Articles on Literature

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A message ploughed in the land calls on the federal government to help drought-affected farmers near the wheatbelt town of Kondinin in 2001. Liza Kappelle/AAP

Writing the WA wheatbelt, a place of radical environmental change

In two 30-year periods, an area in WA roughly the size of England was stripped of native vegetation for farming. It has produced some of our finest writers, from A.B. Facey to Dorothy Hewitt to Jack Davis.
Do the rules of success apply equally to all women? Nick Lehr/The Conversation via Wikimedia Commons

Ivanka Trump’s deeply political tome

'Women Who Work' attempts to present itself as an apolitical work. But no narratives ever are – and it's especially the case for those that anxiously seek to appear that way.
William Faulkner’s typewriter in Mississippi. The writing life may sound idyllic, but it was often a furious battle to make ends meet. Visit Mississippi/Flickr

Scrounging for money: how the world’s great writers made a living

Writers have tried pretty much anything to make ends meet: advertising, journalism, butterfly collecting, working as a janitor or a postal clerk.
Aaron Douglas. "Aspects of Negro Life: From Slavery to Reconstruction." Oil on canvas, 1934. The New York Public Library, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Art and Artifacts Division.

How World War I sparked the artistic movement that transformed black America

Many associate post-World War I culture with Hemingway and Fitzgerald's Lost Generation. But for black artists, writers and thinkers, the war changed the way they saw their past and their future.
A student performs at the 2013 Louder Than a Bomb slam poetry competition in Boston, Massachusetts. John Tammaro / flickr

Making poetry their own: The evolution of poetry education

Poetry has been a part of teaching and learning for hundreds of years. But how has poetry education changed? And how are young voices using poetry to express themselves today?
Twain was an opinionated, prolific commentator on the personalities and political issues of his day. Terry Ballard/flickr

What would Mark Twain think of Donald Trump?

He probably would have been amused by – and maybe even befriended – Trump the entertainer. Trump the president? Not so much.
Étienne Léopold Trouvelot, Trouvelot figure. Photograph of electrical effluvia around a coin 1888–89. © Musée des arts et métiers-Cnam, Paris. Photo Michèle Fava

Awesome, erotic, everyday: the literary story of electricity

The way writers drew on electricity to weave their stories tells us much about the history of electricity itself.
Emma Thompson as Elinor Dashwood in the 1995 film of Sense and Sensibility: a competent moral agent drawing only on her intelligence and experience. Columbia Pictures Corporation

Friday essay: the revolutionary vision of Jane Austen

This year is the bicentenary of Jane Austen's death and her celebrity continues to grow. But relegating Austen's work to plots about 'whether the heroine gets her man' belittles her achievement.

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