The 8 Most Exciting New Australian Authors to Start Reading Now
Here at Bed Threads, we're all about supporting local, whether it's the homewares we offer in our store—prints by Australian artists Hannah Carrick and Claudia Miranda, for example—or the books we put on our bedside table.
And the past few years have seen some exciting new Australian authors join the established literary canon. Supporting Australian authors is important, and if you're a voracious reader already it's also incredibly easy. Our local writers are some of the best in the world, which is why so many of the books in The Reads. Collection are from Aussie authors. We love the diverse and complicated and multi-layered stories each one of them tells, and hope you will too.
So, if you're trying to decide what book to read next, here are some of our favourites by Australian authors that you should definitely consider.
Journalist, podcaster, poet and music teacher Jessie Tu exploded out of the gate with the debut novel A Lonely Girl is a Dangerous Thing. This story of sex addiction unfolded in Sydney backstreets—Bondi and Surry Hills featured heavily—before travelling to the other side of the world, when protagonist Jena wins a coveted scholarship to play violin with a New York orchestra. Jessie's writing style is sparse and shocking, and this story is propulsive in the way it unfolds. You'll read it in one weekend and be left crying out for more, but don't worry, in our recent interview with the author she confirmed that she's been working on her second novel. We can't wait.
When Eggshell Skull was released in 2018, it was an instant sensation. And rightly so: author Bri Lee had written an in-depth and searing memoir about her experiences attempting to get her sexual assault prosecuted in the Queensland courts, a world Bri knew better than most, given that she had worked as a judge's associate in Queensland for years. Now, Eggshell Skull is part of the #MeToo reading canon, an important work that details how broken our legal system is, and how much victims have to fight in order to get their voices heard. You can buy Eggshell Skull as part of The Reads. Collection, and as soon as she finishes working on her next book you can be sure we'll be first in line to read it.
If you haven't read a book by Tara June Winch yet, what are you waiting for? Tara is a Wiradjuri woman from Wollongong and has written three books: novel Swallow The Air, short story collection Carnage, and The Yield, her latest and most accomplished work yet. Following a young woman returning home for her grandfather's funeral, whose last wish was to document the language of his people, The Yield is a story of family, home and identity. It's also a future classic, the winner of 2020's Miles Franklin and NSW Premier's Literary Award. These days, Tara is based in France, where she lives with her daughter and husband, and we're eagerly awaiting whatever it is she turns her hand to next.
Hilde Hinton says she spent 20 years trying to not become a writer, which means we lost out on 20 years reading whatever wonderful words she might have written. As they say, all's well that ends well—her debut novel The Loudness of Unsaid Things, is a gem. Hilde has dreamt up a warm and engaging world for her protagonist, Susie, a young girl whose childhood is marred by tragedy, befriends Miss Kaye, an employee of an organisation called The Institution. It's a tale to lose yourself in, and one of love and loss as told by one of Australia's most exciting new writers. Hilde happens to be the sister to Samuel Johnson, the Australian actor whose charity Love Your Sister has raised millions of dollars in memory of their sibling Connie's battle with cancer.
If you think you know Clare Bowditch's story, think again. The singer and songwriter has penned a memoir called Your Own Kind of Girl that shows a side to her that we have never seen before, an important reminder that even the most famous and successful among us have their own battles to fight. Clare is a phenomenal writer, which shouldn't be a surprise given her prowess with song lyrics. This memoir is honest and clear-eyed, and draws you in right from the first page. A must for anyone who devoured Patti Smith's Just Kids, Carrie Brownstein's Hunger Makes Me A Modern Girl, or Kim Gordon's Girl in a Band.
Thrillers are some of the easiest things to read, which makes people think that they must be easy to write as well. Not so. In fact, putting together a perfectly balanced, intricately plotted thriller is like walking a tightrope. You never want to put a foot wrong. That's why we're so in awe of Christian White, a new Australian thriller writer whose book The Wife and the Widow is one of the best mystery novels we've read in recent years. It's twisty and it's turny, and the central mystery is so well done it manages to surprise you, which might seem easy, but in this day and age of true crime podcasts and psychological thriller TV shows, is actually pretty hard. Because writing thrillers is deceptively tricky, we have to hand it to Christian.
Michelle Andrews and Zara McDonald
One of the most exciting upcoming additions to The Reads. Collection is The Space Between, the first book by Michelle Andrews and Zara McDonald. You know them as the co-hosts of Shameless, the chart-topping Australian podcast about pop culture, current affairs and everything that women want to talk about. But get ready to meet them as authors when you pick up this book, a must-read manual about getting through your twenties by two women who have been there, done that, got the T-shirt. Your twenties, especially that tricky, muddled up bit in the middle, is one of the hardest ages. Everything is changing—work, friendships, relationships—and it feels like nothing is certain. Michelle and Zara are here to help, so you can consider this book, equal parts funny and wise, your guide for the messy, in-between decade that is your twenties.