I am busily collecting various resources on the nation of Australia, as I imagine a queen bee gathers her various worker bees to her to construct a single grand colony (before mating with many of them and depositing the eggs of the next generation, but that doesn’t really work in the metaphor). My research skills are poor, as I may have mentioned, and they mostly involve Google, Wikipedia, Lonely Planet, and the Chicago Public Library’s website. Still, I’ve found some materials that I’m actually able to get my hands on in the next week or so, and these will be the basis for my research in the first country to come up in the Country a Month challenge I’ve set myself. FEEL FREE to add more suggestions in the comments; I can use any help you have to offer.
Books (nonfiction): I’m hoping this will provide historical perspective on various peoples in the country, before, during, and after colonization.
A traveller’s history of Australia by John H. Chambers
Telling stories: indigenous history and memory in Australia and New Zealand edited by Bain Attwood and Fiona Magowan
Art in Australia : from colonization to postmodernism by Christopher Allen
In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson
Books (fiction): I won’t have time to read all of these, so I’ll pick one and go with that. Suggestions?
Eucalyptus by Murray Bail
The Tree of Man by Patrick White (Nobel Prize winner)
My Brother Jack by George Johnston
Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey
Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence by Doris Pilkington Garimara
Movies: These are quite the mix, and I’ve seen quite a few already, but I think it’s a good cross-section of the historical, the comedic, the present, the tragic, and even the future that Australia has seen and envisions for itself. I’ll watch at least one of these by the end of the month and report back.
The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
The Man Who Sued God
Music: The Rough Guide to Australian Aboriginal Music (compilation)
There’s so much more! Australia has obviously been a major player in the English-speaking pop/rock world, and I intend to form a playlist of some of the bands I might want to know about before visiting the country. But it’s also good to see what doesn’t make the Top 40 charts, the kind of music that sustained communities for generations before iPods were even dreamed about.
What else am I missing? Other than the Vegemite sandwich K. mentioned in my last post (eek).
Have another moment of adorableness, courtesy of a baby kangaroo:
sometimes cute is necessary
Have a great week!