Amber Wilson, Tasmanian Writers’ Centre Communications Officer
26.05.15 5:05 pm
Aspiring authors aged 16 to 30 will soon be taking over the nooks and crannies of Hobart’s CBD, using their atmospheric surrounds to inspire potential literary gems.
The Inaugural Young Writers in Residence Program, run in partnership between the Tasmanian Writers’ Centre and the City of Hobart, is an opportunity for writers to explore different spaces in Hobart and compose an essay between 1500 to 5000 words in an observational or experimental writing style inspired by the space they choose.
Successful applicants can choose a space from the following and agree to spend at least two or three hours a day at the space over 14 days between mid-July to mid-August: Waterside Pavillion, Town Hall, Elizabeth Street Mall, Mathers House, Youth Arts and Recreation Centre, Aquatic Centre, Gallery Ten or Hadley’s Hotel.
Quotes from the writers’ work will be displayed on the “Soapbox” billboards in Mathers Place during and after the Tasmanian Writers and Readers Festival in September. The essays will also be available online and through social media, and each of the writers will be asked to read their work during September’s festival.
“Place is so important in informing a writer’s work, so writing from a place bustling with atmosphere, history and life would certainly be a valuable experience for any young writer,” Tasmanian Writers’ Centre director Chris Gallagher said.
“So we are so fortunate to live in a city like Hobart, which really does tick all of those boxes. This is a beautiful city with a burgeoning arts scene, making it a very exciting city for young writers.”
Entries for the program close June 15. For more information or to apply, visit http://www.tasmanianwriters.org
25.05.15 4:30 am
A D.I. Mahoney Mystery
by S J Brown
Brad Finch, star recruit of the Tassie Devils football team and bit of a chick magnet, has been found dead in a trench on a Kingston building site. The ensuing investigation, led by D. I. John Mahoney, turns over a lot of stones revealing some corrupt characters in different walks of life, each intent on protecting one another’s back.
As the blurb with the book says ... Something is very rotten in the state of Tasmania.
This will sound familiar ... D.I. Mahoney is an outsider in his hometown of Hobart. Disillusioned by his private life and shocked by the corruption he unearths, he queries his capacity to continue in the job.
He must decide if he has the courage to “speak truth to power.”
Along the way, S J Brown comments on (has a dig at) many aspects of Tasmanian life from the state of Hobart modern architecture to the corporatisation of sport.
He describes a footy function at the Elwick Racecourse:
“All and sundry were in attendance: all and sundry from the well-heeled end of town, that is. Without fail, various business owners, department heads from the public service and parliamentarians had accepted invitations to the gala event.
The middle-aged men and women who believed they exerted influence hovered together or simply threw their noses in the trough.
The Sports Minister looked as though he’d already enjoyed a long lunch before arriving for the 6pm function.
Aside from this group were the players, laughing and drinking with a bevy of local beauties ... Everyone wanted in on the act so any company associated with hospitality was donating product and services.
The whole Bacchanalian frenzy would not cost the club a cent ... Great deal for the club. Randall could not fault the acumen of Rory Fotheringham. He may have concerns about the man’s scruples but he sure knew how to get things done ... to people’s advantage. Principally his own, of course, but the flow-on effect to the club was beneficial.
In front of him the lurid face of modern sport was playing out. The prosperous identities who had already booked the corporate boxes for every home game this season. The second tier supporters who would pay through the nose to attend match day functions ... The media which helped fuel the frenzy of attention that came with local participation in the big league. The players with their lucrative contracts that ensured they needn’t be distracted by everyday jobs ... Living the dream.”
This well-paced thriller builds up the tension, even though the reader is not in the dark as to who is behind the murder.
The author has a sharp, interrogative look at how influence is wielded in a small city, where everyone seems to know everyone else and where that knowledge gives people power over the lives of others.
*William Smith is a retired former teacher ...
Karina Woolrich, Acorn Press
21.05.15 7:09 am
Stephen Than Myint Oo has been to prison, suffered torture and released without conviction. The shadow of his prison record followed him for years, even while studying theology. But his faith and a slowly emerging commitment to democracy and civil society were ignited by an experience of angels, which reinforced a mission plan he had as Archbishop of Myanmar for a tiny Anglican minority within a Buddhist country to take their place in the nation.
Alan Nichols captures the fortitude and determination of a quiet man, dedicated to his people throughout the country. Stephen lives through the pages as a man who ensures that his work and that of his church is for the benefit of all the people of the country. He is a true interfaith spirit, with a reach far beyond the numbers of the Church of the Province of Myanmar.
Chair, Australia Myanmar Institute, and Australian Ambassador to Burma/Myanmar 1986–89
Archbishop Stephen’s gentle, devout and wise leadership is a great example for the worldwide church. He’s a quiet hero.
Rev. Dr Paul Barker Church Missionary Society Australia theological teacher and mentor in Asia
Alan Nichols’ accessible, educative and easy-to-read book introduces readers to an authentic and moving example of Christ at work in Asia, in this case among the people of Myanmar, in the unique, devout figure of Stephen Than, both thinker and actor.
Rowan Callick, OBE Asia-Pacific Editor of The Australian newspaper
Australian Society of Authors
20.05.15 12:10 pm
19.05.15 8:17 pm
Book Launch Moonah Arts Centre
23-27 Albert Road, Moonah
6-8pm, 4 June
Featuring: Q & A with author Josie Young, Community Speakers, Family Friendly Entertainment, Irissa Tribal Belly Dance
and book sales
“I believe that refugees, asylum seekers and humanitarian entrants are in need of our support, our prayers, our compassion and friendship… they don’t need criticism and prejudice.
I urge you all to read “A Reason to Live” and to open your hearts to those in need of solace.”
Will Hodgman, Premier Vanessa Goodwin, Minister for the Arts
18.05.15 4:36 pm
Booker winner Richard Flanagan makes his acceptance speeh
The Tasmanian Liberal Government is a strong supporter of our creative industries, which continue to create more jobs in our state in a sector that is important to our ongoing economic growth.
Today the Premier Will Hodgman announced the judges for the 2015 Premier’s Literary Prizes.
