Sunday, July 24, 2011

December 2011 Antipodes

Fresh from the success of our June 2011 issue on Asian Australian literature (guest edited by Alison Broinowski) we are pleased to announce that the December 2011 issue of Antipodes will be a themed issue on transnational Antipodeanism, including cover art by John Pule, an speculative introduction by Nicholas Birns, essays by Gillian Dooley on Iris Murdoch, Katherine Hallemeier on Rey Chow and Brian Castro, Elizabeth Hicks on writing from the Blue Mountains, James Dahlstrom on Rolf Boldrewood; and creative nonfiction by Ouyang Yu, Zhao Chuan, Stephen Oliver, Petra Kuppers and Jeremy Fisher. 

Thomas Keneally

This charming story about Thomas Keneally reminded me  of why i have always admired and respected this versatile, ingenious, and deeply ethical writer. Yes, one would think a Nobel Prize unlikely compared to some of the more 'literry' writers discussed earlier in this blog, and ye,s at time Keneally has written too swiftly and without enough reflection. But nothing he has ever written is without cogency or intelligence, and in the last decade he produced at least two noteworthy novels, Office of Innocence and The Tyrant's Novel. Before that, I would espeiclaly mention the underrated but very funny Jacko, Flying Hero Class, To Asmara, Gossip from the Forest, Confederates, and of course Schindler's List. Bring larks and Heroes is especially important as a link between say, Eleanor Dark and Kate Grenville in the representation of early white Australia. Keneally, of course, also was doing transnationalism and pioneering anti-xenophobic attitudes in Australia long before they became fashionable. For someone so famous, in an odd way he deserves greater recognition. Peter Pierce has kept the flame within Australia, and Americans such as Virginia Carruthers have also contributed, but Keneally is a writer who, I predict, will one day be taken more seriously by academia than he is now. 

Friday, July 8, 2011

Prime Minister's Awards

The Prime Minister's Awards have been announced, with Stephen Daisley winning for fiction..I really know nothing of his work but the name but I look forward to reading him.....I doubt the Prime Minister actually chooses the books but, if they did, Gillard's taste would seem slightly less oriented towards painting an image of the nation as a whole and more to simply rewarding good work..of course this is always the tug on awards, as they go on they become less oriented to statements and more to works....and remember this award is just a few years old....

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Australian books in American bookstores

A couple snaps of books by Australian authors that have managed to find themselves a place on the shelves of American bookstores:

The above photo was taken at Boswell Book Company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Boswell was recently featured in a Huffington Post article ( about favorite independent bookstores; since it was the closest such bookstore to me, I paid it a visit just the other day. Imagine my delight when I saw Christos Tsiolkas's The Slap in the "Staff Recommendations" section. If you look closely at the label, it describes the book as "Franzen-esque"!

This copy of Gail Jones's Sorry was found in the "Customer Favorites Fiction" section of the Union Square Barnes & Noble in New York City. Not sure how exactly this title made its way into this section, but I think it's safe to assume that it wasn't based on sales figures! Anyway, nice to see such a fine Australian author featured so prominently in such a prominent American bookstore!