Western Australian in Words logo type and paper falling in the background.

Many novels, poems and plays and even song lyrics paint a literary picture of Western Australia.

These works evoke a sense of its vast and extraordinary landscapes, describe places that are quintessentially Western Australian and reveal characters that are complex, funny and fabulous!

Which works come to mind when you think about WA? How do you feel about the way your home has been represented? We want to hear from you.

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The spirit of WA in Words is…

Shadow lines

By Stephen Kinnane

Janet from Bayswater says:
A moving story of three generations of his family including his own which made the aboriginal experience of displacement and marginalisation very real for me in local urban landmarks.

A Fortunate Life

By Albert Facey

Graham from North Perth says:
what a man !!at age 86 he published his one and only work. Of an extraordinary life. Impoverished,uneducated,and illiterate. He suffered the depression and war and as a pioneer and settler he endured the harshness of early Western Australia. He touched my soul -A man among men.

Dirt Music.Breath. The Open Swimmer

By Tim Winton

Mary from Sorrento says:
It is in the peoples voices that the images of Western Australia come to life.Each persons history tells a story of the great melting pot pf humans that have made this state what it is.Look around you and see the languages written on cafes and shops fronts that tell how Western Australia is home to many nations who call it home. Go into a country graveyard, over run with broken head stones, stand and read the histories , these pioneers who made Western Australia what it is.Tim Winton and all writers are the inheritors of their histories and that make their writing a homage to their lives and to Western Australia

The Golden Age

By Joan London

Rose from Burswood says:
It really is who we are, a multicultural society, with our dreams of an exciting future, The Golden Age is about people, about where we have come from and who we want to be, about our ability to support each other in times of need. The story compasses place, the beach, possibilities. The story of one family's struggles to fit in, to move forward, beautifully told.


By Tim Winton

Kerrin from Bibra Lake says:
It took me back to my youth and how the ocean and down south were so important to me.

True North

By Mary Durack

Tanya from Kensington says:
We have been traveling around Australia in our caravan with our two small children when I started reading True North. Like Mary’s father mine too told stories of his time in the Kimberley, traveling up north and what life was like there in the 50’s and 60’s. I read this book whilst being stuck waiting a week for tyres to arrive to Kununurra. Yes that road into the Bungle Bungles took not one but two of our tyres. Was certainly an experience with a 3 and 5 year old in the back! We fell in love with the Kimberley’s, drinking mango smoothies under a canopy of mango trees, taking my children to the local school to hear an Aboriginal man play indigenous music and hear his stories and to actually experience sailing on Lake Argyle were just a few of a myriad of reasons the Kimberly’s got under my skin too.


By Tim Winton

Elaine from Gooseberry Hill says:
Winton doesn't just create a setting, he brings it to life by tapping into the trinity of human, spiritual, and cultural landscapes. If you've ever lived in WA, if you know the Swan River, if you know the Nyoongar Dreaming Story, then Winton's book is reminiscent of it all. Winton taps into the raw and real nature of the everyday person, but also into the spirituality that pervades the landscape. The Swan River is as much a character in Cloudstreet as the Lambs and the Pickles. Think of Australia Day when everyone gathers along the river–people from all walks of life mingle and share a community experience. Winton taps into memories of trawling for prawns and watching the sun go down over the city when I was growing up in the 70s. You can hear WA in the language. You can see WA in the landscape. You can feel WA in the stillness of the heat of a summer night. Reading Cloudstreet takes my soul to quintessentially Western Australian places and that's why I love it.


By Peter Fitzsimmons

Katheen from Manning says:
This exquisitely detailed and morbidly fascinating account of the mutinous voyage of Batavia brought me back to a time when the West Australian Coast was an unspoilt and pristine landscape. The raw brutality of the Indian Ocean paled in comparison to the depravity on board that ship. I felt great empathy towards the plight of the women on board the ship, especially as my own great great great grandmother was on board the first assisted immigrant ship to WA and married the Convict No.1 from the first convict ship to WA.


By Tim Winton

Leanne from Queens Park says:
Nostalgic. This book was recommended to me by a friend I will never forget. Although I am not a surfer or much of a daredevil, I felt very connected to the characters growing up in a small W.A town and the respect of the ocean.

