Sisonke Msimang: The Resurrection of Winnie Mandela
The death of Winnie Mandela in April 2018 shocked many South Africans. It wasn’t sudden or especially untimely – she was 81 years old – but ‘Ma Winnie’ was an icon of the anti-apartheid movement and a controversial, seemingly indestructible, figure.
The second wife of Nelson Mandela was a radical, eloquent and courageous anti-apartheid activist in her own right. In…
We Are United
Resistance, activism and change are the themes for the opening night of the 2019 Melbourne Fringe Festival and we'll be celebrating – where else? – at Victorian Trades Hall. It's the world's oldest trade union building and, following recent restoration and refurbishment, it’s the new home of the Melbourne Fringe. Most importantly, it’s the perfect venue for a night of…
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
Plots and Prayers
Sally Warhaft and Niki Savva
When Julia Gillard overthrew Kevin Rudd in 2010 it was as if the Canberra sky fell in. In the years since, we’ve seen Rudd the Second punished by the electorate and Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull each dispatched by their own party. This year, something changed. Scott Morrison and the Coalition government were re-elected as if the leadership coup against Turnbull never occurred.
Niki Savva is a veteran of Australian journalism and Liberal Party circles – and she was among the many people who were shocked by the May 18 result. At the time of the election, Savva was working on a book called Highway to Hell, documenting the infighting that led to Turnbull's downfall and an expected defeat for the coalition in the polls. The election result occasioned an extra chapter and a new title for the project. The finished book, called Plots and Prayers: Malcolm Turnbull’s Demise and Scott Morrison’s Ascension tells the inside story of conflict and vengeance within the Liberal Party and the extraordinary rise of our new Prime Minister.
With Sally Warhaft, Savva discusses Canberra savagery and political miracles.
Pass it On: Preserving Australian Indigenous Languages
‘Budgerigar’, ‘quandong’, ‘Torana’, ‘Canberra’ – there are many Aboriginal words in everyday use by both non-Indigenous and Indigenous Australians. What do we gain from knowing and learning First Nations words? And how can we embed more traditional language into the daily lives of all Australians?
At least 250 Indigenous Australian languages were spoken on this continent in 1788. Today only…
Blak & Bright: Treaty, Yeah
Victoria is embarking on a Treaty process, the first of the states to do so. How do writers from other states respond – in a creative way – to the idea of a Treaty? We’ve asked some of our most lyrical and expressive poets and writers to pen their responses.
Featuring Ali Cobby Eckermann, Uncle Jim Everett, Marie Munkara and…
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