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Tasmania, given its small geographic size and population has a strong literary culture. Historically Tasmania provides an interesting literary background with visits from early European explorers such as the Dutchman Abel Tasman, the Frenchmen Bruni d'Entrecasteaux and Marion du Fresne and then the English explorers Matthew Flinders and George Bass. The colonisation of Tasmania was characterised by deteriorated relations with the indigenous Aboriginal people and a harsh convict heritage. These early elements of Tasmanian history are found both in the large number of colonial sandstone buildings and in the place names. Environmentally, Tasmania's picturesque landscapes and changeable weather, provide a vivid pictorial backdrop to Tasmanian literary culture. Tasmania's geographical isolation, proximity to Antarctica, controversial colonial past and status as an island state are some of the characteristically 'Tasmanian' themes found in the island's literature.
Currently, many authors call Tasmania home, and there is a growing number of titles set in Tasmania or by Tasmanians. There are also two literary publications of note including the quarterly Island magazine and the bi-annual Famous Reporter. The Tasmanian government provides some arts funding in the form of prizes, events and grants, while local bookshops often host book launches or other literary events. The Tasmanian literary scene also includes children's books such as Tiger Tale.
Tasmania's unique history and environment also gave rise to Tasmanian Gothic literature during the 19th century.
- Nan Chauncy (author)
- Marcus Clarke (historian)
- "Tasma" (Jessie Couvreur)
- Stephen Edgar (poet)
- Richard Flanagan (author)
- Martin Flanagan (journalist)
- Christopher Koch
- Amanda Lohrey
- Louisa Ann Meredith
- Heather Rose (author)
- Clive Sansom (poet, playwright)
- Katherine Scholes (author)
- Margaret Scott (author)
- Rachael Treasure
- Reverend John West
- Danielle Wood (author)
- Bradley Trevor Greive
Notable Tasmanian books
- History of Tasmania, 1852, by the Reverend John West
- Notes and Sketches of New South Wales, 1844 by Louisa Ann Meredith
- My Residence in Tasmania, 1852, by Louisa Anne Meredith
- Bush Friends in Tasmania, 1860 and 1891, by Louisa Anne Meredith
- For the Term of His Natural Life by Marcus Clarke
- Uncle Piper of Piper's Hill, 1889 by "Tasma"
- Out of Ireland by Christopher Koch
- The Sound of One Hand Clapping by Richard Flanagan
Tasmanian Literary Awards
- McCausland, Ian. 'Tasmania', World Book,
- Nancy Pearl, Book Lust, Sasquatch Books:Seattle, 2003.
- The Tasmanian Writers Centre, http://www.tasmanianwriters.org/readtasmania_stuv.htm
- Arts Tasmania http://www.arts.tas.gov.au/projects/litprizes/index.htm
- The Tasmanian Writers Centre, http://www.tasmanianwriters.org
- Alexander, Alison, ed. (2005). The Companion to Tasmanian History. Hobart, Tasmania: Centre for Tasmanian Historical Studies, University of Tasmania. ISBN 1-86295-223-X. OCLC 61888464.
- Robson, L. L. (1983). A History of Tasmania. Volume I. Van Diemen's Land From the Earliest Times to 1855. Melbourne: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-554364-5.
- Robson, L. L. (1991). A History of Tasmania. Volume II. Colony and State From 1856 to the 1980s. Melbourne: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-553031-4.