Bodies, effort, straws: The Special by David Stavanger

I had the pleasure last night of launching The Special by David Stavanger, winner of the 2013 Thomas Shapcott Prize. The book is published by UQP and available now. David and I didn't know each other beforehand, but connected through words (in emails, but mainly through our work) and it was a wonderful night, with much warmth. … Continue reading Bodies, effort, straws: The Special by David Stavanger

EIBF 2013: is psychiatry doing more harm than good? (More brainy stuff.)

A version of this post was previously published on Stoffers James Davies is the author of Cracked: Why Psychiatry is Doing More Harm Than Good. The main points of his argument, in the talk he gave at the Edinburgh International Book Festival 2013, were: Psychiatric drugs often do not do what they say they do, … Continue reading EIBF 2013: is psychiatry doing more harm than good? (More brainy stuff.)

Trauma, kindness & starting with a bang: Jessie Cole on Darkness on the Edge of Town

Fourth Estate, 2012 9780732293192 (buy paperback, ebook) A woman crashes her car outside Vincent's house. Vincent attempts to help the woman, and the baby in her arms, which may not have survived the crash. Rachel is her name and her arrival will have repercussions for Vincent and his daughter Gemma, and will draw attention (and judgment) … Continue reading Trauma, kindness & starting with a bang: Jessie Cole on Darkness on the Edge of Town

Recently read: non-reviews of The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary, Flying with Paper Wings, The Cook

This is cross-posted from Southerly, where I am blogging in December. The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary by Andrew Westoll, UQP (Aus), 9780702238468, July 2011 (paperback) This book has been near the top of my pile since July and I finally picked it up to start reading on a flight to Sydney recently. I am an … Continue reading Recently read: non-reviews of The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary, Flying with Paper Wings, The Cook

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

Bookslut review of Wild Unrest

I've just done my first review for popular American online literary magazine Bookslut. The review is of Wild Unrest: Charlotte Perkins Gilman and the Making of 'The Yellow Wallpaper' by Helen Lefkowitz Horowitz (Aus, US, UK). I say: 'Wild Unrest is refreshingly non-reductive, in that its author allows Gilman to be complex, to have a nature that … Continue reading Bookslut review of Wild Unrest

David Carlin’s Our Father Who Wasn’t There

Scribe February 2010 9781921640254 (Aus, US) David Carlin was six months old when his father, Brian, ‘went to sleep and never woke up’. His mother kept a photo of him on the bedside table, but otherwise, not much was spoken of his existence to David and his two older siblings, until they were much older. … Continue reading David Carlin’s Our Father Who Wasn’t There

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