The human longing for the mysterious, liberating joy of wild nature has always fascinated me. So much of art, literature and music originate from this longing, but even on a daily level, most people love to have a break in the beauty of nature. And ...
O ‘Arcadian Adelaide,’ may you improve – may
Wandering between two worlds, one dead, the other powerless to be born
It was of course totally impossible to turn Andy Griffiths’ and Terry Denton’s best-selling children’s book,The 13-Storey Treehouse, into a play. Apart from a multi-level treehouse with a bowling alley, a secret underground laboratory and a tank full of man-eating sharks, the ...
One of the frustrating parts of writing a book is that once it is finished it’s set in stone while the rest of the world keeps on spinning out of control. Since I signed off on the final proofs ofWebtopiaover summer, what I describe ...
History
Writing Bedlam
James Dunk

Whenever I tell someone I’m writing about madness they often nod agreeably – and then double-take. Did you say ‘madness’? I quickly fill the silence, which I assume comes from confusion and not disinterest, with my elevator pitch: my book,Bedlam at Botany Bay, is a history of madness in ...

Culture
Hydra
Sue Smith

The story of Charmian Clift and George Johnston and their dream of a life of creative freedom on a Greek island first caught my attention over twenty years ago. Like so many other Australians, I found my imagination fired by the scale of their love story, the scale of their ...

History

Why would anyone become so all-consumed that they’d work on a book non-stop till they were down to their last $20? That’s what happened to me writingThe Snowy: A History. I turned thirty as I started tracking down migrants from some forty European countries who had worked on ...


Science

In the early 1950s, the Cold War was casting its shadow across the whole world, while people were waiting for the Space Age to begin. And so it did, but without the jetpacks, holidays on the Moon and robot helpers that everyone was hoping for. The catalyst was one of ...

History
World War Noir
Michael Duffy and Nick Hordern

World War II was an unusual period for Sydney’s underworld. On the one hand, lots of young potential criminals were out of the way in the army. On the other, there was a boost in demand for underworld services – illicit sex, alcohol and gambling. The city was flooded with ...

History
Paper Emperors
Sally Young

Newspapers have found it very difficult to tell the truth about themselves. David Bowman, the former editor of two Australian newspapers, observed that ‘Newspapers will expose many things but seldom each other’. Academic scholar James Carey noted along similar lines that: ‘The newspaper does not, perhaps it cannot, turn upon ...


Society

For quite some years,The Thinking Womanwas an idea for a book I was yet to begin. Back in the year 2000, almost twenty years ago now, I read Alain de Botton’sThe Consolations of Philosophyand I enjoyed it immensely. As the title suggests, it’s a book about taking ...

History

#MeToo. Marriage equality. The Royal Commission into responses to child sexual abuse. Domestic violence. Today, the politics of private experience takes up a lot of space in public debate. There’s good reason for this: these issues resonate because they impact so many of us. Public discussion of these issues ...

Society
Leeward: A Memoir
Geoffrey Lehmann

Naming a book may seem more difficult than writing it. My first stab at a title for this memoir wasGlass Negatives. I chose this because my father used glass negatives in a large ancient camera to photograph weekend picnickers he took up the Lane Cove River in a launch he ...


 
 
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