Eminent historian and author Dr Hamish Maxwell-Stewart, whose book Closing Hell’s Gates (Allen & Unwin, 2008) won the Margaret Scott Prize in 2009, will chair the judging panels.
“The Premier’s Literary Prizes celebrate the richness of the Tasmanian literary sector and acknowledges the influence that Tasmania’s cultural, natural and social environment has on the work of writers,” Mr Hodgman said.
“The prizes provide recognition for both established and emerging Tasmanian writers, as well as acknowledging the increasing influence Tasmania has on authors from elsewhere around Australian and the world.”
Minister for the Arts Vanessa Goodwin said the Premier’s Literary Prizes would recognise Tasmania’s increasing literary influence.
“Tasmania continues to strengthen our reputation as a cultural and artistic hub and we are seeing this result in emerging art and literary talent flourishing,” Dr Goodwin said.
“Richard Flanagan’s Booker Prize victory last year shows that there is no limit to what Tasmanian authors can achieve. I hope that this year’s Premier’s Literary Prizes can help to set more Tasmanian authors on the path to national and international acknowledgement.”
On the panel judging the Tasmania Book Prize and the Margaret Scott Prize Dr Maxwell-Stewart will be joined by writer, critic and editor of Island, Matthew Lamb, and award-winning children’s author, Lian Tanner.
Tasmanian Writer’s Centre Director, Chris Gallagher and young-adult fiction author, Kate Gordon will complete the panel judging the University of Tasmania Prize.
The 2015 Premier’s Literary Prizes include:
• $25,000 Tasmania Book Prize - best book with Tasmanian content in any genre.
• $5,000 Margaret Scott Prize - best book by a Tasmanian writer.
• $5,000 University of Tasmania Prize - best unpublished literary work by an emerging Tasmanian writer.
• $5,000 Tasmanian Young Writer’s Fellowship - recognising a young Tasmanian writer aged 35 or under.
Entries for the Premier’s Literary Prizes will close this Friday, 22 May 2015.
Visit http://www.arts.tas.gov.au/plp for eligibility criteria and online nomination forms.
Amber Wilson, Tasmanian Writers’ Centre Communications Officer
13.05.15 12:14 pm
The Tasmanian Writers’ Centre is hosting what is sure to be an astounding evening with political commentary comic designer Pat Armstrong and award-winning graphic novelist Nicki Greenberg on June 6, 6pm-8pm.
The event, to be held at the Ten Days office in Murray Street, is in partnership with Her Majesty’s Favourite Really Great Graphical Festival. The avant-garde festival is now in its second year and is running across various venues including the former Mercury building foyer, Frankie’s Empire and the Homestead.
The lecture will form part of the annual PEN (“Poets, Essayists and Novelists”) brief in Australia – to help fight censorship. PEN is an international organisation that aims to celebrate literature and uphold freedom of expression. PEN International has just finished a week of back-to-back lectures in New York City, featuring Tasmanian Man Booker Prize winner Richard Flanagan. Richard spoke in conversation last Friday with American novelist Claire Messud about his novel, The Narrow Road to the Deep North and his father’s experiences in a Japanese POW camp.
Sydney’s Pat Armstrong is sure to draw strong crowds in his Hobart appearance – his story is fascinating. In early 2014, millionaire Graeme Wood pulled the funding to his experiment in Australian web-journalism, the Global Mail. The final piece that was published on the website was the extraordinary comic: At Work Inside Our Detention Centres: A Guard’s Story, a piece developed from a series of interviews with workers from Australian detention centres. Pat was the designer for the team, and one of the instigators of the story, which gained a Walkley nomination.
As part of the Hobart PEN lecture, Pat will be giving an insight into the process of producing an incredibly moving story in an unusual medium, as well as some of the difficulties experienced in journalism in dealing with stories about detention.
Pat will be joined on the night by award-winning Nicki Greenberg from Melbourne, who has written and illustrated a raft of children’s books as well as two well-loved graphic novels published by Allen & Unwin - The Great Gatsby, and Hamlet, which is described as an “imaginative and lavish” 425-page adaptation of Shakespeare’s play. Nicki will talk about the arduous process of adapting Hamlet to the page.
Ticket costs are $15/$10 and include a $5 donation to PEN. Tickets are available via Eventbrite here: http://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/pen-lecture-an-evening-with-graphic-artists-nicki-greenberg-and-pat-armstrong-tickets-16931281920
Scott Eathorne Quikmark Media
11.05.15 3:48 pm
Nathan Goodman has been married to Sylvia Gold for 35 years. They have two adult children in a seemingly happy marriage… until Sylvia asks for a divorce to continue her affair with a younger man. Switch is a tantalising read that explores the murky depths of long term relationships. FICTION, RRP $24.95
THE EDEN EFFECT
Bearing the scars of a traumatic childhood experience, Martin Brophy has shielded himself from the media, believing overexposure to the news does people more harm than good. He joins forces with a disgraced former accountant to set up a social experiment to test Martin’s hypothesis, known as The Eden Effect. Its ramifications soon reverberate around the world and put the men against the might of global media, with devastating results. THRILLER, RRP $24.95
Whilst living abroad, Dr Andrew Marshall’s colleague and mentor has found a cure for a deadly form of brain cancer, putting the hospital on the world map. But after returning to work in Melbourne, Andrew discovers anomalies in some of the patients’ medical records, and becomes concerned that his mentor’s actions may have been unethical and illegal. Andrew finds himself compelled to search for the truth, even if the consequences could be disastrous for the department and ruin his mentor. THRILLER, RRP $24.95
All three releases will be available in July 2015. Melbourne-based author David Finchley. He was born in 1946 in post war Germany and moved to Australia with his family at the age of ten. After completing school, he studied Medicine at Melbourne University, going on to specialise in Neurology, which he continues to practice today. Having been able to reduce his workload, he now has the time to pursue his long-held desire to write.
09.05.15 6:33 am
I recently spoke to Adrian Franklin about his book ‘The Making of Mona’.
The name Adrian derives from ‘adria/ adur’ meaning water and so it is that ‘Hadria’ a northern Italian city gives the Adriatic Sea its name. Franklin means ‘free man’. These name derivatives would seem to fit perfectly for Adrian Franklin the author of ‘The Making of MONA’ a new book which documents Tasmania’s world class museum and art gallery that is known for its fluidity and freeness.
