’70s-style dystopia: This Perfect Day by Ira Levin

This Perfect Day is a dystopian sci-fi novel, published in 1970, in the vein of Brave New World and Logan’s Run. People are born into a happy (read: bland) unified society, ruled by UniComp, which is literally a giant computer. Over the generations heterogeneity has been genetically blended out, and every member of ‘The Family’ … Continue reading ’70s-style dystopia: This Perfect Day by Ira Levin

North jazz: Kent MacCarter talks to Johan Harstad about Buzz Aldrin: What Happened to You in All the Confusion? (guest post)

Buzz Aldrin, What Happened to You in All the Confusion? UWA Press, Australia 9781742582634 (buy paperback) by Kent MacCarter The concert in which Norwegian novelist Johan Harstad can eat a sandwich, drink a watermelon granita and adroitly conduct an interview without any noticeable pauses for gulping or chewing is an impressive orchestration. Amid my questions and … Continue reading North jazz: Kent MacCarter talks to Johan Harstad about Buzz Aldrin: What Happened to You in All the Confusion? (guest post)

The epic qualities of outwardly ordinary lives: By Nightfall and Michael Cunningham in Australia

By Nightfall, Michael Cunningham, HarperCollins (Aus pb, Aus ebook, US and Kindle, UK) Over the past few days I’ve been in the audience of four sessions featuring my favourite American author Michael Cunningham. Cunningham’s latest novel is By Nightfall. I've drafted a few posts on it since I read it, but was never able to adequately … Continue reading The epic qualities of outwardly ordinary lives: By Nightfall and Michael Cunningham in Australia

‘What is a short story?’ Jon Bauer’s Sleepers Almanac and app launch speech

Last night, author Jon Bauer (Rocks in the Belly, Scribe) launched the sixth Sleepers Almanac and the new Sleepers literary app at the Bella Union Bar, Trades Hall, Melbourne. I thought his speech was wonderful, so with Jon's kind permission, here it is for you all to read: Have you ever had that moment on a … Continue reading ‘What is a short story?’ Jon Bauer’s Sleepers Almanac and app launch speech

Like, embrace the pain: the Bret Easton Ellis interview (part 1)

Pictured: Carrie, Samantha, Carrie Let’s begin at the end. After Kathy Charles and I finished our interview with the very engaging Bret Easton Ellis, we sat with his publicist over a couple of glasses of Chandon, waiting for Ellis to wrap-up with our friend Robbie Coleman. Robbie emerged, white-faced and swearing, revealing that the interviewee had turned interviewer … Continue reading Like, embrace the pain: the Bret Easton Ellis interview (part 1)

Exquisite restraint for maximum expression: an interview with Colm Tóibín (part two)

Brooklyn Colm Toibin (Aus, US) Picador 9780330425612 Part one of this interview can be found here. Tóibín has, to date, written or edited 21 books. I asked him which had been the most difficult to write, and which had been the most joyful. He said: ‘There’s a long story in the collection Mothers and Sons which I … Continue reading Exquisite restraint for maximum expression: an interview with Colm Tóibín (part two)