Therese Anne Fowler joined us to talk about Zelda Fitzgerald and showing truth through fiction. Originally broadcast on 18/04/13, the podcast is avail...moreTherese Anne Fowler joined us to talk about Zelda Fitzgerald and showing truth through fiction. Originally broadcast on 18/04/13, the podcast is available at zedbookclub.com.
Zelda Fitzgerald was the wife of F Scott Fitzgerald, author of The Great Gatsby, and is known mostly in reference to his achievements or as a troubled party-girl who spent time in asylums. Incredible socialites, living in expensive hotels and partying at the hottest nightclubs, the Fitzgeralds seem like they could be lifted from Scott’s own novels of money and myth. In her new book, Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald, Therese Anne Fowler looks to explore and dispel those myths, examining the life and times of literary’s golden couple through Zelda’s own eyes. She gives us a sense of Zelda as a person: a writer and artist in her own right and an individual very much distinct from her husband.(less)
We were joined by Helen Trinca to discuss Madeleine St John, her father Ted St John, and researching a person's life. Originally broadcast on 18/04/20...moreWe were joined by Helen Trinca to discuss Madeleine St John, her father Ted St John, and researching a person's life. Originally broadcast on 18/04/2013. The podcast is available at zedbookclub.com
Madeleine St John was a fascinating writer. The author of amongst other works, The Women in Black and The Essence of the Thing – which saw her as the first Australian woman short-listed for the Booker prize. The Australian part of that acknowledgement didn’t thrill Madeleine though as she had, at that point, become very much an English writer in her own mind. Fiesty and formidable, brilliant but damaged, Madeleine St John makes for a character as fine as any she wrote, and Helen Trinca, managing editor at The Australian has looked into her life, writing and the moments that defined her in Helen’s new book Madeleine: A Life of Madeleine St John.(less)
Hugh Howey dropped into the studio to chat about Wool, Shift, dystopia, self-publishing and yachting. Originally broadcast on 18/04/2013, the podcast...moreHugh Howey dropped into the studio to chat about Wool, Shift, dystopia, self-publishing and yachting. Originally broadcast on 18/04/2013, the podcast is available at zedbookclub.com
Hugh Howey has quickly become a well-known figure in fiction, not just for the success of his books, but for the way that they’ve succeeded. After writing a number of other books, including The Bern Saga quartet, some of them published through traditional small publishers, Howey wrote Wool, a novella or novelette, and self-published it through Amazon. The story was a massive success and so he began to expand on the world, writing a series of short novels that have now been condensed into the Wool Omnibus. Major offers from traditional publishers followed in the wake of this success, but Hugh Howey’s central demand was to retain the digital sales rights, something almost unheard of, and something he received.
The books themselves are in the mould of dystopian SF, set in a small community in a future world where the city, or Silo, is set deep underground, hidden from the toxins that ravage the world’s surface, and those that commit crimes are sent outside, to clean the sensors that let the Silo have some view of the surface. Over the course of Wool and the very recently published Shift, the follow up book, we find out considerably more about the nature of the silos, their hierarchy and their beginning. It’s a rollicking tale of high adventure that, as with the best of SF, examines what the nature of humanity really is.(less)
Nick Earls and Terry Whidborne joined us in the studio to talk about collaborations, 'gun', and shadowy villains. Originally broadcast on 25/04/2013,...moreNick Earls and Terry Whidborne joined us in the studio to talk about collaborations, 'gun', and shadowy villains. Originally broadcast on 25/04/2013, the podcast is available at zedbookclub.com
The Word Hunters trilogy is a fast-paced time-slip adventure looking at the strange and fascinating history of commonly used words, in which twins, Al & Lexi, travel into the past with the help of a curious dictionary. The trilogy is a series of firsts: the first collaboration between writer Nick Earls (ZigZag Street, 48 Shades of Brown, The Fix, and many more well-loved novels) and illustrator Terry Whidborne; Nick’s first children’s book; and Terry’s first time illustrating a novel. The second book in the series, The Lost Hunters, was recently released and sees the word hunters search for their missing grandfather across 1000 years of history.(less)
We were joined by Jane Caro to talk about Destroying the Joint, the book and the broader idea. Originally broadcast on 25/04/2013, the podcast is avai...moreWe were joined by Jane Caro to talk about Destroying the Joint, the book and the broader idea. Originally broadcast on 25/04/2013, the podcast is available at zedbookclub.com
What began as a Twitter hashtag has become a movement. At the end of August, 2012, in response to an announcement by Prime Minister Gillard that Australia would donate $300 million to train women in the Pacific region in leadership, radio host Alan Jones declared that women were doing enough harm already and signaled out two – Ex-Victorian Police Commissioner Christine Nixon and Sydney lord mayor Clover Moore – as examples, saying that female leaders were destroying the joint.
