Friday 6 November 2020

Australian Novellas

A few days ago, what I thought would be a very simple request to fulfil - to list a few Australian novellas to help those of you keen to combine two reading events with the one book - turned out to be anything but!

I naively believed that all I had to do was google 'Australian novellas' and there would be a lovely definitive list compiled by some intrepid Aussie list-making novella aficionado. 
But no. 
That has not turned out to be case at all. 

Wikipedia listed a mere handful of choices (included below) but I knew there had to be more.

Naturally, one of the first problems encountered was determining the exact nature of a novella. 

A word count of 17,500 to 39,999 is considered to be the norm, but I've also sited a 10,000 to 50,000 word limit range. Whichever word count you finally settle on though, makes no difference to the average reader in the end, as most books do not come with that kind of detail included.

Cathy and Rebecca have hit upon the 150 page mark with an upper limit of 200 pages. But, of course, it then depends on which edition of the book you are reading. As you can see, it was very easy to become pedantic and get caught up in the details, at the expense of making a list, that might actually be useful.

I also discovered that a novella usually (but not always) contains one central conflict, often from one point of view. Backstory is brief or non-existant, and most will have one location within a continuous time frame. A novella can usually be read in one sitting.

So here it is, after a bit of scrounging - a list!

Australian Novellas:

The Griffith Review Novella Project is now up to its 7th edition. Some of the novellas can be read online through the links provided. You can only read a few for free per month, though, so click wisely.

If you know of any more Australian Novellas, please let me know.



  1. Looks like a great list. Which one would you recommend to start with?

    1. I am rather partial to Colleen McCullough's Ladies of Missalonghi - a comforting romance set in the Blue Mountains early 1900's & also of interest because of it's strong resemblance to LM Montgomery's story The Blue Castle.

      I've just finished a novel by Riwandi Riwoe, so I'm keen to go back and try her novella now as well.

    2. Oh, thank you. I really liked The Thorn Birds. It's not available here anymore but I could order it as a used copy. Should arrive sometimes next week. Looking forward to that. Thanks again.

      Have a nice weekend.

    3. I have read one of the books on your list, Fly Away Peter and really liked it. "The Ladies of Missalonghi" has arrived, as well, I'll read that soon.

      Thanks for this. It's a beautiful list.

    4. Thank you Marianne. I hope to add to the list as time goes by :-)

    5. And I'm looking forward to any addition. Thanks.

  2. This is brilliant Brona! What a great list.

    1. Thanks Cathy, I hope it helps both of us :-)

  3. I agree with Cathy...a great list!
    I have 3 contemporary AUSSIE novellas ready to read.
    As soon as the new President USA is official...hopefully today
    ...then I can start reading my novellas.

    1. I guess we have to wait for Pennsylvania to officially call their own state, but it seems like a done time to get reading !!

    2. Done deal...finally. 16:34. CET....CNN calls Pennsylvania for Biden.
      Poured myself a glass of wine....then cooked a delicious dinner!
      Last night was my first good sleep in a week....tension was excruciating until Biden reached the necessary 270 electoral ballots. Today was detox from news....tomorrow start reading again!

  4. Thanks for the awesome list. I have only read 3 authors among these, and no novella. Most Australian authors I have read had long books, including The Tree of Man, by White

    1. You're one up on me Emma, I have still to read a White or any length!

  5. Dammit, I've read the Ladies but seem to have passed them along!


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