A new collection of essays explores the role of books in founding and dismantling The British empire.
Books have active political lives. They inspire social movements and bind people together. Books can stand as short-hand symbols for larger galaxies of ideas.
Ben Okri’s The Age of Magic expresses dissatisfaction with the careless bustle of our everyday lives.
"We need something by which to judge, by which to navigate our journey through the stars, which is to say our journey through time." Ben Okri discusses his new novel The Age of Magic and our busy lives.
An author who demands to be read.
Anxiety is hard-wired into the modern sensibility, and the mood of Krasznahorkai’s fiction is its perfect complement.
Hamid Mohsin is a guest of the Sydney Writers' Festival. Photo © Jillian Edelstein.
"I have a bit of resistance to the way the world is and making up my own world is a response to that," says Pakistani novelist Mohsin Hamid, a guest at this year's Sydney Writers' Festival.
Should we be upset that some of our favourite authors don’t actually exist?
Modernism – and western culture generally since the late 18th century – taught us that books were written in solitary creative frenzies. But ghostwriters are increasingly challenging that assumption.
The pantheon of the Bard’s plays is now larger by one – or so the headlines would have you believe.
You'd be forgiven for thinking Double Falsehood was recently "found" and confirmed as being by Shakespeare. But that's not what the researchers behind the computational tests actually said. So what's up?
Zannoni’s 1771 Map of the British Isles shows the heart of the “civilised” world – at least according to Adam Smith when he was writing The Wealth of Nations.
Wikimedia Commons/Geographicus Rare Antique Maps
To burnish the virtues of "civilised" Europe, Adam Smith relies on a barrage of racial insults. Where did his information about the so-called "savage peoples" come from in the first place?
Memory makes us human but also sometimes inhumane.
Trung Bui Viet
Though Kazuo Ishiguro makes us wonder whether remembering is really better than forgetting, he also makes it clear that the answer is irrelevant. Remembering is our fate.
Bitto has remarked on the major impact of the Stella Prize and the conversations it has encouraged about women writers.
Emily Bitto has won the 2015 Stella Prize for her debut novel, The Strays. The prize is now in its third year and was established to redress the way in which women writers were typically overlooked for major literary prizes
A fantasy about free markets in primitive society lies at the heart of Adam Smith’s wealth of nations – but did they ever exist?
The myth that our primitive forebears were capitalists at heart is fundamental to Adam Smith's arguments in The Wealth of Nations.
The State Library of Victoria has received the greatest single bequest of rare books in its history.
The State Library of Victoria has received the greatest single bequest of rare books in its history, coupled with an endowment for the collection's preservation. No wonder book scholars are smiling.
Salman Rushdie claims not to have realised his GoodReads ratings were public.
Negative reaction by other authors to Salman Rushdie’s book ratings demonstrates how sensitive writers can be. But why shouldn’t an author give however many stars they like to a book?
The “MONA effect” has set Tasmania’s arts scene on fire – will Richard Flanagan’s Man Booker win do the same for its literature?
Richard Flanagan's 2014 Man Booker Prize has put Tasmanian writing in the spotlight – and the announcement of new state literary prizes has helped too. So what is distinctive about Tasmanian literature?
Evie Wyld, author of All The Birds, Singing, is one of the guests at this year’s Sydney Writers' Festival.
Evie Wyld will be a guest at this year's Sydney Writers' Festival. Here, she speaks with a passionate reader about the success of her award-winning book, All The Birds, Singing.
Young adult dystopian characters like Insurgent’s Tris are inspiring their female fans to shatter the glass ceiling.
By featuring girls who buck the conventions of their world – and ours – films like Insurgent inspire fans to enact real change.
Would it ever be responsible to legitimise the story that someone “healed themselves” of cancer through diet?
Social media entrepreneur Belle Gibson is not the first to be accused of fabricating a personal recovery story for public consumption. So what responsibility do publishers have in such cases?
The six finalists of the Stella Prize, announced yesterday, include three authors who have been shortlisted based on their first major works of fiction. That's definitely something to celebrate.
A long list of commercial success stories has emerged from the self-publishing boom, sometimes with sales in the millions.
It is still stigmatised, still seen as amateur, even as illegitimate, but self-publishing has truly arrived. We ignore it at our peril.
Austen periodically runs afoul of a particular kind of cultural hypocrisy.
Once pivotal to the English canon, Jane Austen has been adapted and readapted for Hollywood and Bollywood – and that kind of popularity comes at a cost.
Adam Smith used parables, morality tales, and canine analogies to explain his theories of economics.
A careful study of Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations reveals that its influence lies not in Smith’s ability to construct an argument – but in his skill as teller of tall tales.