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ON WRITING |

The female protagonist as writer — Girls part II

“Usually when people say they want to be a writer, they really don’t want to do anything except eat and masturbate.” – Ray. The second season of HBO’s Girls has been consistently amusing in its representation of the experience of life as a writer. Though the series has again provoked debates about sex (and, this season, [...]

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ON WRITING |

On established authors and the weight of expectation: J.K. Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy

One of the great pleasures / responsibilities of being a lit critic is that you are asked to review countless debut novels. When I first began reviewing, I remember this feeling unusual to me – coming as I did from a background in academia, where you generally don’t read anything without an almost infuriating knowledge [...]

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ON WRITING |

The female protagonist as writer: HBO’s Girls

Lately I’ve been re-watching Girls. It was a series I originally came to – perhaps like everyone else downloading it in Australia – through the furore raging on most of my favourite US sites. The Hairpin, Salon, Grantland, The New Yorker, et al. had run essays on it, and so I was vaguely familiar with the [...]

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ON WRITING |

On literary schools and generational packaging

The beats. The lost generation. The romantics. The modernists. The dirty realists. Before I’d read any of the works that fell within them, I knew of these names. They conjure a time, and often a city, they characterise a period. It made the ‘lesser’ writers within these groups bigger, and gave a higher purpose to [...]

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ON WRITING |

In the golden Dark house — a week at Varuna

Earlier this year I wrote about the places in which we write – the feeling that a particular location would be the key to writing success and inspiration. This week I’ve been incredibly lucky to be given a residency at one of Australia’s most prestigious ‘places in which to write’ – the Varuna writers’ house in [...]

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ON WRITING |

Why don’t you know what you’ll get paid?

The first piece of writing I was ever paid for was an essay I wrote for the fourth issue of Kill Your Darlings journal. I remember vividly the moment I received the email that the work was accepted, and when they told me what I would be paid. I cherished that money because it was, [...]

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ON WRITING |

A place in which to write

At the moment I’m house-sitting in an apartment in Clifton Hill in Melbourne. It’s a cute little deco building and there are apartments below and above me, and all around are the windows and balconies of other brick buildings. I sit on the balcony to write, looking up at the chimney tops and out at [...]

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