My decision to combine the AWW 2012 challenge with my Librivox hobby limits the range of Australian women’s writing that I can read and record to works in the public domain. Immediately that rules out any contemporary writers. Such a limit is an advantage to the extent that it narrows down, quite considerably, the problem of selecting from the vast back catalogue of Australian women’s writing.
A problem that can’t pass without comment, however, is that by restricting myself to works available via Project Gutenberg, any selection I make will be limited to works by Colonial and early-Federation era published writers. In view of Australia’s history of invasion by European settlers then, it is unlikely that I’ll be able to include works by Australia’s First Peoples’ women and women who come to be in Australia due to subsequent waves of migration, especially from non-Western European countries of origin.
Of course, if anybody can provide any information on Australian women writing from non-Western European perspectives during the Colonial and early-Federation periods, then let me know, please. I’m certainly not an expert on Australian women’s writing of any era or perspective.
In view of my general ignorance about Australian women’s writing, I’ve had to rely upon an article about Australian women’s writing and literary values by Julia Lamond in Meanjin for a list of authors whose work I’ll investigate to record. At this stage I’ll be favouring any works that aren’t already included in Librivox’s catalogue, thus, The Getting of Wisdom and My Brilliant Career will be left to another time (the current versions are by multiple readers).
That’s what this challenge will be about for me too: getting to know a bit more about the history and legacy of Australian women’s writing.