The Bugalugs Bum Thief

By Tim Winton

Michael from Seville Grove says:
I picture the sand dunes of Cervantes and Grey, the crayfish fishermen going out on their boats. And the warehouse... full of bums :D

Jasper Jones

By Craig Silvey

Anne-Marie from Melville says:
Silvey beautifully portrays a West Australian country town. We see the effect of a crime within a small community, typical of its era, of predominantly white Australians, resisting the newcomers, blaming the indigenous kid, while turning a blind eye to its own immoral behaviours. Rural landscape, small town mentality, family secrets - simmer away and draw you in.


By Craig Silvey

Renee from Perth says:
It was set in Fremantle and was so familiar - it felt like he was describing my home.


By Craig Silvey

Renee from Perth says:
It was set in Fremantle and was so familiar - it felt like he was describing my home.

The Mirage

By FB Vickers

Richard from Canberra says:
I am a longtime resident of Canberra, originally from the USA. While I believe I have a broad familiarity with eastern Australia, I've never lived or resided in WA. This novel, an unjustly forgotten masterpiece in my opinion, presents a vivid picture of life in the rural regions well north of Perth in the middle of the 20th Century, especially of the indigenous people in their efforts to relate to the mainstream society. It contains as well some wonderful passages descriptive of the land and the small towns. I should add that I am something of an advocate. I am a retired academic, and a few years ago I published an essay on this novel. It is analytical, academic, but I tried to make it a workable introduction for those who have never read The Mirage: https://www.academia.edu/4881739/_Narrating_the_Nowhere_People_F.B._Vickerss_The_Mirage_and_Half-Caste_Aboriginals_ The passage I've presented below recounts the feelings and impressions of an adolescent boy of mixed descent--a "half caste," in the parlance of the era--who is confronting his confusing and difficult social position for the first time in his life. What most impresses me is Vickers' melding of the youth's sensory impressions and actions with his troubled thoughts and emotions.


By B.Bingham-Gates.

Bev from Beeliar Heights says:
It makes me feel both proud and Nostalgic at what we have endured but come through in the Past and wonderful that we have such a diverse, and unique array of special animals that continue to delight both us who live here and those who visit our state.


By Tim Winton

Leonie from Willetton says:
Winton's short story evokes the tension between the natural environment and development that is emblematic of WA's history. He describes how ancient processes that run deep within, have always sustained the land and its inhabitants, and how European settlement failed to recognise and understand this, clearing the bush and trying to recreate the motherland.


By Liz Birski

Sandra from Torbay says:
or Any of Liz Birski's novels The small details that make our daily lives are so well captured in Liz Birski's works. We are in a time of many retirees, and their approaches to their lives and relations to families with all the diverse options are represented in her work. Layered over these details are the social issues that form the background of our culture here in the west. What better way to represent us in the now than small detail, life stories and cultural issues. In the future they will read her novels to see what life was like back then, and they will get it.

Shark Net (song WAM album "Sounds of the Great Southern)

By Carla Geneve

Alexandra from Mundaring says:
Carla is a new voice in West Australian music and her lyrics stem from her growing up in Albany. "Shark Net" is ostensibly about the new shark net at Middleton Beach to protect the public from Great Whites which are abundant down there, but, of course, it references other things that lurk in the deep of our Aussie adolescent experiences.

The Shark Net

By Robert Drewe

Alexandra from Mundaring says:
It evokes a time in Perth history like a tightrope on which our innocence teetered; for me it represents everything I wished I had lived through in the 1960s and is a book to which I return again and again.

NHoel, "Counterstrike:" and poems including "Redheaqr with Phosphorus"

By Hal Colebatch

Terry from Riverton says:
Evoked the Swan River, Rottnest and WA Coast

Down Under

By Bill Bryson

Corina from KALLAROO says:
This hilarious account makes me appreciate the friendly, easy-going, active and positive outlook we have in Australia. I loved reading a visitor's impression of my home, and was amazed that he could walk or drive so far in one day. The size of WA, and distances between towns are unexpected!

Light Between Oceans

By M.L. Stedman

Corina from KALLAROO says:
The poetic descriptions of WA reminds me of the harsh conditions after the First World War, but also describes the vast distances and beauty of this bountiful state.

Are We There Yet?

By Alison Lester

Corina from Kallaroo says:
Reminds me of long car trips with my daughters, and the excitement they felt as we visited places mentioned in the book. Beautiful memories!

