Every lover of books, every writer and every great reader knows the score – there are thousands of amazing, obscure and underrated literary gems in libraries and bookstores just waiting to be discovered. And yet when you try to champion these cult favourites to someone at work, the inevitable response is, ‘Sounds good, but have you read The Da Vinci Code? It’s awesome!’
This year the Wheeler Centre is taking an alternative approach to our celebration of Melbourne Rare Book Week. Host Michael Cathcart, authors Emily Gale and Tony Wilson, and Sleepers Publishing’s Louise Swinn tell us about the books they wish were rare. The titles they’re sick to death of, the ones that make them shake their literary fists in despair.
Join us in the brand new Library at The Dock for the biggest literary takedown of the year as our guests rail against the might of hype, bad prose, the tired old canon, confused conspiracies and misguided monster hits.
Emily Gale has been involved in the children's book industry for nearly 20 years and has worked as an editor, reviewer, talent finder and literary award judge. She spent several happy years at independent bookshop Readings as a children's book buyer, during which time she was instrumental in establishing their Children's Book Prize.
Emily's writing includes two novels for teenagers – Girl, Aloud and Steal My Sunshine – and Eliza Boom's Diary for younger readers. Living on the other side of the world from the place she grew up (and most of her family) means that concepts of home, belonging and displacement have long occupied Emily's mind, inspiring her to write The Other Side of Summer.
Louise Swinn is a writer, publisher, critic, literary event chair and the editor of Choice Words: A Collection of Writing About Abortion (Allen and Unwin, 2019). Her work appears regularly in the Age, the Australian and the Sydney Morning Herald. She was one of the founders of Sleepers Publishing, the Small Press Network and the Stella Prize.
Michael Cathcart presents the radio show, Books and Arts Daily for Radio National.
Tony Wilson is an author of more than 20 books for all ages and several genres. His picture books Hickory Dickory Dash and The Cow Tripped Over the Moon were bestseller and both were selected as National Simultaneous Storytime titles. His most recent book for adults is 1989: The Great Grand Final (Hardie Grant, 2020)