Treasures from the past: Belinda Castles on Hannah and Emil

Belinda Castles is the author of Falling Woman and The River Baptists (for which she won the 2006 Australian/Vogel Award). Her latest novel is Hannah and Emil, which traces two characters across Europe, the UK and Australia and charts their complex struggles, and the love that pulls them through. Emil fights for Germany in WWI but is forced from his … Continue reading Treasures from the past: Belinda Castles on Hannah and Emil

Reading fiction is addictive and unhealthy, says Corn Flakes guy

I just came across this astonishing passage, quoted by John Fiske in Understanding Popular Culture. It's from the Ladies Guide in Health and Disease by John Harvey Kellogg (yes, of Corn Flakes fame), published in 1882. There are also chapters on 'marriage', 'personal beauty', 'diet', clothing', and, ah, 'criminal abortion'. He says: 'The reading of … Continue reading Reading fiction is addictive and unhealthy, says Corn Flakes guy

Between worlds: Dominic Smith on Bright and Distant Shores

  Allen & Unwin, 9781742374161, 2011 (Aus paperback, ebook + US/Kindle) Bright and Distant Shores is hugely imaginative historical fiction. It’s set just before the dawn of the 20th century in Chicago and the South Pacific. Owen Graves is sent by Hale Gray, the president of Chicago First Equitable, to collect some ‘special items’ to … Continue reading Between worlds: Dominic Smith on Bright and Distant Shores

Extrapolations: stories re-imagined from the tangible, a guest post by Kent MacCarter

By Kent MacCarter In the preface on page six of Dupain’s Sydney, an art book featuring photographic plates of cityscapes, city dwellers and urban whatnot by acclaimed photographer Max Dupain, there is a photograph of the artist fussing with the aperture on his 4x5 large-format camera perched on a fully extended tripod. You can detect … Continue reading Extrapolations: stories re-imagined from the tangible, a guest post by Kent MacCarter

The Invention of Paris: A History in Footsteps by Eric Hazan reviewed for Bookslut

My review of Eric Hazan's The Invention of Paris: A History in Footsteps (translated by David Fernbach) can be found in the July issue of Bookslut. I completed the review while in Paris a few weeks ago. It begins: 'I'm sitting in an apartment in the twelfth arrondissement of Paris, and because I've finished Eric … Continue reading The Invention of Paris: A History in Footsteps by Eric Hazan reviewed for Bookslut

Ink, dust & darkness: Magpie Hall by Rachael King

Vintage (New Zealand, 2010/Kindle) 9781869792886 Rosemary, a vintage-dress-wearing tattooed taxidermist, decides to spend some time in her family’s run-down old manor Magpie Hall –  to work on her gothic literature thesis and simultaneously escape an affair with her supervisor. But there are plenty of distractions at Magpie Hall: memories of her recently deceased grandfather, her … Continue reading Ink, dust & darkness: Magpie Hall by Rachael King

Liveblogging from the zine fair: reader remnants; Adelaide; Format Fest

Hey gang, I'm sitting with Lisa Dempster and Caroline Hamilton (and right near lovely, cool zinesters panda and the fetus) at the zine fair on the final day of Adelaide's rad Format Festival. I don't even want to look up at all the tables as I spent far too much on second-hand books yesterday in … Continue reading Liveblogging from the zine fair: reader remnants; Adelaide; Format Fest