That Deadman Dance

By Kim Scott

Emily from Kelmscott says:
As I grew up in Albany, the evocative connection to place that Scott explores from different perspectives in That Deadman Dance, was particularly striking and spoke the most of what I've always considered to be 'West Australian'. For better or worse, time and culture has unfolded dramatically since then, yet the enduring power of the sea and sky and air remains unchanged, our connection to its beauty possibly the one unifier of us all.


By Katherine Susannah Pritchard

Gwendolyn from Cable beach says:
As a child growing up in a household that had Aboriginal servants and tons of stories of the old days on the cattle stations of the Kimberly, I never felt comfortable with the situation and always felt that there was another side to the stories that were only about the good times. This work spoke to me and has been a constant inspiration and point of reference ever since I first read it as a teenager.

To the Islands

By Randolph Stow

Kate from Mount Lawley says:
Set in Oombulguri, this was based on Stow's time at Forrest River Mission. So it is a complex engagement with Western Australian place, layering the politics of colonialism over an appreciation for Indigenous culture and the beauty of the natural world.

Sarah of Enderslea Farm

By Jenny Davis and Diane Pope

Brigida from East Fremantle says:
This work gives the human dimension to the struggles of establishing Western Australia - very real and moving. Beautifully depicts the hardships of the Early Settlers in WA.


By Kylie Howarth

Laraine from Nannup says:
Chip is written and illustrated by WA author Kylie Howarth and inspired by Perth beaches and the gulls that live there. It resonates with beach culture, and the much loved family tradition of fish and chips at Fremantle.

Transforming the Colony

By Sean Winter

Lynda from South Perth says:
The book is an investigation of the daily lives of convicts in Western Australia. The work spans the global as well as the local experience of convicts and early settlers and focuses of convictism and the Swan River Colony. I think everyone who lives in WA should know the real history of the State and the people who formed it. It is a fascinating read

'Quarry' - a selection of contemporary western australian poetry, Fremantle Arts Centre Press 1981

By An anthology of Western Australian poets

Mike from Perth/Murdoch says:
Proud of our heritage, environment and people.


By Randolph Stow

Keeva from Como says:
This novel evokes an outback town so clearly perhaps in the 1950s, that it is easily identified as Yalgoo. The mysterious messianic figure, the diviner, who appears in town brings promise of water, a sacrament of water, always so desperately needed in much of Western Australia. It records the development of towns through gold rushes and one easily imagines the future iron-ore towns of the northwest.

Dirt Music

By Tim Winton

Johanne from Duncraig says:
I felt the raw connection to Western Australia's unique light, smells and sounds.

To the Islands

By Randolph Stow

Keeva from Como says:
Stow captures the essence of an ancient, weathered land and the futility of imposing different values on its ancient people. The book resonates with respect and awe of the mysterious North Kimberley and its exquisite wildlife and vegetation, an area described by one of the characters as being out of this world. There is an uncomfortable reference to the massacre of aboriginals which occurred and the challenges of co-existence with them as the white man intruded on their country.

Katiya are like Toyotas: when they break down we get a new one

By Kim Mahood

Kate from MUNSTER says:
It made me laugh because it was so true https://griffithreview.com/articles/kartiya-are-like-toyotas/

Bush poetry ,various

By Peter Blyth ( now living Ellleker near Albany)

Phillip from Carine says:
Took you on sight as he wrote about his life after coming to Australia

Jasper Jones

By Craig Silvey

William from Cottesloe says:
I've often heard Perth described as a large country town, a description that I passionately disagreed with until I first traveled outside of Western Australia as a teenager. Jasper Jones perfectly captures this claustrophobic feeling of living in a place where everyone knows everyone (but certainly not everything), whilst addressing universal ideas relating to race, youth and family in a distinctively Western Australian way.

A Fortunate Life

By AB Facey

Jo from Ellenbrook says:
Nothing paints a clearer picture of life in WA in the early 20th century than A Fortunate Life. The "ordinary life" that Facey believes he led, is anything but - his story is one of hardship, resilience, love, friendship and loss. Abandoned as a toddler, by 8 years old he lived the harsh life of a farm worker, he survived the horrors of war in Gallipoli, raised a family through the dark times of the depression and still considered he had lived a fortunate life. Never have I laughed and cried as much as I did when I joined Facey on his life journey. In a time when most people are worried about what they don't have, it is worth revisiting A Fortunate Life to experience true hardship, and to gain a little perspective. As Facey once said in an interview "I called it 'A Fortunate Life' because I truly believe that is what I had"

