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Fanfiction: all it takes is to imagine a story beyond the canonical work. Kristina Alexanderson/flickr

Explainer: what is fanfiction?

Fanfiction is nebulous, confusing and often mocked. It's also explosively popular. So what is it?
Banned Books Week highlights books that have been challenged or permanently removed from library shelves. 'Shelves' via

How do libraries get away with banning books?

While legal precedent makes banning books difficult, it still happens.
Since 1982, over 11,000 books have been challenged by individuals seeking to have them banned from schools or libraries. 'Book' via

I’m a librarian who banned a book. Here’s why.

When only six people showed up for a panel designed to raise awareness of banned books, the pot needed to be stirred a bit.
Chief Executive and Publisher of Melbourne University Press, Louise Adler, will chair the new book council. AAP ONE

The Book Council of Australia? Well, it’s better than nothing

The Book Council of Australia began to take shape last week when MUP director Louise Adler was announced as its chair. But what is its purpose, and how will it embrace the industry's new voices?
The Power of the Dog and The Cartel reflect real-life concerns in Mexico’s drug war. AAP Image/NEWZULU/Irving Cabrera Torres

Drug war capitalism in Mexico and the novels of Don Winslow

Recent events in Mexico's drug war could easily have been depicted in Don Winslow's twin novels The Power of the Dog and The Cartel. Drug war capitalism is, at times, stranger than fiction.
The Wizard of Oz series was swept from US libraries in the 1930s and 1940s. Wikimedia

Sex and other reasons why we ban books for young people

When most people think of book censorship, they imagine political regimes and potentially book burning in Nazi Germany. What is little considered is that most books that have been challenged or banned are books for young people.
What role does the philologist play in our ongoing engagement with great writing? AAP image/Art Gallery NSW/ 'John Coetzee' by Archibald finalist Adam Chang, 2011.

JM Coetzee and the Life of Writing bears testimony to the value of a literary archive

David Attwell’s new book is the first extended investigation of the South African author composed since the recently-opened Coetzee archive at the University of Texas. So what does it teach us?
Elena Ferrante’s searing portraits of women have won her international acclaim, though very little is known about the author herself. Text Publishing

Successfully absent: Elena Ferrante’s Italian books

Italian novelist Elena Ferrante has been called "one of the great novelists of our time" and her Neapolitan novel cycle "an unconditional masterpiece". But the author herself remains an intangible figure.
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.

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