Jane Caro, author, lecturer, communications consultant and regular on The Gruen Transfer responded with a tweet “Got time on my hands tonight so thought I’d come up with new ways to destroy the joint, being a woman and all. Ideas welcome.” The response was enormous, and once the hashtag #destroythejoint was added, it became an organising point and rallying cry.
Now, in addition to the twitter tag and facebook group, there is a book to add to the conversation. Jane Caro has edited and curated a new collection of essays and stories from the likes of Leslie Cannold, Penny Wong, Christine Milne and Melissa Lucashenko, called Destroying The Joint: Why Women Have to Change the World.(less)
Chris joined The Book Club to chat about short fiction, semi-autobiographical writing, influences and comic books. Originally broadcast on 11/04/2013,...moreChris joined The Book Club to chat about short fiction, semi-autobiographical writing, influences and comic books. Originally broadcast on 11/04/2013, the podcast is available at zedbookclub.com
Chris Somerville is a Brisbane author who’s just released his first short story collection We Are Not the Same Anymore. They’re subtle, affecting stories that draw upon everyday life and bring surprising undercurrents and tensions to the surface, and once read they’ll be difficult to forget.
Karen joined The Book Club to talk about extinction, cultural identity and Star Trek. Originally broadcast on 11/04/2013, the podcast is available at...moreKaren joined The Book Club to talk about extinction, cultural identity and Star Trek. Originally broadcast on 11/04/2013, the podcast is available at zedbookclub.com
Karen Lord has a background that’s a story in its own right. Born in Barbados, she studied at the University of Toronto, before gaining her master’s degree in science and technology policy in Glasgow and then a Doctorate in the sociology of religion in Wales. Her bio speaks of training soldiers, of diplomacy and of teaching physics, and then of course there’s the writing. Her debut novel, Redemption in Indigo, was published last year and has won the Mythopoeic Award and the Crawford Award for best first fantasy and, quite recently, The Golden Tentacle Award at the Kitschies.
Her new novel is a lovely work of science fiction. Set on the melting-pot world of Cygnus Beta, it begins as the Sadiri, a rigidly self-controlled society of great galactic importance, are trying to come to terms with their own near-extinction, brought about by vengeful neighbours. The novel, with a deft and gentle gaze, looks at the ideas of race and culture, of coming to terms with tragedy and the ethical implications of telepathy.
We were joined by A. M. Homes to discuss brotherhood, Nixon, and the absurd. Originally broadcast on 04/04/2013, the podcast is available at zedbookcl...moreWe were joined by A. M. Homes to discuss brotherhood, Nixon, and the absurd. Originally broadcast on 04/04/2013, the podcast is available at zedbookclub.com
A.M. Homes is known as a challenging and provocative writer. Her works, which include the The End of Alice, The Safety of Objects and This Book Will Save Your Life have been described as disturbing, terrifying, and perhaps most accurately – ‘monstrous as truth’.
Her newest novel, May We Be Forgiven, is a darkly surreal and remarkably funny look into a year in the life of Harry Silver, a middling academic seemingly sleepwalking through life before a shocking tragedy brings his routine existence crashing down. After his brother George kills his own wife, Harry is obliged to step in and look after the children, the pets, and George’s wardrobe. Along the way he collects a new family and begins to become a complete person again himself.
Kevin joined us to discuss the story, the challenges with recovering from the army, and the power of imagination. Originally broadcast on 28/03/2013,...moreKevin joined us to discuss the story, the challenges with recovering from the army, and the power of imagination. Originally broadcast on 28/03/2013, the podcast is available at zedbookclub.com.
