Australian literature

Australian literature is the written or literary work produced in the area or by the people of the Commonwealth of Australia and its preceding colonies. During its early Western history, Australia was a collection of British colonies, therefore, its literary tradition begins with and is linked to the broader tradition of English literature. However, the narrative art of Australian writers has, since 1788, introduced the character of a new continent into literatureexploring such themes as Aboriginality, mateship, egalitarianism, democracy, national identity, migration, Australia's unique location and geography, the complexities of urban living, and "the beauty and the terror" of life in the Australian bush.
Notable Australian writers have included the novelists Marcus Clarke, Miles Franklin, Christina Stead, Patrick White, David Malouf, Thomas Keneally, Morris West, and Colleen McCullough; poets Henry Lawson, "Banjo" Paterson, C. J. Dennis, Dorothea Mackellar, and Mary Gilmore; historians Manning Clark and Geoffrey Blainey; children's authors P. L. Travers, May Gibbs, and Colin Thiele; and expatriate writers Robert Hughes, Clive James, and Germaine Greer. Notable contemporary Australian novelists and writers include Helen Garner, J. M. Coetzee, Peter Carey, Tim Winton, Alexis Wright and Geraldine Brooks.
Among the important authors of classic Australian works are the poets Henry Lawson, Banjo Paterson, C. J. Dennis and Dorothea Mackellar. Dennis wrote in the Australian vernacular, while Mackellar wrote the iconic patriotic poem My Country. Lawson and Paterson clashed in the famous "Bulletin Debate" over the nature of life in Australia with Lawson considered to have the harder edged view of the Bush and Paterson the romantic. Lawson is widely regarded as one of Australia's greatest writers of short stories, while Paterson's poems remain amongst the most popular Australian bush poems. Significant poets of the 20th century included Dame Mary Gilmore, Kenneth Slessor, A. D. Hope and Judith Wright. Among the best known contemporary poets are Les Murray and Bruce Dawe, whose poems are often studied in Australian high schools.
Novelists of classic Australian works include Marcus Clarke (For the Term of His Natural Life), Miles Franklin (My Brilliant Career), Henry Handel Richardson (The Fortunes of Richard Mahony), Joseph Furphy (Such Is Life), Rolf Boldrewood (Robbery Under Arms) and Ruth Park (The Harp in the South). In terms of children's literature, Norman Lindsay (The Magic Pudding) and May Gibbs (Snugglepot and Cuddlepie) are among the Australian classics, while eminent Australian playwrights have included Steele Rudd, David Williamson, Alan Seymour and Nick Enright.