Posted by: Lisa Hill | October 28, 2016

Christina Stead Week November 14-20 2016

Christina Stead

Christina Stead (1902-1983) was a major Australian novelist who wrote twelve novels and several collections of short stories.  She was described by the New Yorker as ‘the most extraordinary woman novelist …since Virginia Woolf’ and Saul Bellow thought she was really marvellous.”  I’ve read just a couple of her novels so I’m delighted to see how much interest there is in having a Christina Stead week this year, and*drum roll* I’m announcing that ANZ LitLovers will host it from November 14th to 20th, 2016.

The reading week coincides with the release by Text Publishing of four new titles in the Text Classics range all available in eBook or print)

but readers can choose any of Stead’s novels, short stories or other works.  I plan to follow the same process as I do when hosting Indigenous Literature Week, that is to set up a separate permanent page which will host links to reviews from anyone who wants to participate, eventually forming a valuable resource for anyone who wants to find out more about Christina Stead and her work.  Reviews can be posted on your own blog, or on community sites like Goodreads or Library Thing if you don’t have your own blog.

I’m going to start with Stead’s first novel Seven Poor Men of Sydney but if I finish Thomas Mann’s Doctor Faustus in time I hope to be able to tackle one of her shorter works as well.

Titles to choose from are:

Novels (links are to Wikipedia)

Short stories

  • The Salzburg Tales (1934)
  • The Puzzleheaded Girl: Four Novellas (1965) (containing The Puzzleheaded Girl, The Dianas, The Rightangled Creek and Girl from the Beach)
  • A Christina Stead Reader (1978) edited by Jean B. Read
  • Ocean of Story: The Uncollected Stories of Christina Stead, edited by R. G. Geering (1985)

So, bookmark this page, pop the date into your reading diary and drop back here with a link to your review when you’re ready!

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  1. I loved The Little Hotel so much, I bought a large part of the list

    • Yes, I loved that too. Stead is brilliant at dissecting character.

  2. How do the Christina Stead Reader and Ocean of Story compare in terms of content?

    • I don’t know, I’ve only got Ocean of Story, not the other. There’s no helpful description at Goodreads. Maybe someone who’s got it can tell us?

      • Looks like Ocean of Story has a lot more pages

        • Amazon has no description of it either but there is a copy for $AUD3.29 at Better Books UK (which would cost me ten times that price by the time they add postage). My guess is that it has some short stories and some of her essays, or maybe letters? (Bill Holloway has her ‘Letters’ on hand, so they must be worth reading too.)

  3. Excellent! I have several Stead Viragos on my shelf so I’ll do my best to pull one off the shelves and join in!

    • That’s great, happy reading!

  4. This on the Reader:
    I’m guessing excerpts?

    • It must be excerpts…. House of all Nations is 800+ pages on its own.

      • That’s what I’m thinking. Some of those ‘reader’ collections are like that.

        • I get frustrated by that kind of reading. I want the whole book, not bits of it.

          • I agree. I can see the point in a class setting.

  5. would love to do this but I’m swamped with stuff for my children’s lit course right now

    • Not to worry, another time. I bet you find that you read some Australian children’s lit during the course… when I did my post-graduate Diploma in Chn’s Lit, they told us that Australia is a world leader in the field, and I would say (having worked as a teacher-librarian for 10 years until my retirement) that it has only got better.

  6. Major hole in my reading history: have not read any Stead…

    • So… *grin* you are tempted?

      • Absolutely 😁

  7. […] And I was more than happy to find out today that Lisa Hill, over at ANZ Litlovers, is hosting the Christina Stead Week, which will take place from November 14th to 20th this […]

  8. […] Making a start yesterday on this Friday’s post for Lisa’s Christina Stead Week […]

  9. […] See also ANZ LitLovers Christina Stead Week Nov 14-20 2016 (here) […]

  10. A review of Christina Stead: A Life of Letters by Chris Williams

    • Well done, first cab off the rank and I have set up the Christina Stead page and linked there to your review – thanks!

