Free freight for all book orders

A perfect introduction to Australian literature, The Burning Library explores the lives and work of some of our greatest novelists.

Alarmed by the increasingly marginal status of Australian literature in the academy, Williamson has set out to reintroduce us to those key writers whose works we may have forgotten or missed altogether. His focus is on fiction that gives pleasure, and he is ardent in defence of books that for whatever reason sit uneasily in the present moment.  

The Burning Library
is a dynamic act of reclamation inspired by Miles Franklin’s claim that a nation that fails to acknowledge its literary treasures is ‘neither preserved nor developed, but only defaced’.

Writers discussed in this collection:
M. Barnard Eldershaw
Xavier Herbert
Christina Stead
Dal Stivens
Patrick White
Jessica Anderson
Sumner Locke Elliott
Amy Witting
Olga Masters
David Ireland
Elizabeth Harrower
Thomas Keneally
Randolph Stow
Gerald Murnane

Interview/review highlights:
ABC Radio National Books & Arts Daily interview
Readings Bookshop Q&A
Insights review
2SER Sydney Educational Radio interview
ANZ Litlovers review
4ZZZ FM interview
Sydney Review of Books review

Praise for Geordie Williamson and The Burning Library:

‘Commands attention and invites dispute…Brilliant, unobliged and provoking work.’

Weekend Australian

‘As an introductory text to the Australian canon, The Burning Library is remarkable. Williamson’s enthusiasm for Australian literature and his boundless knowledge of the genre give the book an enlightening and accessible quality that brings to life a neglected part of our national heritage which, through Williamson’s astute gaze, appears absurd to have let fallen astray. I thoroughly recommend The Burning Library to any reader with an interest in Australian literature.’

Readings Monthly

Geordie Williamson


Geordie Williamson is chief literary critic of the Australian newspaper, a position he has held since 2008, though his essays and reviews have been appearing in newspapers and magazines here and in the UK for over a decade. In 2011, he won the Pascall Prize for… »

There are other editions of this book:

  • RRP: $32.99
  • NZ Price: $40.00
  • Pub date: 24/10/2012
  • ISBN: 9781921961236
  • Buy: Ebook retailers