Adrian tells me he was at the University of Bristol in 2004 when he fell in love with Tasmania although before coming to Tassie all he knew was that it was once the home of the Tasmanian tiger coincidentally he was a collector of Australian tea cards, which he thought ‘intriguing’ and ‘strange’. Perhaps these two words might describe the various reactions to MONA itself.
At the University of Bristol there was established a world class fly fishing team of which Adrian was a member. The fly fishing team visited the highlands of Tasmania for the world championship and knowing Adrian’s love of nature recommended Tasmania to him and even though he didn’t always believe their tall tales of trout fishing he did believe their stories recommending Tasmania.
The decision to move to Tasmania came about when Bristol became ‘increasingly crazy’ and ‘crowded’ due to Lords of London relocating there. Both Adrian and his wife agreed that each would apply for jobs in different locations and whoever was successful first was there they would move. It happened that with the encouragement of his fly fishing friends Adrian applied to Tasmania and was successful in securing employment working in the sociology department of the University of Tasmania. Naturally a sociology lecturer would gravitate toward the social phenomena that is MONA.
Adrian says MONA does not have a predominantly art buying visitorship and that there is a gender bias in that women seem to like the MONA experience more than males. They find a positive atmosphere and are impressed by the museum’s architecture.
On that point of MONA being a museum/art gallery, Adrian says owner David Walsh prefers to see MONA as a theatre rather than an art gallery, creating an active and interactive experience.
Other factors that appeal to people about MONA is the setup which allows visitors to roam around alone and reach their own conclusions about the exhibits. Silence is not a pre-requisite of admittance and mingling and chatting is encouraged. People are not told what or how to think and the bar is something that adds to this relaxing atmosphere. Elizabeth Pierce who does the commentary is not an art expert but an ordinary questioning member of the public.
MONA is very different from the conventional ‘white cube’ art gallery that aims to remove any possible distraction to the art and expects reverence.
Mona is however, irreverent in that instead of worshipping the art, viewers can express their opinion about a piece whether it be positive or negative.
Among the most popular exhibits are the ‘Bit Fall’ where rain falls forming words. Another major drawcard is of course ‘Cloaca’.
Adrian says he especially likes the exhibition that shows how other societies such as the Egyptian treat the departed. Rather than a very mechanical, industrial process people are bejewelled and adorned.
Adrian believes MONA answers a deep set need in us to face the dark side, the things we have been told are not talked about in polite society and cites the case of his own father who as a boy of 19 was flying Lancaster’s but knew very little about real life. MONA tells us we need not be guilty or ashamed of the unspoken and it’s okay to address these issues, in the case of MONA, a very public arena.
Adrian finds that those who may be more educated seem to find it necessary to be critical while the less educated are more positive of the MONA experience.
The acid test of MONA is that people in general stay up to three hours at a time and visit the gallery more than once. When art galleries in general are failing their once intended audience. That is art galleries were intended to provide access to art for those that lacked the means to purchase their own art. Theatres like Mona are answering the need to make art accessible for all.
The Making of MONA is out now published by Penguin.
Scott Eathorne Quikmark Media
05.05.15 6:31 pm
The Horses (Transit Lounge $29.95)
On the outskirts of Sydney, a boys’ boarding school prides itself on the horses it keeps. David, a gifted working class student, receives a scholarship to attend. At the same time Gregory, a new master, is appointed. Both soon learn, from their different perspectives, that what is said bears little relation to what is done. The school isolates itself from the outside world and over the course of several months of rain, the atmosphere inside the school becomes increasingly lawless and violent. School buildings slip away in floods. Underlying differences between various parties in the school turn into open conflicts, and the school community begins breaking up. These tensions are focussed in the conflict between two masters, Val and Mr C. These two men loathe one another, and both recruit boys in the war of ideas they are waging.
The Horses seems unique in Australian literature, exploring with great subtlety the complex way in which class can perpetuate itself through the education of its children. Reminiscent of J. G. Ballard’s High Rise, set in an apartment complex designed to isolate its residents from the outside world, and Patrick White’s writing in its satirical impulse leavened by compassion for the individual, Lane’s new novel is never anything less than startlingly fresh and original.
05.05.15 10:30 am
June 13-14 at the Moonah Arts Centre
Eros: crafting eroticism and romance is a two day writing workshop featuring Australia’s top writer of erotica Krissy Kneen and international bestselling romance writer, Melanie Milburne.
Even Richard Flanagan, one of Tasmania’s best known literary exports, was nominated for the annual Bad Sex Writing Award – and workshop organiser, Rachel Edwards decided it was time to address the way we write sex and love.
She said “good sex and good romance is as exhilarating - and as elusive in fiction as it is in real life – we know both things are attainable, the challenge is to make it real, engaging and ultimately satisfying for all parties involved.”
To that end, she has invited award winning novelist Krissy Kneen and Melanie Milburne, whose romance novels for Mills and Boon have sold in huge quantities to conduct the workshops on June 13 and 14 at the Moonah Arts Centre.
Krissy Kneen is the award winning author of Steeplechase, Triptych, an erotic adventure and the Thomas Shapcott Award winning poetry collection Eating My Grandmother. Her most recent novel, The Adventures of Holly White and the Incredible Sex Machine, has just been published.
Melanie Milburne is an award winning, best selling, USA TODAY author of sixty-four romance novels with Harlequin Mills and Boon. In 2011 she won the prestigious Romance Writers of Australia Romantic Book of the Year. She has been a two-time finalist in the Bookseller Best Award and received an Award of Merit in The Holt Medallion.
The two day workshop will cover a range of subjects within the genres of sex and romance, including how to write non cliché’d sex scenes, how to craft believable characters, how to write a best selling romance, how to find your unique erotic voice and tips for self editing.
The price of $245 also includes delicious food, with an aphrodisiac theme.
The event is a wonderful opportunity for writers in Tasmania to hone their craft in these two popular areas of writing.
Tickets are available here - http://www.eventbrite.com/e/eros-crafting-eroticism-and-romance-writing-workshop-tickets-16710017111
05.05.15 9:36 am
04.05.15 6:14 am
The very first page of A Short history of Richard Kline contains the words that describe his life up to middle age: boredom, discontent, detachment, depression, disappointment.
