Posted by: Lisa Hill | January 5, 2022

Australian Book and Author Anniversaries 2022

I got this idea (and the graphic) from Literary Potpourri but I’m adapting it for Australian and New Zealand books and authors.  So although for millennia our Indigenous people have told stories here for entertainment, education and to preserve historical memory, that limits the concept of anniversaries to the period after the introduction of print in 1788, and for the purposes of this post to books that in 2022 turn 25, 50, 75, 100, 150 and 200.

FYI The earliest known Indigenous contribution to print that I know of is Bennelong’s letter to Mr Phillips, Lord Sydney’s Steward, in 1796.  It is reproduced in the PEN Macquarie Anthology of Aboriginal Literature edited by Anita Heiss and Peter Minter.

However, this meme turned out to be harder than I thought.  1997 was easy,  I found books in my own reading record because I’d read them, and just as well because the entry at Wikipedia is surprisingly scanty.  1972 was harder.  I’d read hundreds of books by then, but not many by Australians.  I had to supplement the list of what I’d read with books I hadn’t read, but at I was familiar with the authors who were listed at WP and read their books that were published in other years. 1947 was the same, except that with the exception of Miles Franklin and Norman Lindsay, I hadn’t read anything by the authors that WP lists.  I had read only two books published in 1922 and one of those authors was from New Zealand, and after that I was again in unfamiliar territory.  As for 1822…

ANNIVERSARIES

25: PUBLISHED IN 1997

From my reading record (links are to my reviews):

Fiction

  • Jack Maggs by Peter Carey
  • Secrets, by Robert Dessaix, Amanda Lohrey and Drusilla Modjeska
  • The Sound of One Hand Clapping by Richard Flanagan
  • Shiver by Nikki Gemmell
  • One for the Master by Dorothy Johnston
  • The Custodians by Nicholas Jose
  • The French Mathematician by Tom Petsinis
  • The Essence of the Thing by Madeleine St John

Non fiction

  • The Fiftieth Gate by Mark Raphael Baker
  • A Biased Memoir by Ruth Cracknell
  • Rooting Democracy by Moira Rayner
  • Port Arthur, A Story of Courage & Strength by Margaret Scott
  • Healthy Vegetarian Eating by Rosemary Stanton
  • Snake Cradle by Roberta (Bobbi) Sykes

Plus three I haven’t read from the list at Wikipedia

  • Rod Jones (author), Nightpictures (fiction)
  • Barbara Blackman, Glass after Glass (NF)
  • Lynne Hume, Witchcraft and Paganism in Australia (NF)

50: PUBLISHED IN 1972

Just three from my reading record (links to my reviews), all fiction:

But Wikipedia lists these novels:

  • David Ireland – The Flesheaters
  • Sumner Locke Elliott – The Man Who Got Away
  • Russell Braddon – End Play
  • Jon Cleary – Man’s Estate
  • Sumner Locke Elliott – The Man Who Got Away
  • Catherine Gaskin – A Falcon for a Queen
  • David Ireland – The Flesheaters
  • Peter Mathers – The Wort Papers

75: PUBLISHED IN 1947

From my own reading record, two novels and a play by Patrick White (which I’ve seen on stage too.)

From the list at Wikipedia

  • Jon Cleary – You Can’t See ‘Round Corners
  • Erle Cox – The Missing Angel
  • Miles Franklin – The Thorny Rose
  • Arthur Gask – The Dark Mill Stream
  • Catherine Gaskin – With Every Year
  • Ion L. Idriess – Isles of Despair
  • Norman Lindsay – Halfway to Anywhere 

100: PUBLISHED IN 1922

From my own reading record:

  • The Garden Party and Other Stories by Katherine Mansfield (NZ)
  • The Sentimental Bloke by C J Dennis

And from the list at Wikipedia

  • Mary Grant Bruce — The Stone Axe of Burkamukk
  • Hilda Bridges — The Squatter’s Daughter
  • Mary Grant Bruce — The Stone Axe of Burkamukk
  • Bernard Cronin — Bluff Stakes
  • Jean Curlewis — Drowning Maze
  • Dulcie Deamer — The Street of the Gazelle
  • Edward Dyson — The Grey Goose Comedy Company
  • Havelock Ellis — Kanga Creek: An Australian Idyll
  • Mary Gilmore — The Hound of the Road 
  • Nat Gould
    • A Dangerous Stable
    • Racing Rivals
  • Vance Palmer — The Boss of Killara
  • Alec H. Chisholm — Mateship with Birds (NF)
  • Mary Gaunt — Where the Twain Meet (NF)

150: PUBLISHED IN 1872

Now it gets difficult…these are from the list at Wikipedia.

  • Louisa Atkinson — Tressa’s Resolve
  • Harriet Miller Davidson — A Man of Genius
  • B. L. Farjeon — Bread-and-Cheese and Kisses
  • Maud Jeanne Franc — Jem’s Hopes and What They Grew To

200: PUBLISHED IN 1822

There isn’t even a page for this at Wikipedia. I’ve searched through the Macquarie PEN Anthologies of Australian Literature and of Aboriginal Literature and I can’t find anything published in this year.  A complete blank…

So, to AUTHOR BIRTHDAYS

100: AUTHORS BORN IN 1922 CELEBRATING THEIR CENTENARIES

  • 2 August — Geoffrey Dutton, poet and author. He died in 1998. I have his Tamara on the TBR)
  • 28 August — Jacob C. Rosenberg, poet and novelist He died in 2008.  I have read East of Time and Sunrise West, pre blog but I’ve contributed brief reviews at Goodreads.

