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The mind field

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Floodtide in the heart: vale Seamus Heaney

The world of letters is in shock to learn that Seamus Heaney, Ireland’s best-loved poet, died on Friday at age 74. “The death has taken place of Seamus Heaney,” publisher Faber and Faber said on behalf…
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Prime Minister’s Literary Awards 2013

While Kevin Rudd was in Darwin proclaiming the need for “a national imagination” to grasp the economic potential of northern Australia, his Arts Minister, Tony Burke, was in Brisbane to celebrate the nation’s…
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This year’s Miles Franklin is “all woman”

Well this is curious. Women outnumbered men on the Miles Franklin Literary Award longlist by 4:1, and now the judges - for the first time in the Award’s 57-year history - have turned out a shortlist that…
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Lest we forget: Binyon’s Ode of Remembrance

On an autumn day in 1914 Laurence Binyon sat on a cliff in North Cornwall, somewhere between Pentire Point and the Rump. It was less than seven weeks after the outbreak of war, but British casualties were…
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Carrie Tiffany wins a Stella Prize of her own

The Stella Prize, which comes with a whopping $50,000 purse, is Australia’s newest literary prize celebrating Australian women authors. Australia’s other “gendered” prizes for literature include The Kibble…
delacroix sardanapalus.

Gasps as Nancy Huston scoops 2012 Bad Sex Award

I admit it: I was wrong. I was satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that BBC Newsnight economics editor Paul Mason would win the 2012 Bad Sex in Fiction Awards for his ikebana-cum-gymnastic efforts in his…