More in Books, reading & writing
Double Booked Club
Anna Krien and Favel Parrett
For October’s Double Booked Club, we’ll hear from two acclaimed Australian authors, whose new works of fiction take readers to distant corners of the globe … and back again.
Act of Grace is the first novel from celebrated journalist Anna Krien. It’s a series of interconnected narratives, featuring an Australian soldier returned from Baghdad and a young musician fleeing Saddam…
The Wheeler Centre
Mary Norris: From Comma Queen to Greek Geek
Copy editor and grammar nerd Mary Norris has seen the fabled linguistic traditions of the New Yorker up close – she has worked at the magazine for 40 years, most famously as query proofreader and Comma Queen. That experience forms the backbone of her first book, Between You & Me. ‘I hope writers will see that we are not the enemy,’ she has said of her profession. ‘We love the language.’
In her latest book, Greek to Me, Norris shares her love of all things Greek. Of course, it’s about language – how the Greeks adapted the Phoenician alphabet, and the surprising ways Greek informs English – but it also documents Norris’s encounters with Greek gods, wine, men, and olive groves. Myths are reinterpreted; landmarks are sought out; beautiful coincidences of word and symbol are excavated.
Mary Norris returned to Melbourne for a chat about her travels through Greek language, culture and art (and, of course, so much more) with Penny Modra.
Penny Modra and Mary Norris
The Fifth Estate
American-born journalist Megan K. Stack is an acclaimed author and war correspondent. She was Moscow bureau chief for the L.A. Times when she made the decision to work from home and look after her newborn child. As her growing family followed her husband’s work through China and India, Stack’s new life forced her to understand the economy of women’s work…
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.
The Wheeler Centre
Our City of Literature: Ten Stories of Melbourne
Eloise Grills at the Deakin Edge — Photo: Jon Tjhia
Melbourne has always been a city of literature. Our population is bursting with rabid readers and writers. We have the best libraries, the coolest bookshops, the finest festivals and some truly pioneering publishers. Also, Monkey Grip is set here and we are the best at wearing turtlenecks.
So it made perfect sense when, in 2008, Melbourne joined the UNESCO Creative Cities Network and made it official – becoming a designated City of Literature in recognition of our literary spirit.
For the tenth anniversary of this designation, we kicked off the celebrations with a gala night of readings and storytelling at Deakin Edge. We heard from ten brilliant writers – both established and emerging – who have made Melbourne home for either a short time or a lifetime. Where, for them, does Melbourne come alive on the page? Which classic stories and scenes of Melbourne are part of our literary DNA, and how are a new generation of writers remaking the city with words?
In order of appearance … hear from Alice Pung, Tony Birch, Jane Rawson, Eloise Grills, Moreno Giovannoni, Jennifer Down, Alexis Wright, Patricia Cornelius, Andy Griffiths and Sumudu Samarawickrama.
This event was presented in partnership with the Melbourne UNESCO City of Literature Office.
Select an image to view in detail
Books and Ideas at Montalto
Family, literature, Papua New Guinea and the complicated lives of creative women – these are the themes to which Drusilla Modjeska has repeatedly returned in her impressive body of work. As a memoirist, essayist, novelist (and master of combining and confounding literary forms), Modjeska is among Australia’s most celebrated writers.
Most recently, she has added a memoir, Second Half First, to an already substantial list of literary accomplishments, including Exiles at Home, Poppy, Stravinsky’s Lunch and The Mountain. That book reflects on the books, people and journeys that have most profoundly affected her in the second part of her life.
At Montalto, Modjeska discusses travel, reading and the intersection of life and work with Andrea Goldsmith.
Books and Ideas at Montalto series sound design and music: Jon Tjhia.
Anything and everything in Travel from across our archives.
The Interrobang: A Festival of Questions
What is it to be wild? Cheryl Strayed and Meghan Daum
Explore these other subjects, across our site.