Wide Open Road

By The Triffids

Megan from Ocean Reef says:
This song always reminds me of the vastness of our State and the sense of awe at the diversity and sheer beauty of the landscape I experience every time I take a road trip in Western Australia. Living in Kalgoorlie and working as a journalist for a few years in my early ‘20s I made the trek to and from Perth many, many times but also travelled east to Laverton and south to Esperance regularly. We thought nothing of hopping in the car on Friday after work and driving four hours to the nearest beach and this song, for me, evokes memories of a beautiful, carefree time in my life where I experienced the world on my own as a young adult for the first time outside of my suburban Perth existence. Every time I take a road trip I’m reminded of this song and think how lucky we are to live in a part of the world with so much beauty just a short (or long) drive away.

The Arrival

By Shaun Tan

Rae from Wellard says:
As a immigrant myself this graphic novel evoked memories of my own arrival in WA in 1959.

Jasper Jones

By Craig Silvey

Tricia from Applecross says:
Jasper Jones is Western Australia encapsulated in a fabulous gothic witty shocking tale. It has the dark secrets of the bush, the stifling attitudes of a small town to Others, whether migrants or indigenous, the heat and the boredom. But it also also the joy of a wilder barefoot childhood, the jubilation of a cricket score, the courage, cohesion and humour of children burdened by the weight of secrets and change. Evocative and so astonishingly, perfectly the spirit of our homeland.

Dirt music

By Tim Winton

Trish from Palmyra says:
I could smell the sea, the dry earth, the bush, the trees. Tim Winton's beautiful writing was so enthralling and evocative of our wonderful Western Australian landscape.

Wide Open Road

By The Triffids

Christine from Padbury says:
I did a lot of country driving as a child and again now with my own kids and this song evokes all emotions I associate with that: emptiness - of the roads, the countryside, the sky; yearning - to reach your destination; a desperate sense of loss, loneliness and isolation; and a raw beauty that fills you to the brim.

Snugglepot and Cuddlepie

By May Gibbs

Gillian from Fremantle says:
May Gibbs spent time in Harvey in WA, where she drew much inspiration for her classic gumnut babies from the bush there. I grew up in the bush just north of Bunbury and spent much of my childhood reading her stories and making my own gumnut babies in the bushlands near our home. I still love the flowers of the gum trees, they look and smell like home.

Wanamurraganya : the story of Jack McPhee

By Sally Morgan

Kate from Adelaide (originally from Albany) says:
Extraordinary storytelling of an extraordinary story: a real-life account of the realities of Aboriginal life in Australia in the early 1900s. The antidote we needed to the white-washing of Australian colonial history.

Jack's Island

By Norman Jorgensen

Sandra from Cape Burney says:
It brings out vivid memories of Rottnest Island, which is a favourite holiday destination.


By Joan London

Francesca from Kallaroo says:
The author Joan London, explains and describes so beautifully and intelligently what we see in the country side. The country side is a character in itself. I am in awe at how she describes it...as it can be so difficult to put into words and do it justice.

Red Flowering Gums

By Jenny Davis

Rebecca from North Perth says:
I didn't know a great deal about the artistic life of Perth in the 1920s or of how important the centenary celebrations were to West Australians in 1929. And most importantly, the play deals with the lives of West Australian women, their interests and concerns- women in education, the arts and politics, forward looking women who are largely forgotten today.

The Golden Mile

By Katherine Susannah Prichard

Fay from Perth says:
It's a powerful story of how the discovery of gold has made our state the distinctive place that it is. The myths of riches and happiness continue in a state known as The Golden State. Without the discovery of gold the colonial settlement would have failed. Instead it has meant a good life in the sun for countless people from all corners of the world and it's unique natural assets continue to provide that good life going forward to a more inclusive community.


By Tim Winton

Megan from Bentley says:
The pull of the sea is a familiar feeling for many who have grown up in WA. The coast and our ocean's inhabitants need to be protected so many other generations of Western Australians can experience the same feeling.

Jack's Island

By Norman Jorgensen

Anne from Merriwa says:
I do this book with my Year 7 students in English. They love the book. It provides a window for them into a previous time in Western Australia's history as well as an understanding of life on Rottnest.

The Smuggler’s Curse

By Norm Jorgensen

Gail from Kinross WA says:
Proud of heritage

My place

By Sally Morgan

Zoe from Bassendean says:
It inspired empathy and greater understanding of aboriginal histories I felt were hidden. It made me more conscious of where I lived and the opportunities for change and possibilities. And that I could be part of that.