A sense of something lacking in his life shadows him from childhood. Life is never quite good enough and from early manhood, Richard has weeks of feeling “oppressed by the sheer ordinariness of life” … times when it is an effort to just get out of bed in the morning.
Things fail to live up to expectations. When sent by his firm on a team-building exercise in the Blue Mountains, he takes part in abseiling but realises half-way down the descent that, not only does he feel no fear, but he is bored with the whole exercise.
Troubled by his reaction, he returns later to the rock platform and thinks “how easy it would be to jump.”
Soon afterwards, he does jump, figuratively, into a new job, a new country, moving to London and a new girlfriend.
New experiences stop him being bored, for a while, but after a few years he is wondering what is the point of it all. After one of the dreams that play an important place for him, longing for home, he hears his brother has a brain tumour and he flies home immediately.
Gareth dies but at his funeral, Richard is very detached from his family, observing his parents’ grief from a distance.
When he tells his cousin that he has never cried, even as a boy, she advises him to seek professional help. By now, he is “ increasingly … unwilling, or unable, to communicate.” He has become “almost catatonically unable to speak to anyone much about anything” but talking to Sarah does stop him from “drifting heedlessly over the edge.”
He marries Zoe because she is the “sanest person he has ever met” and when they have a son, he is the only person Richard loves more than himself and finds a reason for getting out of bed in the morning.
But this feeling of equanimity doesn’t last. The recession hits and Richard is under a lot of pressure at work. He is 42 and feels as though he has hit a brick wall. His brooding turns to smouldering aggression, which bursts out at times in violent acts against strangers.
As happens often in life, at his lowest ebb, his life turns a corner. He attends a meeting, on a bit of a whim. The hall has become a temple for the purpose of the meeting, presaged in the first line of the novel. “until I met her, I confess that for most of my life I was bored.” “She” is Sri Mata, a spiritual teacher from India, a Hindu saint and in her presence, he cries uncontrollably for the first time in his life.
Gradually, in meditation, his defences are broken down and he begins to experience a real joy in life, an appreciation of the little moments like posting a letter. He becomes more caring about his relationships, less judgmental about other people.
Amanda Lohrey expresses all of this ... Richard Kline’s internalising does not always make him a sympathetic character, but there is much to identify with.
His journey is a very familiar one to many. That search for meaning that drives us on; the feeling that there must be something more to life than this. It’s a timeless journey with the modern panaceas of anti-depressants, psychotherapists encountered along the way ...
*William Smith is a retired former teacher
30.04.15 6:55 am
Kate Grenville will be in Tasmania to talk about her book ‘One Life My Mother’s Story’.
You can see Kate on the following dates ...
Thursday 7th May, 5:30pm, Fullers Bookshop Hobart, 131 Collins St
Friday 8th May, 5:30pm, upstairs at Volume 2 Bookshop, 93 St John Street, Launceston
Ph: 03 6334 8499 for bookings
28.04.15 8:40 am
Meredith Appleyard hasn’t been to Tasmania- yet! However, she and a friend have talked about a mini book tour next year. Ever since she can recall Meredith has loved and wanted to write books and has taken part in sometime Tassie resident and author Fiona McIntosh’s writing master classes.
We are chatting about Meredith’s book ‘The Country Practice’ which draws from Meredith’s career in medicine as a nurse/midwife. Meredith lives in South Australia but has worked overseas in London and Vietnam and in the outback in a variety of situations including working for the Flying Doctors. Even with her medical career Meredith always wanted to write and after some time as a journalist embarked on a writing career where she was able to use her extensive experience in a rural environment. Her first novel ‘The Country Practice’ employs a realistic background in its telling of the story of a young medico fresh from London attempting to find her niche when she takes on a temporary position as the sole doctor in a rural practice at Maple Creek.
The novel sees Meghan land on her feet having to navigate a medical emergency even before officially beginning work, with little time to get settled.
The novel is peppered with interesting medical terms that may send you looking for a dictionary such as ‘Glasgow coma’..
Although the novel does contain the ingredient of romance it also addresses some important issues or as Meredith puts it the’ complexities’ of working in a country practice. Meredith explains that if a rural practice is without a GP it impacts on the town as lack of a doctor means they lose out in other developments as well.
Meredith also looks at the social life of GPs living in a small town where many of those you interact with socially may be your patients such as Meghan’s relationship with patient and local resident with a troubled past, Sean Ashby
With her protagonist leaving Maple Creek to explore some other small town possibilities at the end of the novel Meredith says her next book will focus on different characters with feedback seeing readers interest in the story of another popular couple in the book but we will still see Meghan Kimble walk through the pages in a cameo. Meredith says there will be further adventures at Maple Creek to look forward to.
‘The Country Practice’ by Meredith Appleyard is out now published by Penguin.
27.04.15 8:46 am
When I called Lee Kernaghan recently for a chat about his new autobiography he mentions his respect for ANZAC hero, Tassie’s own Teddy Sheean, for whom there is a song on his album ‘Spirit of the ANZACS’. This is Lee, always giving others their due and just like his dad always told him, to ‘beware of your own publicity and don’t get a swell head!’
The Kernaghan name means ‘victorious’ and Lee ‘pasture’ or ‘meadow’ appropriate monikers indeed for a musician and man who has kept close to his origin on the land but at the same time has achieved victory in practically everything he has put his talents to.
Although it is the release of Lee’s autobiography that we are scheduled to speak of it would be amiss not to mention it is the second week his album ‘Spirit of the Anzacs’ has remained number one on the charts. An autographed deluxe edition was presented to Prince Harry, a fact of which Lee is very proud, to Lee it is very important and right the ANZACS be honoured.
The fact that the genesis of the album came to Lee on reading the Anzac letters of the diggers landing at Gallipoli demonstrates a pattern in Lee’s creative process. For one, he’s a great reader, that extends from the classics to modern literature although there is a special affinity with those great Australian writers Henry Lawson and Banjo Patterson, particularly the former. It’s this extensive reading that sparks Lee’s creative ideas in writing music.
