A few days ago, what I thought would be a very simple request to fulfil – to list a few Australian novellas to help those of you keen to combine two reading events with the one book – turned out to be anything but!
I naively believed that all I had to do was google ‘Australian novellas’ and there would be a lovely definitive list compiled by some intrepid Aussie list-making novella aficionado.
That has not turned out to be case at all.
Wikipedia listed a mere handful of choices (included below) but I knew there had to be more.
Naturally, one of the first problems encountered was determining the exact nature of a novella.
A word count of 17,500 to 39,999 is considered to be the norm, but I’ve also sited a 10,000 to 50,000 word limit range. Whichever word count you finally settle on though, makes no difference to the average reader in the end, as most books do not come with that kind of detail included.
Cathy and Rebecca have hit upon the 150 page mark with an upper limit of 200 pages. But, of course, it then depends on which edition of the book you are reading. As you can see, it was very easy to become pedantic and get caught up in the details, at the expense of making a list, that might actually be useful.
I also discovered that a novella usually (but not always) contains one central conflict, often from one point of view. Backstory is brief or non-existant, and most will have one location within a continuous time frame. A novella can usually be read in one sitting.
So here it is, after a bit of scrounging – a list!
- Carly Cappielli – Listurbia
- Christy Collins – The End of Seeing
- Lauren Aimee Curtis – Dolores (review by NancyElin)
- Nick Earls – Wisdom Tree series (Noho, Juneau, Vancouver, Venice, Gotham)
- Delia Falconer – The Lost Thoughts of Soldiers
- Beverley Farmer – Alone
- The Seal Woman
- The House in the Light
- Nigel Featherstone – Fall On Me (review by NancyElin)
- Helen Garner – The Children’s Bach
- Lana Guineay – Dark Wave (review by Lisa @ANZ Lit Lover)
- Stephanie Gunn – Icefall (review by NancyElin)
- George Haddad – Populate and Perish
- Marion Halligan – Spidercup
- Elizabeth Jolley – Miss Peabody’s Inheritance
- Cate Kennedy – Love & Desire: Four Modern Australian Novellas
- Michelle de Kretser – Springtime: A Ghost Story
- Mary-Rose MacColl – The Water of Life
- Colleen McCullough – The Ladies of Missalonghi
- Wayne Macauley – Simpson Returns (review by NancyElin)
- David Malouf – An Imaginary Life
- Fly Away Peter (review by Marianne @Let’s Read)
- Drusilla Modjeska – Ripe To Tell
- Joseph Mostafa – Offshore
- Rose Mulready – The Bonobo’s Dream
- Hoa Pham – The Other Shore
- Doris Pilkington – Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence
- Julie Proudfoot – The Neighbour
- Jane Rawson – Formaldehyde
- Jane Jervis Read – Midnight Blue and Endlessly Tall
- Mirandi Riwoe – The Fish Girl (review by Sue @Whispering Gums)
- Tansy Roberts _ Girl Reporter (review by NancyElin)
- Stephen Scourfield – Unaccountable Hours: Three Novellas
- Nicole Smith – Sideshow
- Elizabeth von Armin – Elizabeth and Her German Garden
- Bryan Walpert – Late Sonata
- Marlee Jane Ward – Welcome to Orphancorp
- Patrick White – The Cockatoos (review by Bill @Australian Legend)
- Daniel Davis Wood – Blood and Bone
- Stephen Wright – A Second Life
The Griffith Review Novella Project is now up to its 7th edition. Some of the novellas can be read online through the links provided. You can only read a few for free per month, though, so click wisely.
If you know of any more Australian Novellas, please let me know.