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Mythical and monstrous: land and sea in Australian fiction

Mythical and monstrous: land and sea in Australian fiction

Following a recent visit to Brisbane and its many bookshops, I found myself becoming obsessed by Australian literature. In each novel, short story, or memoir that I read, there was something that fascinated me. Slowly, I realised just what had me so hooked. It was the way these writers used their landscapes and seascapes, the way they played as important a role in their works as the plots and characters. I wanted to figure out why. 

The making of Station Eleven

The making of Station Eleven

Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel's beautiful, dark novel set in the days and years after the collapse of civilisation, has a cover to die for. The humble computer screen doesn't do justice to the fluorescent pink of Pantone 806 C which makes up the lettering of the title, so you'll have to look out for copies in the shops from 10 September. In the meantime, we listened in on a conversation about the cover between Emily and Nathan Burton, who designed it.

Friday poem: 'So Unimaginably Different and So Long Ago'

Friday poem: 'So Unimaginably Different and So Long Ago'

'We don't believe in progress / yet how can taste run backwards?' It's not that the speaker in Peter Porter's poem 'So Unimaginably Different and So Long Ago' doesn't believe in progress, more that he is afraid of it. It's much easier to admire a Medici bust, whose story is so well known, than to embrace something new like a messy bed, with all the change that that might signify.

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