Reading Matters designated January as Australian Literature Month and has read and reviewed Australian books. The weekly "round-ups" have links to all who have sent their own reviews of Australian books, as well as links to interviews, book give-aways, and more. It was Reading Matters' Top Ten Australian novels that I consulted before a trip to Australia where I discovered Peter Carey's Oscar and Lucinda. And that was the beginning….
This month I've been trying to figure out what it is about Australian literature that makes it so different. Perhaps it's the combination of vibrant plots about people that include an exploration of moral issues, like Tim Winton's Cloudstreet, Kate Grenville's The Lieutenant, and David Malouf's Remembering Babylon. I love the presence of the strange history of Australia itself in novels like Kate Grenville's The Secret River and from another era George Johnston's My Brother Jack. But of course that's just scratches the surface.