The Yellow Birds, by Kevin Powers, takes its title from a marching cadence that he learnt in the army. A rather course and violent verse, it sits as an epigraph alongside a quote from Sir Thomas Browne; a combination that serves as an appropriate introduction to the novel itself. The Yellow Birds looks at the recent Iraq War from the inside, following Private John Bartle during his time there and then as he tries to cope afterwards. The harsh dialog and brutal moments of war are set against spare, exquisite descriptions of the land and empathetic examinations of emotion and recovery. It’s a wonderful book, shortlisted for the National Book Award and winner of the Guardian First Book Award.
Kate joined us in the studio to talk about fairy-tales, research and romance. Originally broadcast on 28/03/2013, the podcast is available at zedbookc...moreKate joined us in the studio to talk about fairy-tales, research and romance. Originally broadcast on 28/03/2013, the podcast is available at zedbookclub.com.
An internationally best-selling author of fantasy, with a back-catalogue that covers readers of all ages, Kate Forsyth is the author of over twenty books including the Aurealis Award-winning Chain of Charms series, The Witches of Eileanan series and recently, Bitter Greens. Her latest novel is The Wild Girl – a historical novel about the Brothers Grimm and a young woman who told them some of their most famous fairy-tales.
We were joined by Shereen El Feki to talk about the impact of religion, the nature of virginity and the convenience of ‘pleasure marriages’. Originall...moreWe were joined by Shereen El Feki to talk about the impact of religion, the nature of virginity and the convenience of ‘pleasure marriages’. Originally broadcast on 21/03/2013, the podcast is available at zedbookclub.com.
Shereen El Feki is a writer, broadcaster and academic. She began her professional life with a doctorate in molecular immunology before going on to become an award-winning journalist with The Economist and a presenter with Al Jazeera English. She is the former vice-chair of the United Nation’s Global Commission on HIV and the Law and is a TED Global Fellow.
Raised in Canada, Shereen is the child of Welsh and Egyptian parents and would visit her Egyptian family yearly as a child. As an adult, working with The Economist she was drawn to the surprisingly low HIV infection rate that was being reported in the Arab region. But as she began to dig deeper, particularly in the country of her family, she found a gap between official figures and private reality.
Shereen has spent the last 5 years traveling throughout the Arab region, with a particular focus on Egypt, looking into sex and sexuality in that world. Marriage, pre-marital sex, gay relationships, even basic education all come under in the microscope in her book Sex and the Citadel.
We were joined by A. C. Grayling, ahead of a debate on church and state at the Sydney Opera House, to talk about the nature of humanism and the logic...moreWe were joined by A. C. Grayling, ahead of a debate on church and state at the Sydney Opera House, to talk about the nature of humanism and the logic of atheism. Originally broadcast on 22/03/2013, the podcast is available at zedbookclub.com.
A. C. Grayling is a noted ethicist and philosopher. Previously a professor of philosophy at the University of London, he is now Master of the New College of the Humanities and a supernumerary fellow of St Anne’s College, Oxford. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, a representative to the UN Human Rights Council, and a frequent broadcaster on BBC Radio. The author of over thirty books, he has explored the nature of liberty, the ethics of Allied Bombing in WWII, and published on Wittgenstein, Descartes and Russell. Over the last few years though, he has turned his attention to religion, joining the likes of Dawkins and Hitchens in pushing for a secular society, free from religious interference. In 2011 he published The Good Book, a retelling of the bible from a secular humanist perspective and his latest work is The God Argument: The case against religion and for a better alternative. (less)
Originally broadcast on 14/03/2013 on 4ZZZ, the podcast is available at zedbookclub.com
James Meek is a British author and journalist who has published...moreOriginally broadcast on 14/03/2013 on 4ZZZ, the podcast is available at zedbookclub.com
James Meek is a British author and journalist who has published five novels and two short story collections, and has been a frequent contributor to The Guardian and the London Review of Books. His latest work, The Heart Broke In, tells the story of a sibling relationship threatened by a potential betrayal. It’s a page turning comedy-drama and at the same time a perfectly-constructed moral epic that delves into fascinating questions of religion, atheism, ethics, science, fame, and love. James Meek was in Australia recently for the Perth Writers Festival, and he joined us to speak about the book.
