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Australian Writing

A talisman of luck and love: Gillian Mears' <i>Foal's Bread</i>

A talisman of luck and love: Gillian Mears' Foal's Bread

This review is cross-posted from the Wheeler Centre’s Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards series.  It is a talisman of luck, and love. Foal’s bread – both the object and the novel – is a strange, rare and mesmerising thing. ‘Just every now and then,’ he explained, ‘a foal is born with something that looks like a little slice of […]

‘Your words, my pictures’: Brenda Niall’s <i>True North</i>

‘Your words, my pictures’: Brenda Niall’s True North

This review is cross-posted from the Wheeler Centre‘s Victorian Premier’s Literary Award series.  The most fascinating section of Brenda Niall’s biography of the Durack sisters is the penultimate chapter, ‘The Making of Eddie Burrup.’ As with most artistic controversies involving a nom de plume (or, in this case, de brush), with time, the pseudonym tends […]

<i>Going Down Swinging</i> #33 launch: Interview with Geoff Lemon

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 […]

'I don’t write for people who already know what they think': Interview with Anna Krien on <i>Us and Them</i>

'I don’t write for people who already know what they think': Interview with Anna Krien on Us and Them

‘Let’s not kid ourselves. The injustice is complete. This is not a debate over whether our treatment of animals is unethical or not. It’s unethical. We know this…The question is: just how much injustice do we want to partake in?’ Earlier this year, Anna Krien wrote a Quarterly Essay on our nuanced and often contradictory […]

2012 Prime Minister's Literary Award winners announced

2012 Prime Minister's Literary Award winners announced

      The winners of the fifth annual Prime Minister’s Literary Awards were announced today at the National Library of Australia. The awards, which ‘celebrate the contribution of Australian literature and history to the nation’s cultural and intellectual life,’ are the richest in Australia, with $80,000 going to the winner in each category, as well as $5,000 to […]

Guest Post -- The Political Post-Apocalypse: Antony Loewenstein and Jeff Sparrow's <i>Left Turn</i>

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.’ […]

Guest Post -- 'A design of beauty and significance': Rachel Robertson's <i>Reaching One Thousand</i>

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 […]

Writing Another Jakarta: An Interview with Ruby J. Murray

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 […]

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

‘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 […]

Liticism’s Miles Franklin Countdown: Favel Parrett’s <i>Past The Shallows</i>

Liticism’s Miles Franklin Countdown: Favel Parrett’s Past The Shallows

*Spoiler alert: this is not intended as a straight review and I do refer to key plot points in this analysis. It’s strange the way works read in succession can speak to each other, the way the mind finds connections in works never written to be compared. In Tony Birch’s Blood the protagonists see a matinee […]