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The 77 Greatest Works of Australian Literature

This selection of literature from Australia is based on the continuing research carried out for The Greatest Literature of All Time list and is additionally informed by the views of local readers, writers, critics and scholars.

It encompasses the greatest works of Australian authors in all forms, genres, cultures and periods.

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

1882
Robbery Under Arms
Rolf Boldrewood
Australia, novel
1886
The Mystery of a Hansom Cab
Fergus W. Hume
Australia, novel
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, novel series
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, poetry collection
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, story collection
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, poetry collection
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, novel series
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
2003
The Great Fire
Shirley Hazzard
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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