Can't afford a trip? Sick of your own town? I've put together my favorite Aussie titles to get to know the region via fiction and nonfiction books. Aussie readers, feel free to comment, but no mocking my Tim Winton choices! You hear me Bernadette?
Nonfiction: The Fatal Shore by Robert Hughes: history of Australia, heavy on details, but you can always skim over parts.
Historical Fiction: The Long Green Shore by John Hepworth: older novel that covers little-known details of Australia's participation in WWII. Supposedly a future film with Russell Crowe. Hard to find in U.S.
Travel: In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryon: English/American's observations from travelling through the region, analyzes stereotypes and ignorance by American tourists.
Fiction: Cloudstreet by Tim Winton: epic story of two families and three generations.
Fiction: Dirt Music by Tim Winton: heavy on details of landscape and fauna of Western Australia, in production for 2011 movie with Rachel Weiss and Russell Crowe.
Fiction: Eucalyptus by Murray Bail: sweet story about a storyteller and an obsessive tree planter, restful and amusing.
Children's book: Edward the Emu by Sheila Knowles: a silly picture book but well-loved at our house.
Coffee-table/photography: Australian Colors by Bill Bachman: not the usual style of photography, instead photos examine textures of tree bark, stone formations, and soil. And cattle dogs. (?).
So, I'll probably never get to go, but I can travel vicariously on paper. It's going to have to do for now! Ireland is next!