Books, reading & writing
Books and Ideas at Montalto
Tony Jones is best known as the host of ABC TV’s tightly controlled, agenda-setting and sometimes combative political panel programme, Q&A. Having presented the programme for almost ten years, Jones has learned a few things about tension, intrigue, complex plots and surprise attacks.
Those years of experience – not to mention the preceding decades as an ABC investigative reporter and foreign correspondent – have prepared Jones perfectly for his latest incarnation as a thriller writer. His debut novel, The Twentieth Man, tells an electrifying tale of crime, terror and international conspiracy and is set between the corridors of power in 1970s Canberra and the harsh mountain ranges of former Yugoslavia. Jones has a long-standing interest in the Balkans, having covered the Bosnian conflict in the 1990s during his stint as the ABC’s Europe correspondent.
In conversation with Jason Steger at Montalto Vineyard and Olive Grove, this veteran of Australian journalism discusses his foray into fiction and the experiences in Australia and overseas that have inspired it.
The Wheeler Centre
Reading Your Mind: Neurodiversity and Writing
Clem Bastow, Graeme Simsion and Yenn Purkis
In 2013, Graeme Simsion published his first novel, The Rosie Project, and the world fell in love with its big-hearted, socially inept protagonist, Don Tillman.
Though some readers and reviewers read Don as a character who was ‘on the spectrum’, Simsion himself has resisted labels in public discussions of his wildly successful series of romantic comedy novels. The Rosie Project and its sequel, The Rosie Effect, have sold millions of copies in 40 different countries.
Simsion's third and final book in the series, The Rosie Result, centres on Don's son, Hudson, and deals more directly with the issue of autism.
In conversation with Clem Bastow – who has written about her own recent autism diagnosis – Simsion and Yenn Purkis – an autistic and non-binary author, blogger, presenter and mentor – discuss neurodiversity and writing. How has the public conversation changed? And what are the responsibilities of writers who choose to portray neurodiverse characters or address their own diagnoses in their work?
Wheeler Centre Hot Desk Fellowships 2019: Introducing the Fellows (round one)
Our Hot Desk Fellowships are back for 2019. Find out who's been selected, and take a peek at the projects the first intake of Fellows will be working on.
Hot Desk Extract: self upon self upon self
An excerpt from Shu-Ling Chua's self upon self upon self, a collection of essays exploring the intersections between life and art.
Working with Words: Luke Horton
Writer and editor Luke Horton on growing up around bookshops, his early detective stories and reading something at the right moment.
Anything and everything in Books, reading & writing from across our archives.
A Usage That is So, Like, Old
Over at the ever-informative OUP blog, Anatoly Liberman is wrestling with what he calls a “ubiquitous modern parasite”: the word “like”. He chronicles the rise of the word as though it were a virus mutating to defy definition. Liberman believes “like freed itself from the verb to be and became an independent filler” with very little meaning.
And far from belonging to 21st century…
Vale Di Gribble
Family and friends are gathering this morning to mourn the loss of Diana Gribble AM, one of the pre-eminent figures in the local and national publishing industry over recent decades.
Detail of a portrait of Di Gribble sourced from ArtsHub
Many tributes and obituaries have been published in the days since Di passed away of cancer last week at the age of 69. The…
Beyond Critical Failure
If there was one intention for the week of Critical Failure it was that it would create debate - either in the event itself or spilling out onto the web or newspaper pages in the following weeks.
Critical Failure: Books panellist Rebecca Starford
By way of right of reply, the participants have already begun penning some further thoughts. Book critic Peter Craven called the…
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