Lee started reading Lawson and Patterson when he was at a crossroad in his career, musically, successful but not yet finding his niche. When he was encouraged to explore these great storytellers, he discovered these were his own people and they told the stories he wanted to tell and so was born ‘Boys from the Bush’. If prompted Lee will admit this song which started it all has special meaning for him.
It was always going to be music for Lee and as he tells me he only wore a tie for four months! When he dabbled in a career in real estate.
Lee had always had a special relationship with Tasmania, every time he’s toured he’s had sell out shows in Hobart and Launceston and of course that relationship has solidified more with Lee personally choosing the Tasmania’s own Wolf Brothers to tour with him and be his band, after seeing them compete in Australia’s Got Talent. Lee calls the Wolfe Brothers one of the greatest bands on the planet!
The Nashville’s song writing process which so many artists pursue doesn’t have any attraction for Lee, he finds the brief case, nine to five regime too clinical and prefers to sit in a shack that he so beautifully puts it in his novel ‘holds the DNA of its former occupants (true country people) in a rickety old chair.’ Writing in places like this brings out Lee’s true creativity.
Lee himself has definitely found his niche and one could say what need has Lee for a real estate career when he is king of all of Australian country.
Lee’s book ‘Boy from the Bush’ is out now as is his CD ‘Spirit of the Anzacs’.
24.04.15 7:21 am
If ANZAC John Charles Barrie was called Peter Pan, the boy who never grew up, by his grandmother then his granddaughter Judy Osborne might be a Tinkerbell in creating magic by bringing his book, written in 1930, down from its fairy dusted shelf to publication, especially in this the centenary anniversary of the Gallipoli landing. It’s ironic too that John Charles Barrie was related to the English author James M. Barrie from whom he may have inherited his writing talent. This is not where the allusions to the novel Peter Pan end, with parallels that might be drawn with the novel’s characters of the lost boys, who fell out of their prams and went to Neverland. It doesn’t take much imagination to make the connection with the young men who went to the Neverland of war.
I had the pleasure of speaking with Judy Osborne recently about her grandad John Charles Barrie who as well as being an ANZAC was a fine horseman, famer, builder of model ships and author. Judith who has visited Tasmania several time, as recently as spending two weeks in Launceston about 14 months ago, notes the further Tasmanian connection with her grandad’s family emigrating to Tasmania from Scotland before settling in Victoria.
Judy’s grandad passed away a year before she was born but she seemed destined to get to know him in the process of bringing to life his book, which befitting a modern day Tinkerbell has a fairy tale history of how it came to be published. The book was put on the shelf by her grandad, then in her grandmother safe keeping until it passed to her mother and 26 years ago the book came into Judy’s hands, since then it’s travelled through the family to their common pride.
The unique thing about the book says Judith, is that it is probably the only Anzac memoir written completely by a soldier who was on the frontline.
From very early on John Charles Barrie was keen to do two things ‘to be a soldier and a farmer’ two careers his Mum didn’t want for him, so she encouraged him to take on a bank clerk position which in no way deterred him and he went on to do five years of training and becoming an officer before he joined the 8th battalion that left Australia from Port Melbourne on the HMS Benalla. They joined the New Zealand ships in Albany and sailed off together for additional training before landing at Gallipoli.
Given that Barrie was a fine soldier Judy also highlights some of her grandad’s adventures that further establishes the link of adventurous spirit between him and the other Barrie’s fictional hero. In one such situation when he was unfit for service and was placed in a Weymouth depot as a machine gun instructor. Judy quotes from the book:
“He was so good at this job that he inadvertently rendered himself indispensable. His commanding officer would not let him leave, even after he was declared fit. He desperately wanted to get back to his battalion on the front line. Eventually he went AWOL, not to get away from the war, but to get back to it. With the aid of an accomplice in the London office, and using very unorthodox means, and a great deal of stealth, he stowed away on two trains and a ship, and finally got back to his battalion”
Judy says ‘despite all of its ‘horrors’ it was largely in the trenches of the first world war that our peculiar but beautiful Aussie humour was conceived.’
Some of those horrors are reflected in the following passage by Barrie on page 48 of the book.
‘When a shell burst a few feet from us, and I felt a blow like a sledge hammer on my left shoulder and another on my right leg, and I toppled over. I tried to pick myself up, but my left arm was broken and crumpled up under me, and I flopped again. I managed to sit up and found Captain Sergeant sitting up also. I asked him if he were hit. He smiled and said,
“Yes, but it’s nothing,” and fell back dead.’
On a lighter note ,Judy’s grandad also demonstrated some ingenuity such as his solution to the loud parties that went on next door to him at Weymouth where ‘a young officer’ ‘partying every night until 2 or 3am with a gramophone blaring and keeping everybody awake’
‘he went on to acquire an acetylene gas generator a length of rubber hose and a brace and bit, drilled a hole in the wall between the two rooms poked the hose through attached the other end to the gas generator and shoved the generator under the bed. grandpa went to bed that night and waited for the party to start when it was in full swing he turned on the gas and let them have it causing an uproar in the next room and a stampede out of there he allowed them to check his room where they found nothing except him in his pyjamas!’
Judy says: “Grandpa was very proud that he had the distinction of being the first officer in the British army to conduct a gas attack.”
After the war Barrie fulfilled his other ambition of being a farmer buying a soldiers settlement and was also made an honorary colonel.
Judy adds that her Grandad’s book is not a glorification of war and she says ‘I do wish we could live in a world without war’.
At the same time says Judy ‘we should not ignore and must not forget the sacrifices that our forefathers and others made’
‘and we must not forget those lost boys that found themselves in the Neverland of war and like Peter Pan never had the chance to grow up.
Memoirs of an ANZAC by John Charles Barrie is out now published by Scribe Publishing.
21.04.15 3:17 pm
John Smith’s new book, Beyond the Myth of Self Esteem, was launched last Thursday night in Melbourne by the host of ABC local radio’s Sunday Nights program, John Cleary.
John Smith, who founded the Christian motor cycle group God’s Squad, addresses a number of myths about self-esteem currently in Australian society.
