October, 2011

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Grey areas of madness: an interview with Jon Ronson, on The Psychopath Test

, Oct 27, 2011

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Picador, Australia, 9780330451369 (paperback) In The Psychopath Test Jon Ronson takes us on journey through the mad ‘industry’ of madness. And it’s not all acid-tripping psychopaths. Ronson follows leads to high-security prisons, a mansion filled with predators… and to L Ron Hubbard’s coca cola stain. What results is an inevitably open-ended, sometimes frightening and often hilarious look […]
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Black Postcards: Kent MacCarter interviews Dean Wareham (part two)

, Oct 11, 2011

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Part one of this interview can be found here. How do you feel about TS Eliot’s (in)famous quip, ‘Good poets borrow, great poets steal’? I was having a hard time figuring out what TS Eliot meant here – what’s the difference between borrowing and stealing in poetry? So I Googled that phrase (the internet is […]
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Black Postcards: Kent MacCarter interviews Dean Wareham (part one)

, Oct 10, 2011

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By Kent MacCarter Dean Wareham – musician, author, actor and a co-inventor of the ‘shoegaze’ aesthetic – is coming home to Australia. Sort of. This month, he, his partner Britta Phillips, and band will be touring Australia and New Zealand playing entire sets from seminal rock band, Galaxie 500, 19 years after their demise and […]
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Between worlds: Dominic Smith on Bright and Distant Shores

, Sep 27, 2011

Allen & Unwin, 9781742374161, 2011 (Aus paperback, ebook + US/Kindle) Bright and Distant Shores is hugely imaginative historical fiction. It’s set just before the dawn of the 20th century in Chicago and the South Pacific. Owen Graves is sent by Hale Gray, the president of Chicago First Equitable, to collect some ‘special items’ to display […]
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Spineless Wonders: new publisher of Australian short fiction

, Jun 25, 2011

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Spineless Wonders is a new publishing company, founded by Bronwyn Mehan, which specialises in short fiction from Australian writers in any genre and in print, digital and audio formats. Their publications will include single author collections and novellas, an annual anthology published in conjunction with a national writing competition as well as special collections focusing […]
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The epic qualities of outwardly ordinary lives: By Nightfall and Michael Cunningham in Australia

, May 25, 2011

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By Nightfall, Michael Cunningham, HarperCollins (Aus pb, Aus ebook, US and Kindle, UK) Over the past few days I’ve been in the audience of four sessions featuring my favourite American author Michael Cunningham. Cunningham’s latest novel is By Nightfall. I’ve drafted a few posts on it since I read it, but was never able to adequately […]
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Whole-hearted lovers and layers of history: an interview with Mardi McConnochie, author of The Voyagers

, May 18, 2011

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Viking, May 2011 9780670075966 (Aus, ebook) Stead, a sailor, arrives in Sydney Harbour in 1943. He hasn’t seen Marina for five years, and yet he can’t forget the three days they spent together prior to the war. Some undeniable connection had been forged. He finds out she failed to enrol in the music school she was […]
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Mystery, strangeness and coming-of-age: an interview with Christopher Currie, author of The Ottoman Motel

, May 16, 2011

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Text Publishing, May 2011, 9781921758164 (Aus, US, UK) The parents of a young boy disappear in a small, strange town called Reception, in Christopher Currie’s atmospheric debut novel The Ottoman Motel. The townfolk don’t seem to be trying too hard to find Simon’s parents, and it isn’t the first disappearance in the area. Currie’s debut is […]
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1001 Australian Nights: Gerard Elson interviews Dave Graney, part two

, Apr 12, 2011

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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

, Apr 11, 2011

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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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Interview with Paul Murphy, book trailer specialist

, Nov 29, 2010

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In the past few months Paul Murphy has been kindly forwarding me his book trailers. I visited his website, www.booktease.com.au, and was impressed by the range and quality of his work in this emerging field. In our visually aligned and keyboard-bound culture, book trailers will increasingly play an important role in drawing readers to the […]
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A dream-logic London squid riff: an interview with China Miéville (part two)

, Oct 18, 2010

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Read part one here. Angela Meyer: Just going back to what you were sort of talking about, the excessive nature of Kraken (Aus, US, UK) and chucking everything in – I’m really interested in your writing and I just find it so rich but at the same time I found I still was reading it […]
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A dream-logic London squid riff: an interview with China Miéville (part one)

, Oct 15, 2010

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China Miéville’s Kraken (Aus, US, UK) is savvy, exuberant, sci-fantastical fiction – a novel about a stolen giant squid and the ensuing adventures of museum curator Billy Harrow. It’s a super-fun read, set in a richly imaginative alternate London, filled with sassy, dirty, sweet, dangerous and apparitious characters. It was great to be able to have […]
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Brass Monkey Books: a cultural exchange between Indian and Australian literature

, Aug 24, 2010

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When I was working at Bookseller+Publisher, Kabita Dhara wrote an article for us on her Asialink residency in India. In New Delhi, Kabita worked on literature that had been translated into English from India’s many regional languages, with a view to understanding the processes behind choosing a title for translation and assessing markets for it. Kabita, […]
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Like, embrace the pain: the Bret Easton Ellis interview (part 2)

, Aug 20, 2010

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It’s very telling, you know? Find part 1, right here, folks. Kathy: My two very favourite novels of all time are Lunar Park, and Pet Sematary by Stephen King, which kind of makes perfect sense… Bret: Yes, it does. Kathy: I’m really interested in the idea that Lunar Park may be becoming a film. I’m […]
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Like, embrace the pain: the Bret Easton Ellis interview (part 1)

, Aug 18, 2010

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Pictured: Carrie, Samantha, Carrie Let’s begin at the end. After Kathy Charles and I finished our interview with the very engaging Bret Easton Ellis, we sat with his publicist over a couple of glasses of Chandon, waiting for Ellis to wrap-up with our friend Robbie Coleman. Robbie emerged, white-faced and swearing, revealing that the interviewee had turned interviewer […]
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Alex y Robert by Wena Poon: virtual book tour

, Jul 29, 2010

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

, Jul 07, 2010

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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)

, Jul 04, 2010

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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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Both ways is the only way she wants it: an interview with Maile Meloy

, Jun 16, 2010

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As the title indicates, Both Ways is the Only Way I Want it (Text, May 2010 in Aus, Riverhead US), Maile Meloy’s engaging collection of stories, is about the fear, desire, pleasure, confusion and complications of wanting it both ways and sometimes having it so. It’s like Guido’s dilemma in Fellini’s 8 1/2 – he wants […]