Literature

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Julia Roberts in Eat Pray Love, the film adaptation of Elizabeth Gilbert’s best-selling yoga memoir. Sony Pictures

The difficult position of yoga fiction

Yoga fiction is a burgeoning genre of books that tell tales of spiritual enlightenment through an ancient Indian practice. But what happens when such practices are severed from their cultural roots?
Karl Ove Knausgaard’s work strives deliberately towards constructing “real” experience – with all the failure that entails. editrrix

My struggle is yours: why failure is the new literary success

As individuals, we are driven by thoughts of success, so it makes sense that failure might make us feel slightly uneasy. And yet failure – and what that means in writing – is having a moment.
Superman’s over the hill. 'Superhero' via www.shutterstock.com

The twilight of the superhero?

The flop of the Fantastic Four seems to suggest that viewers are more eager to embrace characters who reflect our inherently flawed humanity.
There is renewed debate around the lack of honest representations of diversity in Young Adult books. Melanie Holtsman

Telling the real story: diversity in young adult literature

Debate about the lack of diversity in young adult literature isn't new, but thanks to recent campaigns such as We Need Diverse Books, there's renewed focus on why diversity in literature is crucial.
Michael Mohammed Ahmad asks us to reconsider who the insiders and outsiders are in modern Australia. Sally Tsoutas

Radical, young, Muslim: the Arab-Australian novel in the 21st century

Arab-Australian identity is not some singular, homogeneous label. Rather it exists as a spectrum and contains more complexity and diversity than the mainstream media allow.
A major challenge facing writers who want to take on the Bomb is that conventional description fails. EPA/HIROSHIMA PEACE MEMORIAL MUSEUM HANDOUT

Atomic amnesia: why Hiroshima narratives remain few and far between

Hollywood has kept its distance from the bombing of Hiroshima, 70 years ago, and novelists, aside from sci-fi authors, have largely ignored the catastrophe as a means of exploring human nature. Why?
The burden of creating a more inclusive, fairer and more tolerant society is carried by the younger generation. Hadi Zaher/Flickr

How Australian dystopian young adult fiction differs from its US counterparts

There are many similarities between blockbusting young adult novels such as The Hunger Games series and Australian books such as Taronga – but there are also clear differences in their messages for the young.
We need to consider what balance we want to achieve between the heritage and contemporary arts. AAP Image/Julian Smith. Artists of the Australian Ballet rehearse for the The Dream.

Majors and the majority: planning for Australia’s artistic legacy starts now

Given the pressure being applied to the majority of people working in the arts sector, we would be foolish not to consider the roles and inherited rights of Australia's major performing companies.
In reading, we feel ourselves able to get up close and personal with a dead author. glassghost

What do we love when we love books by dead authors?

The reader who loves literature of the past seeks to forge intimate connections with those who are no longer alive. In reading, we feel ourselves able to get up close and personal with a dead author.
Paperback and hardback editions of The Book of Days, an illustrated anthology edited, designed and produced in three weeks. Zoë Sadokierski

The Book of Days: creating an anthology live at the Sydney Writers' Festival

As well as a souvenir of the 2015 Sydney Writers' Festival this anthology is a compelling argument for the future of books in print. Book objects are talismans as much as vessels for the content they carry.
People were talking about heatwaves long before the data proved they were on the rise. Powerhouse Museum/Wikimedia Commons

Google’s vast library reveals the rising tide of climate-related words in literature

The history of climate change is writ large in literature - and not just scientific journals. An analysis of Google's vast library shows a rise in use of phrases such as "unusual weather" and "heat wave".
Deciding on the winner of a literary award is, in the end, a highly subjective process. RebeccaVC1

Literary awards and Joan London’s The Golden Age

Joan London's The Golden Age won the Kibble Award last week, having been shortlisted – but unsuccessful – in several high-profile prizes previously. Deciding on winners is a highly subjective process.
EL Doctorow, pictured here in 2007, has died. His work in its entirety bespeaks a profound humanity. Radim Beznoska/AAP

Remembering EL Doctorow, the conscience of the USA

Over the course of almost six decades, Doctorow – who has died – wrote himself into the canon of American literature. He embodied the virtues of a classical storyteller.

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