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Articles on Friday essay

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From left: Virginia Woolf, Rachel Cusk (Vianney Le Caer/AP), Maggie Nelson (John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation – also background), Jane Gleeson-White (Pauline Futeran).

Friday essay: how women writers helped me find my voice after divorce

When Jane Gleeson-White’s marriage ended two years after her mother died, she lost her voice. Books by women writers like Rachel Cusk, Olivia Laing and Maggie Nelson helped her find it again.
We see the teacher lay out the tightrope … as the young writer clenches their toes and steps out above the air. Danilo Batista/unsplash

Friday essay: a poet, a disciplinarian, an illiterate grandfather – writers reflect on the teachers who shaped them

What makes a great writer? A key element is the right teacher. Belinda Castles reflects on her own guides, as do authors such as Margaret Drabble, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o and Paul Theroux in a new book.
Joseph Lycett, Aboriginal Australians Spearing Fish and Diving for Shellfish, New South Wales, c. 1817. National Library of Australia, nla.obj­138500727.

Friday essay: traps, rites and kurrajong twine – the incredible ingenuity of Indigenous fishing knowledge

Across the continent, diverse, adaptable fishing practices, recipes and rituals were a cornerstone of Indigenous life at the time of first contact – and many remain so to this day.
Dhunggala Munungurr (left) sole surviving signatory of the petitions and (on right), a ceremony at which the fourth petition was returned to Yolŋu descendants of their original creators. Photos: Clare Wright, National Gallery of Australia

Friday essay: 60 years old, the Yirrkala Bark Petitions are one of our founding documents – so why don’t we know more about them?

Clare Wright has spent ten years researching the history of these groundbreaking petitions. Though few Australians have heard of them, she writes, we can learn much from the story of their creation.

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