Thursday, September 22, 2011

Meanjin Tournament of Books

The Meanjin Tournament of Books has been modelled on The Morning News Tournament of Books but with a distinctly Australia flavour! All the nominated books are by Australian authors, and this year at least are all by women. I am not sure if that will be an ongoing criteria or not as this is the first time that the planned annual tournament of books has been run!

Here are this year's contenders vying for the label of Great Australian Novel.

Miles Franklin My Brilliant Career
Christina Stead The Man Who Loved Children
Henry Handel Richardson The Fortunes of Richard Mahony
Melina Marchetta Looking for Alibrandi
Thea Astley A Kindness Cup
Ruth Park Harp in the South
Jessica Anderson Tirra Lirra by the River
Elizabeth Jolley Mr Scobie’s Riddle
Helen Garner The Children’s Bach
Joan London Gilgamesh
Kate Grenville The Secret River
Alexis Wright Carpentaria
Michelle de Kretser The Lost Dog
Cate Kennedy The World Beneath
Sonya Hartnett Of a Boy
Isobelle Carmody Obernewtyn

Whilst the all the others were decided on by some judges the last choice, Obernewtyn, was decided on by the attendees at the launch of the tournament last week. If you are interested in reading Australian literature, this might be an interesting reading list.

So far Michelle de Kretser's The Lost Dog has gone up against Gilgamesh by Joan London and lost. Whilst I have only read a few of the books listed I will be watching with interest to see which books triumph and which one ultimately wins the prize!


  1. The man who loved children? *STABS WITH FURY* haven't been able to finish it.

  2. Very interesting! This list should be good for my list as I haven't read anything on it. Guess I'd better get started!

  3. This is indeed an interesting list, and some of the books here look interesting. I have been wanting to read some Australian literature, so this is the perfect list for me. Thanks for sharing it, Marg!

  4. Zibilee, it certainly would make an interesting reading list!

    Pam, I have only read a few of the books on there myself.

    Bookworm Rebel, I haven't even tried to start it!

  5. Doesn't suprise The Lost Dog didn't go too well - that was such a weird and boring book. Ive read a few others, but I have to admit that both Tirra Lirra by the River and The Man who Loved Children are books I have tried and failed to read.

    I saw Jonathan Franzen speak at the Opera House and he thinks Christina Stead is one of the best writers this century, and that book is one of the most underrated. Made me feel a bit stupid but what can you do. It was just too hard!

    I might try and read some ofthe others I haven't read. Gilgamesh might be worth a try

  6. I enjoy watching these themed book tournaments. I don't usually read according to lists, but it's a great resource, and interesting to see how they fare in the tourney.

  7. I quite enjoyed following the Morning News Tournament, so this sounds just as fun! I've only heard of Gilgamesh, Of a Boy, and Obernewtyn! I am excited to see which book wins!

  8. Aths, me too!

    Dawn, it is certainly interesting to see which books make a list like this and then try to figure out why.

    Becky, I often feel as though certain books are too clever for me!