07.09.17 8:33 am
YOU ARE INVITED TO THE LAUNCH OF JULIAN PUNCH’S BOOK
“GAY WITH GOD – The Life and Times of a Turbulent Priest” – THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 7TH
AT HOTEL SOHO, 124 DAVEY STREET, HOBART 6 to 7PM. Drinks and nibbles.
Provocative, timely and intensely personal.
Julian Punch entered the Priesthood as a gay man. He received his training in the
same seminary with George Pell. He left the priesthood after much inner conflict to
face bitter resistance to his efforts to bring a better life to the gay community.
He has been arrested on trumped up charges, vilified, had his house burnt down,
received many awards for his human rights efforts in Timor-Leste and is the recipient
of an Order of Australia.
He rejected the church because he believes it is corrupt, out of step with modern
thinking and intolerant in the extreme. He fought off the reactionary National Civic
Council and continuous political and religious interventions into his good works.
Hotel Soho is open for dinner with fabulous meals beginning at just $10.
Download invitation ...
First published August 15
07.09.17 6:34 am
06.09.17 6:44 pm
New book ‘Dear Lindy’ shows how the nation responded to the loss of Azaria Chamberlain, and includes personal letters from Lindy’s children.
“This book shows just how far, wide and deep the story of Azaria has gone” - Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton
The Azaria Chamberlain case was one of the most followed and documented murder trials in Australia’s history. As Lindy Chamberlain mourned the death of her baby daughter Azaria, taken by a dingo from a campsite at Uluru in 1980, she was tried and convicted in the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory. The nation responded with grief, rage, prejudice and remorse to Lindy directly, through thousands of letters.
In the forthcoming book Dear Lindy (NLA Publishing, 1 November, $39.99), author and playwright Alana Valentine provides a selection of letters sent to Lindy throughout her ordeal, as shared in Alana’s play, Letters to Lindy. The public made their own ruling in the case that divided Australia, shown in the hurtful, supportive, accusatory or sympathetic letters received by Lindy. Some of the letters are full of vitriol; some include bizarre theories. More are compassionate, sent by mothers, by people of faith or by those who had suffered similar tragedies. We hear directly from Lindy too, in candid conversations with the author, her foreword and a letter she wrote to her 16-year-old self. Dear Lindy is a fascinating time capsule of 1980s and 1990s Australia, reflecting our changing attitudes to Lindy Chamberlain and how far we’ve come as a nation.
Alana Valentine is an acclaimed playwright and award-winning author. In 2013, she won three Australian Writers’ Guild Awards, including the Major Award and the inaugural David Williamson Award for excellence in writing for the Australian stage. In the same year, she received a Harold White Fellowship to research the Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton collection at the National Library of Australia. This resulted in the 2016 Merrigong Theatre production of Letters to Lindy, touring to Canberra and Sydney, with further touring scheduled nation-wide in 2018. She has also been awarded a Centenary Medal for her work for the Centenary of Federation, an Australian Prime Ministers Centre Fellowship and a Churchill Fellowship. Her plays Parramatta Girls and Soft Revolution are on the New South Wales school syllabus.
05.09.17 5:36 am
There is no strange thing here, and nothing new
The powerful rich believe, they always do
That their success, from intellect and drive:
Their failures from misfortunes, though they strive.
While poor folk are made poor from lack of sense
and work – so luck is not in evidence
Because some moral failing that they have
Keeps them from the fortune all must crave:
And these, the powerful, the strong and rich
Yet act to drive all others in a ditch
They politicians pay, the laws to bend
Squeeze the workers so their wealth extend -
And where the country’s lack of law permit
They pay their thugs to bully and to hit
To rape and murder, if that is allowed
By folk fickle-born to parents wealth-endowed.
How can we stop such cruelty and sin?
All must try to find the Lord within
I mean, what strength and wisdom that we have
To fight those who corrupt and then deprave.
I won’t say here all rich folk are born bad
It’s how they are brought up that makes me sad
Not seeing the results of what they do
Blind willfully to what is fair and true:
Freedom, Freedom, Freedom is our cry
Eternal watchfulness to evil folk deny
And Truth brought out where under rug was swept
- The poor know Buddha, yes, and Jesus wept.
