Books about Down Under
February 7, 2008 4:42 AM   Subscribe

Can anyone reccomend good books, or documentaries, about Australia (history, culture, politics) written by people from outside Australia?

I'm interested in how we look from an international perspective - not from people who've spent a significant part of their lives here, or ex-pats, but people who are really writing from the outside, or who have only visited for a short time and grabbed a glance at the place.

Academic or humorous, either would be good. I've read Chatwin's "Songlines", enjoyed Bill Bryson's efforts, and even Billy Connolly's touring TV show was pretty good. What else is there that people can reccomend?
posted by Jimbob to Writing & Language (11 answers total)
I enjoyed Bill Bryson's In a Sunburned Country.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 4:48 AM on February 7, 2008 [1 favorite]

Dangit. I also need to read the entire More Inside!
posted by robocop is bleeding at 4:49 AM on February 7, 2008

Well, more books like that are exactly what I'm looking for, robocop.
posted by Jimbob at 4:52 AM on February 7, 2008

Robocop beat me to the punch on Bryson, but I can't recommend him more. Both hilariously funny and very insightful, not only in that but in everything he writes.
posted by Rallon at 5:50 AM on February 7, 2008

Frank Welsh's Australia: A New History of the Great Southern Land (review).

I was going to recommend Robert Hughes' The Fatal Shore, but he's Australian.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:35 AM on February 7, 2008 [1 favorite]

Have you heard of Bill Bry... heee just kidding!

You might be interested in checking out Bondi Tsunami which was inspired by the Japanese surfing subculture in Australia.
posted by gomichild at 8:20 AM on February 7, 2008

There's an edition of the literary journal Granta titled "Australia," with many fine stories and points of views from interesting writers.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 2:39 PM on February 7, 2008

The Happy Isles of Oceania: Paddling the Pacific by Paul Theroux.
posted by tellurian at 5:34 PM on February 7, 2008

I know Bryson is funny, but his frequently fact-challenged writing about Oz really annoyed me.
posted by Wolof at 11:50 PM on February 7, 2008

In a way, wolof, fact-challened writing is what I'm after. What are the impressions that people who don't know the place well come away with? What things stand out to people that we may have missed? What misconceptions do people have?
posted by Jimbob at 1:20 AM on February 8, 2008

I must have been on the drink again.
posted by Wolof at 6:33 PM on February 8, 2008

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