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If you are heading into your VCE year, Vision Australia is here to help. The library has the complete VCE English and English as an Additional Language Lists.

We have featured a selection of the texts below.

We also have a range of the senior English curriculum texts. Texts can also  be produced in accessible formats through the Student Support Service.


Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe 

Set in Eastern Nigeria during the time of colonial expansion into Africa, Things Fall Apart tells the story of Okonowo, a proud and highly respected tribesman. Okonowo is turned upside down after he accidentally shoots an elder’s son, and missionaries and colonial administrators arrive in his small village, intent on shifting the power structure. Chinua Achebe explores what it means to be an African man in a tribal society whose very existence is under threat from colonisers.

Flames by Robbie Arnott

Magical realism is at the heart of this story and students should be open to and expect the bizarre and unforeseen. Robbie Arnott creates humans and other entities, such as a personification of fire and a river god in the form of a water rat. Ideas of grief, family connection, betrayal, the development of heterosexual relationships (and a same-sex relationship) and conservation are among the many concerns examined.

Go, Went, Gone by Jenny Erpenbeck https://my.visionaustralia.org/library/detail/book/5169653

Richard, a retired classics professor who lives in Berlin lives a routine existence until one day he spies some African refugees staging a hunger strike. Curiosity turns to compassion and an inner transformation, as he visits their shelter, interviews them, and becomes embroiled in their harrowing fates. The novel is a scathing indictment of Western policy toward the European refugee crisis, but also a touching portrait of a man who finds he has more in common with the Africans than he realizes.  


Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen 

A firm favourite for Austen fans and a wonderful entry for those new to her work.  The novel follows the setting up and unravelling of misunderstandings between the spirited Elizabeth Bennet and the wealthy Fitzwilliam Darcy. The introduction of siblings, cousins and suitors complicates the plot and deepens Elizabeth’s awareness of herself. While Austen’s original readers would undoubtedly have appreciated the twists and turns of the marriage plot, modern audiences will appreciate the way in which Elizabeth and her four sisters navigate expectations imposed by self and society, as well as the notion of an ‘accomplished woman’.

My Brilliant Career by Miles Franklin

First published in 1901 this is a deservedly admired Australian classic. Sybylla Melvyn is intelligent, feisty, and unconventional and refuses to marry for economic comfort without love, and to conform to society’s expectations of feminine behaviour. Her ambition is to be a writer and, through this, to achieve independence.

A reflection on growing up, the book is a view of life in Australia over a century ago that is still relevant today.

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

Six years after four family members died of arsenic poisoning, the three remaining Blackwoods - Constance; Uncle Julian; and Merricat - live together in pleasant isolation. Merricat has developed an idiosyncratic system of rules and protective magic to guard the estate against intrusions from hostile villagers. But when Cousin Charles, arrives with his eye on the Blackwood fortune Merricat adopts more desperate methods, resulting in crisis, tragedy, and the revelation of a terrible secret.

Short stories

Runaway by Alice Munro 

Carla is a runaway, a congenital 'bolter', who has neighbourly fantasies that take on a frightening afterlife... Elsewhere, a stagestruck girl finds life is more Shakespearean than even she imagines; while Tessa, a young country woman with strange powers cannot foresee what will happen if she makes off with a plausible charmer. The stories unravel layers of the past, and different versions of the truth: the characters learn that if you look too closely at anything - the past, the truth - it may crumble.


False Claims of Colonial Thieves by Charmaine Papertalk Green and John Kinsella

A tete-a-tete that is powerful, thought provoking, and challenges what we think we know about our country, colonisation, and how we understand our land. Striking conversations surrounding childhood, life, love, mining, death, respect, and diversity; imbued by silken Yamatji sensibility and sublimely responded to by the son of a foreman from South Champion Mine. This extraordinary publication weaves two differing points of view together as Papertalk-Green and Kinsella's words traverse this land and reflect back to us all, our many identities and quiet