A perfect introduction to Australian literature, The Burning Library explores the lives and work of some of our greatest novelists.
Alarmed by the increasingly marginal status of Australian literature in the academy, Williamson has set out to reintroduce us to those key writers whose works we may have forgotten or missed altogether. His focus is on fiction that gives pleasure, and he is ardent in defence of books that for whatever reason sit uneasily in the present moment.
The Burning Library is a dynamic act of reclamation inspired by Miles Franklin’s claim that a nation that fails to acknowledge its literary treasures is ‘neither preserved nor developed, but only defaced’.
Writers discussed in this collection:
M. Barnard Eldershaw
Sumner Locke Elliott
‘Commands attention and invites dispute…Brilliant, unobliged and provoking work.’
‘As an introductory text to the Australian canon, The Burning Library is remarkable. Williamson’s enthusiasm for Australian literature and his boundless knowledge of the genre give the book an enlightening and accessible quality that brings to life a neglected part of our national heritage which, through Williamson’s astute gaze, appears absurd to have let fallen astray. I thoroughly recommend The Burning Library to any reader with an interest in Australian literature.’