milroy and Jill Milroy

▪               Dingo’s Tree

Yukio Mishima

▪               Spring Snow

Drusilla Modjeska

▪               The Mountain

John Kerr and Ray Mooney

▪               A Pack of Bloody Animals

Alan Moorehead

▪               Gallipoli

Frank Moorhouse

▪               Grand Days

Paula Morris

▪               Ruined – A Novel

Toni Morrison

▪               The Bluest Eye

▪               Sula

▪               Song of Solomon

▪               Tar Baby

▪               Beloved

▪               Jazz

▪               Paradise

▪               Love

▪               A Mercy

▪               Home

Walter Mosley

▪               Little Green

▪               Blonde Faith

▪               Cinnamon Kiss

▪               LIttle Scarlet

▪               Six Easy Pieces

▪               Bad Boy Brawly Brown

▪               A Little Yellow Dog

▪               Black Betty

▪               Gone Fishin’

▪               White Butterfly

▪               A Red Death

▪               Devil in a Blue Dress

Elspeth Muir

Iris Murdoch

▪               The Sea, The Sea

Sarah Murgatroyd

▪               The Dig Tree

Ruby J Murray

▪               Running Dogs


Lucy Neave

▪               Who We Were

Irene Nemirovsky

▪               Suite francaise

Audrey Niffenegger

▪               The Time Traveler’s Wife


Tim O’Brien

▪               The Things They Carried

Louise O’Neill

Fiona Wirrer-George Oochunyung

▪               Jindah Murray Wind Dancer

Paddy O’Reilly

▪               The Wonders

▪               The Factory

▪               The Fine Colour of Rust

▪               The End of the World

George Orwell

▪               Burmese Days

▪               A Clergyman’s Daughter

▪               Keep the Aspidistra Flying

▪               Coming Up for Air

▪               Animal Farm

▪               Nineteen Eighty-Four

▪               Down and Out in Paris and London

▪               The Road to Wigan Pier

▪               Homage to Catalonia

Amos Oz

▪               Scenes from Village Life

Ruth Ozeki

▪               A Tale for the Time Being


R.J. Palacio

Chuck Palahniuk

▪               Fight Club

▪               Beautiful You

▪               Doomed

▪               Invisible Monsters Remix

▪               Tell-All

▪               Snuff

▪               Haunted

▪               Diary

▪               Lullaby

▪               Burnt Tongues: Stories

▪               Phoenix (A Kindle Single)

▪               Damned

▪               Pygmy

▪               Rant

▪               Stranger Than Fiction: True Stories

▪               Fugitives and Refugees: A Walk in Portland, Oregon

▪               Choke

▪               Survivor

Grace Paley

▪               The little Disturbances of Man

▪               Enormous Changes at the Last Minute

▪               Later the Same Day

▪               Leaning Forward

▪               365 Reasons Not to Have Another War

▪               Long Walks and Intimate Talks

▪               New and Collected Poems

▪               Just As I Thought

▪               Begin Again: Collected Poems

▪               Fidelity

Ruth Park

▪               The Harp in the South

▪               Poor Man’s Orange

▪               The Witches Thorn

▪               A Power of Roses

▪               Pink Flannel

▪               One-a-Pecker, Two-a-pecker

▪               The Goos Looking Women

▪               Swords and Crowns and Rings

▪               Missus

▪               Playing Beatie Bow

Favel Parrett

▪               Past the Shallows

Bruce Pascoe

▪               The Chainsaw File

James Patterson

Anne Perry

▪               The Face of a Stranger

▪               A Dangerous Mourning

▪               Defend and Betray

▪               A Sudden, Fearful Death

▪               The Sins of the Wolf

▪               Cain His Brother

▪               Weighed in the Balance

▪               The Silent City

▪               A Breach of Promise (Whited Sepulchres)

▪               The Twisted Root

▪               Slaves of Obsession

▪               A Funeral in Blue

▪               Death of a Stranger

▪               The Shifting Tide

▪               Dark Assassin

▪               Execution Dock

▪               Acceptable Loss

▪               A Sunless Sea

▪               Blind Justice

Dorothy Porter

▪               The Monkey’s Mask

Hal Porter

▪               The Watcher on the Cast-Iron Balcony

Paula Poundstone

David Pearce

▪               Red Riding Quartet -Nineteen Seventy-Four

▪               Red Riding Quartet -Nineteen Seventy-Seven

▪               Red Riding Quartet -Nineteen Eighty

▪               Red Riding Quartet -Nineteen Eighty-Three

Elliot Pearlman

▪               Three Dollars

▪               Seven Types of Ambiguity

▪               The Street Sweeper

Gina Perry

▪               Behind the Shock Machine

Sylvia Plath

E. Annie Proulx

▪               The Shipping News

▪               Close Range – Wyoming Stories

Boori Monty Pryor and Meme McDonald

▪               Njunjul the Sun

▪               Fly Trap

Phillip Pullman

▪               The Golden Compass

▪               The Subtle Knife

▪               The Amber Spyglass

Alice Pung

▪               Unpolished Gem



Ayn Rand

▪               The Fountainhead

▪               Atlas Shrugged

Ransom Riggs

Jane Rawson

▪               A Wrong Turn at the Office of Unmade Lists

Henry Handel Richardson

▪               The Fortunes of Richard Mahoney

Deborah Robertson

▪               Careless

▪               Sweet Old World

Tom Robbins

▪               Even Cowgirls Get the Blues

▪               Skinny Legs and All

▪               Jitterbug Perfume

Charlotte Rogan

▪               The Lifeboat

Heather Rose

Judith Rossell

Rainbow Rowell


Jonathan Safran Foer

▪               Everything is Illuminated

▪               Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Catherine de Saint Phalle

