tip off

July, 2010


Alex y Robert by Wena Poon: virtual book tour

I met the talented, vivacious Singapore-born American writer Wena Poon last October, sharing a taxi ride from Denpasar airport to Ubud, Bali, for the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival. In that taxi and during her panels I learnt that Wena was dauntingly ‘together’ – interweaving careers in writing and Law, travelling the world, and seeming like she was [...]

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Countdown to Byron Bay Writers Festival

I’ve been in a lot of aeroplanes lately – flying out from Melbourne, flying in novels, and in dreams. Sometimes the ports look similar. Familiar, unfamiliar. My life is literature, is writing, is reading, and always passion, and there are good and bad things about being intertwined with fiction, about consistent imagining. It can be expansive, [...]

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Guest review: Sam Cooney on The Big Issue no. 359: Toasty Tales fiction special

The Big Issue no. 359: Toasty Tales fiction special Available now from street vendors, launched Wednesday 21 July at Readings Carlton Reviewed by Sam Cooney For me, The Big Issue is like a tub of Neapolitan ice-cream. It’s reliable. It’s unpretentious and doesn’t pretend to be anything except exactly what it is. You buy it every [...]

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Guest review: Elizabeth Bryer on Josephine Rowe’s How a Moth Becomes a Boat

How a Moth Becomes a Boat Josephine Rowe Hunter Publishers, 2010 (Aus) 9780980397420 Reviewed by Elizabeth Bryer In Meanjin 67:2, 2008, Wayne Macauley describes the painstaking process he underwent in his search for a publisher for his allegorical novel, Blueprints for a Barbed-Wire Canoe, which went on to receive rave reviews and was even picked for [...]

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Last weekend’s literary connectivity, and what I’ve been reading lately

On the weekend I was up in sunny Brisbane for the Australian Booksellers Association 2010 conference. It’s a conference for members and friends of the ABA – so, booksellers, publishers, and some librarians and media. I was officially there as a ‘blogger’ – on a panel called ‘Customers, Connections and Communities’, with Andrew McDonald from [...]

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Exquisite restraint for maximum expression: an interview with Colm Tóibín (part two)

Brooklyn Colm Toibin (Aus, US) Picador 9780330425612 Part one of this interview can be found here. Tóibín has, to date, written or edited 21 books. I asked him which had been the most difficult to write, and which had been the most joyful. He said: ‘There’s a long story in the collection Mothers and Sons which I [...]

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Exquisite restraint, maximum expression: an interview with Colm Tóibín (part one)

Brooklyn Colm Toibin (Aus, US) Picador 9780330425612 Acclaimed Irish novelist Colm Tóibín was recently in Australia for the Sydney Writers Festival as well as events in Melbourne, including one for the Wheeler Centre. I caught up with Tóibín at his Melbourne hotel to ask him some questions about writing and his latest novel Brooklyn, which I recently had [...]

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Guest review: Raili Simojoki on Janus Faces: Ampersand Magazine, Issue 2

Sydney-based arts and culture journal Ampersand Magazine sits somewhere between literary journal, art glossy, and street mag.  Eschewing cool irony, it explores notions of humanity and societal change through rare, unorthodox topics with a historical or technological bent. The publisher, Ampersand, is now the local distributor of niche artistic and literary journals like New York’s Cabinet Magazine and San Francisco’s The [...]

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