      • The link to your new CS page creates an error (I’m on my way out but will check later to see if it works)

        • No, my fault, I did it as a post instead of a page so *smacks forehead* I had to delete it and do it again. You can now find it across the top menu on the blog. (I’m still fiddling with it).

  11. I have written a review of ‘For Love Alone’ for Christina Stead week. Should I wait until November 14 to post it?

    • No, not at all, please go ahead… the ‘week’ is just an indication really. (And besides, I can’t wait to see what you think of it!)

  12. […] genius, but if you have not yet made her acquaintance then maybe you might participate in Christina Stead Week (Nov 14-20).  There are lots of her titles to choose from, but I’m reading The Seven Poor Men […]

  13. My appreciation of ‘For Love Alone’ is now up on my website. I look forward to reading other contributions.

    • Thanks for your contribution, Dorothy, I’ve added it to the Christina Stead page:)

  14. […] See also ANZ LitLovers Christina Stead Week Nov 14-20 2016 (here) […]

  15. If you are adding older reviews, I have reviewed For love alone. Here’s the link if you’d like it:

    • Thanks, Sue, I’ll add it now:)

  16. […] am so glad Lisa (ANZLitLovers) has given me an excuse, her Christina Stead Week, to finally pick up Ocean of story: The uncollected stories of Christina Stead. I bought this […]

  17. Ok, so I’ve written up the first story in Ocean of story:

    I’ll try to read the next three, which make up a subsection of the book, and post them later in the week. The book is 550 pages or so and I have a lot on my plate so that would be the best I can do.

    • Thanks, Sue – what a great conversation taking place on your blog about this post!

      • Thanks Lisa … that’s what we want isn’t it.

  18. […] have realised if you read yesterday’s post, this week in Lisa of ANZLitLovers’ Christina Stead Week. Now, of course, Stead wasn’t particularly sentient that year, but I thought it might be fun […]

  19. […] Christina Stead Week November 14-20 2016 […]

  20. […] Lisa at ANZLITLOVERS organised a week honouring Christina Stead. I’m swamped at the moment, but I ordered Ocean of Story: the Uncollected Stories of Christina Stead. Since it’s OOP, there wasn’t much information out there, but my copy arrived and here’s the contents of this 552 page book: […]

  21. […] See also ANZ LitLovers Christina Stead Week Nov 14-20 2016 (here) […]

  22. A Review of Cotters’ England

    • Thanks, Bill, thanks for another terrific contribution:) I have added it to the master list…

  23. […] by the end of the book I was enthralled and I knew that for Christina Stead Week  at ANZLitLovers I had to revisit it and understand why it both frustrated and fascinated […]

    Thanks for the incentive to re-read The Man Who Loved Children

  25. […] no. 2 for Lisa’s Christina Stead Week from Ocean of story: the uncollected stories of Christina […]

  26. Here is my post on the three stories comprising Part 1 of Ocean of story:

    • Thanks, Sue, these stories are great. To think I’ve had them on my TBR all these years and never read them! I am cross with myself…

  27. […] of course, I can’t let the post finish without mentioning Lisa’s (ANZLitLovers) Christina Stead Week, with which she has aimed to raise the profile of, and gather together a list of blog reviews for, […]

  28. […] at ANZ Litlovers announced Christina Stead Week Nov 14-20, and I selected a short story at random from Ocean of Story.  A Harmless Affair takes a look at […]

  29. […] but only dipped once into my TBR pile (to read part of Christina Stead’s Ocean of story for Lisa’s ANZLitLovers’ Christina Stead Week). Last year, I challenged myself to tackle my TBR pile and I failed, miserably. I also let the ball […]

  30. […] (2016; originally published in Portuguese in 2012). Also in November,  Lisa Hill, over at ANZ Litlovers, hosted Christina Stead Week. I tried to take part by reading Letty Fox: Her Luck (1946), but I […]

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