Originally broadcast on 07/03/2013 on 4ZZZ, the podcast is available at zedbookclub.com.
Three-time winner of the Arthur C. Clarke award and seemingly...moreOriginally broadcast on 07/03/2013 on 4ZZZ, the podcast is available at zedbookclub.com.
Three-time winner of the Arthur C. Clarke award and seemingly permanent resident on the Nebula and Hugo award shortlists, China Mieville’s novels are dense with ideas; positively bursting at the seams with concepts that could happily sustain a novel of their own. The author of 10 books of weird fiction, as well as a collection of short stories, he’s also eruditely academic. His PhD thesis was published in 2005 as a book: Between Equal Rights, A Marxist Theory of International Law. His latest novel is Railsea. A fantastical journey through a world crossed with rail-lines, populated with terrifying predators, where a train captain chases her white Moldywarpe – the giant mole who took her arm. Stunning prose abounds, as always, and it was a treat to have China join us on the line to talk about Melville, giant monsters, Dial H For Hero and the future of publishing.(less)
Originally broadcast on 28/02/2013 on 4ZZZ, the podcast is available at zedbookclub.com.
Imaginative and prolific, Margaret Atwood is not one to be lim...moreOriginally broadcast on 28/02/2013 on 4ZZZ, the podcast is available at zedbookclub.com.
Imaginative and prolific, Margaret Atwood is not one to be limited by form or genre. Poet, Novelist, Essayist, across all forms there’s an incisive intellect that shines through her writing and a delightful curiosity as well as she paints the world as it is, as it can be and as it hopefully will never become. Winner of the Booker Prize, the Arthur C. Clarke award, the Governer-General’s award amongst many others, Margaret was in Australia for the Perth Writers Festival and a performance of The Year of the Flood in Brisbane. While here, she joined us to talk about the environment, shifting perspectives and sprightly pigoons.
Graeme Simsion’s first novel, The Rosie Project, is a new spin on the well-loved romantic comedy genre. Don Tillman is a brilliant scientist who is pa...moreGraeme Simsion’s first novel, The Rosie Project, is a new spin on the well-loved romantic comedy genre. Don Tillman is a brilliant scientist who is painfully socially awkward and lives his life according to a strict routine. When he decides to search for a life partner, he draws up a sixteen page questionnaire to find his perfect woman: someone as well-organised and rational-minded as he is. Along comes Rosie Jarman, who’s messy, spontaneous and always late. The adventures they have together will throw Don’s neatly ordered world into chaos.
When the manuscript for The Rosie Project won the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for best unpublished manuscript in 2012, there was immediate interest from publishers, and rights have now been sold in over thirty countries around the world.
Growing up, Nicolas Rothwell attended school throughout Europe, before studying at Magdelan College at Oxford. He worked as a foreign correspondent th...moreGrowing up, Nicolas Rothwell attended school throughout Europe, before studying at Magdelan College at Oxford. He worked as a foreign correspondent through the 1980s and the early 90s, reporting from the Americas, Western and Eastern Europe, before settling in the Northern Territory in the 90s, where he continued to write for The Australian, winning a Walkley in 2006 for his coverage of Indigenous Affairs. All of these experiences weigh heavily on Belomor, Rothwell’s sixth book, a mixture of memoir and history lesson, couched as lyrical fiction and composed of four stories with interlinked themes: of place, of art, of straining for transcendence.
Nicolas joined Sky to talk about the nature of story-telling, historical figures and journalism.
Ben Shrank is a Brooklyn-based author and publisher whose new novel, Love Is a Canoe, is a book about a book. Marriage Is a Canoe was a self-help publ...moreBen Shrank is a Brooklyn-based author and publisher whose new novel, Love Is a Canoe, is a book about a book. Marriage Is a Canoe was a self-help publishing phenomenon in the 1970s; a collection of marriage advice, full of saccharine anecdotes about the grandparents of the book's author, Peter Herman. Forty years on, Peter is now an old man himself, who just wants to be left alone. Stella, an ambitious young editor, comes up with the idea of a contest for the book's anniversary. One lucky couple will win a marriage counselling session with Peter himself. The winning entry come from Emily Babson, who love the book as a child and turns to it again for consolation as she finds her own marriage failing. But as these characters come together, they find that the answers aren't as easy as those found in the pages of a self-help book.