Stories from Suburban Road

By TAG Hungerford

Alex from Northbridge says:
Most of my childhood reading was set in the uk so it was wonderful to read about places I knew.

Lighthouse Girl

By Diane Wolfer

Lee from Cocos Keeling Islands says:
The emotions of the troops leaving Australia, many of them for the last time never to return through the eyes of a young girl. An amazing story of the hardships of life and emotions at that time.

Jack's Island

By Norman Jorgensen

Lee from Cocos Keeling Islands says:
Life on Rotto before it was developed. Simple and honest.

The Smuggler's Curse

By Norman Jorgensen

Cindy from Iluka says:
Excited about our past!

The play Sarah of Enderslea Farm

By Jenny Davis

Bruce from Dalkeith says:
Helped me appreciate the difficulties settler women in particular experienced being so alone for so long.


By Norman Jorgensen

Jennifer from Churchlands says:
Set at Rottnest Island the fictional story follows true tales of adventure of Norman’s father who lived there as a boy during WW11.

Jack's Island

By Norman Jorgensen

Marie from Winthrop says:
Rottnest Island is a favourite with all West Australians and now international tourists. The book emanates from a time of uncertainty yet the carefree adventures of boys shines through. The family comes first!

Jack's Island

By Norman Jorgensen

Denise from Woodvale says:
Based on Rottnest Island and the real life of the author's father, this novel added another perspective to the rich and diverse history of this tiny place. Despite being a children's book, any reader could be caught up in the simple yet adventurous story of boy's life during the World War II era, where even the sleepy, simple and remote town of Perth & Rottnest feel the impact of global events. A visit to Rottnest allows you to "stand in the story" - and relive a tiny slice of someone's personal history.

Jack's Island

By Norman Jorgensen

Astrid from South Fremantle says:
Rottnest Island, where the story takes place, is a special place for me. In this story we learn about an era on the island long gone and I've thought differently about Rottnest after reading this book.


By Katharine Susannah Prichard

Russell from Palmyra says:
Others are very good - Shark Net, Merry-go-round in the Sea - but the simple tragedy of Coonardoo creates something sensitive in you forever.

A Fortunate Life

By A.B Facey

Emily Jane from Nedlands says:
Like I was lucky to have been able to live in WA for the past 5 years

Bran Nue Dae

By Jimmy Chi

Rosemary from Mt Lawley says:
Bran Nue Dae was such a joyous, mind expanding and memorable experience when I saw it at the Octagon Theatre in 1990. No more cultural cringe. Western Australians' could create, act and produce a wonderful piece of theatre. Made me aware of the depth of talent in the indigenous community. Festival of Perth should be celebrated for broadening the outlook of the most isolated city in the world.

Western Australia For Me

By George Fletcher Moore

Annette from Innaloo says:
Immensely proud of the brave pioneers who came to WA and perservered through great hardship to establish the Swan River Colony

The wide open road

By The Triffids

Katie from Scarborough says:
Makes me want to drive the WA roads

Shark Net ..Cloudstreet

By Robert Drewe and Tim Winton

Helen from Shelley says:
Quintessentially West Australian that these "beach boys" have such an affinity for our waters that feature in their works and lives

Born Sandy Devotional (album)

By The Triffids

Trish from Mount Lawley says:
First heard this album when I was lived in Sydney. At the time it evoked impressions of WA: shimmery heat haze; people being to hot to move; ominous feelings of being a tiny speck in a vast space; quietness; loneliness; and massive big skies. Now I live here I often listen to the album on road trips - perfect soundtrack for Western Australia.

Granny grommet and me

By Diane Wolfer

Jehan from Currambine says:
It evoked a love for our coastal lifestyle that is uniquely ours that is passed through from generations before. The beautiful Albany beach is featured in this book and the relationship between our people and surroundings.The gorgeous illustration by Karen Blair brings this book to life and captures the beauty of our coast.

Land's Edge: A Coastal Memoir

By Tim Winton

Simone from Floreat says:
In my view nobody can describe the essence of the Western Australian landscape and our relationship to our coastline like Tim Winton. The way in which he describes the landscape in this book (and also 'Island Home: A Landscape Memoir') resonates with my soul and brings back so many memories from my own childhood growing up in Western Australia.

