These are the five Australian books you must read

To celebrate World Poetry Day, we decided to take a look atsome of the finest literature produced by Australian writers. From Man BookerPrize winners to coming-of-age novels, these are five must-haves for yourbookshelf.

The Narrow Road to the Deep North – Richard Flanagan 

The winner of the 2014 Man Booker Prize, this epic-formnovel from Richard Flanagan details the story of an Australian doctor strugglingwith memories of his time as a prisoner of war on the infamous Thai-Burma Railwayand a love affair with his uncle’s wife. The premise of the book was influencedby Flanagan’s father’s experiences in WW2.

Holding the Man — Timothy Conigrave

Timothy Conigrave penned this poignant memoir of hisrelationship with husband John Caleo, from the time the pair met as boys atXavier College to John’s death in 1991 following their diagnosis with HIV. Itwas released in 1995, just one year after Timothy passed away, offering a uniqueportrayal into growing up gay in the 1970s. 

Jasper Jones — Craig Silvey

This 2009 novel follows the story of Charlie Bucktin andtitular character Jasper Jones after the latter’s girlfriend is found dead inthe rural town of Corrigan. The book investigates themes of race and identity,and has been described as the Australian equivalent of To Kill a Mockingbird.

Schindler’s Ark — Thomas Keneally

Another Booker Prize winner, Schindler’s Ark is most well-knownfor its conversion into the Steven Spielberg-directed Schindler’s List butoriginated as a brilliant work of historical fiction by Australian authorThomas Keneally. The plot surrounds Nazi Party member Oskar Schindler as hesaves more than 1,000 Jews from dying in concentration camps throughout Germanyand Poland.

Cloudstreet — Tim Winton

Chronicling the intertwining lives of two distinct families,the religious Lambs and the carefree Pickles, Cloudstreet is arguably the mostfamous Australian novel of all time. Written by the award-winning Tim Winton,the book explores community and connection against the backdrop of significantworld events over two decades.

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