'Some of the best, most significant writing produced in Australia over more than two centuries is gathered in this landmark anthology. Covering all genres - from fiction, poetry and drama to diaries, letters, essays and speeches - the anthology maps the development of one of the great literatures in English in all its energy and variety.
'The writing reflects the diverse experiences of Australians in their encounter with their extraordinary environment and with themselves. This is literature of struggle, conflict and creative survival. It is literature of lives lived at the extremes, of frontiers between cultures, of new dimensions of experience, where imagination expands.
'This rich, informative and entertaining collection charts the formation of an Australian voice that draws inventively on Indigenous words, migrant speech and slang, with a cheeky, subversive humour always to the fore. For the first time, Aboriginal writings are interleaved with other English-language writings throughout - from Bennelong's 1796 letter to the contemporary flowering of Indigenous fiction and poetry - setting up an exchange that reveals Australian history in stark new ways.
'From vivid settler accounts to haunting gothic tales, from raw protest to feisty urban satire and playful literary experiment, from passionate love poetry to moving memoir, the Macquarie PEN Anthology of Australian Literature reflects the creative eloquence of a society.
'Chosen by a team of expert editors, who have provided illuminating essays about their selections, and with more than 500 works from over 300 authors, it is an authoritative survey and a rich world of reading to be enjoyed.' (Publisher's blurb)
Allen and Unwin have a YouTube channel with a number of useful videos on the Anthology.
'Donald Friend's legendary years in Bali in the 1960s and 70s and his subsequent final decade in Australia, are revealed in detail in this fourth and final volume of The Diaries Donald Friend. In Bali he lives luxuriously, like a lord - even keeping his own gamelan orchestra - and becomes an international celebrity artist. He welcomes guests such as Mick Jagger and the Duke and Duchess of Bedford, entertains numerous other visitors who want to buy his paintings and drawings and socialised freely with friends, including many other artists. He engages in significant building activity and property development while also producing superb illustrated manuscripts and books. And despite increasing ill-health, Friend continues to revel in his life's drama and creativity, remaining an eloquent, often charming and sometimes irascible companion. Including over 60 drawings from the diaries, many of them in colour, this volume confirms Friend's quicksilver creative brilliance and extraordinary insight. He is perhaps Australia's most important twentieth-century diarist. Published under the auspices of the Morris West Trust Fund.'
'Covering the period March 1949 to December 1966, Volume 3 of the extraordinary Diaries of Donald Friend sees Friend travel to Italy, London, France, Spain and Sri Lanka before eventually returning to Sydney. During this period he is also at Hill End (NSW), and in Queensland, all the time producing art (winning the Blake Prize in 1955), writing books, absorbing the influences of various cultures and meeting an interesting range of people, including Attilio Guarracino, Peter Sculthorpe, Patrick White, Robert Hughes and Ian Fairweather. Published under the auspices of the Morris West Trust Fund.' (Publication summary)