Books by even well-known authors such as Miles Franklin, Marcus Clarke or Henry Handel Richardson can be hard to find in bookshops. The advent of a new publishing series, Text Classics, and the launch this month of an all-new imprint, House of Books, will resurrect much of this out-of-print Australian writing and make it available to readers.
'Our words, our deeds, our hatreds and our loves gave rise to these books. Reading and discussing them, we are part of a conversation that could never happen with the same inwardness or intensity anywhere else.'
Text Classics are also bringing out Patrick White's first novel, Happy Valley, in September. First published in 1939, the book won the Australian Literature Society Gold Medal in 1941, but White would not permit it to be republished in English in his lifetime.
House of Books is an initiative by Allen & Unwin. The new imprint 'aims to bring Australia's cultural and literary heritage to a broad audience by creating affordable print and ebook editions of the nation’s most significant and enduring writers'.
Works being made available include fiction, non-fiction, plays and poetry. More recently published books that have fallen out of circulation will also be reprinted, either as ebooks or in paper editions created via print-on-demand technology.