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April, 2011


20 classics in 2011 #6: Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

I’m reading 20 classic, modern-classic or cult books in 2011. Read more about this project here. Why did I want to read it? I love Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, and dystopian fiction in general. Plus, the sections of my work-in-progress that people have read have been compared to Brave New World. I thought it was about time I read it [...]

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Guest review: Alice Grundy on Mr Peanut by Adam Ross

Vintage, 9780099535379 (Aus, UK, US) Reviewed by Alice Grundy The cover of Adam Ross’ first novel, Mr Peanut, is swathed in praise from no lesser lights than Stephen King and Michiko Kakutani. The title page features a reproduction of Escher’s ‘Mobius’ flagging the role of the double in the plot. All the signs point towards [...]

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Flash fiction piece ‘Trash’ up at Capsule

There’s a tiny little piece by me up at Capsule today – an online journal for bite-sized lit. It was inspired by a doco I saw on the early career of filmmaker John Waters. It begins: ‘In a cold Baltimore church basement, a vile film flickered over faces. Is it a she? they wondered at [...]

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Miles Franklin 2011: the short shortlist

Just in. The books shortlisted for the 2011 Miles Franklin Literary Award are: Bereft by Chris Womersley That Deadman Dance by Kim Scott When Colts Ran by Roger McDonald Of course, the comment has begun (on Twitter) about the fact that there are only three books. Martin Shaw says (@thebooksdesk) ‘A shortlist of 3 becomes [...]

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Guest review: Lisa Down on Kill Your Darlings: Issue Four

Kill Your Darlings: Issue Four (Aus) Ed: Rebecca Starford January 2011 reviewed by Lisa Down Call me a philistine, but I wasn’t previously familiar with the Australian quarterly Kill Your Darlings. It means I don’t have a standard by which I can judge this edition but I walked away satisfied that it had provided the [...]

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20 classics in 2011 #5: The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

I’m reading 20 classic, modern-classic or cult books in 2011. Read more about this project here. Why did I want to read it? I’d always heard Oscar Wilde was a wit, and the supernatural element of the story appealed to me. When was it published? It was first published in 1890, as an issue of Lippincott’s Monthly Magazine. A later [...]

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1001 Australian Nights: Gerard Elson interviews Dave Graney, part two

1001 Australian Nights Dave Graney 9780980790436, Affirm Press (Aus) by Gerard Elson Read part one here. Have you tried your hand at prose fiction? Would you ever be interested? I’d prefer to write fiction than something like 1001 Australian Nights. I’m having the heebs a bit with this book coming out and people reading it! [...]

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1001 Australian Nights: Gerard Elson interviews Dave Graney, part one

1001 Australian Nights Dave Graney 9780980790436, Affirm Press (Aus) by Gerard Elson Dave Graney likes his coffee weak and his public spaces swarming. So we meet at Starbucks. It’s not exactly rock ‘n’ roll, but then that’s Graney: never one to play the scummy, hard-worn rock pariah (thank god). He arrives early and I’m embarrassed [...]

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A literary proposal

A review copy of Christopher Currie’s debut novel The Ottoman Motel is sitting neatly in my to-read pile, but the final edition that is officially released on 2 May and is circulating now contains a very special message on the acknowledgements page. Click here to take a look: Chris Currie’s proposal But how did it all [...]

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Ashes in the Air by Ali Alizadeh

This review first appeared in the March 2011 issue of Bookseller+Publisher magazine. UQP, March 2011 (Aus) 9780702238727 What do we want from a book of poetry? We want each poem to paint a picture, to shake us up a little, and to ultimately reach down inside us and peel something back. Ali Alizadeh’s poems do all [...]

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