*Chukwuma Ndububa is a Nigerian poet whose poem ‘Diala’ is advice on surviving oppression. The Nigerians, whose national language is English, have a fantastic tradition of poetry including Chinua Achebe and Wole Soyinka]
Chris Gallagher Director Tasmanian Writers' Centre
04.09.17 7:42 pm
Dear Readers and Writers
A family-friendly morning of reading, storytelling, drawing, laughter and inspiring learning will be a highlight of this year’s TASMANIAN WRITERS AND READERS FESTIVAL.
On Sunday September 17, families are invited to join two fun, interactive one-hour sessions, featuring international best selling author, Bradley Trevor Greive, Tasmanian children’s writer Nicole Gill, and Tasmanian children’s author and illustrator, Christina Booth.
For this year’s family program, the Tasmanian Writers Centre is thrilled to be partnering with the Children’s University Tasmania—an international program delivered in Tasmania through the University of Tasmania’s Peter Underwood Centre for Educational Attainment.
The Children’s University offers superior educational experiences outside of school for children aged between seven and 14 years. The program has a strong emphasis on experience as a significant learning tool, acknowledging the value of the range of different learning experiences and environments in which children engage.
Each child attending a school that is registered with the program is issued with a Passport to Learning in which they collect stamps until they graduate from the Children’s University. Certificates are presented at annual graduation ceremonies at UTAS campuses. Children choose the activities they would like to participate in, and the learning activities can occur in a variety of environments—anything from sporting clubs and museums to airports and…writers festivals!
The festival’s Sunday morning family sessions have been designated as a Children’s University Learning Destination. Learning Destinations provide high quality learning activities and experiences with a ‘wow’ factor. The activity offered can be almost anything, as long as it connects with Children’s University learning and has realistic links to a university program.
The TASMANIAN WRITERS AND READERS FESTIVAL family sessions are designed to include the whole family unit, recognising that parents are a crucial part of their children’s learning and literacy journey. Sharing a love of books and reading from an early age does not just bring educational benefits for children, but is a wonderful opportunity for family bonding and shared joy.
As well as these two sessions there will be free activities for children at the Festival’s Book Nook, including readings on the hour during Saturday and Sunday delivered by Tasmanian children’s authors!
And this week we have another competition for you to enter. You could win a double pass to the State Cinema. Enter the competition on Facebook.
04.09.17 8:13 am
The magazine began life as The Tasmanian Review in June 1979 but after only five issues it changed its name to Island magazine reflecting it’s national scope — because Australia is an island too, you know?
03.09.17 1:00 pm
After a brief little bit of hibernation to warm ourselves up over winter, we’re ready to get back into lots of book launches, so join us for our next one, and keep your eye out for the rest!
Join us at our next launch ...
The Hobart Bookshop is pleased to invite you to a special double book launch for Ian Kennedy Williams’ new short story collection, Leaving the Comfort Zone and Jane Williams’ new poetry collection, Parts of the Main.
Both collections are published by Ginninderra Press.
Where: The Hobart Bookshop, 22 Salamanca Square
When: 5:30pm, Thursday September 7th
Free event, all welcome.
... and watch out for ...
The launch, by Charles Wooley of The Shy Mountain, the latest book by Don Knowler.
Published by Forty South Publishing.
Where: The Hobart Bookshop, 22 Salamanca Square
When: 5.30pm, Wednesday September 20th
Free event, all welcome.
The Hobart Bookshop team.
First published August 22
Chris Gallagher, Tasmanian Writers' Centre
02.09.17 7:11 am
Dear Readers and Writers
We are launching five new books at the TASMANIAN WRITERS & READERS FESTIVAL this year.
We warmly invite you to come along and celebrate these exciting new books and meet the authors. All five books will be launched in the Leadlight Room at Hadley’s Orient Hotel.
Purchase a copy from Fullers, our Festival Bookshop,and have it signed by the author.
We look forward to seeing you there.
Moonah Arts Centre
01.09.17 11:00 am
Badgers and Porcupines is a collection of stories and art from people living with younger onset dementia in Tasmania and it will be launched by the Honourable Elise Archer, Speaker of the House of Assembly at the Moonah Arts Centre on September 2, at 3pm.
