The Great Australian Literature Quiz

30 Questions | Total Attempts: 284

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The Great Australian Literature Quiz

This quiz has been created for the release of the Macquarie PEN Anthology of Australian Literature - an abridged version was used for our competition to win a special limited collector's edition of the Anthology. Some of the best, most significant writing produced in Australia over more than two centuries is gathered in this landmark anthology. Covering all genres - from fiction, poetry and drama to diaries, letters, essays and speeches - the anthology maps the development of one of the great literatures in English in all its energy and variety. This quiz consists of 30 questions on a range of subjects within Australian literature.


Questions and Answers
  • 1. 
    • A. 

      Moore River Native Settlement

    • B. 

      Ebenezer Mission

    • C. 

      Doomadgee Aboriginal Mission

    • D. 

      Wellington Valley Mission

  • 2. 
    Helen Garner's first novel was published in 1977, became a cult hit, and is still in print today. What is its title?
    • A. 

      Simian Boogie

    • B. 

      The Monkey's Mask

    • C. 

      Orang-utan Cup

    • D. 

      Monkey Grip

  • 3. 
    In the pages of which long-lived publication, notable for its support of early Australian literature, did Henry Lawson and Banjo Paterson conduct their feud?
    • A. 

      Melbourne Punch

    • B. 

      The Bulletin

    • C. 

      Meanjin

    • D. 

      Southerly

  • 4. 
    Peter Carey's first novel Bliss was published in 1981. His first collection of short stories, published seven years earlier, was title The __________ Man in History
    • A. 

      Rich

    • B. 

      Ignorant

    • C. 

      Fat

    • D. 

      Super

  • 5. 
    Which founding member of the Australian Society of Authors was co-author of the controversial novel Come in Spinner, published in 1951?
    • A. 

      Dymphna Cusack

    • B. 

      Jill Hellyer

    • C. 

      Dal Stivens

    • D. 

      Walter Stone

  • 6. 
    The 1908 essay collection The Confessions of a Beachcomber immortalised the environment and lifestyle of which Great Barrier Reef island?
    • A. 

      Hamilton Island

    • B. 

      Lizard Island

    • C. 

      Dunk Island

    • D. 

      Green Island

  • 7. 
    Frank Hardy's novel Power without Glory (originally self-published) became notorious for sparking a 9-month criminal libel trial. In what year was this momentous trial held?
    • A. 

      1945

    • B. 

      1987

    • C. 

      2001

    • D. 

      1951

  • 8. 
    Which Australian playwright was catapulted to fame following the success of his 1971 work Don's Party?
    • A. 

      Louis Nowra

    • B. 

      Stephen Sewell

    • C. 

      David Williamson

    • D. 

      Michael Gow

  • 9. 
    What was the title of the collection of poems purportedly penned by the now infamously fictitious Ern Malley?
    • A. 

      The Darkening Ecliptic

    • B. 

      The Widening Gyre

    • C. 

      Robber of Dead Men's Dreams

    • D. 

      The Black Swan of Trespass

  • 10. 
    What is the opening line of Joseph Furphy's Such is Life?
    • A. 

      I was educated by the Bible and Shakespeare.

    • B. 

      The day of carousal was past and the day of work had begun.

    • C. 

      Nature has planted in me a vast fund of cheery optimism.

    • D. 

      Unemployed at last!

  • 11. 
    The central character in Rolf Boldrewood's Robbery Under Arms was based on which real-life bushranger of the 1850s?
    • A. 

      Captain Starlight

    • B. 

      Henry Readford

    • C. 

      Captain Thunderbolt

    • D. 

      Ben Hall

  • 12. 
    • A. 

      Venturesome

    • B. 

      Misrule

    • C. 

      Ornery

    • D. 

      Wayward

  • 13. 
    • A. 

      Miles Franklin's "My Brilliant Career"

    • B. 

      David Malouf's "Johnno"

    • C. 

      Peter Kocan's "Fresh Fields"

    • D. 

      Christina Stead's "For Love Alone"

  • 14. 
    What do the five bells referred to in Kenneth Slessor's poem of the same name refer to?
    • A. 

      The name of a public house

    • B. 

      A call to church

    • C. 

      The chime of a ship's clock

    • D. 

