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List: Indigenous Australian authors

I was reflecting today how poorly read I am when it comes not only to Australian literature, but literature by Indigenous Australians in particular, and thought it might be a good idea to put together a list of fiction by Indigenous Australians to help bridge this gap in my knowledge. As always, the list below is in no way exhaustive, and Id love any suggestions for books and authors to add.


Alexis Wright (1950-):''a land-rights activist and winner of the Miles Franklin award for her novel Carpentaria. Also known for her novel Plains of Promise.

Best known for:

carpentaria alexis wright List: Indigenous Australian authors________________________________________

Kim Scott (1950-): An English teacher and writer, and the first Indigenous Australian to win the Miles Franklin award (Benang, 2000). Other works include True Country, Kayang and Me (with Hazel Brown), and That'Deadman Dance.

Best Known for:

benang kim scott List: Indigenous Australian authors________________________________________

Larissa Behrendt (1969-): A lawyer, academic, writer, and novelist.

Best known for:

home behrendt List: Indigenous Australian authors________________________________________

Philip McLaren (1943-): author, speaker, lecturer, freelance television product and winner of the David Unaipon Award. Author of Scream Black Murder, Sweet Water, Stolen Land, and Therell be New Dreams.

Best known for:

scream black murder mclaren List: Indigenous Australian authors


Sam Watson (1952-): activist, politician, and novelist. Author of The Kadaitcha Sung.

Best known for:

kadaitcha sung watson List: Indigenous Australian authors________________________________________

Terri Janke: lawyer, writer, poet, and novelist. Author of Butterfly Song.

Best known for:

butterfly song janke List: Indigenous Australian authors


Bruce Pascoe (1947-): schoolteacher, editor, writer, language activist, and novelist. Best known for Shark; also author of Earth, Ocean, and Convincing Ground.

shark pascoe List: Indigenous Australian authors________________________________________

Jared Thomas (1976-): academic, playwright, novelist. Best known for Sweet Guy.

sweet guy jared thomas List: Indigenous Australian authors________________________________________

Archie Weller (1957-): novelist, writer, playwright. Best known for Day of the Dog. Other books include Going Home, Land of the Golden Clouds, and The Window Seat and Other Stories.

day of the dog weller List: Indigenous Australian authors________________________________________

Doris Pilkington Garimara (1937-): author best known for Follow the'Rabbit Proof Fence, which was made into the film Rabbit Proof Fence. Also known for Under the Wintamarra Tree and Under the Wintamarra Tree.

Best known for:

Caprice, a Stockmans Daughter________________________________________

Boori Pryor (1950-): performer, speaker, and author of Maybe Tomorrow, Flytrap, Njunjul the Sun, and Riding the Black Cockatoo.

Best known for:

maybe tomorrow boori pryor List: Indigenous Australian authors________________________________________

Sally Morgan (1951-): dramatist, artist, and author of'My Place, which has won the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission humanitarian award and the Order of Australia Book Prize. Other books include Wanamurraganya, and a number of illustrated works.

Best known for:

my place sally morgan List: Indigenous Australian authors

white 15 List: Indigenous Australian authorsSend to Kindle


  1. Great list! I just joined the World Party Reading Challenge, which has gotten me looking at literature from all over the world, even from countries that arent on the official challenge list. I would love to be more aware of world literature, and your list is a great reference. Thank you!

  2. My pleasure, Erin! Im very aware of how woefully inadequate this list is, so Ill be updating it as I come across more authors and their work. :)

    Good luck with your international reading challenge! Let me know if you need any other recsIve read around quite a few different countries this year.

  3. Oh dear. Ive read My Placeand thats it.

    Over the past year or so, Ive come to realise that most of the books I read were written by dead white guys. I need to branch out more Erin, your International Reading Challenge is just what Im looking forerr, when I finish my current reading challenge, that is (c:

  4. Well, now my TBR is just going to grow. Im really interested in indigenous culture from Australia and New Zealand. Will definitely add some of these to my list. Ive seen the movie of Rabbit Proof Fence. It was fantastic. Hooray for learning more about other countries. :)

  5. Stephanie /

    Thanks for popping by, Michelle, and Carin! It sounds like we all need to do an international/Indigenous reading challenge. Ive been trying to read fairly widely in terms of different cultures and countries, but a lot of the stuff I get for review tends to be US- or UK-based. Its definitely time to branch out and fill in some gaps in my reading knowledge, I think!

    Good suggestion about the Maori literature, CarinIll put together another list, if youd like :)

  6. Jacqueline Harvey /

    You have lots of wonderful books and authors on the list but I would also add Dr Anita Heiss shes written everything from childrens fiction, The Diary of Mary Talence to a fantastic Indigenous chick lit series, Manhattan Dreaming, Not Meeting Mr Right and Avoiding Mr Right. Another author is Tara June Winch who wrote a beautiful book called Swallow the Air. I met a lovely lady earlier in the year Lorraine McGee-Sippel who has a great book out called, Hey Mum, Whats a Half Caste.

    • Stephanie /

      Hi Jacqueline, thanks so much for your fabulous additions. Theyre new to me, so Ill definitely hunt them down and add them to the list!

  7. Great list. Would like to add Darwin-based Marie Munkara whose Every Secret Thing won David Unaipon Award 2008, published by UQP and went on to win NT book of the year 2010. Hilarious and moving account of the interactions between the Bush mob and the Mission mob and a stolen gen womans return to country.

  8. Ive read and enjoyed Carpentaria and Rabbit-Proof Fence, and have a copy of Sally Morgans My Place somewhere. I read Aussie lit regularly but Indigenous Aussie lit is just not available here for the most part. (Canada) Have you seen Anita Heiss' 100 Black Book Challenge at Heidi Reads? Great list there though not one except the 3 Ive read is in my local libraries. Im going to request purchases on the bigger award winners and hope for the best. I may be forced to purchase some myself. I look forward to any you read and write about.

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