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Australian Women Writers’ Challenge 2013

In 2012, I made the committment to read 6 books by Australian women writers and review 3 (the ‘Miles’ level of the challenge). Ultimately, I read 11 books in this category and reviewed at least 9 and so, buoyed by the craziness of success, I this year vowed to read 10 and review 6 (the ‘Franklin’ level of challenge).

And then I panicked. Because what if something went wrong? What if I couldn’t read that many books?

Spurred on by the energising energies of that panic, I started on 1-January and read 2 books in about 3 days. Both were Shirley Hazzard books, so it wasn’t any kind of hardship. And then I started to read more widely (because there aren’t enough Shirley Hazzard books for me to get to ’10’).

It’s mid-May. I’ve already read 12 books by Australian women writers (well, 11.5, since one was co-written) and reviewed most of them to a small or larger extent. Here’s the list, & links to Goodreads:

  1. Shirley Hazzard, The Bay of Noon, 1970
  2. Shirley Hazzard, The Evening of the Holiday, 1966
  3. Judith Lucy, The Lucy Family Alphabet, 2008
  4. Honey Brown, After the Darkness, 2012
  5. Gillian Mears, A Map of the Gardens: Stories, 2002
  6. Caroline Overington, Ghost Child, 2009
  7. Leah Giarratano, Black Ice, 2009 (not reviewed)
  8. Scott Rankin & Leah Purcell, Box the Pony, 1999
  9. P.M. Newton, The Old School,
  10. Kerry Greenwood, Tamam Shud, 2012
  11. Patti Miller, The Mind of a Thief, 2012
  12. Joan Lindsay, Picnic at Hanging Rock, 1967

Nothing from the eighties, interestingly enough. Some of the reviews above are quite short, but I’m sure there are at least 6 coherent reviews to be counted towards my Franklin challenge.

And it appears I have hit my target! Also, exceeded it. And intend to keep reading, since I’ve made barely a dent on the pile of books I collated for the exercise.

In particular, I would particularly recommend Honey Brown’s book, Kerry Greenwood’s, Leah Purcell’s, Judith Lucy’s and at least one of the Shirley Hazzard’s (The Bay of Noon).

Glancing at my To Read pile, I can see a couple of Janet Frames, a Sue Woolfe, Mary-Rose MacColl and another couple of Shirley Hazzards. Plus a sentimental favourite re-read, Elyne Mitchell’s Silver Brumby. Nothing in my childhood stands out as brightly as the Silver Brumby series. It almost makes me afraid to re-read it.