Drylands

Text Classics

Thea Astley,

Drylands: Text Classics
 
 

This will be a book for the world’s last reader, she decided, chewing pen-end over an open exercise book.

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.

Thea Astley was born in Brisbane in 1925. Her first novel, Girl with a Monkey, was published in 1958 and her third, The Well Dressed Explorer (1962), won the Miles Franklin Literary Award. Many notable books followed, among them the groundbreaking A Kindness Cup (1974), which addressed frontier massacres of Indigenous Australians, and It’s Raining in Mango (1987). Her last novel was Drylands (1999), her fourth Miles Franklin winner. Her fiction is distinguished by vivid imagery and metaphor; a complex, ironic style; and a desire to highlight oppression and social injustice. One of the most distinctive and influential Australian novelists of the twentieth century, Astley died in 2004.

‘It is impossible to put this book down. It seethes with energy and passion.’ Herald Sun

'Wonderful.' Australian



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