Books about #ModernAustralia

As usual, in the lead-up to Invasion Day, I’ve been revisiting books to recommend that provide a better reflection of life in contemporary Australia (by which I mean the last 20 years) than a national(istic) holiday on the worst possible date.

Thanks to the input of friends and online connections, here’s the list of titles we’ve come up with so far. Please feel free to share your own. [Last updated January 2022]


Adult Fiction

YA Fiction

Children’s Books


Not-so-modern books (set in the 90’s or earlier)

  • FICTION: Blood by Tony Birch
  • FICTION: Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton
  • FICTION: Cloudstreet by Tim Winton
  • FICTION: Goodwood by Holly Throsby (recommended by Ayan)
  • FICTION: Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta
  • FICTION: Murray Whelan series by Shane Maloney (recommended by Jacquie)
  • FICTION: My Brilliant Career by Miles Franklin
  • FICTION: Rowland Sinclair series by Sulari Gentil (recommended by Jacquie)
  • FICTION: The Battlers by Kylie Tennant (recommended by Shauna)
  • FICTION: The Light between Oceans by ML Stedman (recommended by Shauna)
  • FICTION: The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood (recommended by Harriet)
  • FICTION: The Year the Maps Changed by Danielle Binks
  • FICTION: True History of the Kelly Gang by Peter Carey
  • FICTION (or is it?): Monkey Grip by Helen Garner
  • FICTION: You Belong Here by Laurie Steed
  • NON-FICTION: 1956 the year Australia welcomed the world by Nick Richardson
  • NON-FICTION: A Fortunate Life by AB Facey
  • NON-FICTION: A Secret Country by John Pilger
  • NON-FICTION: Girt and True Girt by David Hunt (recommended by Shauna)
  • NON-FICTION: My Place by Sally Morgan
  • NON-FICTION: Tracks by Robyn Davidson
  • NON-FICTION: Wanamurraganya : the story of Jack McPhee by Sally Morgan
  • POETRY: Sometimes Gladness by Bruce Dawe (recommended by Shauna)
  • POETRY: The Silo by John Kinsella (recommended by Shauna)

Any others?

Author: katelarsenkeys

Arts, Cultural & Non-Profit Consultant. Reader. Writer (Our Hybrid Future, The Relationship is the Project). Researching the art of arts governance.

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