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Once upon a time, I discovered the works of Dale Spender in my local women’s bookstore.

When it wasn’t so unusual to have an independent feminist bookshop in the community.

When I would go on Friday nights, to browse the shelves and spend money that I should have spent on other things.

And Dale Spender, as writer of Mothers of the Novel, and Women of Ideas, added monumentally to my reading lists in those days.

For many years afterwards, simply reading that an author was Australian on the back cover of a novel at the annual library booksale was enough to ensure that book found its way home with me.

Many of those books are now nestled amongst my — now overflowing — shelves and, when it comes to petting those individual works on my shelves, I have forgotten the original impetus to collect them.

But somewhere the desire to read them is, yet, intact. I’m hopeful that this challenge will put me back on their trail.

I’m signing up for the Stella level of the challenge, which only requires that I read three books, but I hope to exceed my own expectations.

And I’d like to read in more than one genre. I do have several Virago Modern Classics works, which include, I know, a number of Australian women writers’ works that cross genres. (And that makes me a Stella Dabbler.)

But I’d also like to read some works by aboriginal Australian women writers and to sample the speculative and crime fiction that I’ve been hearing so many good things about.

Certainly the bookshelves at the AWWC group are filled with terrific suggestions.

Do check it out!

I’ll record my reads for the challenge below:
1. Elizabeth Jolley’s Miss Peabody’s Inheritance (1983)
2. Elizabeth Jolley’s The Newspaper of Claremont Street (1981)

Because both of these are literary fiction, and I signed up as a Dabbler, my next read must be something other than literary fiction, and this is historical fiction:
3. M.L. Stedman’s The Light Between Oceans (2012)

And, I hope to read beyond what I signed up for:

[Edited to add that I didn’t read a fourth, but I did add several new books to my stacks to unofficially read more Aussie authors in 2013 and beyond.]