In honour of International Women’s Day, we give you a lowdown of some fine female authors based in our very own city of Sydney. These gifted women have carved a distinctive niche for themselves through their explorations into families, love, relationships, society and everything in between.
1. Liane Moriarty
Liane Moriarty is a master at work. If you haven’t read her books, you’ve probably heard of the show based on her book with the same title — Big Little Lies. What Moriarty does exceptionally well is write interesting, relatable characters; she also breaks down the complexities of relationships with finesse. Our top recommendations include Nine Perfect Strangers, What Alice Forgot and The Husband’s Secret if you want a good psychological thriller to complement this weather.
2. Celeste Barber
Celeste Barber isn’t just funny, she’s downright hilarious. I lost count of the number of times I snorted laughing while reading her part-memoir — Challenge Accepted. She writes with an honesty that is rare and relatable. Her bluntness is refreshing and her musings at once deep and silly. We highly recommend getting on the Celeste Barber bandwagon, you won’t regret it.
3. Jackie French
Jackie French is a legend, and we don’t use the term lightly. A highly accomplished author, she has written over 140 books and won over 60 national and international awards. Perceptive, powerful and imaginative — Frenchs’ books are real page turners. Our recommendations include — classic Aussie favourite Diary of a Wombat, They Came on Viking Ships and Miss Lily’s Lovely Ladies — a poignant story about how society’s ‘lovely ladies’ won a war.
4. Melina Marchetta
Marchetta is best known for her teen novels. She has authored critically and commercially acclaimed books such as Saving Francesca and On the Jellicoe Road. Her books have an undeniable appeal particularly to young adults but can also be enjoyed by all age groups. We highly recommend On the Jellicoe Road, a beautiful story about tragedy, heartbreak and long-standing friendships. Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil is another great read to go with this weather.
5. Kate Grenville
When it comes to Sydney-based female authors, Kate Grenville is an absolute literary staple. She expertly tackles complicated ideas about class, race and gender and forces you to rethink heavily ingrained ideologies. A Room Made of Leaves is an absolute delight as is The Secret River and The Idea of Perfection.