Australian Women Writers 2012 Reading and Reviewing Challenge

A couple of posts ago I said that I was going to participate in this event: the idea being to spread the word about quality work by Australian women, and, for me to undertake some disciplined reading and thinking about reading.

To begin this project I decided to look first at my own bookshelf full of books that I bought with the intention of reading but have not got around to doing so, have inherited from my family’s bookcases, have been given as a gift, or borrowed.¬† A couple of books I found in my local second hand bookshop. In the spirit of Wallaby I thought I would list my rather eclectic choice and my reasons for deciding to pursue these. Some of those ‘Wallaby’ chose – Henry Handel Richardson’s The Fortunes of Richard Mahony are on my shelf, too but are in the ‘already read’ category. My father handed the Richard Mahony book to me with the words, ‘Mahony is rather like your grandfather’ – meaning he was a dreamer…Too! But I learned that the apparently male writer was a woman – and a good one too.

Anyway the books I have chosen, not necessarily in any order of reading are:

Anita Heiss: Manhattan Dreaming; Bantam, 2010. Genre: Women’s Fiction/ Chick Lit. I picked this at random from the local second hand bookshop yesterday because it has a red cover ( visible) and the author is a woman. I have since discovered that Anita Heiss is a woman of the Wiradjuri Nation in New South Wales. This will be interesting.

Christine A S Hill, What Do Patients Want? Karnac, 2010 Genre: Non Fiction. I have chosen this partly because I work professionally in the in field of psychoanalytic psychotherapy. Hill set out to interview people who had an experience of psychoanalysis as patients in order to understand what it was like for them. I bought the book shortly after it was published.

Anne Curthoys and Ann McGrath: How to write history that people want to read. UNSW Press. 2009. Genre: Non Fiction. Why? Because it was on my bookshelf. Curthoys and McGrath are historians, specialising in Indigenous Settler relations, at the Australian National University.

Inga Clendinnen, Aztecs: An Interpretation. Cambridge University Press, 1995. Genre: Non Fiction. Clendinnen is one of the finest historians in Australia today.

Amy Witting: Beauty is the Straw, Angus and Robertson,1991. Genre: Poetry….

Lily Brett: Too Many Men, Picador 1999, Genre: Literary and Classics This book was another on the bookcase that needed reading.

Eleanor Dark: No Barrier, Genre: Literary and Classic. Dark’s work has haunted the family book case for years. I have not yet read this one.

Justine Ettler: The River Ophelia, Picador, 1995 Genre: Literary and Fiction/ Women’s Fiction/ Gen X Fiction… Another picked at random from the second hand bookshop.

Diane Bell, Ngarrindjeri Wurruwarrin: A World That Is, Was, And Will Be, 1999. I discovered this book  during my thesis writing years when I was exploring the history of the Ngarrindjeri people around Mannum and Murray Bridge in South Australia. Now to return and read it properly.

It’s going to be an interesting year!