Project Description


Buy the book
Book Club Notes
26 May 2020
RRP: $29.99
ISBN: 9781925972801
Paperback,  288 pages
234 x 153 mm

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Grace Breen
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How to Be Australian

by Ashley Kalagian Blunt

When Ashley persuades her new husband Steve to leave snowy Canada and join her for a year Down Under, she looks forward to an easy transition. After all,
Australia’s just Canada with more sunshine and strange animals, right?

But they soon discover things aren’t so simple. Steve struggles to settle and Ashley fears he will come to regret both the move and the marriage – especially after she loses her wedding rings on Bondi Beach. Baffled, homesick and increasingly anxious (in a land renowned for ‘no worries’), she is preparing to return to Canada when Steve shockingly announces that he wants to stay in Australia. Forever.

For the sake of her marriage and her happiness, Ashley must find an Australia she can belong to: she decides to travel the country, learn its history, decode its cultural quirks and connect with as many residents as she can meet. How to Be Australian is a remarkable memoir, at once familiar and faraway, that shines a fresh, funny and fascinating light onto the country we think we know.


‘Kalagian Blunt’s prose sparkles and fizzes with personality.’ LEE KOFMAN

‘This is the kind of book we need right now. It’s funny and heart-warming and I couldn’t put it down.’ KATHERINE COLLETTE, author of The Helpline

‘As a new Australian, I laughed out loud at the sharpness of Kalagian-Blunt’s keen observations, the drollerie of her self-deprecating reflections. But under the humour are strands of serious research and earnest endeavour, a wish to address the questions we ask ourselves. Where do I fit in? How will I find a home for my heart?’ VICKI LAVEAU-HARVIE, author of The Erratics, winner of the 2019 Stella Prize

‘A wonderfully eccentric account of how an exemplary Canadian does her very best to be a better Australian. Funny, unexpected, filled with affectionate humor and an occasionally serious eye to what makes Australia special and how we should all value our situations in life.’ WALTER MASON, author of Destination Saigon and Destination Cambodia

About the Author

Ashley Kalagian Blunt is the author of My Name Is Revenge, which was shortlisted for the 2019 Woollahra Digital Literary Awards and was a finalist in the 2018 Carmel Bird Digital Literary Award. Her writing appears in Griffith Review, Sydney Review of Books, Westerly, the Australian, the Big Issue and Kill Your Darlings. Ashley is a Moth StorySLAM winner and has appeared at Story Club, the National Young Writers’ Festival, and Sydney Writers’ Festival. She lived and worked in Canada, South Korea, Peru and Mexico before moving to Australia.