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Drylands: Text Classics

Text Classics

Thea Astley

  • awardWinner, Miles Franklin Award, 1999
  • awardWinner, QLD Premier's Literary Awards, Fiction, 2000
  • Introduction by Emily Maguire

    This will be a book for the world’s last reader, she decided, chewing pen-end over an open exercise book.

    In the dying town of Drylands, Janet Deakin sells papers to lonely locals. At night, in her flat above the newsagency, she attempts to write a novel for a world in which no one reads—‘full of people, she envisaged, glaring at a screen that glared glassily back.’ Drylands is the story of the townsfolk’s harsh, violent lives. Trenchant and brilliant, Thea Astley’s final novel is a dark portrait of outback Australia in decline.


    Age: The 25 best Australian novels of the last 25 years
    Read Emily Maguire’s introduction in the Australian

    About the Author

    Thea Astley was born in Brisbane in 1925. Her first novel, Girl with a Monkey, was published in 1958 and her third, The Well Dressed Explorer (1962), won the Miles Franklin Literary Award. Many notable books followed, among them the groundbreaking A Kindness Cup (1974), which addressed frontier massacres of Indigenous Australians, and It’s...

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    Emily Maguire
    About the Introducer

    Emily Maguire was born in Canberra in 1976. Her first novel, Taming the Beast was nominated for the Dylan Thomas Prize and received a Special Commendation in the Kathleen Mitchell Awards. Emily lives in Sydney and frequently writes essays and articles for newspapers, magazines and journals.

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    Text publication date:
    30 April 2018
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    Praise for Thea Astley

    ‘It is impossible to put this book down. It seethes with energy and passion.’


    Other editions ofDrylands
    • Drylands
      ISBN: 9781925626612
      30 April 2018
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