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Note also that Eleanor Hogan's Alice Springs, the latest in a series of books on Australian cities published by NewSouth Publishing, will be launched at Readings in Carlton on Monday night.
Eleanor kept the popular blog The View From Elsewhere during her time in Alice and has drawn on her experiences there in writing this account. She also wrote for Sarsaparilla, a space some of you might remember.
Hogan’s uncompromising narrative is based on her experience living in Alice Springs between 2005 and 2010 to work as a policy officer in Aboriginal services. Looming large is a disparate population. Some residents are non-Indigenous expats from capital cities who have relocated to ‘make a difference’ as part of the town’s welfare economy. Others are the Aboriginal recipients of this welfare, many of whom Hogan shows to be living in serious disadvantage born from dispossession, and made even more difficult by seemingly unending cycles of alcohol, violence, poverty, bureaucracy and exploitation.
These depictions are not based on idle impressions, but are supported by a public servant’s eye for statistics and policy documents and a journalist’s skill in interviewing prominent community members. Lives led in this place of extremes are difficult, but are cross-cut with the pleasures of community that exist in regional centres, and the importance of sport, art, friendship, family and culture.
A tough portrait of life in a beautiful but harsh landscape of contradictions, Alice Springs is as much a series of general questions about living ethically as it is Hogan’s memoir of being an outsider looking in.
Alison Huber, Readings.
Here's a review at The Australian, and an extract from the book at Inside Story.
It has come to my notice that I have new subscribers - no doubt this is due to my decision to maintain the Randolph Stow tribute post at the top of Reeling and Writhing's front page (though they could also have moved from Bloglines, which is closing, to Google Reader).
Be advised, all ye, to avoid further confusion of new visitors, that of today STUMPS is the top post.
But while I do have your attention - it's cheering to know that the Productivity Commission's inquiry into a national disability insurance scheme attracted a whopping number of submissions. Those which have been put online can be read here (mine is no. 420). For more about the NDIS, see the disability politics tab above. If you do hear from me here again, it will be a notification that I have a disability politics blog elsewhere...
As you were, enjoy your reading.
A writer recently left the following message:
"Sometimes when I'm writing I feel like someone else is in my head writing it for me. Weird when the characters take over but not uncommon apparently. This doesn't happen when blog writing by the way."
I surmise it is the muse in the form of the characters that is taking over. Somehow, this writer is able to surrender his/her ego (what some call the critic) long enough for the creative force to work through him/her when writing fiction.
I find it interesting that blog writing isn't the same. I wonder if that's true for others???
Perhaps blog writing is so quickly accessible to public scrutiny that the ego (critic) can't let go. Does that make blogs more ego-driven???? The writing more self-conscious???
Alice has been walking and taking photographs at her mother's command. The results are bewitching.
Writing at Desktop, Australian blogger Gerard Edelson calls Banksy's film, Exit Through The Gift Shop,
'that rarest of things in the internet age: a cinematic Trojan horse.'
His full review will be posted on his own blog, Celluloid Tongue, in good time, in good time.
One of my favourite short story writers is putting one up a month as a podcast, and selling the print version from her website as a zine (and Jen makes pretty ones.) We are lucky punters. Get over there and listen, and send off for a bundle when she has a few more up. I will be.
Polari's first issue features an interview with Edmund White, poetry
by Pam Brown, the short fiction of Dallas Angguish and the writing of Staceyann Chin. This new international journal is is currently holding an open call for submissions from LGBT and queer
writers for its second issue, with a publication date of October 1st 2010.
And finally this link from John Williams at The Second Pass, to an interview with US historian Jill Lepore, carries a very sweet tale of an inspiring letter with it. What an interesting idea for a teacher to have, taking letters every year from 15 year old pupils and posting them back five years later. I wonder if he ever got any of them mixed up...(yes, that would be me if I was that teacher.)
So many books, only one life...I thought at first Mr Deaver was a serial killer, which is why I clicked on this when it came up in my reader. Got him confused with someone else....It is, after all, a fine name for a crime writer.
From last week, there are five book reviews up on the blog at Overland. What a great platform for blog reviews - good to see this.
Included is a review of Lisa Dempster's Neon Pilgrim, Alec Patric's poetry collection which has been released as an e-book, and Emmett Stinson's short fiction collection, Known Unknowns, from Affirm Press.
Academic librarian Constance evaluates the Kobo reader
, recently sold out at Borders stores across Australia.Maud noticed this
, and I thank her for it.
Not in a book group? try this one on for size
. If you're not in the States, you might like to use it as a reading list later on. With notes.
The Duck has found us all something really good and silly
to finish on.
photo by Brian Yap - found via Trove.
The time has come, a fact's a fact. Though Peter Kenneally has gently accused me of being all Farnsey about it*, I am pulling up stumps here, and decamping quietly to my
internet scrapbook at Mulberry Road. (It's okay, you can all come...if you like. But it will be quieter.)
*I have misremembered that - it was somewhere else, regarding something else. Sorry for taking your name in vain, sir. I do feel like Farnham though.
I did try to manage my
internet habits so that I was no longer a purveyor of links. But...I
think I actually got worse before I got better.
Let's face it - the news is all around you now, from SPUNC, City of Tongues, Kill Your Darlings, LiteraryMinded, Kerryn's new offering Read, Think, Write, Meanjin, Overland, the Wheeler Centre, Unwakeable, the Oz, even the Paris Review - so all good Ozlit news junkies know where to go.
As I say goodbye
(though this site will stay here so links will be
maintained), I want to note that the death of Randolph Stow in the age of digital publishing is as good a time as any to say goodbye. The last post will remain at the top of the page here as a memorial, because I can, because I'm a fan
I hope you won't mind keeping an eye out for news about the National Disability Insurance Scheme during the Federal election (and the State, if like me you are unlucky enough to have two this year). I've created a page with some links and information for interested parties - click on the tab above for details if you'd like to know more.
Thanks to all who have visited, commented, sent me books, and invited me to events or made me welcome at their gatherings, and above all, been friends through some testing times. It's been a great ride, and I've enjoyed your company. Take care.