Owen Marshall has written, or edited, over twenty-five books. He has held fellowships at the Universities of Canterbury and Otago, and in Menton, France. In 2000 he received the ONZM and in the same year his novel Harlequin Rex won the Montana New Zealand Book Awards Deutz Medal for Fiction. He is an adjunct professor at the University of Canterbury, which awarded him the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters in 2002. He was awarded the CNZM in 2012 for services to literature, and in 2013 received the Prime Minister's Award for Literary Achievement in Fiction.
In this hilarious history, David Hunt reveals the truth of Australia's past, from megafauna to Macquarie - the cock-ups and curiosities, the forgotten eccentrics and Eureka moments that have made us who we are.
Girt introduces forgotten heroes like Mary McLoghlin, transported for the crime of "felony of sock," and Trim the cat, who beat a French monkey to become the first animal to circumnavigate Australia.
It recounts the misfortunes of the escaped Irish convicts who set out to walk from Sydney to China, guided only by a hand-drawn paper compass, and explains the role of the coconut in Australia's only military coup.
Our nation's beginnings are steeped in the strange, the ridiculous and the frankly bizarre. Girt proudly reclaims these stories for all of us.
Not to read it would be un-Australian
"A sneaky, sometimes shocking peek under the dirty rug of Australian history." - John Birmingham
"Hilarious and insightful -- Hunt has found the deep wells of humour in Australia's history." - Chris Taylor, The Chaser