Australians Germaine Greer, Nam Le and Kate Veitch have made it into the influential Best Books 2008 list recently issued by the Library Journal of America. This achievement is quite extraordinary given the very select company these writers are keeping – the relatively short list (no “top 100” here) includes both fiction and nonfiction, and features names such as Toni Morrison, Marilynne Robinson, and Philip Roth (when will he finally be awarded the Nobel Prize?).
Of Greer’s biography of Anne Hathaway, Shakespeare’s Wife, the Journal editors say that “Greer ‘corrects’ an image of Hathaway based on bias and rewrites history”. Nam’s collection of stories, The Boat, is justly praised for the author’s ability to give voice to characters as diverse as a teenage assassin and an old painter. And about Kate’s novel Without a Backward Glance (which I, as a proud personal friend, highly recommended in this post when the book was first published in Australia in 2006 under the title Listen), the editors write: “This heartfelt and beautifully written novel will resonate with many readers.” What an amazing result.