Thea Astley

Thea Astley (Wikipedia)

Thea Astley OAM, OA,  (1925-2004) was the prolific author of fourteen novels, and two short story collections.  She won numerous awards, including the Miles Franklin Award four times, for The Well-dressed Explorer (1962); The Slow Natives (1965); The Acolyte (1972) and Drylands (1999) (which was also nominated for the Dublin IMPAC Award).

This list of her awards is from Wikipedia:

    • 1962: Miles Franklin Award for The Well Dressed Explorer
    • 1965: Miles Franklin Award for The Slow Natives
    • 1965: Moomba Award for The Slow Natives
    • 1972: Miles Franklin Award for The Acolyte
    • 1975: The Age Book of the Year Fiction Award for The Kindness Cup
    • 1980: Australian Literature Studies Award for Hunting the Wild Pineapple
    • 1980: Member of the Order of Australia (OAM)
    • 1986: ALS Gold Medal for Beachmasters
    • 1989: Patrick White Award
    • 1990: New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards, Christina Stead Prize for fiction for Reaching Tin River
    • 1992: Officer of the Order of Australia (OA)
    • 1996: The Age Book of the Year Fiction Award for The Multiple Effects of Rainshadow
    • 1999: Miles Franklin Award for Drylands
    • 2000: Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards, Fiction Book Award for Drylands
    • 2002: New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards, Special Award for being “a trailblazer”

In 2020 (August 17th-25th) ANZ LitLovers is hosting Thea Astley Week and this page gathers together all the reviews shared by readers who participate, eventually forming a valuable resource for anyone who wants to find out more about Thea Astley and her work.

Novels (links on the titles go to Wikipedia)

Girl with a Monkey (1958)

A Descant for Gossips (1960),

The Well Dressed Explorer (1962),

The Slow Natives (1965),

A Boat Load of Home Folk (1968)

The Acolyte (1972),

A Kindness Cup (1974)

An Item from the Late News (1982)

Beachmasters (1985),

It’s Raining in Mango (1987)

Reaching Tin River (1990)

See Bill’s review at The Australian Legend.

Vanishing Points (1992)

Coda (1994),

The Multiple Effects of Rainshadow (1996)

Drylands (1999)

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Short Stories

Hunting the Wild Pineapple (1979)

Collected Stories (1997)


  • Selected Poems (2017, posthumous UQP edition)


  • Three Australian Writers (1979, a critical study of Bruce Dawe, Barbara Baynton and Patrick White)

Biographies and other commentary

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