Book chat

Books that Made Us: TV series about Australia’s literary canon set to screen on ABC in November

Earlier today, I was excited to learn (via Instagram) that a new three-part TV series about Australian books will screen on the ABC next month!

Books that Made Us, about great works of fiction and Australian writers, will be hosted by award-winning actor, scriptwriter and producer Claudia Karvan.

Some of the novelists that will feature include Richard Flanagan, Alexis Wright, Helen Garner, Tim Winton, David Malouf, Kate Grenville, Christos Tsiolkas, Thomas Keneally, Liane Moriarty, Trent Dalton, Kim Scott and Melissa Lucashenko. What a line-up!

A book to accompany the series will also be published. It’s billed as “a cultural history of Australia told through our fiction”.

According to the blurb, it will touch on…

colonial invasion, the bush myth, world wars, mass migration, the recognition of Indigenous sovereignty and the emergence of a modern, global, multicultural nation. Carl [Reinecke, the author] examines how these pivotal events and persuasive ideas have shaped some of Australia’s most influential novels, and how these books, in turn, made us.

You can find out more about the TV series via this ABC podcast that was first broadcast in August.

Books that Made Us will premiere on ABC TV and ABC iView at 8.30pm on 23 November.


Have now found a clip on YouTube about the series…

9 thoughts on “Books that Made Us: TV series about Australia’s literary canon set to screen on ABC in November”

  1. Well, this might be interesting… though it depends a lot on who’s behind the commentary. Presumably they’ll have some cultural historians or literary types along with the booksellers!


    1. Yes, it will be interesting to see who is mentioned, particularly those writers from 19th and 20th century, rather than the current crop. I will keep you posted!


  2. I struggle with opinion shows, keep trying to talk (shout) over the experts whenever I disagree with them (often). But then, you probably guessed that already. And yet I often enjoy essays/books on exactly the same topics.


    1. Lol. Well, I think the important thing to keep in mind is that this show will have a generalist audience in mind not a book obsessive one like all us book bloggers so it’s bound to leave things out we’d like to see or appear a bit dumbed down. It’s just so rare to have a book show on TV that I’m prepared to forgive minor oversights etc. And if it helps wean people off American fiction and on to Oz books then it will have done it’s job as far as I’m concerned…

      Liked by 1 person

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