Until early 2020, large numbers of Australians were committed travellers and expatriates: known to drink too much in Bangkok, backpack through Vietnam, trek in Nepal, as well as tour the Dalmatian Coast and climb Mt Kilimanjaro. In the process, they wrote about it — for better or worse — in books from Sarah Turnbull’s Almost […]
‘What I’m Reading’
On Ngunnawal country, the Canberra bubble continues to expand, with its brutalist architecture, national institutions, consulates, and blue-tinged gums from which the Telstra Tower on Black Mountain (aka the Syringe aka the Spaceship Docking Station) emerges. It is not a place well-known for literary production or for the celebration of literature. The roads with their infernal on and off ramps, circuits and curves, are arrayed in patterns to facilitate communication with aliens, or for devil worship. Canberra/Ngambri manages to be the nation’s capital, and remote—provincial—estranged from the artistic and literary metropolitan centres of Australia and the wider world.
Ten Terrifying Questions (via Booktopia)
1. To begin with why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself – where were you born? Raised? Schooled? I was born in Melbourne and ‘raised’ there for a time, although we travelled and moved overseas to Canada for six months when I was three, and then we spent about six months in […]
Being read: How writers of fiction manuscripts experience and respond to criticism
This paper brings into dialogue the theoretical discussion about reading with the lived experience of being read, and draws some inferences about receiving feedback from discussions in creative writing studies and from experience.
‘Entering writers’ rooms: reading interviews with novelists
This paper examines the literary interview as a form, and as a source of research material for creative writing and literary studies.
‘Myth-busting women and literature’
The myth I’m busting is: ‘Women writers are too preoccupied with frivolous topics – hence, chick lit.’ The contention is that women writers—and by implication readers—are concerned with trivial and frivolous topics. As a male writer once said to me at a party—a famous and political South African writer—‘there’s too much kitchen sink fiction published […]
‘The “unimaginable border” and bare life in Eva Hornung’s Dog Boy’
This article offers a consideration of the figure of the feral child in Australian writer Eva Hornung’s Dog Boy (2009), a novel based on stories circulating in the media about children raised by dogs in post-perestroika Russia.
‘Fantasias for flute’
MEG’S BROTHERS WERE lucky. They joined the army when they turned eighteen: first Liam, then Stuart. When reveille sounded, they sat up in their bunks and pulled on their boots. They washed their faces with a towel dipped in cold water, raised their arms and rolled on deodorant, then drained cups of sugary coffee in […]
What constitutes discovery?
The experience of writing fiction or making art often entails the feeling of having made a discovery or realisation. For fiction writers, this realisation can inspire the revision of the manuscript. It can feel momentous, as though the change to the manuscript needs to be made, or the manuscript is flawed and needs to be […]