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Emerging Writers’ Festival program released

Emerging Writers’ Festival program released

The Emerging Writers’ Festival begins in Melbourne on May 24 and the full program of events has been released today, which you can view here. I’m very excited to be taking part in the festival — I’ll be hosting a panel event, Industry Insider: Emerging Critics on Monday 28th May at 6pm, where I’ll be discussing the […]

Stories victorious: Etgar Keret’s <i>Suddenly a Knock on the Door</i>

Stories victorious: Etgar Keret’s Suddenly a Knock on the Door

Fantastical, absurd, surreal, playful, comic, bizarre, dark. Keret’s short stories have the quality of fables, or the sort of baffling dreams that compel you regale all who will listen in the morning, and then wonder quietly to yourself what you may have ingested the night before. It has shades of Kafka, Borges, even, at times, […]

Orange Prize shortlist announced

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, […]

Guest Post — Finding love beneath the shadow of <i>The Cove</i>

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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Guest Post — Literary Tourism

Guest Post — Literary Tourism

Guest post by Lisa Dempster In November 2010 I landed in Sharjah – a place I had not known existed until two months earlier – and several hours later I was sitting in a grand reception hall watching its International Book Fair being opened by one Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohammed al Qassimi. The room […]

‘I close my eyes and count to one hundred’: Romy Ash’s <i>Floundering</i>

‘I close my eyes and count to one hundred’: Romy Ash’s Floundering

The tangy residue of Twisties on small fingers. The sickly flavor of soft drink so warm it tastes like tea. Vinyl car seats that melt and stick. In her debut novel, Romy Ash has conjured startlingly an aspect of Australian childhood – sitting, hot, thirsty and uncomfortable in the back seat of a boiling car, […]

Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards scrapped

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 […]

<i>Liticism’</i>s Miles Franklin Countdown

Liticism’s Miles Franklin Countdown

As I wrote last week, the Miles Franklin longlist has been announced, and I’ve decided to do a Miles Franklin Countdown on Liticism, reading a book a week from the list until the winners are announced on June 20th. At the start of this year I wrote about the difficulties of being a lit lover, […]

Guest Post — A Non-Believer’s Guide to the Uses of Alain de Botton

Guest Post — A Non-Believer’s Guide to the Uses of Alain de Botton

Guest Post by Julian Novitz Alain de Botton would like us to be happier. By ‘us’ I mean people like him, and me, and probably you as well (though I realise that’s a pretty big assumption to make in the second sentence of this review): readers who approach life with the gentle, possibly naïve hope […]

Miles Franklin 2012 longlist announced

Miles Franklin 2012 longlist announced

The longlist of titles for the 2012 Miles Franklin Literary Award have been announced today. There are thirteen nominees in the longlist this year (from 61 entires): Tony Birch Blood Steven Carroll The Spirit of Progress Mark Dapin Spirit House Virginia Duigan The Precipice Anna Funder All That I Am Kate Grenville Sarah Thornhill Gail […]

Guest Post — It could, happily, swallow me whole.

Guest Post — It could, happily, swallow me whole.

Guest Post by Sam van Zweden I read once about a philosophical theory that says that everything we accumulate or achieve is assimilated into our everyday lives, and we naturally re-assess and raise the bar so that we want more, to conquer higher heights. This is something like how I approach the world of books […]

Guest Post — Repositioning <i>Lolita</i>: Martha Schabas’ <i>Various Positions</i>

Guest Post — Repositioning Lolita: Martha Schabas’ Various Positions

Guest Post by Erin Handley It’s difficult to know what position to take with Martha Schabas’ debut novel, Various Positions.  On one hand, the plot is fraught with clichés connected to ballet and to ‘coming of age’ plotlines. On the other, it’s an ambitious homage to Nabokov’s Lolita that questions the nature of truth and […]

Guest Post — Tokyo I go-go: Observing culture in Japanese literature

Guest Post — Tokyo I go-go: Observing culture in Japanese literature

Guest Post by Sian Campbell So, it turns out that even when you’re a recently graduated creative writing student (i.e. only one unthinkably low hospitality wage away from homeless) you are not immune to the siren call of Jetstar sales, and when $400 return flights to Tokyo called earlier in the year, I answered the […]

‘A writer first and a woman after’: <i>Overland</i> journal’s <i>Women’s Work</i>

‘A writer first and a woman after’: Overland journal’s Women’s Work

Women’s Work is Overland’s new anthology of short stories by emerging female writers launched today as part of International Women’s Day. The collection was developed in conjunction with the Stella Prize as a response to debates about the gender imbalance in literary publishing. As editor Clare Strahan writes, The underrepresentation of women in writing is […]

Guest Post — Catching the Infinite in Chad Harbach’s <i>The Art of Fielding</i>

Guest Post — Catching the Infinite in Chad Harbach’s The Art of Fielding

Guest Post by Rebecca Harkins-Cross There is a passage in Chad Harbach’s The Art of Fielding in which college baseball captain Mike Schwartz describes what he sees as the paradox at the heart of his sport: You loved it because you considered it an art: an apparently pointless affair, undertaken by people with a special […]