The Best Australian Bush Stories

The Best Australian Bush Stories

The Best Australian Bush Stories

The Best Australian Bush Stories


Australia's national character and spirit have always been defined, rightly or wrongly, by "the bush." This entertaining, thought-provoking, humorous, nostalgic, and, above all, highly readable collection of stories for the modern reader shows why the romance endures. From Jim Haynes, one of Australia's most successful and prolific Australian authors, comes a collection of classic and iconic stories from the remote outback, cattle station, wheat farm, and rural town. The bush is where our iconic characters are found living in, taking refuge, or exploring, whether an Aborigine, explorer, squatter, bushranger, or stockman. Here are the big names of Australian bush writing and the lesser known writers who have been forgotten, but whose reputations are long overdue for revival.


Australia’s national character and spirit have always been defined, .rightly or wrongly, by ‘the bush’.

‘The bush’ can mean just about anything ‘non-urban’ in Australia—the remote outback, a cattle station, a wheat farm, a small selection, or a rural town of any size. Our iconic characters are invariably found living in, taking refuge in, or exploring, ‘the bush’. the Aborigine, explorer, squatter, free selector, bushranger, pioneer and the tall bronzed laconic stockman—along with the country bumpkin out of place when away from ‘the bush’—are the raw material for much of the popular literature of Australia from colonial times to the present.

Some of the stories in this collection were written over a century and a quarter ago, and some were written quite recently. the bulk of the stories, however, come from the period between 1890 and 1960, when the short story was a very popular form of writing.

A few of the stories in this collection are true ‘short stories’ in the ‘literary’ sense, while most are ‘stories’ in a more general sense. the majority represent the more common journalistic style favoured by The Bulletin—what the Europeans would call ‘sketches’ and the Americans ‘pieces’. These were far more commonly found in The Bulletin than true short stories.

Lawson’s more serious ‘stories’ are mostly sketches—vignettes and character sketches—while his humorous stories would be classed as ‘pieces’ in the more journalistic, American sense of the term.

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