Blue Back

By Tim Winton

Pam from Ardross says:
Beautiful portrayal of Western Australian ocean and childhood in WA

Blue Sky Mine

By Midnight Oil

Jodie from Noranda says:
Although Wittenoom is a sad chapter in our state history the song reflects how much mining is apart of our landscape in the north and makes me reflect on how its an integral part of who we are as a state. Beautiful riches in the ground can also have devastating effects on those brave enough to mine them.


By Tim Winton

Gabriela from Karrinyup says:
It made me rethink what we may be ashamed and proud of. How intersected these are. The people which we judge or avoid can just as easily be the people we love. The people we love can just as easily be someone we avoid. The ocean which is the epitome of much West Australian life is also home to homeless, bike thefts and danger. There is beauty and fear everywhere there are people.

Down Under

By Bill Bryson

Tony from North Perth says:
I read this book as a 20 year old in Ireland, and loved the chapter with Bill getting lost, wandering through the streets of Perth, visiting places like King's Park. That seed was planted and i would soon visit Perth... only to end up living here 20 years later.


By D.H. Lawrence

Elizabeth from South Perth says:
It describes the sense of foreboding you can feel when walking in the Western Australian bush alone, at night. The untamed wildness of the place and fear of what may be lurking in the shadows.


By Tim Winton

Caroline from Mosman park says:
As I read this book I lived in West Leederville and felt as if I was living in the street where it all happened

The Ghost in the Bell Tower

By Glenn Swift

Glenn from Fremantle says:
It's a West Australian story. It couldn't happen anywhere else.

A Fortunate Life

By A.B. Facey

Michelle from Hamilton Hill says:
Western Australia is known for its harsh and demanding environment. My grandfather was a part of that dry and parched land when he was born out at Southern Cross in the early 1900's. This novel was part of my Year 11 high school English course. The story of the struggle and resilience of the main character has stayed with me since. We can choose to see our lives (like our land), harsh and unforgiving, or we can see our lives through grateful and courageous eyes.

Ways of Being Here

By Several authors: Tinashe Jakwa, Rafeif Ismail

Marisa from South Perth says:
I felt it better represented the people who live in WA and it gave diverse people a voice. We have a lot of diversity here but the people we see in our literature doesn't reflect that and that needs to change. It was an honour to read stories by African migrants and refugees living, working and writing in WA.

Dirt Music

By Tim Winton

Poliany from Bedford says:
It gave me the feeling of the relationship between the environment and the people. It just filled my senses with this understanding.

No Sugar

By Jack Davis

Nieves from Seville Grove says:
Knowing the places in the book, I can imagine the Aboriginal people and see their suffering


By Tim Winton

Brendan from Bassendean says:
It is Western Australia!

Dirt Music

By Tim Winton

Karen from Redcliffe says:
Love to read about Perth in fictional stories.There aren't many but this is the best. Its about a time in my life that's a little similar in part.

City of Light

By Dave Warner

Karen from Redcliffe says:
Dave writes just the way we speak about things that happen in our lives. It was fun figuring out whom the real people were in the fictional story. It's particularly great to read about your hometown

Wonderful Life Poem/Song Published 2016 ISBN 978-1-36-691986-1 Google Norton Roger Palmer

By Roger Palmer

Roger from South Yunderup says:
This work makes me think of the freedom I enjoyed growing up in the rural town of Harvey

House on the Hill. Poem/Song Published 2016 ISBN 978-1-36-691986-1 Google Norton Roger Palmer

By Roger Palmer

Roger from South Yunderup says:
This work evokes suggestions of the hard life our early pioneers faced in living in and developing Western Australia

I Love Perth

By Pavement

Erika from Northbridge says:
I love the idea that a young, internationally known indie band visited Perth on tour and loved it so much they named a song after it.

Home Time

By Campbell whyte

James from Palmyra says:
It evoked the mysterious landscapes of WA, and the strange relationship that white australia has with the land a small opposed to Aboriginal peoples.

The Pact

By Brenna Darcy

Caitlyn from Stoneville says:
The spirit of small towns, and the support of small communities, rung true in The Pact. Set in Margaret River, it made me feel at home and connected to a place I've visited often. A story that pulled at the heartstrings and elicited such conflicting emotions all at once.

