Monday, 7 October 2013
Australian Classics in Print
Finding Australian classics that are still in print can be a bit of a challenge...even for those of us living in Australia!
Several publishing houses have started to bring back out of print books for new audiences to enjoy.
Below is a list (with links) for a few of these classic series.
A couple of years ago Text Publishing began to republish out of print Australian classics.
"The Text Classics series is designed to unearth some of the lost marvels of our literature, and to allow readers to rediscover wonderful books they have never forgotten. These books are milestones in the Australian experience. We have chosen them in the conviction that they still have much to say to us, undiminished in their power to delight, challenge and surprise us."
They currently have 66 titles on their list, most of them award winning books and authors, at a great price.
You can view (and shop) their webpage here.
So far, in this series, I've read Women in Black by Madeleine St John.
Previously I have read (in older editions) Wish by Peter Goldsworthy, Hills End & Ash Road by Ivan Southall, The Getting of Wisdom by Henry Handel Richardson, Strine by Afferbeck Lauder, My Brilliant Career by Miles Franklin and Eat Me by Linda Jaivin.
If time permits I will try to do a few Friday Flashback reviews for some of these books.
A & R Australian Classics (through Harper Collins) have also started publishing out of print Australian classics this year.
This list of books is a little more esoteric. There are now 20 titles on offer, but I've only ever read My Brilliant Career and My Career Goes Bung by Miles Franklin out of the whole pack!
If children's picture books are more your thing, then check out Walker Books Australia. They have a selection of re-published books under the Walker Classics banner celebrating those "certain books that leave a lasting impression on you after they have been read - the sort of books that you press onto others, that you read time and again and that form the basis of your collection."
The collection includes such gems as My Place by Nadia Wheatley, The Great Bear by Libby Gleeson, Louise Builds A Boat by Louise Pfanner, Hist by C.J. Dennis, Going Home by Margaret Wild, Come By Chance by Madeleine Winch, One Dragon's Dream by Peter Pavey, Millicent by Jeannie Baker, The Paddock by Lilith Norman, Luke's Way of Looking by Nadia Wheatley, Brodie by Joy Cowley, Let the Celebrations Begin by Margaret Wild, Dragonquest by Allan Baillie & The Legend of Moondyne Joe by Mark Greenwood to name a few.
If you prefer an audio book, try Bolinda Audio. They have a huge range of Australian classics available for your listening pleasure.
Penguin Books Australia recently began republishing a number of Australian Children's Classics in lovely hardcover editions.
So far you can get Seven Little Australians by Ethel Turner, I Can Jump Puddles by Alan Marshall, Taronga by Victor Kelleher, A Fortunate Life A.B. Facey, Hating Alison Ashley by Robin Klein, Picnic At Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay, Playing Beatie Bow by Ruth Park & The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay.
This list reminds me of something else you should know about Australia.
We tend to appropriate authors (singers and actors too) from other countries as our own!
Hence Bryce Courtenay's story about racial issues in South Africa turning up on an Aussie classics list!
He and his wife actually emigrated to Australia in 1956 and he published The Power of One in 1989. (Incidentally, the sequel, Tandia, is one of the few books on this planet that has made me cry.)
We have also adopted J.M. Coetzee whole-heartedly. He has lived in Australia since 2002 & has been a citizen since 2006.
And don't get me started on the New Zealand Aussies!
Join in AusReading Month by clicking on the link to the master post here.