New ‘Big Issue’ a Complete Fabrication

Many of us have a favourite Big Issue vendor. Ours sits outside our local supermarket, is on speaking terms with all the locals, knows all the dogs' names and whether or not you can pat them, and every minute or so hiccoughs, “Het! your Big Ishoooo…” as if he had a rare, altruistic form of Tourette’s syndrome.

Once a year at about this time, the magazine the vendors are spruiking is filled with nothing but utter fabrications and shameless lies. Beginning today and for the next fortnight, the entire magazine will be a complete fiction. Featuring well-known and emerging writers, Twelve Tales, the 2011 edition of The Big Issue’s annual fiction edition, will - as the name suggests - include 12 short stories. Authored by a combination of of up-and-coming and established authors (think Chris Womersley, Frank Moorhouse, Nick Earls, Charlotte Wood, Peggy Frew and Amanda Lohrey), the stories cover a range of themes, from advertising culture and ageing, to the art of people-spotting and the laws of desire. The fiction issue has become an annual fixture - this is the seventh - and it’s played a part in fostering local talents like Chris Womersley, author of Bereft.

As always, this edition (16 pages longer than the usual Big Issue) will be $5, half of which will go into the pockets of the vendors, all people from a homeless or marginalised background.

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