This study explores how animals are represented in contemporary Australian fiction. For centuries, the literary representation of animals has been to elucidate and define issues and interests which are exclusive to humans, and often with an overtly didactic or cautionary tone and purpose. This has implied an anthropocentric and hierarchical world view, which critics have traced back to Classical philosophy and literature, through the Renaissance era and into modern literature. Traditional literary representations of animals are anthropomorphic in what, I will argue, is a self-absorbed and limiting way, where the emphasis is overwhelmingly anthropocentric. I will demonstrate that different forms of anthropomorphism, more appreciative of both the radical alterity of animals and recognisant of humans themselves as animals, have emerged from contemporary philosophers. These forms continue to gain recognition and are increasingly reflected in contemporary literature. Against the background of the traditional representation of animals in Western European fiction, I would further contend that contemporary Australian writers raise open or ongoing questions about animal/human relationships and our role in nature, questions where the spirit is one of exploration and the answers not already defined by established moral, cultural, social or political paradigms or values. This stance will be demonstrated with reference to the works of J.M. Coetzee, Ceridwen Dovey, Isobelle Carmody and Sonya Hartnett. These writers represent a spectrum of contemporary Australian fiction including academic, adult, crossover and children’s literature. While these categories overlap, the following chapters reflect that sequence to illustrate that changes in the representation of animals can be seen to spread from more overtly philosophical and academic writing to mainstream audiences.