Tara June Winch, author of The Yield.
The winner of the 2020 Miles Franklin award is a powerful and deeply moving book, unstinting in its depiction of sociopolitical disasters.
Library of Congress
The real Hillary Rodham Clinton said yes the third time Bill proposed – in Curtis Sittenfeld’s novel, she says no.
This year’s six shortlisted novels shimmer with relevance.
Tomorrow, When the War Began (2010).
Young adult post-disaster fiction is more concerned with how we survive than understanding the causes of disaster. We can read it to explore our fears, responses and our capacity to adapt.
Hemingway and his eldest son, Bumby, pose in Havana harbor in 1933.
Collection of David Meeker
While the man the world knows as ‘Papa’ balanced the demands of parenting with his work, his letters and fiction offer a window into the depth of his paternal feeling.
Stéphane Bourgoin fabricated his life story, including a murdered wife.
For a handful of French writers, the best fiction they wrote was their life story.
Fictional, magical cities can help us understand our own urban lives.
Storytelling and empathy – the power of sharing your dreams.
Julia Lockheart/Sleep Lab
Listening to other people’s dreams can help to improve your empathy levels.
Our relationships with characters from books and screen – called parasocial relationships – serve many of the same functions as our friendships with real people, minus the infection risks.
Quotation slips for the first Oxford English Dictionary.
A new book, which weaves fiction into the origin story of the Oxford English Dictionary, was declared a hit even before its release. Readers will judge whether it lives up to the hype.
Dystopic science fiction provides a reference points for our anxieties during a time of global change.
Pandemic fiction is more popular than ever – but what these books and movies offer us isn’t as straightforward as you might think.
Thomas Cromwell by Hans Holbein.
The Frick Collection
Mantel’s prize-winning novels put imaginary flesh on the skeletal historical record and gives us the complete picture of the Tudor courtier.
After the main plotters of the Gundpowder plot were tortured and executed, accusations of treason, heresy, and witchcraft were used to persecute other enemies of the Crown.
Crispijn van de Passe the Elder/ Wikimedia
Bonfire Night keeps the flames of division burning.
A short story cycle is a hybrid of a novel and short story collection.
Short story cycles can satisfying a reader’s need for deeper engagement and Rebekah Clarkson’s Barking Dog is a great example.
Our responsibility to consider how the future might look for generations to come requires imagination.
Science fiction can serve as an imaginative production of political theory.
Science fiction writing often serves as a thought experiment that explores shared and hidden beliefs whose material and political reverberations lie further in the future.
Janine, a Handmaid, in series three of The Handmaid’s Tale.
Sophie Giraud/Channel 4
The author has returned to Gilead, 35 years after the original novel was published.
Robert Redford played the golden Gatsby in 1974.
Status anxiety and conspicuous consumption generate a dazzling, often surreal poetry in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. But Gatsby’s rise and fall exposes deep fissures underlying the American Dream.
We shouldn’t assume that discussion of bodily changes necessarily means progression towards a more equal society.
The burial of some of the Japanese prisoners of war who lost their lives in the mass outbreak from B Camp, (the Japanese section), at No. 12 Prisoner Of War compound in the early hours of August 5, 1944.
Australian War Memorial (073487)
It’s one of the largest prison escapes in world history and it’s through fiction we can understand the tragedy, from both an Australian and Japanese perspective.