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A wax model of Ernest Hemingway at Madame Tussauds in New York. Anton_Ivanov/

Friday essay: why literary celebrity is a double-edged sword

Bob Dylan is now a literary celebrity. And next week, the Booker Prize judges will anoint another. The tag is still chiefly attached to men but women authors shouldn't despair: fame and good writing can be uneasy bedfellows.
What are the criteria for a Prime Minister intervening in these awards? Literary reasons? Personal reasons? ‘History war’ reasons? Michael Tapp

Why the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards need an urgent overhaul

They should be our pre-eminent national writing prizes. Instead, these awards bob on the vast sea of daily politics, occasionally getting dumped by a breaker.
Meanjin has published leading writers, including Patrick White and Peter Carey. Charles Stanford

The Meanjin funding cuts: a graceless coup?

The literary magazine Meanjin was founded to ensure the nation did not 'drop its mental life' during World War Two. Given the decision to starve it of funding, will future Miles Franklin winners be generated by blogs?
Actor Joseph Marcell plays the lead role in The Globe’s production of Shakespeare’s King Lear in Malta, Valletta. Shakespeare divides opinions and his texts often terrify learners. Darrin Zammit Lupi/Reuters

Should Shakespeare be taught in Africa’s classrooms?

Is there a place for Shakespeare in African schools, or is his time long past?
We all know a good review when we read one – but what actually differentiates a good review from a bad one? Hartwig HKD

Here they are: the rules for book reviewing

Good book reviews are all alike while every bad review is bad in its own way. In Australia reviews are often bad in many different ways. Historically the trade has consisted of retired English academics…

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