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Comedy and Cultural Difference in Tom Doig’s Moron to Moron

Guest Post by Michelle See-Tho Among Lonely Planet guides, endorsements for various restaurants around the world and poignant tales of “self discovery” in foreign lands, the contemporary travel writing scene leaves little room for comedy. However, Tom Doig’s first book, Mörön to Mörön, points at the standard of travel writing and laughs. Part travel guide, [...]

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‘Moxie and might’: The Moth Comes to Melbourne Writers Festival 2013

Guest Post by Farz Edraki The woman next to me on the bus didn’t apologise after a small, green piece of gum shot from her mouth and landed neatly in my lap. “Oh,” was all she said, adjusting her neck pillow and unwrapping another packet of Extras. It was an overnight bus ride from Canberra to [...]

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The end of the homosexual or the rebirth of gay liberation: Dennis Altman’s The End of the Homosexual?

Guest Post by Simon Copland   In 1971, academic and queer activist Dennis Altman wrote the book Homosexual: Oppression and Liberation. Positioned between the riots at Stonewall in 1969 and the expansion of the gay liberation movement in the 70s and 80s, Homosexual was in many ways before its time. Altman managed to predict the [...]

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‘Of pity, superiority, disgust’: Laura Jean McKay’s Holiday In Cambodia

Guest Post by Paul Donoughue It was on a long bus ride toward Sarajevo, past shells of houses full of grass and dirt, that I first became aware of the idea of atrocity tourism. The capital of Bosnia Herzegovina is a lovely place. Apart from being visually stunning — a collection of low-set buildings and [...]

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When things don’t fit: An interview with Mel Campbell, author of Out of Shape

Guest Post by Myriam Robin Melbourne-based critic and journalist Mel Campbell is the author of Out of Shape, her first book, which was released at the start of June. In the book, Campbell charts her own relationship to clothing, as well as how notions of ‘fit’ and correct dress have persisted and changed throughout the [...]

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Trying and Failing at Febfast: on Jill Stark’s High Sobriety

Guest Post by Stephanie Van Schilt Minutes after finishing High Sobriety – Jill Stark’s memoir about her year without alcohol – I attended a birthday party…for a bar. I literally put the book down, got dressed up and ran out the door to celebrate the liquor loving life. In the past, this obvious irony would [...]

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There’s No Such Thing As Real America: Ron Rash’s Nothing Gold Can Stay

Guest Post I’ve visited Charleston, South Carolina, a few times. It’s a beautiful city: old, by US standards, retaining some of the aesthetic quirks of British and French colonialism. There’s narrow cobblestone streets, Art Deco buildings and elaborate white mansions. Strangers on the street ask about your day. And there’s the location: the lower half [...]

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Unearthing herstory: Courtney Collins’ The Burial

Guest Post  “If the dirt could speak, whose story would it tell?” In her debut novel The Burial, Courtney Collins supposes that the earth would favour the stories of those who are furthest from it, ‘the ones who are suspended in flight’. The dirt must long for these distant stories the way a child yearns [...]

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The darkness of desire: Chloe Hooper’s The Engagement

Guest Post by Rebecca Howden  From the opening scenes of The Engagement, there’s an atmosphere that drenches the pages with a subtle, simmering sense of dread. Filling her mis-en-scene with gothic tropes that recall the gloomy romance of classics like Rebecca and Jane Eyre, acclaimed Australian writer Chloe Hooper draws us into a tense, brilliantly [...]

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Guest Post — The Happiness of the Anti-Father: Martin Amis’s Lionel Asbo

 Guest post by Lucas Smith Stories about sudden wealth acquisition too often become morality tales about the inutility of money to enduring happiness. Lionel Asbo, Martin Amis’s fifteenth work of fiction, is a refreshing tale of a man made immensely and permanently happy by his money. The stupid, vindictive, loutish and possibly murderous anti-hero, Lionel [...]

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Guest Post — The Political Post-Apocalypse: Antony Loewenstein and Jeff Sparrow’s Left Turn

Guest post by Adam Brereton  Antony Loewenstein and Jeff Sparrow, in the introduction to their new book Left Turn: Political Essays For The New Left, invite the reader to imagine current examples in popular culture that envision a future ‘in which the world to come is, in any respect whatsoever, an improvement on the present.’ [...]

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Guest Post — ‘A design of beauty and significance’: Rachel Robertson’s Reaching One Thousand

Guest Post by Elizabeth Bryer  I have been waiting for this book for four years. Not that I knew that it would come into existence; I just hoped, quietly confident, that it would. Rachel Robertson’s ‘Reaching One Thousand’, joint winner of the 2008 ABR Calibre Essay Prize and later published in Black Inc.’s Best Australian [...]

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Writing Another Jakarta: An Interview with Ruby J. Murray

Guest Post by Rebecca Harkins-Cross Ruby J. Murray’s debut novel Running Dogs explores how mythologies, both political and personal, may influence the trajectory of our lives. Protagonist Diana is an Australian aid worker living in Jakarta (an experience that Murray herself had in 2009-10), who occupies a liminal space as neither tourist nor insider in [...]

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Guest Post — When the adaptation ruins the original, or how I began to hate Jane Eyre

Guest post by January Jones Book to screen adaptations are not a new phenomenon, however, the recent popularity of such films has reached heightened proportions. You’d have to be living under a rock to have missed the hype surrounding recent blockbuster The Hunger Games; the first film of a trilogy based on Suzanne Collins’ bestselling [...]

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Guest Post — Finding love beneath the shadow of The Cove

Guest Post by Rebecca Harkins Cross When Ron Rash isn’t penning fiction and poetry, he works as a Professor in Appalachian Cultural Studies at Western Carolina University. It is Rash’s ability to capture this mysterious terrain, which ranges from the southern end of New York State to northern tip of Mississippi, that has always been [...]

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