Kirsten Krauth’s just_a_girl

This post is adapted from my speech for the Castlemaine launch of Kirsten Krauth's just_a_girl. There are three main characters in Kirsten Krauth’s excellent, powerful and confronting debut novel just_a_girl: teenage Layla, her mother Margot and a lonely Japanese man, Tadashi. As someone who had the internet at Layla’s age—14—I would also say her experience … Continue reading Kirsten Krauth’s just_a_girl

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

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

Guest review: Imogen Baratta on Blue Skies by Helen Hodgman

Text Publishing 9781921758133, March 2011 (Aus) (also UK) Reviewed by Imogen Baratta Helen Hodgman’s Blue Skies tells the story of an unnamed young wife and mother living in the 'heart shaped island' of Tasmania. The agonising banality of her day-to-day life plays out within the confines of stark, suffocating suburbia, amid the manicured lawns and … Continue reading Guest review: Imogen Baratta on Blue Skies by Helen Hodgman

This cumulative kind of effect when you stop: an interview with Emily Maguire on Smoke in the Room, part one

In Smoke in the Room (Aus), three characters end up in a share house in Sydney. Katie works on instinct and is weighted by an overwhelming empathy. Adam, an American, is grieving and needs to save money to get home. Graeme, an aid worker, has rid himself of possessions and simplified his existence. In this … Continue reading This cumulative kind of effect when you stop: an interview with Emily Maguire on Smoke in the Room, part one

Express or Die? The Sensidictory Artist – an extract

Here is an extract from my piece in The Death Mook, being launched tomorrow night at Dante's in Fitzroy, Vic. Buy it here. In the full piece I discuss Sylvia Plath, Susanna Kaysen, and Elizabeth Wurtzel (in that order). As I'll be reading the Sylvia Plath section tomorrow night, I'm reproducing the introduction and the middle section … Continue reading Express or Die? The Sensidictory Artist – an extract