He attacks head on the ‘You must feel good look good myth.’ He writes that ‘a feel good manoeuvre is deluding ourselves and others into believing that we are competent in virtually every situation we encounter, quashing feelings of inferiority or embarrassment.’ He suggests, that it’s only when we own our lack of knowledge or experience that we open the door to gaining the very skills and qualities we’d like to have.’
Launching the book John Cleary said he hoped that many people would benefit from what John Smith had written and the book was utterly consistent with his passionate commitment to tackle the hard issues facing Australian society.
Eureka Street magazine writes that Beyond the Myth of Self Esteem ‘contends, with considerable ethical heft, that we ignore the pain or needs of others, the better to get off on our own gloriousness.’
kKarina Woolrich, Acorn Press
21.04.15 8:25 am
Acorn Press Limited – http://www.acornpress.net.au
New Book Information
Title: Standing on Their Shoulders: Heroes of the Faith
Author: Rhys Bezzant
Edition: 1st edition
Formats: paperback and eBook
Publication date: 16 May 2015
Launch details: Brisbane
RRP: $19.95 (paperback)
$7.99 (eBook; will vary depending on retailer)
Acorn website quick link:
Being a Christian means being part of a bigger story, for God has worked in the course of history
to make a people for himself. There is great joy in being part of this story, because we are spared
the anxiety of creating ourselves out of nothing. Rather than going it alone, we stand on the
shoulders of those before us in the faith, and consequently see further.
The studies in this book tell the stories of twelve great heroes of the faith from the last two
thousand years of history. Sometimes their strengths drove their story, sometimes their
weaknesses, but their lives left others profoundly changed. From each of these flawed but
faithful mentors, we can draw courage and receive spiritual nurture as we contend for the faith
Rhys Bezzant grew up and studied in Melbourne, with significant periods of research in
Germany and the United States. He has worked for the Australian Fellowship of Evangelical
Students, served as an Anglican minister and counts it as his chief blessing to be a talent scout
for future ministers of the gospel. On faculty at Ridley College since 2004, Rhys teaches Church
History, Theology and Christian Worship and directs the Jonathan Edwards Center Australia. He
is serious about drinking coffee, mentoring and travel, and he enjoys walks with his Staffordshire
‘This lively and accessible book tells the stories of twelve people whom God used – flaws and all
– to build his kingdom. It is a rich resource for individuals and small groups seeking to
understand and learn from church history.’ - Joanna Cruickshank, Senior Lecturer in History, Deakin University
‘Dr Bezzant has written a remarkable work that brings to life the great heroes of our faith. From
the resilience of Athanasius of Alexandria to the passion of Billy Graham, Standing on Their
Shoulders is a treasury of wisdom, inspiration and transforming grace.’ - Guy Mason, Lead Pastor, City on a Hill
‘This short volume introduces us to some of the most important dramatis personae in Christian
history and neatly crystallises their impact on the church, its people and its doctrines. The astute
pastoral insights found throughout this book make it a valuable resource for all readers.’ - Tim Patrick, Principal, Bible College SA
20.04.15 5:00 am
This book must go into the Guiness Book of Records as the first book published at the age of 95.
It is a rollicking good yarn which imagines over 7000 boys, waifs, strays, vagabonds and petty thieves hoovered up from the slums of Britain and after many months at sea confined in cramped and overcrowded quarters, deposited at Point Puer opposite the dreaded convict settlement of Port Arthur.
Of these 7000 boys only three ever escaped.
Marjorie Davey’s novel ‘Never to Return’ tells the ficitional story of one of those escapees.
He meets up with another escapee, a young Aboriginal boy who helps him survive. Encounters with settlers and bushrangers follow.
This book is in the best tradition of Richard Flanagan and I am sure Steven Speilberg will soon come knocking on Marjorie’s door.
I loved this book and am pretty sure you will too ...
The Media Release ...
HOBART, Australia – Author Marjorie Mcardell Davey has recently released “Never to Return” (published by Xlibris AU), a novel that recreates the drama, hardship and intrigue of one of Australia’s most fascinating and perhaps terrifying historical sites – Point Puer Boys’ Prison.
Much has been written about the main adult penal settlement at Port Arthur in Tasmania, but “Point Puer” is described as “the first reformatory built exclusively for juvenile male convicts in the British Empire. Three thousand boys, some as young as nine years old, were sentenced to this prison between 1834 and 1849.” When Davey visited Point Puer several years ago, she wondered what happened to the three teenage boys who were the only ones who successfully escaped what had been the remotest penal colony in the world at that time.
In her debut novel, “Never to Return,” Davey imagines the incredible journey of one of those boys, as he braves the rugged Tasmanian bush. A friendship develops between two characters that may not have occurred under ordinary circumstances. It is a tale of high adventure, extreme survival, unlikely friendships and the strong desire for freedom. She masterfully blends history and fiction to recreate an incredible survivor story set against a notorious episode in Australia’s history.
Scott Eathorne Quikmark Media
16.04.15 6:33 am
The first contemporary thriller from Echo Publishing, Something is Rotten, a suspenseful morality tale.
When budding writer Brent Taylor dies a horrific death in the Auckland University Library, his friend, sex worker Jade Amaro, refuses to believe it is suicide. She seeks help from Sam Hallberg, a former government advisor on terrorism, now working as a mechanic.
As Sam reluctantly agrees to look into the death, a hunt for a lost manuscript leads him ever deeper into a complex case of corruption and deceit. Meanwhile, Sam’s friend, brilliant business journalist Lynette Church, embarks on an investigation of dirty political dealings with major global implications, and with ties to the Iraq War. It soon becomes clear that something is indeed very rotten…
Beginning in New Zealand, then winding its way around the globe, this clear-sighted and tense thriller will have you on the edge of your seat. The first crime fiction release from Echo Publishing, Something is Rotten is a superbly written morality tale with Shakespearean twists and turns. The book is authored by Adam Sarafis, the creation of Auckland-based authors Linda Olsson and Thomas Sainsbury.