The Roaring Nineties - A Story of the Goldfields of Western Australia

By Katharine Susannah Prichard

Murray from Como says:
It dramatised much of my inherited history of the goldfields, my grandparents having come from the Victorian 'fields to the Coolgardie Rush in 1892 and lived in a hessian humpy on Fly Flat before moving to Kalgoorlie. One of the shady characters, Frisco Joe, is rumoured to be based on Claude De Bernales who made his fortune there and who built Overton Lodge (now the Cottesloe Civic Centre) overlooking Gage Roads.

Edge of the World Part 2

By Pond

Raewyn from Palmyra says:
It gives me hope when young musicians write songs that reveal their respect for indigenous people and their desire for reconciliation, and it gives me a sense of belonging as I sit here by my fan, up the road from the jail built by convict hands, and I feel glad to live somewhere so unique, so peopled by creative souls, but I feel the anger in the song as well, and the tyranny of isolation, while at the same time I appreciate that great art is born of conservatism and extreme.

Merry Go Round in the Sea

By Randolph Stow

Joanna from Glendalough says:
I read this when living overseas in a very different country and culture (Israel), and it took me home again, to the landscape and country of my birth. It provided a snapshot of a particular time in history, and gave me an understanding of my father's childhood in Geraldton.

Rocky Romance

By Various - Published by Serenity Press

Carolyn from Mundaring says:
This is an anthology of six love stories based in the beachside town of Rockingham. A lot of my childhood was spent in Rockingham and it was fun to read about so many of the landmarks I remember growing up.

In the Winter Dark

By Tim Winton

Irene from Lower King says:
'In the Winter Dark' is an early one from Tim Winton, and evokes the wildness, the power, the unknown, sometimes the threat, inherent in the WA bush. Freaked me out when I first read it - still freaks me out close to forty years later.

The Man from Mukinupin

By Dorothy Hewitt

Sally from Perth/Nedlands says:
Uniquely Western Australian playwriting voice. Captures the characters, mood and the feeling of a regional town in WA wheatbelt.

Anything by Peter Cowan! As a collection of short stories "Drift" and maybe "Seed" or "The Hills of Apollo Bay" as novels.

By Peter Cowan

Dianne from Tapping says:
Cowan's description of landscape makes you feel like you are there, witnessing it. I live in the city now, but spent most of my childhood in country towns - it took me back and made me feel a connection with the world and character's he'd created. Later, on reflection, it also made me feel angry/sad as I then found out that much of Cowan's work is now out of print and isn't being shared with new generations of readers. He was the "Tim Winton" of his time and in my opinion, the Museum should make sure his memory and works are resurrected and given the kudos they deserve.


By David Whish-Wilson

Rashida from Leeming says:
Perth is a non fictional biography of my city. It captures everything I know and much that I didn't. It would be a cliche to call it a love letter to a city but it is that and more.

Jack's Island

By Norman Jorgensen

Jan from Maylands says:
Set on Rottnest Island, where Jack's family is based during WWII, this is an exciting and entertaining adventure. It evokes memories of a simpler time in life and readers who visit the island will recognise many of the landmarks and distinctive locations in the story.

The WA Shakespeare Society

By Various

Tania from Kalamunda says:
The WA Shakespeare Society published a book of sonnets about WA, 2 years ago. They were entries in a competition. Each sonnet related to different aspects of WA. Each touched a different emotion.

Fisherman's Daughter

By The Waifs

Libby from Highgate says:
The Waifs write from a West Australian perspective: about places, people and experiences lived and shared. The feel of this song transports me to driving down south, the accents are unmistakable and it actively slows down my tempo.

That Deadman Dance

By Kim Scott

Steven from Mount Melville says:
Hopeful for what could have been. Sad and angry about what is. Determined to help regardless of how futile and small my actions may feel.

Dragons Fly (song)

By Simon Niels

Jenny from Hilton says:
It was written about the beautiful weedy sea dragons off Cottesloe Beach. It is evocative of our coastal landscape and the unique spirit and creativity of Western Australians.

Dirt Music

By Tim Winton

Renae from Coolbinia says:
I read Dirt Music just before going on holiday to Broome and Derby. I was so taken by the way Tim Winton wrote about the red pindan dirt, the blinding white sand of the dunes and the milky blue water of the bay. When I eventually got there I felt like I knew the place. His writing evokes the all the senses when he describes WA. The heat, the vast spaces, the smells and the landscape.

