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William Faulkner’s novel depicts a poor rural family from Mississippi struggling to find their place in the modernising society of the 1930s. US Library of Congress

William Faulkner diagnosed modern ills in As I Lay Dying

William Faulkner began writing As I Lay Dying the day after the 1929 Wall Street crash. It documents, through the voices of 15 characters, the emergence of a poor white family into the modern world.
Guy Pearce as the Chandleresque private investigator Jack Irish: in the early years of Australian crime fiction, convicts and bushrangers featured prominently. Lachlan Moore

Friday essay: from convicts to contemporary convictions – 200 years of Australian crime fiction

Australia's rich tradition of crime fiction is little known – early tales told of bushrangers and convicts, one hero was a mining engineer turned amateur detective – but it reveals a range of national myths and fantasies.
Australia’s romantic attitude to farming has done untold damage to the land. Shutterstock.com

Friday essay: Dark Emu and the blindness of Australian agriculture

The powerful ideological connection between Australia and agriculture is being increasingly scrutinised. A spate of recent books have recast basic assumptions about our relationship to the land.
The term ‘Leb’ embodies hyper-masculinity on the street. Generic image from Shutterstock.com

What does a ‘Leb’ look like?

Michael Mohammed Ahmad's novel The Lebs is a realistic portrayal of teenage boys in Western Sydney.

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