AustLit logo
person or book cover
Photo courtesy of UQP.
Thea Astley Thea Astley i(A13608 works by) (a.k.a. Thea Beatrice May Astley; Thea Gregson)
Born: Established: 25 Aug 1925 Brisbane, Queensland, ; Died: Ceased: 17 Aug 2004 Byron Bay, Byron Bay - Broken Head area, Far North Coast, New South Wales,
Gender: Female
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.

Works By

Preview all
1 7 y separately published work icon Thea Astley : Selected Poems Thea Astley , Cheryl M. Taylor (editor), St Lucia : University of Queensland Press , 2017 11475738 2017 selected work poetry

'The first published collection of poetry by Australian literary legend Thea Astley

'Thea Astley won multiple prizes for her fiction, including four Miles Franklin Awards. However, her earliest ambition was to write poetry. It remained her private passion throughout her student days into adulthood.

'This exciting volume brings together for the first time many poems that have never been seen or published. It traces Astley’s development as a writer as she evokes wartime Brisbane, her fascination with the natural landscape and her encounters with small-town life.

'Thea Astley: Selected Poems provides admirers of Astley’s fiction with unprecedented insight into an Australian literary legend.' (Publication summary)

1 Thea Astley Thea Astley , 2016 extract novel (Drylands : A Book for the World's Last Reader)
— Appears in: A Single Tree : Voices from the Bush 2016; (p. 16-19)
1 From : Travelling Even Farther North Thea Astley , 2002 extract short story (Travelling Even Farther North : David Williamson You Must Have Stopped at the Border)
— Appears in: Hot Iron Corrugated Sky : 100 Years of Queensland Writing 2002; (p. 118-119)
1 Untitled (from Drylands) Thea Astley , 2001 extract (Drylands : A Book for the World's Last Reader)
— Appears in: Island , Autumn no. 85 2001; (p. 22)
1 Letting the Lave Go By Thea Astley , 2000 single work short story
— Appears in: Penguin Australian Summer Stories 2 2000; (p. 60-67)
2 37 y separately published work icon Drylands : A Book for the World's Last Reader Thea Astley , Ringwood : Penguin Viking , 1999 Z384386 1999 single work novel (taught in 3 units)

'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.'

Source: Publisher's blurb (Text ed.)

1 Choking on Chalk (from a Kindness Cup) Thea Astley , 1997 extract
— Appears in: The Oxford Book of Australian Schooldays 1997; (p. 60-62)
1 El Rio Es Mi Solo Amigo Thea Astley , 1997 single work short story
— Appears in: Collected Stories 1997; (p. 58-63)
A precocious and lonely young boy has difficulty relating to his parents.
1 One of the Islands Thea Astley , 1997 single work short story
— Appears in: Collected Stories 1997; (p. 46-57)
A young man rebels against his parents' conservatism and forms a travelling rock band. He begins to question the band's cavalier attitudes, but has not the fortitude to prevent the violation of a young groupie.
1 Beachmaster Thea Astley , 1997 single work short story humour
— Appears in: Collected Stories 1997; (p. 41-45)
An ageing, untalented musician - 'the oldest hippie' - is thrilled when he is asked to play at a high society wedding. Unaware that he has been mistaken for another musician, he thoroughly enjoys unleashing his repertoire upon the captive audience.
1 8 y separately published work icon Collected Stories Thea Astley , St Lucia : University of Queensland Press , 1997 Z453513 1997 selected work short story
1 [Untitled] (from The Acolyte) Thea Astley , 1996 extract
— Appears in: Red Hot Notes 1996; (p. 124-128)
1 33 y separately published work icon The Multiple Effects of Rainshadow Thea Astley , Ringwood New York (City) : Viking , 1996 Z287862 1996 single work novel historical fiction (taught in 1 units)

'Tracing the lead-up to and aftermath of a bloody showdown when the superintendent of a Queensland mission goes on a murderous rampage.

'In 1930 the superintendent of a mission on a Queensland island, driven mad by his wife’s death, goes on a murderous rampage. Fearing for their lives, the other whites arm a young Indigenous man and order him to shoot Uncle Boss dead.

'The Multiple Effects of Rainshadow traces the lead-up to this bloody showdown and the repercussions in the years after - for Aboriginal people and the colonial overseers.' (Publication summary)

1 1 Barjai Days: Hello Barrie, Hello Laurie Vida Horn , Thea Astley , 1996 single work biography
— Appears in: Overland , Autumn no. 142 1996; (p. 36)
1 [Untitled] (from Rain Shadow) Thea Astley , 1995 extract
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , May no. 170 1995; (p. 70-71)
1 Coda (from Coda) Thea Astley , 1994 extract
— Appears in: Kunapipi , vol. 16 no. 1 1994; (p. 24-26)
1 Why I Write Thea Astley , 1994 single work autobiography
— Appears in: Kunapipi , vol. 16 no. 1 1994; (p. 22-23) Into the Nineties: Post-Colonial Women's Writing 1994; (p. 23) Thea Astley's Fictional Worlds 2006; (p. 1)
1 20 y separately published work icon Coda Thea Astley , Port Melbourne : Heinemann Australia , 1994 Z262203 1994 single work novel

'Kathleen is facing old age alone. Between her selfish children - 'Brain' and his straying wife, and daughter Shamrock and Shamrock's hubby the 'Big Developer' - there is no longer a place for her. But Passing Downs Old People's Home is still not the place for a woman like Kathleen. She is not ready for that and they're not ready for her.

''I've skipped the grandma years,' Kathleen said. 'The four ages of women: bimbo, breeder, baby-sitter, burden. I've cut and run. Wasn't going to tell a soul but I've decided cutting and running is what it's all about.''

Source: Publisher's blurb (House of Books ed.)

1 The Seafarer's Woman (from Coda) Thea Astley , 1994 extract
— Appears in: The Age , 20 January 1994; (p. 3,6)
1 They Took the Children Away Thea Astley , 1993 single work short story
— Appears in: The Advertiser , 22 July 1993; (p. 13)