Susan Hornbeck, Associate Publisher, Griffith REVIEW
16.04.15 5:35 am
Edited by JULIANNE SCHULTZ & PETER COCHRANE
Edition 48 • APRIL 2015 • RRP $27.99 / NZ $35.00
Anniversaries can be more than occasions for remembrance; they may transform our understanding of what is being commemorated. -Tim Bonyhady, from Enduring Legacies
2015 is a seminal year in Australian history, marking the centenary of the Gallipoli offensive, the seventieth anniversary of the end of the Second World War in the Pacific, and the fortieth anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War.
Political agendas require a national story that is simple, fixed and inviolable. In the next four years, more than $300 million will be spent on commemorating the Centenary of Anzac . . . but the increasingly politicised nature of commemorative ceremonies raises significant questions about the mythologised treatment of warfare. Modern Australia is a product of the great wars of last century. They transformed the society in ways we don’t often recognise.
We need to move away from celebration and commemoration of the Anzac legend. We need to reflect, not only on the actions of those wars, but on their consequences and enduring legacies. Long after the triumph and tragedy of the battlefield subsides, there persists the enduring human, political, economic and military costs of war. The battles are important, but the lessons to be learnt in their aftermath need to be interrogated to explain how we got to where we are.
Griffith Review: Enduring Legacies draws together distinguished soldiers, military historians, academics and popular writers to challenge myths and explore the multifaceted legacies of the wars of the twentieth century, providing new insights, graphic portraits and telling analysis of their consequences.
The legacies of Anzac story-making, whether praising Australian virtues or highlight in loss and sacrifice, are in many respects efforts to render meaningful the unfathomable pain and anguish experienced by generations of Australians as a consequence of war. - Stephen Garton, from Enduring Legacies
Contributors include John Clarke, Clare Wright, Tim Rowse, Jenny Hocking, Peter Cochrane, Tim Bonyhady, Peter Stanley, Frank Bongiorno, Joy Damousi, Cory Taylor, Jim Davidson, Barry Hill, Marina Larsson, Rosetta Allan, Gerhard Fischer, Laura Jan Shore, Ben Stubbs, Gerard Windsor, Ross McMullin, Jill Brown, David Walker, Jeannine Baker, Craig Cliff, Paul Ham, Meredith McKinney, David McKnight, Tom Bamforth, Stephen Garton, David Carlin, James Brown, Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Christopher Pugsley and Greg Lockhart.
Stephen Kinzer, New York Times
14.04.15 8:15 pm
Gunter Grass, once Patron to Future Perfect, Tasmanian-artists-in-protest at Ten Days on the Island a decade ago, has died.
14.04.15 8:12 pm
Best known for his 1971 book Open Veins of Latin America, the Uruguayan writer and journalist was one of the region’s noted anti-capitalist voices
08.04.15 1:28 pm
The Hobart Bookshop is pleased to invite you to the launch of Andy Jackson’s new collection, Immune Systems.
Join us for an evening which will include the launch as well as readings from Andrew Bourke and Jane Williams.
In Immune Systems Andy Jackson captures and interrogates the complexity of contemporary India with lyric beauty and an unflinching, yet tender, gaze. In the title suite of poems he explores ‘medical tourism’ − a booming industry in India − from the perspective of a Westerner undergoing surgery and recovery. Through various medical and social interactions, he experiences confusion, insight, anger, small epiphanies and the sheer humanity of other bodies. Political and economic problems inherent in the medical tourism inform the poetry, but the focus is always the human encounter. Similarly in a series of ghazals, Jackson reveals how the metaphysical is embodied in the everyday. The larger questions of love, death, body and spirit live in the seemingly ordinary, while the beautifully cadenced verse is grounded by an assured conversational tone. Immune Systems is a thought-provoking and poignant expansion of his poetic craft and themes.
Where: The Hobart Bookshop, 22 Salamanca Square
When: 5.30pm Wednesday April 22nd
Free event, all welcome.
The Hobart Bookshop
22 Salamanca Square
Hobart Tasmania 7000
ph 03 6223 1803 | fax 03 6223 1804
07.04.15 3:21 pm
The Hobart Bookshop is pleased to forward you the following invitation.
Event: Writers’ Retreat with Maggie MacKellar
Brockley Estate Heritage Homestead, May 22-25
Me Time Experiences invites you to spend four days with writer Maggie MacKellar at the Brockley Estate Heritage Homestead developing your writing and receiving feedback from Maggie.
The retreat price ($1499 per person) includes all meals, three nights’ accommodation at Brockley Estate, return transfers from Hobart to the Estate, and the small-group writing sessions.
The Hobart Bookshop
22 Salamanca Square
Hobart Tasmania 7000
ph 03 6223 1803 | fax 03 6223 1804
Scott Eathorne Quikmark Media
07.04.15 12:51 pm
‘Energetic and ruthless. Kinsella’s writing is stunningly good’ Australian Book Review
Winner of the Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Poetry and shortlisted in the Steele Rudd Prize for a collection of short fiction, John Kinsella returns with Crow’s Breath (Transit Lounge, 1 May 2015), a not-to-be-missed addition to the canon of one of Australia’s most original and incisive writers.
A man who never sleeps takes a cross-continent train journey into landscape and memory. A gregarious woman and a reclusive man move to an Irish village where history and tradition (the famine pit nearby, the festival of Halloween) enact their dark forces. In an Australian town dying from the encroachment of salinity, a young girl attempts to bring life to a dead dog. Whether documenting love or horror, or finding quotidian absurdities in Australia or the world , the powerful stories in Crow’s Breath capture the precariousness of everything we most value with unsettling tenderness and beauty.
John Kinsella’s most recent volumes of poetry are The Vision of Error: A Sextet of Activist Poems (Five Islands Press, 2013) and Sack (Fremantle Press and Picador, UK 2014). His collection, Jam Tree Gully (WW Norton, 2012), won the 2013 Prime Minister’s Prize for Poetry. His volume of stories In the Shade of the Shady Tree (Ohio University Press, 2012) was shortlisted for the Steele Rudd Award. Tide, a collection
of stories, was published by Transit Lounge in 2013. He is a Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge University, a Professorial Research Fellow at the University of Western Australia, and Professor of Sustainability and Literature at Curtin University. For a review copy or to speak with John please contact me.
38 Warrs Avenue
Preston South, VIC 3072
Australian Society of Authors
03.04.15 8:09 am
Competition Policy Review attacks Australian authors
31.03.15 11:11 am
• The Hobart Bookshop is pleased to invite you to the launch of John Tully’s new novel, Robbed of Every Blessing.
