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Lee’s second novel, Go Set a Watchman, will have a more adult centre of gravity. Chris Burke

Harper Lee’s gamble could undermine her Mockingbird

Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, has sold tens of millions of copies worldwide, and was voted The Greatest Novel of All Time in a London Daily Telegraph poll of 2008…
Julianne Moore’s star turn in Still Alice provides a lesson in understanding neurodegenerative diseases. Icon Film

Still Alice, and the advocacy for Alzheimer’s in fiction

Still Alice – starring Julianne Moore – tells the story of Alice Howland, a linguistics professor diagnosed with a form of early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease. Moore has already netted a Golden Globe and is…
Many hands have helped author The Conversation’s first collaborative writing experiment.

An experiment in collaborative writing: day ten

We’re starting 2015 with an experiment in collaborative creative writing. What happens when you ask ten academics to write a story together? Taking our cue from the Exquisite Cadaver game played by Surrealist…
Nick Cater’s shortlisted work, The Lucky Culture, is one of several non-fiction options. AAP /Dean Lewins

The curious case of the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards

This year’s cultural debates about the constitution of the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards judging panels are now giving way to consideration of the shortlists and their relative worth. Even as these…
From suicide to heroin addiction, young adult fiction creates open discussion about the darker issues in our society. Flickr

Young adult fiction’s dark themes give the hope to cope

Problem or issue-based young adult novels are not new occurrences. From John Green’s Fault in Our Stars (2012) to Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why (2007), books aimed at readers as young as 12, and as…
Irvine Welsh’s book represents the cry of the unvoiced in any cultural place or age. hélène veilleux

Choose Trainspotting: Welsh’s debut was and is a great novel

It’s been 21 years since the publication of Irvine Welsh’s groundbreaking and controversial novel, Trainspotting. Since then, it has been widely praised and criticised, rejected by a mainstream audience…
Valley of the Dolls is a novel about wanting. Characters want something badly. Marta Manso

Valley of the Dolls: 40 years since the death of Jacqueline Susann

This year marks 40 years since the temple of airport fiction lost its Chief Vestal. Author Jacqueline Susann maxed out her mortal coil back in 1974, on September 21, felled by cancer. She was only 56…
Plot – above all else – has proven successful for Australian author Reilly. Peter Morris/Pan Macmillan.

Improving one’s plot in life: why Matthew Reilly’s books sell

I don’t know whether Australian author Matthew Reilly ever studied Aristotle, but he certainly studied action novels. As the subject of tonight’s Australian Story on ABC, Reilly’s affinity with the Greek…
Fact meets fiction. Ian S

Tragic realism: the rise of Mexican narcoliterature

Crime fiction has become a truly global genre. Books based in Reykjavik, Oslo, or Barcelona now vie with home-grown works set in more recognisable, down-at-heel locations like Manchester or Northampton…

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