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Australian literature is the written or literary work made in the area or by the people of Australia and its preceding colonies. During its early western history, Australia was many British colonies. Therefore, its literary tradition is linked with English literature. Since 1788, the character of a new continent came into the literature. Themes included Aboriginality, mateship, egalitarianism, democracy, migrant and national identity, distance from other Western nations and proximity to Asia, the complexities of urban living and the "beauty and the terror" of life in the Australian bush.
Notable Australian writers have included the novelists Marcus Clarke, Miles Franklin, Patrick White, Thomas Keneally, Morris West and Colleen McCullough, the bush poets Henry Lawson and Banjo Paterson, historians Manning Clark and Geoffrey Blainey, the playwright David Williamson and leading expatriate writers Barry Humphries, Robert Hughes, Clive James and Germaine Greer.