An intriguing and multi-faceted novel, Love Is a Canoe is not just about love and marriage, but relationships of all kinds, including the complex ones between a book, its author and its readers.
Mark Adams is a New York based writer. A deputy editor at National Geographic Adventure magazine, he assigned and corrected tales of adventure. But th...moreMark Adams is a New York based writer. A deputy editor at National Geographic Adventure magazine, he assigned and corrected tales of adventure. But the last time he’d camped himself was as a child – in his own backyard. As the hundredth anniversary of Hiram Bingham III’s controversial discovery of Machu Picchu neared though, Mark felt the pull of Peru and so he headed off to explore the same paths that Bingham had taken. His new book, Turn Right at Machu Picchu, follows these twin narratives. An historical account of Hiram Bingham, and the modern tale of Mark Adams following in his footsteps, it’s funny, informative and sure to make the reader want to go exploring themselves.
Mark joined Sky to talk about shifting climates, the fall of the Incas and reviewing tents by colour. (less)
Since 2008 Geordie Williamson has been the Chief Literary Critic for The Australian, although his essays and reviews have been appearing in major pape...moreSince 2008 Geordie Williamson has been the Chief Literary Critic for The Australian, although his essays and reviews have been appearing in major papers and journals for much longer. In 2011, he was awarded the Pascall Prize for criticism, the only major prize for critical writing and review in Australia, further cementing his reputation. Now he has published a book of his own, The Burning Library, a collection of essays that celebrates some of Australian literature’s best writers and mourns the way that their works have been lost to us over time, making the case for their reinclusion into the Australian canon. It’s a fascinating book that exposes the stories, ideas and times behind a lot of half-familiar names.
Originally broadcast on 13/12/2012, Geordie joined Sky to talk about his own journey to Australian literature and to share some of the fascinating stories that surround these writers. (less)
Amy Espeseth’s debut novel, Sufficient Grace, won the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an unpublished manuscript in 2009, and was recently publi...moreAmy Espeseth’s debut novel, Sufficient Grace, won the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an unpublished manuscript in 2009, and was recently published by Scribe. Sufficient Grace centres on a thirteen year old girl, Ruthie, growing up in a close-knit, isolated Pentecostal community in rural Wisconsin. When Ruth uncovers a terrible secret, her faith and her trust in those around her are challenged for the first time. It’s a disturbing yet compelling meditation on spirituality, family, and nature.
Grace caught up with Amy to speak about her novel and her involvement with Vignette Press – a small publishing house experimenting with magazine/book hybrids. Broadcast on the Book Club episode of 14 December 2012.(less)
Serialisation has a long and storied history. Works by the likes of Dickens, Doestoevsky, Tolstoy and, perhaps most relevantly, Arthur Conan Doyle, al...moreSerialisation has a long and storied history. Works by the likes of Dickens, Doestoevsky, Tolstoy and, perhaps most relevantly, Arthur Conan Doyle, all featured as serials in the papers and magazines of their times. It’s a rather uncommon method of publication these days though. Matthew Condon, journalist and author of 9 books, decided to step into the gap, after a conversation with his editor at The Courier Mail and has been producing, each summer for the last few years, serialised detective stories, featuring an ariscable NSW detective who has come to Queensland to retire and instead finds himself embroiled in a series of mysteries. The first five of these serialised works have now been collected under the title The Toe Tag Quintet.
JamesMoloneyis a well known children's and young adult author, with nearly forty titles to his name, including the award winning A Bridge to Wiseman’s...moreJames Moloney is a well known children's and young adult author, with nearly forty titles to his name, including the award winning A Bridge to Wiseman’s Cove. His new novel, The Tower Mill, is different in focus. His first adult work, it examines an unusual family, their relationships and their history, against the backdrop of Joh-era Queensland.