It’s that time of year again!
Time to think about how many Australian books and authors you can read during the month of November for AusReading Month.
Now in it’s 10th year, AusReading Month is a chance to celebrate all the things we love about Australian literature. Back in 2013, I was looking for an opportunity to celebrate and promote Australian literature. I chose the month of November to coincide with Triple J’s annual AusMusic Month.
This year I plan to keep things pretty simple.
- On the 1st November I will publish an opening post that will be our Masterpost for the entire month.
- You are welcome to read and review as many Australian books as you like throughout the month.
- This year I plan to focus on only one book – a buddy read of Patrick White’s Voss.
Earlier in the year Bill @The Australian Legend and Karen @Booker Talk expressed some interest in reading Voss for AusReading Month. Ever since, it has been playing in the back of my mind. Will I, or won’t I?
I first attempted Voss when I was nineteen, but failed to finish it. In fact, I barely got through the first chapter. My second year of uni was a little more about dancing and late nights than reading literary classics. It was also the year I fell in love with Mr Books. Patrick White didn’t stand a chance!
2022 has been a year of chunksters already, so I wasn’t sure I wanted to take on another book that had over 450 pages. Yet, my copy of Voss has been lingering on my TBR shelves for way too many years, and participating in a buddy read or readalong, is always such a lovely way to tackle a book that may be challenging.
So, here we go!
- Voss (1957) is Patrick White’s fifth novel.
- It’s based upon the life of the 19th-century Prussian explorer and naturalist Ludwig Leichhardt (23 October 1813 – c. 1848) who disappeared while on an expedition into the Australian outback.
- The group was last seen on 3 April 1848 at a squatter’s property on the Darling Downs.
- He most likely died in the the Great Sandy Desert, although the where, why and how of this remains a mystery to this day.
- My Vintage Classics edition of Voss contains 454 pages with 16 chapters.
- That’s 4 chapters a week throughout the month of November.
- Each week I will put up a progress report.
- If anyone would like to write a guest post (author bio, history of Leichhardt etc) for one of these weeks please let me know in the comments below.
The novel that put Australian literature on the map is now in a Vintage Classic edition.
Set in nineteenth-century Australia, Voss is the story of the secret passion between an explorer and a naïve young woman. Although they have met only a few times, Voss and Laura are joined by overwhelming, obsessive feelings for each other. Voss sets out to cross the continent. As hardships, mutiny and betrayal whittle away his power to endure and to lead, his attachment to Laura gradually increases. Laura, waiting in Sydney, moves through the months of separation as if they were a dream and Voss the only reality.
From the careful delineation of Victorian society to the sensitive rendering of hidden love to the stark narrative of adventure in the Australian desert, Patrick White’s novel is a work of extraordinary power and virtuosity.
Patrick White was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1973 “for an epic and psychological narrative art which has introduced a new continent into literature”. Voss is also one of the 1001 Books You Should Read Before You Die.
Australian Novellas & Non-Fiction
- November is a busy book blogging month.
- To make it easier to combine book events, check out my evolving Australian Novellas page and Australian Essays page.
- As time permits, I will be adding pages to the Australiana tab on my menu bar, which will feature authors and books from each state and territory of Australia.
- The only pages published so far are the ones for Canberra/ACT and the Northern Territory.
I hope you will be joining us for AusReading Month in November. And perhaps for a buddy read of Voss. Only 32 more days to go!
Share your #AusReadingMonth2022 love on Twitter or Instagram.
- This post was written on the traditional land of the Wangal clan, one of the 29 clans of the Eora Nation within the Sydney basin. This Reading Life acknowledges that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are this land’s first storytellers.