Literary Tweets: 100+ of the

Best Authors list

SchindlerAustralia is famous for many things, like koalas, kangaroos and Kylie, but literature is not usually one of them. It should be Australian authors are slowly but steadily taking over the worlds bookshelves. Today, it is s novel about surfing and taking risks, Breath. A few months ago, it was and her worldwide bestseller People of the Book one of the best books about a book you could hope to read.

And then there is a two-time Booker Prize winner and an Aussie legend and, who wrote Schindlers Ark, and also, author of The Book Thief a young adult novel that sells and sells and sells.

AbeBooks has selected 20 must-read Aussie writers - from mega-selling superstar authors to up-and-coming talents to established veterans on the Oz Lit scene - to celebrate the literary talent of this remarkable nation.


JM Coetzee
OK we know he is really South African but John Maxwell Coetzee lives in Australia and became an Aussie citizen two years ago. "I was attracted by the free and generous spirit of the people, by the beauty of the land itself and - when I first saw Adelaide - by the grace of the city that I now have the honour of calling my home." He won the 2003 Nobel Prize in Literature not bad for a former computer programmer but awards count for little with Coetzee. He did not collect either of his Booker gongs, Life & Times of Michael K in 1983 and Disgrace in 1999, but London is a long away from Adelaide. The Observer newspaper polled literary types in 2006 and named Disgrace one of the greatest novel of the last 25 years. Disgrace could win the Best of the Bookers vote.

Waiting for the Barbarians by JM Coetzee 4.

Shirley Hazzard
Like so many Australians, Hazzard has travelled and lived around the world. She used to work for the United Nations as a clerk but quit the UN and its mountains of paperwork to become a full-time writer. She picked up a National Book Critics Circle Award in 1980 for her third novel, The Transit of Venus the story of two sisters who travel to England from Australia in the 1950s in search of a fresh start. Hazzard has also penned two books criticizing the United Nations - Defeat of an Ideal and Countenance of Truth.


Tim Winton
One of the current flavours of the month for Breath a book about surfing, recklessness and friendships, Winton has been producing novels since the early 1980s. He also writes plays, non-fiction, childrens fiction and short stories. Winton prefers to keep a low profile but supports environment issues. In Australia, hes been a literary stalwart for a long time so international acclaim is overdue for this writer.

The Great Fire by Shirley Hazzard 9.

Michelle de Kretser
Born in Sri Lanka, de Ketser immigrated to Australia when she was 14. She has worked as an editor at Lonely Planet and studied for an MA at the Sorbonne. With just three novels to her name, she is part of the new generation of Aussie novelists. The Lost Dog is picking up international acclaim shes the verge of the big time.


Shane Maloney
A list of Australians has to have someone called Shane on it. Maloney is best known for penning the Murray Whelan crime novels where the hero is a politician working his way through the ranks while solving murders and shady deals around Melbourne. Sounds feasible!


Andrew McGahan
The ninth of 10 children, McGahan broke through in 1991 with the release of Praise. He dropped out of an arts degree at the University of Queensland and returned to work on the family wheat farm.


DBC Pierre (Peter Warren Finlay)
Probably should not be on this list as he claims to be Mexican but he was born in Australia. DBC Pierre is a pseudonym and stands for Dirty But Clean a childhood nickname. He won the 2003 Booker Prize for Fiction with Vernon God Little his debut novel. Vernon God Little concerns a 15-year-old boy in small town Texas and the suicide of a friend. The book riffs on Americas trailer park culture and how the US is perceived.


Gregory David Roberts
Best known for the novel Shantaram, Roberts is infamous in Australia for being a convicted bank robber and heroin addict. In 1978, he was sentenced to 19 years in prison for a series of armed robberies while addicted to smack but escaped from a maximum security prison in 1980 and fled to India. Hey you cannot make this stuff up. Surely, he should be on Oprah? After various stints in prison, he began writing. Shantaram is a thriller based on his own experiences he has only one book to his name.

The Riders by Tim Winton The Hamilton Case by Michelle de Kretser The Big Ask by Shane Maloney The White Earth by Andrew McGahan
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