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NEWS |

A twisty, cosmic tale crowns the youngest-ever Booker winner

– This piece originally appeared as a Crikey news article. This morning, 28-year-old New Zealand author Eleanor Catton made history as the youngest author ever to win the Man Booker Prize, for her intricate tome The Luminaries. It’s been described by the judges as “a dazzling work, luminous, vast”. Catton is only the second Kiwi author to win [...]

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NEWS |

Tony Abbott, ebook author

Today, Tony Abbott, like Australia’s own Hannah Horvath, announced the publication of an ebook. Titled The Little Book of Big Labor Waste – invoking perhaps the wildly successful late-90s Little Book of Calm – the Coalition’s new work takes as its theme “60 examples of Labor waste and mismanagement from the Gillard Government,” an ironic inversion of the meditation [...]

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NEWS |

Love in the Time of Cholera and won’t somebody please think of the children

When Christopher Bantick’s opinion piece appeared in The Age on Thursday, criticising the inclusion of Gabriel García Márquez’s classic Love in the Time of Cholera on the VCE syllabus, it was easy enough to laugh off as the opinion of a senior Literature teacher demonstrating why they should perhaps retire. The article garnered much attention, [...]

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NEWS |

Flightless birds and chance abodes

By now you’ve no doubt heard that the parent companies of trade publishing houses Penguin Books and Random House – Pearson and Bertelsmann respectively – have combined to form the world’s largest book publisher, which will now be known as Penguin Random House. The official announcement came on Monday, following days of speculation after Peterson [...]

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NEWS |

Going Down Swinging #33 launch: Interview with Geoff Lemon

Amongst all the many panel discussions, debates, and ‘in conversations’, the Melbourne Writers Festival is the site of launches for new and established literary magazines. MWF has hosted the Big Issue Fiction Edition, Seven Stories, Veranda and Above Water to name just a few. The closing night of MWF tomorrow will see the launch of the latest issue of Going Down [...]

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NEWS |

Lisa Dempster emerges as new Melbourne Writers Festival Director

The Melbourne Writers Festival launches next week, and is Steve Grimwade’s last as festival Director. It has been an unusual time in the literary festival scene, with the Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Emerging Writers’ Festivals all changing Directors. Yesterday afternoon, Bookseller + Publisher announced that Lisa Dempster, outgoing Director of the Emerging Writers’ Festival (EWF) [...]

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NEWS |

Advancing the ‘new guard’: 2012 Man Booker Prize longlist announced

The longlist for the 44th annual Man Booker Prize was announced last night in the UK. The prize ‘aims to promote the finest in fiction by rewarding the best novel of the year written by a citizen of the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth or the Republic of Ireland,’ with the overall winner receiving a £50,000 [...]

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NEWS |

To read or not to read: idreambooks.com and the guidance of frowning clouds

The means we use to select new books are often obscure. Books don’t receive the same sort of blanket advertising as new release films or television series. Though there are always exceptions – such as the highly effective billboard in Times Square for Jeffrey Eugenides’ The Marriage Plot, or the relatively recent phenomenon of book [...]

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‘To whittle down all that I am and give it a value’: Anna Funder and the Miles Franklin decision

At the end of All That I Am the protagonist Ruth muses: ‘It is the hardest thing, to work out one’s weight and heft in the world, to whittle down all that I am and give it a value.’ This now seems remarkably apt for a work given a dazzling array of literary value. Anna [...]

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Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby film trailer released

‘New York, 1922. The tempo of the city had changed sharply. The buildings were higher. The parties were bigger. The moons were looser and the liquor was cheaper. The restlessness, approached hysteria.’  Confetti falls, fireworks explode and sparkle, expensive shirts are flung from mezzanine floors, orchids are in abundance, sleek cars glide, while Jay-Z and Kanye [...]

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JOMAD podcast

JOMAD — I Heard You Like Books? is a new Australian literary podcast by Johannes Jakob and Madeleine Crofts, and I was thrilled to be invited as the guest on the most recent episode. You can listen to the full episode here, where we talk about analysing (and stalking) Bret Easton Ellis, the Miles Franklin longlist, being paid [...]

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NEWS |

Orange Prize shortlist announced

      The 2012 Orange Prize shortlist was announced last night. The Orange is the UK’s annual prize for fiction written by a woman, celebrating ‘excellence, originality and accessibility in women’s writing throughout the world.’ There are six titles in the shortlist, down from a longlist of twenty. American novelists make up half the list — Madeline Miller, [...]

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NEWS |

Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards scrapped

In a sad announcement, the Brisbane Times have confirmed this afternoon that Campbell Newman has scrapped the Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards in an attempt to ‘control government spending.’ A spokesperson for the government said in the report: ’[T]he Queensland government has decided not to proceed with the Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards in 2012 which will save Queensland [...]

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