JD Salinger

▪               Catcher in the Rye

James Salter

▪               The Hunters

▪               The Arm of Flesh

▪               A Sport and a Pastime

▪               Downhill Racer

▪               The Appointment

▪               Three

▪               Light Years

▪               Solo Faces

▪               Threshold

▪               Dusk and Stories

▪               Still Such

▪               Burning the Days

▪               Gods of Tin

▪               Last Night

▪               There and Then: The Travel Writing of James Salter

▪               Life is Meals: A Food Lover’s Book of Days

▪               “My Lord You” and “Palm Court”

▪               Memorable Days: The Selected Letters of James Salter and Robert Phelps

▪               All That Is

▪               Collected Shorts

Alex Sanchez

George Saunders

▪               CivilWarLand in Bad Decline

▪               Pastoralia

▪               The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip

▪               The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil

▪               In Persuasion Nation

Jennifer Saunders

▪               Bonkers

Kim Scott

▪               The Deadman Dance

Kim ScottIris Woods and the Wirlomin Noongar Language & Stories Project

▪               Mamang

Kim ScottLomas Roberts and the Wirlomin Noongar Language & Stories Project

▪               Noongar Mambata Bakitj

Alice Sebold

Titta Secombe

▪                Marngrook: The Long Ago Story of Aussie Rules

David Sedaris

▪               Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls

▪               Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk

▪               Holidays on Ice

▪               When You Are Engulfed in Flames

▪               Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim

▪               Me Talk Pretty One Day

▪               Naked

▪               Barrel Fever

Will Self

▪               The Butt

Lionel Shriver

▪               The Female of the Species

▪               Checker and the Derailleurs

▪               The Bleeding Heart

▪               Ordinary Decent Criminals

▪               Game Control

▪               A Perfectly Good Family

▪               Double Fault

▪               We Need to Talk About Kevin

▪               The Post-Birthday World

▪               So Much for That

▪               The New Republic

▪               Big Brother: A Novel

Gena Showalter

Nevil Shute

▪               On The Beach

Craig Silvey

▪               Jasper Jones

Graeme Simsion

▪               The Rosie Project

Curtis Sittenfeld

▪               Prep

Holly Smale

Patti Smith

▪               Just Kids

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

▪               Gulag Archipelago

Christina Stead

▪               The Man Who Loved Children

▪               For Love Alone

Robert Louis Stevenson

▪               Treasure Island

▪               Kidnapped

▪               The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde

Kathryn Stockett

Jen Storer

Randolph Stow

▪               Visitants

Will Swanton

▪               Murderball

Magda Szubanski


Donna Tartt

Cory Taylor

Kressman Taylor

▪               Address Unknown

Peter Temple

▪               Bad Debts

▪               Black Tide

▪               Dead Point

▪               White Dog

▪               An Iron Rose

▪               Shooting Star

▪               In the Evil Day

▪               The Broken Shore

▪               Truth

Watkin Tench

▪               1788

Carrie Tiffany

▪               Mateship with Birds

▪               Everyman’s Rules for Scientific Living

Rachel Treasure

▪               Jillaroo

Christos Tsiolkas

▪               The Slap

Ethel Turner

▪               Seven Little Australians

Anne Tyler



Julianne Van Loon

▪               Road Story

▪               Beneath the Bloodwood Tree

▪               Harmless

Ned Vizzini

Kurt Vonnegut

Sonya Voumard


Michael Wagner

▪               Destiny’s Right Hand

Vikki Wakefield

▪               Friday Brown

Alice Walker

▪               The Colour Purple

Tegan Warner

Larry Watson

Nicole Watson

▪               The Boundary

John Weldon

▪               Spincycle

Chuck Wendig

▪               Blackbirds

Sarah Wendell

▪               Everthing I Know About Love I Learnt From Romance Novels

▪               Beyond Heaving Bosoms

Albert Wendt

Christian White

Patrick White

▪               The Tree of Man

▪               Voss

▪               Riders in the Chariot

Tommy Wieringa

Gabrielle Williams


Tim Winton

▪               An Open Swimmer

▪               Shallows

▪               That Eye, The Sky

▪               In the Winter Dark

▪               Cloudstreet

▪               The Riders

▪               Blueback

▪               Dirt Music

▪               Breath

▪               Lockie Leonard

▪               Eyrie

Alison Wong

▪               As the Earth Turns Silver

Charlotte Wood

▪               Animal People

▪               Submerged Cathederal

Chris Womersley

▪               Cairo

▪               Bereft

▪               The Low Road

Alexis Wright

▪               Carpentaria

Evie Wyld


Gao Xingjian

▪               Constellation in a Cold Night

▪               Such a Pigeon called Red Lips

▪               Buying a Fishing Rod for My Grandfather

▪               Soul Mountain

▪               One Man’s Bible


Rick Yancey

Rusty Young

▪               Marching Powder


Arnold Zable

▪               Violin Lessons

Carlos Ruiz Zafon

▪               Shadow of the Wind

Markus Zusak

▪               The Book Thief

I am the Messenger

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