The Windy Season

By Sam Carmody

James from Geraldton says:
The Windy Season is an exciting mystery/thriller written about a fictional fishing town called Stark on the Western Australian coast. It is a book very hard to put down with several stories going on at once with a variety of characters that resemble most small town folk in Australia especially WA if not around the world. The issues and stories written about are timeless but also reflect on current day trends as well. Having lived in several small communities in Victoria and WA, and also spending a fair bit of time in 'Stark', the characters were easy to put a face to! A well deserved 'Readings Prize' winner and could be the next Tim Winton!


By Tim Winton

Sarah from Bedford says:
The visceral description of the unrelenting heat reminds me of my first Perth summer, walking through Subiaco where I first lived and how new everything was to me.

My Beach

By The Stems

Elizabeth from Mount Lawley says:
It takes me back to teenage summers at Cottesloe beach, but also reminds me of a fabulous period of local music in some of Perth's old band venues.


By Frances Macaulay Forde

Frances from Heathridge says:
A poem I wrote about my home; how we treat it; not listening to those who came before.


By Tim Winton

Elaine from Pemberton says:
It reminded me of my childhood growing up in Doubleview and spending time at Scarborough Beach during the hot summers.

How to Catch Crabs

By Demelza Carlton

Sasha from Darlington says:
1926 WA, catching crabs, romance and immigration. What's not WA about that?


By Killing Heidi

Sasha from Darlington says:
It mentions the Mundaring Weir which was a big part of my life, whether it was a school excursion to learn about CY O'Connor or a family picnic - or even a late night drive with teenage friends.

What Goes on Tour

By Claire Boston

Demelza from Murdoch says:
This book takes me back to the Rockingham beach shacks, all along the coast, I remember from my childhood.

Beyond Regeneration

By Jenny Schwartz

Demelza from Murdoch says:
This tale perfectly evokes the incredible healing you can only get from a holiday in WA's South West.

The Same Deep Water

By Lisa Swallow

Demelza from Murdoch says:
Perth people always come back to the water - in good times and bad, it's always the beach, the Indian Ocean, we come to. This book encapsulates that perfectly.

Dear Banjo

By Sasha Wasley

Demelza from Murdoch says:
It perfectly captures the station lifestyle in the remote north, the sense of family and love that keeps those communities alive.

WA, her story.

By John McBain

John from South Perth says:
It captures a historical perspective of WA whilst recognising the role of our First Nations' peoples.

The Drowner

By Robert Drewe

Fleur from Thornlie says:
It highlights our relationship and dependence on water to open up the inland Goldfields region

Too hot to move

By The Triffids

Meg from Roleystone says:
The weather. The relentless hot summer days where doing anything seems too hard.

Estuary Bed

By The Triffids

Rowan from Swan View says:
Nothing reminds me of growing up in Perth in the 70s and 80s like this song. Can smell the beach, feel the sand and hear the waves.

Wide Open Road

By The Triffids

Freya from Surry Hills Sydney says:
I grew up in WA, the first time I moved away in the 80's, it was too expensive back then to fly to the Eastern States, we all caught the bus or train, this song reminds me of the mass exodus of my friends that would happen every couple of years - the long journey, out of the state, but also the wide open roads / long distances travell around WA, especially between Perth and Greenough/ Geraldton. When I hear this song I always think of WA, wide open spaces but also the unique and great music made by Western Australians in the late 70's early 80's.. When I hear Wide Open Road by The Triffids I get homesick, I also think that this song is the unofficial state anthem ( for my generation anyway)

"Spring Poem" (and several other poems in the collection "The Boulder Block" and other verses)

By Tom "Crosscut" Wilson

John from Falcon says:
It captures the pioneering atmosphere of the goldfields and the outback.

Born Sandy Devotional

By The Triffids

Jodie from Silver Sands says:
Every song and the cover remind me of WA.

Hometown Farewell Kiss

By The Triffids

Meg from Roleystone says:
The heat and fires in summertime. The desire to escape.

Wide Open Road

By The Triffids

Meg from Roleystone says:
The wide spaces and big sky. Long distances to travel.

The Merry-Go-Round In The Sea

By Randolph Stow

Amy from Inglewood says:
The simple and graceful language paints a beautiful yet subtle picture of a childhood and coming of age in Western Australia. The smells and sensations of the young boy's Western Australian summer experiences are so well written, you can feel them yourself. The book also made me consider the character of Western Australia. It is portrayed as an innocent and yet a frontier place.

The Light Between Oceans

By M. L. Stedman

Caitlin from Mount Lalwey says:
The distance from the rest of Australia was something that I could relate to in the book.