Novels & Short Stories

The Glass Canoe

August 2, 2023|

David Ireland, 1976 David Ireland’s Miles Franklin winning novel The Glass Canoe (1976) occupies a unique space in the IPA’s Australian Canon. It depicts an Australian way of life that has now all but vanished: It is a Shakespearean vision of white, male, working class, post-WWII Australia. [...]

Monkey Grip

July 17, 2023|

Helen Garner, 1977 Helen Garner’s debut novel Monkey Grip follows the bohemian life of Nora, a single mother living in share houses in Fitzroy in the 1970s who has a habit of investing way too much hope and love in rather feckless men – in particular the [...]

Bad Debts

July 5, 2023|

Peter Temple, 1996 Gambling, horses, murder, footy, dodgy pollies, dodgy coppers, dodgy property developers, wired journos, drunk lawyers, junkies and priests. Peter Temple’s Bad Debts, the first novel in his Jack Irish series, has it all. Riveting, gritty, and quintessentially Australian crime fiction, it won the [...]

The Harp in the South

October 14, 2022|

Ruth Park, 1948 Now a bestselling Australian classic, The Harp in the South was hastily written in just six weeks by author Ruth Park at her parent’s kitchen table with two young children underfoot. It is conspicuously Australian, deeply empathetic and provides a unique insight into [...]

The Drover’s Wife

September 30, 2022|

Henry Lawson, 1892 Poet and writer Henry Lawson explores the darker side of the Australian myth in his short story about a young mother living alone in the bush - The Drover’s Wife. Deeply gloomy in tone, Lawson paints a bleak but realistic picture of the [...]

A Town Like Alice

September 30, 2022|

Nevil Shute, 1950 The impact of World War II and the Prisoner of War experience on the Australian psyche is described in gritty detail by Neville Shute in his famous novel A Town Like Alice. It is a story of trial and triumph, cruelty and kindness, [...]

Dot and the Kangaroo

September 30, 2022|

Ethel Pedley, 1899 A plea for environmental conservation sits at the heart of classic children’s tale Dot and the Kangaroo which constructs a strong sense of national identity based on Australia’s unique native flora and fauna. Ethel Pedley explores the wonder and beauty of the Australian [...]

Seven Little Australians

April 7, 2022|

Ethel Turner, 1894 Ethel Turner’s Seven Little Australians is a literary masterpiece which constructs a strong sense of national identity that is distinctly Australian. It is ultimately about the birth of a nation, its people and the myth which holds the two together. From its opening [...]

The Slap

April 7, 2022|

Christos Tsiolkas, 2008 The Slap is full of swearing. As Danielle Williams, the Book Club Leader at the Sydney Writers’ Centre, advised potential readers ‘if you’re easily offended by swearing (and real swearing!) then this isn’t for you’. She explained that most of her own book [...]