Articles on Books

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If you can’t get to Venice, Italy, allow a book translated from Italian to transport you there. Tom Podmore/Unsplash

Summer reads: When you can’t travel, let a book transport you

Reading fiction can increase your empathy and reading fiction translated from another language can improve your cross-cultural understanding. Why not let a book transport you?
Anna McGahan as Charmian Clift in Sue Smith’s play Hydra. Long overshadowed by her husband George Johnston, recent years have seen a resurgence of interest in Clift’s life and work. Jeff Busby/Queensland Theatre

‘A woman ahead of her time’: remembering the Australian writer Charmian Clift, 50 years on

Fifty years after her death, Australian writer Charmian Clift is experiencing a renaissance. With her forward-thinking columns, Clift's voice rose above the crowd during post-war Australia.
Walter Withers, ‘The Drover’, 1912, oil on canvas. A recent book reinterprets Henry Lawson’s The Drover’s Wife in 99 ways, offering new perspectives on the classic short story. Wikimedia Commons

Inside the story: 99 versions of the same tale in The Drover’s Wives

Ryan O'Neill's book reimagines a classic Australian short story. He retells The Drover's Wife 99 times in various forms, including a poem, an Amazon review, and even as a Cosmo quiz.
The ‘gothic’ genre was once thought to be inapplicable to Australia. But there is a strong gothic tradition in Australian literature and film, seen in examples like Picnic at Hanging Rock. IMDB

Australian Gothic: from Hanging Rock to Nick Cave and Kylie, this genre explores our dark side

Gothic texts are not all bloodsucking vampires and howling werewolves. An Australian Gothic tradition took root alongside colonisation, influencing writers from Marcus Clarke to Alexis Wright.
In the novel Coach Fitz, the narrator is seemingly unaware of his humorous voice. This device is one way that the novel subverts expectations. Shutterstock

Inside the story: Coach Fitz and the accidentally comic voice

At the centre of the novel Coach Fitz is Tom, an anti-hero whose unintentionally humorous voice drives the narrative. Tom is an awkward everyman, a naïve Don Quixote, a digressive Tristam Shandy.
View from a highway rest stop east of Ravensthorpe, Western Australia. In Kim Scott’s Taboo, the landscape becomes a narrator. Chris Fithall/flickr

Inside the story: the all-knowing narrator in Kim Scott’s Taboo

The omniscient narrator is alive and well in fiction. Kim Scott's most recent novel uses a collective narrative voice that encompasses the landscape as well as the human.
Cynthia Banham with Kevin Rudd in 2008. Banham’s memoir explores both the trauma she experienced during a plane crash in 2007 and her family’s history. Dean Lewins/AAP

Inside the story: writing trauma in Cynthia Banham’s A Certain Light

In her fragmentary family memoir, Cynthia Banham interweaves narratives of war and migration with her own traumatic plane crash - ultimately reclaiming her identity in the process.
Libraries are offering new and innovative things that belie their historic image as silent places to read.

7 unexpected things that libraries offer besides books

With advancements in technology, libraries are offering much more than something to read. A library researcher offers a sampling of some unexpected items that library patrons can check out these days.

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