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The Greatest Literature of Australia

The selection of great Australian literature is based on the same extensive research carried out for more than two decades—and continuing—for our flagship list, The Greatest Literature of All Time, and our other "greatest" lists.

Included are literary works of all types, genres, cultures and periods by authors associated mostly with Australia.

This list focuses on major creative works—such as novels, plays, epic poetry and story collections—although some shorter or nonfiction writing of literary significance may also be included.

Latest update: December 23, 2023

The 77 Greatest Works of Australian Literature

1882
Robbery Under Arms
Rolf Boldrewood
Australia
Novel
1886
The Mystery of a Hansom Cab
Fergus W. Hume
Australia
Novel
1890
The Man from Snowy River
Banjo Paterson
Australia
Poem
1894
Seven Little Australians
Ethel Turner
Australia
Novel
1901
My Brilliant Career
Miles Franklin
Australia
Novel
1917–1929
The Fortunes Of Richard Mahony
Henry Handel Richardson
Australia
Novels
1918
The Magic Pudding
Norman Lindsay
Australia
Novel
1931
The Sands of Windee
Arthur Upfield
Australia
Novel
1938
The Bone Is Pointed
Arthur Upfield
Australia
Novel
1940
The Man Who Loved Children
Christina Stead
Australia
Novel
1949
Woman to Child
Judith Wright
Australia
Poems
1952
Beat Not the Bones
Charlotte Jay
Australia
Novel
1955
The Tree of Man
Patrick White
Australia
Novel
1957
Voss
Patrick White
Australia
Novel
1958
To the Islands
Randolph Stow
Australia
Novel
1959
The Big Fellow
Vance Palmer
Australia
Novel
1960
The Urishman
Elizabeth O'Connor
Australia
Novel
1961
Riders in the Chariot
Patrick White
Australia
Novel
1962
The Well Dressed Explorer
Thea Astley
Australia
Novel
 
The Cupboard Under the Stairs
George Turner
Australia
Novel
1963
Careful, He Might Hear You
Sumner Locke Elliott
Australia
Novel
1965
The Slow Natives
Thea Astley
Australia
Novel
1966
Trap
Peter Mathers
Australia
Novel
 
Cotters' England
Christina Stead
Australia
Novel
1967
Bring Larks and Heroes
Thomas Keneally
Australia
Novel
 
Picnic at Hanging Rock
Joan Lindsay
Australia
Novel
1968
Three Cheers for the Paraclete
Thomas Keneally
Australia
Novel
1969
Clean Straw for Nothing
George Johnston
Australia
Novel
1970
A Horse of Air
Dal Stivens
Australia
Novel
1971
The Unknown Industrial Prisoner
David Ireland
Australia
Novel
1972
The Acolyte
Thea Astley
Australia
Novel
1974
Peter's Pence
John Cleary
Australia
Novel
 
The Mango Tree
Ronald McKie
Australia
Novel
1975
The Commandant
Jessica Anderson
Australia
Novel
 
Shōgun
James Clavell
Australia
Novel
 
Poor Fellow My Country
Xavier Herbert
Australia
Novel
1976
The Glass Canoe
David Ireland
Australia
Novel
1977
Monkey Grip
Helen Garner
Australia
Novel
 
The Thorn Birds
Colleen McCullough
Australia
Novel
 
Swords and Crowns and Rings
Ruth Park
Australia
Novel
1978
Tira Lirra by the River
Jessica Anderson
Australia
Novel
1979
A Woman of the Future
David Ireland
Australia
Novel
1980
The Impersonators
Jessica Anderson
Australia
Novel
1981
Bliss
Peter Carey
Australia
Novel
1982
Just Relations
Rodney Hall
Australia
Novel
1982
Schindler's List
Thomas Keneally
Australia
Novel
 
Fly Away Peter
David Malouf
Australia
Novella
1983
The Bodysurfers
Robert Drewe
Australia
Stories
1984
The Children's Bach
Helen Garner
Australia
Novella
 
Shallows
Tim Winton
Australia
Novel
1985
The Doubleman
Christopher Koch
Australia
Novel
 
No More Boomerang
Oodgeroo Noonuccal
Australia
Poems
1986
The Well
Elizabeth Jolley
Australia
Novel
1987
Dancing on Coral
Glenda Adams
Australia
Novel
 
Jack Maggs
Peter Carey
Australia
Novel
1988
Oscar and Lucinda
Peter Carey
Australia
Novel
 
Inland
Gerald Murnane
Australia
Novel
1989
The Power of One
Bryce Courtenay
Australia
Novel
1989–1996
Oceana Fine
Tom Flood
Australia
Novel
1990
The Great World
David Malouf
Australia
Novel
1991
Cloudstreet
Tim Winton
Australia
Novel
1992
Looking for Alibrandi
Melina Marchetta
Australia
Novel
 
The Ancestor Game
Alex Miller
Australia
Novel
1993
The Grisley Wife
Rodney Hall
Australia
Novel
 
Remembering Babylon
David Malouf
Australia
Novel
1994
The Hand That Signed the Paper
Helen Demidenko
Australia
Novel
1995
Highways to a War
Christopher Koch
Australia
Novel
1995–2003
The Old Kingdom
Garth Nix
Australia
Novels
1996
The Glade Within the Grove
David Foster
Australia
Novel
1998
Eucalyptus
Murray Bail
Australia
Novel
2000
True History of the Kelly Gang
Peter Carey
Australia
Novel
2001
Year of Wonders
Geraldine Brooks
Australia
Novel
2005
March
Geraldine Brooks
Australia
Novel
 
The Book Thief
Markus Zusak
Australia
Novel
2009
Jasper Jones
Craig Silvey
Australia
Novel
2013
The Narrow Road to the Deep North
Richard Flanagan
Australia
Novel
2018
Too Much Lip
Melissa Lucashenko
Australia
Novel

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