THE Miles Franklin award is arguably Australia's most prestigious literary prize. It was won three times by David Ireland. His books are out of print in this nation. This seems absurd, a cultural shame, as does the fact that Miles Franklin's celebrated My Brilliant Career can only be bought in Australia in an American edition; it is out of print here.
Ireland and Franklin are but two of many writers of stupendous Australian literature whose work is out of print in Australia.
You can't buy a new Australian copy of a lamentably large number of works that are a fundamental part of our heritage and are as fresh and enticing and engaging as they were at their creation.
Each book in the series contains an introduction by a guest writer. The full list can be found here. As well as Franklin's My Brilliant Career and Ireland's The Glass Canoe, it includes Peter Corris' The Dying Trade, Watkin Tench's 1788, Shane Maloney's Stiff, Kate Grenville's Dark Places and Elizabeth Harrower's The Watch Tower.
In explaining the project during our interview, the full transcript of which and a short video are at theage.com.au/opinion/the-zone, Heyward gives a definition of what makes a book a classic.
Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/national/culture-rescue-20120422-1xesg.html#ixzz1sqhj021S