150: AUTHORS BORN IN 1872 CELEBRATING THEIR 150TH

I don’t know any of these authors except David Unaipon so the links go to Wikipedia.

Over to you dear readers.  Have you read any of these books, and can you suggest any others?


Responses

  1. Jaysus. This must have been such hard work to put together, Lisa. Not sure about the Nicci French inclusion seeing as I was obsessed by this author for many years … it’s a pseudonym for British writers Nicci Gerard and Sean French … is there an Australian connection I don’t know about 🤔

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    • Ah, I think you are right. I had listed them as Australian in my Excel file, and didn’t check it. I’ll remove them now, thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. John Shaw Neilson was a beautiful poet, and lived an extraordinarily hard life. I highly recommend John Shaw Neilson: A Life in Letters by Helen Hewson (Miegunyah Press, 2001). You’ll fall in love with him, I’m sure!

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    • Ah, I didn’t include poets, just limited myself to fiction and a bit of NF. But I’m sure you’re right!

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  3. So fascinating and astonishing

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    • No promises, but I’d like to do this every year…

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  4. I’ve read Jack Maggs, but that’s about it except of course I’ve read many of the authors – just not these books. And I have heard of John Shaw Neilson and Mabel Forrest.

    This is a big job Lisa! Well done.

    BTW a little typo, I think. You say “that in 2021 turn 25, 50, 75, 100, 150 and 200” but I think you mean “in 2022”.

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    • Thanks for picking that up… I make this mistake repeatedly at the start of every year!
      I’m hoping Bill will come visiting with his encyclopaedic knowledge of old OzLit. I told him some time ago that I had a vague ambition to post a review of an Australian book for every year of the C20th, and he very kindly sent me a list but I lost it when I had my computer disaster.

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  5. I saw Lit Pot’s anniversary post & thought what a great idea…someone needs to do one for Australian authors. And here you are!!

    One bday I spotted when I had a quick look myself the other day was Hesba Fay Brinsmead born on the 15th March 1922. She wrote YA fiction before it was a thing, in particular the wonderful Pastures of the blue crane – https://bronasbooks.com/2013/11/15/pastures-of-the-blue-crane-by-h-f-brinsmead/

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    • AH yes, I remember we had that one in the school library!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. What an interesting post! I know I’ve read the Mansfield, and possibly some of the other authors too. But many which are new to me!

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    • It was interesting to me because it brought home that the British and European literary tradition is different to ours in a number of ways, but critically its age. English Lit goes back to Beowulf and Chaucer etc, but ours really only started in the C19th and even then we didn’t have our own publishing industry for a very long time and relied on imports of English Lit. So that is what shaped out reading tastes.
      Scholars would know more about this than me, but even in the C20th Australian authors like Miles Franklin got their books published in the UK, until about mid century, I think.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Lisa, a remarkable list and good one.I have read a few, and have a few. Jennifer J by Ethel Turner is one you could add to 1922. Also, her sister, Lilian Turner wrote in the same year, Peggy the Pilot. From my book on Australian Literature by Cecil Hadgraft, the first novel printed in Australia was in Hobart, 1930, titled Quintus Servinton by Henry Savery.

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    • Thanks, Meg, I looked up Jennifer J at Goodreads but there’s no description: is it a children’s book?

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      • Hi Lisa, Jennifer J is a children’s book, dedicated to the girls of Sydney High School, 249 pages.

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        • Now I remember, Ethel Turner was one of the women featured in Brenda Niall’s Friends and Rivals. She was a friend of Barbara Baynton.

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          • Ethel Turner of course wrote Seven little Australians, and she had a bit of a rivalry at Sydney High School with Louise Mack.

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            • I must get round to reading Louise Mack’s book which lurks somewhere on my TBR…

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  8. Erewhon (on Literary Potpourri’s list) is an 1872 Victorian satire that comes out of colonial New Zealand (a Kiwi here). The author Samuel Butler was a prominent early settler (though he returned to Britain abruptly after only a little over four years in Canterbury). While Erewhon is an anagram for ‘Nowhere’ (it’s almost ‘Nowhere’ backwards), the work – including the setting and content – is very much inspired by his time in New Zealand.

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    • Hello Guy, thanks for your comment.
      I have Erewhon on my TBR, but I never knew that there was a Kiwi connection!
      Now I really must read it…

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  9. This must have been a lot of work (fun to do but time consuming)

    I’ve read one!!! The Essence of the Thing. Excellent book.

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    • It’s the sort of thing I can do during the Summer holidays when there’s not much happening:)

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      • It’s hard to imagine heat and summer when it’s minus something here. Enjoy the nice weather!

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        • LOL Emma, I spoke too soon. We just had a massive cold front go through and our street was flooded. Only up as far as the driveway, but still, a LOT of water!

          Liked by 1 person

          • Here it’s days and days of grey sky, which is unusual. Vivement le printemps!

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            • *Snap* I’ll be glad to see the back of this season here too. I love autumn:)

              Liked by 1 person


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