Australian Novellas

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.

But no.

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!

Australian Novellas:

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.


27 thoughts on “Australian Novellas

  1. I am rather partial to Colleen McCullough's Ladies of Missalonghi – a comforting romance set in the Blue Mountains early 1900's & also of interest because of it's strong resemblance to LM Montgomery's story The Blue Castle.I've just finished a novel by Riwandi Riwoe, so I'm keen to go back and try her novella now as well.


        1. You’re welcome. I hadn’t realized you had moved, I was still following your old blog but I rectified the situation instantly.

          Always a pleasure to read your posts.


  2. I agree with Cathy…a great list!I have 3 contemporary AUSSIE novellas ready to read.As soon as the new President USA is official…hopefully today…then I can start reading my novellas.


  3. Done deal…finally. 16:34. CET….CNN calls Pennsylvania for Biden.Poured myself a glass of wine….then cooked a delicious dinner! Last night was my first good sleep in a week….tension was excruciating until Biden reached the necessary 270 electoral ballots. Today was detox from news….tomorrow start reading again!


  4. How did I miss this? I have read and written quite a lot about novellas . In your list I’ve also reviewed NoHo, The children’s Bach, and The neighbour. But if you look at my Novellas tag you will see a list of which about two thirds are novellas, including two more by Featherstone, Kate Jennings (2: Moral Hazard and Snake), Hoa Pham, Lurie, Murnane and many more. However, in some cases I’ve pushed the definition. Pages are difficult as you know. Some define it by word count but how are we to know that?


    1. Glad you found it now – I blame Blogger 🙂
      As I have time, I will add your links to the post (that is now a page on the top menu as suggested by Lisa).


    2. That’s the tricky thing, the definition. I categorise mine between 100-200 pages—which catches Penguin paperbacks I would otherwise call novels by Thea Astley—so I’ve named my category novellas and short novels.
      I work on more or less the same definition of what a novella comprises as Brona does in her last paragraph, except that, for me, novellas involve some kind of character development. IMO that is what distinguishes them from short stories. (Though I admit that character development might just be what makes them satisfying to me.)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I spotted that extra bit on the tag for the short novels, & I made a couple of calls to leave a book off my list if I thought the page count was too long. I also chose not to include NZ authors (unless their novella was actually set in Australia).

        I’m now using this rainy, miserable Sunday to go through my older posts for other possibilities for my new Australiana tab – look what you’ve started now!!


      2. No I think a bit of character development can distinguish novellas. But good short stories will nail character so well, and sometimes involve an epiphany which makes them special too!


  5. I’m going to be cheeky here and suggest that you turn this list into a Page, that people can see in your menu at the top of the blog. That way, when we’re fossicking around for Novellas in November, we will find it:)

    Others you can add are This Water: Five Tales, by Beverley Farmer; and Things We Didn’t See Coming, by Steven Amsterdam.

    BTW I have also reviewed The End of Seeing; Dolores, Venice and Gotham (from the Nick Earls series), Miss Peabody’s Inheritance; Simpson Returns, Springtime, The Other Shore, Unaccountable Hours, Late Sonata, A Second Life and Welcome to Orphancorp.

    You can find the links if you want to add them from my Novellas category,


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