Join us as Tim Thorne launches the book, which will be available for sale and signing.
Ireland, early 1800s. The Napoleonic Wars have ended, leaving an already disjointed country in peril. Maurice O’Dwyer, a young Irishman, considers the lifeless body of an English tithe-collector slain under a rain-filled sky. From that moment it seems his fate is sealed: he and his young simpleton brother, Padraig, are exiled to Australia, An Astrail, to the convict-filled island of Van Diemen’s Land - leaving behind his love, his land, and his liberty. However, in the bush Maurice discovers that there are allies in the most unlikely of places.
When: Wednesday April 15th, 5.30pm
Where: The Hobart Bookshop
• The Hobart Bookshop is pleased to invite you to help us celebrate the release of David Day’s new book, Paul Keating: The Biography.
Join us in the shop for the event and to meet David Day; books available for sale and signing.
In the tradition of his bestselling Curtin and Chifley comes David Day’s exhaustive biography of one of our most fascinating prime ministers. Paul Keating was one of the most significant political figures of the late twentieth century, firstly as treasurer for eight years and then Prime Minister for five years. Although he has spent all of his adult life in the public eye, Keating has eschewed the idea of publishing his memoirs and has discouraged biographers from writing about his life. Undaunted, best-selling biographer David Day has taken on the task of giving Keating the biography that he deserves. Based on extensive research in libraries and archives, interviews with Keating’s former colleagues and associates, and walking the tracks of Keating’s life, Day has painted the first complete portrait of Paul Keating, covering both the public and private man.
When: Thursday April 16th, 5.30pm
Where: The Hobart Bookshop
Free event, all welcome.
The Hobart Bookshop
22 Salamanca Square
Hobart Tasmania 7000
ph 03 6223 1803 | fax 03 6223 1804
Kate Harrison, Island Marketing
28.03.15 6:08 am
The first David Ireland novel in 18 years will be serialised by Island magazine, it was announced today.
The novel, titled The World Repair Video Game, will be published in five instalments, beginning with the next issue of Island magazine (#140), available from March 30.
Bemused by the renewed interest in his work, following the reissuing of some of his previous novels in the Text Classics series, David Ireland said: ‘This is the first time any of my novels has been serialised. I’m greatly looking forward to having a copy in my hands and seeing how it looks. Serialising is such a great tradition. I’m in good company, thanks to Island magazine.’
‘Fortunately, it is a novel that benefits from reading slowly,’ said Island editor, Matthew Lamb, ‘with time to recover and ponder between each instalment, and with the opportunity to re-read before moving on to the next. It helps that Ireland’s novel is not plot-driven, but is animated rather by the interplay of ideas and character.’
The World Repair Video Game
Geordie Williamson, Island’s fiction editor, introducing the novel in an article in Saturday’s Weekend Australian, states: ‘Like The Chantic Bird, his 1968 debut, [The World Repair Video Game] tells the story of an outsider who constructs a personal philosophy that runs at widdershins to ‘ordinary’ society and then lives by it, making him either a madman or the clear-eyed ruler of a sovereign state. But where that first novel was charged with a young man’s energy, a punkish joie de vivre, this new work is characterised by the calm and quiet maturity of its narrator.’
In his column in the Weekend Australian, Stephen Romei, writes: ‘As someone who has read a bit of the author’s unpublished work, I’d classify The World Repair Video Game as classic late-Ireland: obsessive, creepy, philosophical, funny. It’s important to remember, reading any of Ireland’s novels, that he is a great satirist. The story is told in diary form by middle-aged Kennard Stirling, a family black sheep, an outsider, who lives on a bush block with his dog and who, you sense from the outset, is up to something awful, and not for the first time.’
Williamson adds: ‘Once again, Ireland has imagined an anti-hero appropriate to our times. Kennard is a deep ecologist in the sense that he does not place humans (or, at least, all humans) at the heart of calculations about the proper use and value of nature. Indeed, those who have previously criticised the author for the determined coarseness of his language will be stilled by the exquisite prose Kennard is granted to describe his private Eden. He relays an unfeigned love of animals and trees that stands quite apart from his pessimistic beliefs regarding the probable future of our race.’
This announcement comes on the back of several other announcements at Island magazine over the past month, and it is very much the culmination of these changes at the magazine that the David Ireland project is being introduced.
Earlier this year, it was announced that Island would be going print-only, with no online content or digital edition, but with a website and social media focused on providing subscriptions to the print issues. This was accompanied by a 200% increase in the print-run, and a more widely established national distribution.
This idea of establishing Island as a print artefact coincides with the announcement that Island had forged a literary partnership with David Walsh and the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA).
In an introductory note to the next issue of Island - due out next week - Walsh writes: ‘my lust for literature, and my lust for collecting, has led me to seek a trophy journal.’ Lamb and Walsh see the partnership as essentially using MONA as a framing device to help put Island magazine – as a print artefact – on show, to help amplify its explorations of all aspects of literary culture.
This forthcoming issue of Island will also publish an edited excerpt from a recently uncovered book-length manuscript by renowned media theorist, Marshall McLuhan.
Completed in 1976, but unpublished due to illness and death, “The Future of the Library” successfully predicts the impact of information technology on libraries, but – perhaps more interestingly – it also shows the impact of libraries on information technology and publishing, in ways that are still relevant to us today.
In this essay, McLuhan states: ‘In industry there is an old saying: “If it works, it is obsolete.” We have been saying for some years that the book and printing are obsolete. Many people interpret this to mean that printing and the book are about to disappear. Obsolescence, in fact, means the opposite. It means that a service has become so pervasive that it permeates every area of a culture like the vernacular itself. Obsolescence, in short, ensures total acceptance and ever wider use.’
It is this logic that is behind Island’s move to go print-only. Moreover, it is McLuhan’s idea that media forms that have been previously rendered obsolete may very well be retrieved by the establishment of new media forms, that is behind Island’s attempt to retrieve the form of the serial novel, by publishing David Ireland’s The World Repair Video Game.
Island 140 will be published on Monday 30 March 2015.
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