      A warning of danger

  • 15. 
    Which of the following descriptions of Australia is not expressed in Dorothea Mackellar's iconic poem My Country?
    • A. 

      Land of sweeping plains

    • B. 

      Endless, roaming land

    • C. 

      Land of the rainbow gold

    • D. 

      Wilful, lavish land

  • 16. 
    The narrative journey undertaken in Patrick White's Voss is based on which ill-fated historical expedition?
    • A. 

      Leichhardt's search for an overland route from Sydney to Darwin

    • B. 

      Burke & Wills' crossing of the continent from south to north

    • C. 

      Eyre's coastal expedition across Southern Australia

    • D. 

      Hovell & Hume's discovery of Mount Disappointment

  • 17. 
    The song 'From little things big things grow' by musicians Kev Carmody and Paul Kelly recounts which historic event?
    • A. 

      The 1868 tour of an all Aboriginal cricket team to England

    • B. 

      The 1966 Wave Hill Walk-off led by Vincent Lingiari

    • C. 

      The 1788 resistance led by Pemulwuy to the raising of the Union Jack

    • D. 

      The 1965 'freedom rides' led by Charles Perkins

  • 18. 
    Which trenchant social critic coined the term 'the lucky country'?
    • A. 

      Ernest Henry Burgmann

    • B. 

      Philip Adams

    • C. 

      Eva Cox

    • D. 

      Donald Horne

  • 19. 
    Alex Miller's The Ancestor Game took the historical novel to new frontiers with its portraits of Australia and which other country?
    • A. 

      United Kingdom

    • B. 

      United States

    • C. 

      China

    • D. 

      India

  • 20. 
    • A. 

      Christ's love

    • B. 

      War memorials

    • C. 

      Aging

    • D. 

      Memories

  • 21. 
    • A. 

      The racially motivated murder of his uncle

    • B. 

      His parents' immigration to Australia

    • C. 

      The discovery of his cultural heritage

    • D. 

      The death of his beloved pet

  • 22. 
    Former Prime Minister Paul Keating in his speech The Ghost of the Swagman stated that the next best thing to rain in a drought was what?
    • A. 

      Humour

    • B. 

      Music

    • C. 

      Patriotism

    • D. 

      Dreams

  • 23. 
    What was the Aboriginal name later taken by the post-WWII poet who first published as Kath Walker?
    • A. 

      Oodgeroo Noonaccul

    • B. 

      Truganini

    • C. 

      Raymattja Marika

    • D. 

      Borrong

  • 24. 
    The central character of Kate Grenville's Lilian's Story is based on which identity?
    • A. 

      A 1920s cheerfully eccentric bag-lady

    • B. 

      A 1920s screen actress

    • C. 

      A 1950s member of the Sydney 'Push'

    • D. 

      A 1910s understudy to Dame Nellie Melba

  • 25. 
    • A. 

      An injured child on a ski field

    • B. 

      A New Years Eve party in a caravan park

    • C. 

      A violent storm at the beach

    • D. 

      A cancelled Christmas flight

  • 26. 
    Christopher Koch's novel The Year of Living Dangerously reflects his interest in Australians' engagement with Asia in which country?
    • A. 

      India

    • B. 

      Indonesia

    • C. 

      Vietnam

    • D. 

      Cambodia

  • 27. 
    Shirley Hazzard's People in Glass Houses is a collection of linked stories satirising which organisation?
    • A. 

      The United Nations

    • B. 

      The Federal Government

    • C. 

      ASIO

    • D. 

      The International Olympic Committee

  • 28. 
    The Rush That Never Ended by Geoffrey Blainey deals with which aspect of Australia's history?
    • A. 

      Colonisation

    • B. 

      Urbanisation

    • C. 

      Immigration

    • D. 

      Mining

  • 29. 
    • A. 

      Sally's Story

    • B. 

      In Your Dreams

    • C. 

      My Place

    • D. 

      Wanamurraganya

  • 30. 
    Playwright Louis Nowra has had a play in production every year since 1973. Which of the following of his works is not a play?
    • A. 

      Albert Names Edward

    • B. 

      Summer of the Aliens

    • C. 

      Miss Bosnia

    • D. 

      Kiss the One-Eyed Moon