Skip to main content
PBS logo
Want fewer ads?

Search - List of Books by David Foster

David Foster (born 1944) is a contemporary Australian novelist, poet and writer of non-fiction.

He was born in Katoomba, New South Wales and grew up in the Blue Mountains. He studied science at University of Sydney and obtained a doctorate in biological inorganic chemistry at Australian National University. He undertook postdoctoral studies at the Institute for Cancer Research at the University of Pennsylvania. He has worked as a research scientist, truck driver, postie and on a prawn trawler as well as writing. The subjects of his novels range from rock music to ancient mythology, with some characters like D'Arcy D'Oliveres, the comic post-man of several novels, taking something from his previous employment. He has been a University of New South Wales Literary Fellow.

Four of Foster’s novels have won major literary awards in Australia: his first, The Pure Land (1974), shared the first Age Book of the Year Award (with volume three of Manning Clark’s A History of Australia) in 1975; his second, Moonlite (1981), was the National Book Council Book of the Year for 1981; The Glade Within the Grove (1996) won the Miles Franklin Award in 1997; and In the New Country (1999) was the inaugural Brisbane Courier-Mail Book of the Year in 1999. Foster’s novels have attracted the admiration of many other writers and critics, including Patrick White, Geoffrey Dutton, Randolph Stow, Annie Proulx and Rodney Hall, and his contribution to Australian writing has been recognised by several Australia Council grants and a prestigious ‘Keating’ Creative Fellowship in 1991.

Foster writes in an Australian tradition of idiosyncratic satire and comedy that may be traced through the work of Joseph Furphy, Miles Franklin, Xavier Herbert and David Ireland. His novels are the most wide-ranging and fearless of the Australian novels that have contributed to the late twentieth-century re-examination of Western ideologies and the literary forms in which they are expressed.

Despite the originality and importance of his fiction, Foster’s writing is relatively unknown beyond Australia, and in Australia not much beyond a group of loyal readers. He has never acquired the international following of contemporaries such as Peter Carey or David Malouf, or the Australian readerships of Helen Garner or Elizabeth Jolley.

While a degree of critical neglect may account for part of this situation, there are other clear reasons for Foster’s lack of fame. Firstly, he is a satirist; his writing sets itself deliberately against the favourite beliefs of the educated readers who are most likely to read it. His work is opinionated, misanthropic, obsessive and sometimes tedious. Secondly, he is a committed modernist, pursuing linguistic experiment and convinced that writing remains, at least partly, an improvisatory performance. Thirdly, his writing mixes genres, modes and language registers; his work combines low humour and high cultural seriousness. Foster is a novelist of ideas rather than character; readers cannot slip into sympathetic identification with his characters because they exist to express ideas rather than individual psychologies. One could go on to list Foster’s toughness of mind and his spiritual obsessions, as if they were negatives, but the qualities that make Foster difficult are, of course, also those that make his books rewarding to read.

Awards   more

Bibliography   more

This author page uses material from the Wikipedia article "David Foster", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0
Total Books: 124
Geology of National Parks
2020 - Geology of National Parks (Paperback)Paperback
ISBN-13: 9781792419966
ISBN-10: 1792419961
Genre: Education & Teaching

Generative Deep Learning Teaching Machines to Paint Write Compose and Play
Edexcel International GCSE  English Language A Student Book
2017 - Edexcel International Gcse English Language a Student Book [9-1] (Paperback)
ISBN-13: 9780435182564
ISBN-10: 0435182560
Genre: Children's Books

Building Splunk Solutions  Splunk Developer Guide
2015 - Building Splunk Solutions Splunk Developer Guide [Second edition] (Paperback)
ISBN-13: 9781514615744
ISBN-10: 1514615746
Genre: Computers & Technology

Building Splunk Solutions Splunk Developer Guide
2015 - Building Splunk Solutions Splunk Developer Guide [Splunk Developer Guides - Volume 1] (Paperback)
ISBN-13: 9781512356076
ISBN-10: 1512356077
Genres: Computers & Technology, Reference

In Heaven and In Earth
2015 - In Heaven and in Earth (Paperback)
ISBN-13: 9781508717140
ISBN-10: 1508717141
Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

Blisters and Bliss A Trekker's Guide to the West Coast Trail
2014 - Blisters and Bliss a Trekker's Guide to the West Coast Trail (Paperback)Paperback
ISBN-13: 9781927527924
ISBN-10: 1927527929
Genres: Sports & Outdoors, Travel

Praying the Gospel of John An Illuminating Experience in the Word
Blisters  Bliss The Trekker's Guide to the West Coast Trail
2010 - Blisters Bliss the Trekker's Guide to the West Coast Trail (Paperback)Paperback
ISBN-13: 9781926613802
ISBN-10: 1926613805
Genres: Sports & Outdoors, Travel

Isle of Wight Short Walks
2010 - Isle of Wight Short Walks (Paperback)
ISBN-13: 9781854585226
ISBN-10: 1854585223

New Forest National Park Short Walks
2009 - New Forest National Park Short Walks (Paperback)Paperback
ISBN-13: 9781854585318
ISBN-10: 1854585312

The Scientific Angler Being a General and Instructive Work on Artistic Angling
Hitman Forty Years Making Music Topping the Charts and Winning Grammys
The Scientific Angler
2009 - The Scientific Angler (Paperback)
ISBN-13: 9781459050594
ISBN-10: 1459050592

Hitman Forty Years Making Music Topping the Charts and Winning Grammys
2008 - Hitman Forty Years Making Music Topping the Charts and Winning Grammys (Hardcover)Paperback, Audio CD
ISBN-13: 9781439103067
ISBN-10: 1439103062
Genre: Biographies & Memoirs
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.

Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants
Tornado A History
2008 - Tornado a History (Paperback)
ISBN-13: 9780752445144
ISBN-10: 0752445146
Genre: History

Deep Calls to Deep Going Further in Prayer
2008 - Deep Calls to Deep Going Further in Prayer (Paperback)
ISBN-13: 9780826497741
ISBN-10: 0826497748
Genres: Religion & Spirituality, Christian Books & Bibles

Harrap's A Sound Approach to French Grammar
2007 - Harrap's a Sound Approach to French Grammar (Paperback)
ISBN-13: 9780245607875
ISBN-10: 0245607870
Genre: Reference

A Renegade's Guide to God Finding Life Outside Conventional Christianity
Convierta sus Adversidades en Oportunidades
2006 - Convierta Sus Adversidades En Oportunidades (Paperback)
ISBN-13: 9789875571013
ISBN-10: 9875571016
Genres: Nonfiction, Christian Books & Bibles

2004 - Isle of Wight Leisure Walks for All Ages [Pathfinder Short Walks] (Paperback)
2003 - New Forest National Park [Short Walks] (Paperback)Paperback
2002 - More Sussex Walks [Pathfinder Guides] (Paperback)
1997 - Theoretical Debates in Spanish American Literature [Spanish American Literature: A Collection of Essays] (Other)
1997 - Writers of the Spanish Colonial Period [Spanish American Literature: A Collection of Essays] (Other)
1982 - The Rural Constabulary Act 1839 [National Statutes and the Local Community] (Paperback)
Shape in Picture Mathematical Description of Shape in Greylevel Images [Nato a S I Series Series III, Computer and Systems Sciences] (Hardcover)
Gurig National Park the First Ten Years of Joint Management [Report series / Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies] (Paperback)
Want fewer ads?