This is a free event and open to the public though bookings are required (links below). The event will also feature a reading from client Steve Lamble, from his piece ‘A Day Remembered’ and young writer Lily Stojcevski, who was bought in to interpret the stories recorded over the last year.
Badgers and Porcupines contains stories of love, of cars, of tennis, of being the best nurse possible, of faith, of ducks and art. It is also a book about memory and what it means to live with memory loss. It is also a beautiful book full of art that has been created by the clients as part of the Artist in Residence program.
Younger onset dementia is often described as an invisible condition. It affects people under the age of 65, and sometimes as young as 30. People living with younger onset dementia are often misdiagnosed and struggle to find support in a community that generally associates dementia with old age.
The work has been created through the Artist In Residence program at Alzheimers Tasmania and with the support of Mercury Walch, printers.
First published August 23
Black Inc. Books
31.08.17 8:02 am
30.08.17 9:00 am
First published August 13
Chris Gallagher Director Tasmanian Writers' Centre
28.08.17 5:32 pm
Dear Readers and Writers
Is social justice important to you? While our upcoming Tasmania Writers and Readers Festival 2017 has plenty to be joyus about there are plenty of big topics also being tackled. Professor AC Grayling is coming to Australia from Oxford University, England and his presentations in Melbourne and Sydney are booked out - our opening night with him as key note speaker is your last chance to see him in Australia! He will be setting the tone of the Festival with an address that explores the future of democracy in world politics.
We are also excited to be announcing the recipient of the inaugural Emerging Tasmanian Aboriginal Writers Award (ETAWA) at the opening night prior to Professor AC Grayling’s address.
This Festival will also be bringing down award-winning writer, storyteller, educator, and human rights advocate Arnold Zable and freelance writer, broadcaster and public speaker Clementine Ford, as well as presenting a fantastic array of Tasmanian writers, thinkers and activists including plangermairreenner Elder puralia meenamatta (Jim Everett),Antonia Case and Tansy Rayner Roberts to be exploring current and relevant social justice issues.
There are plenty of big discussions ahead that promise to inspire us and get us thinking globally as well as locally. Please share with your networks, and make sure you book your tickets soon - we hope to see you there!
Joy Aimée, Director of A&A Book Publishing
25.08.17 12:38 pm
... Queensland Book of the Year ...
Joy Aimée, Director of A&A Book Publishing, is delighted to announce that “To Prey and to Silence” by Joan Katherine Isaacs, published by Short Stop Press, an imprint of A&A Book Publishing has today been named as a finalist in the prestigious Courier Mail People’s Choice Awards Queensland Book of the Year.
Ms Aimée, and the entire Team at A&A Book Publishing congratulates Joan on her achievement and once again applauds the courage she and her family have displayed in their long fight to achieve justice. A&A Book Publishing is proud to be the publisher of such an important book. Here’s the official announcement of the finalists and the link to VOTE:
Synopsis - To Prey and To Silence
At the age of fifteen Joan’s normal and happy life changed irreparably when the chaplain at her school groomed her for his own sexual gratification. Despite the trauma of her teenage years, Joan became a teacher, initially working in primary schools and later focussing on children with special needs and learning difficulties. Silenced by her abuser and later by the Catholic Church through their Towards Healing program, Joan was finally able to speak in 2013 when she gave evidence at the Royal Commission into the Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. To Prey and To Silence is Joan Katherine Isaacs’ powerful account of her battle to be heard.
About the author
Joan Katherine Isaacs is a wife, mother and doting grandmother. Born in 1953 into a Catholic family, Joan is the middle child of migrant parents. Joan became a teacher, initially working in primary schools and later focussing on children with special needs and learning difficulties. In 2013 Joan gave evidence at the Royal Commission into the Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
Black Inc. Books
22.08.17 3:23 pm
Lucinda Sharp Director, FORTY SOUTH PUBLISHING Pty Ltd
22.08.17 3:14 pm
Chris Gallagher, Director, Tasmanian Writers' Centre
22.08.17 2:59 pm
Dear Writers and Readers,
Happy BOOK WEEK! Congratulations to the CBCA Book of the Year 2017 award winners, and Tasmanian author and illustrator Jennifer Cossins for A-Z of Endangered Animals, an Honour Book for the Eve Pownall Award for Information Books.
We will continue these celebrations at the festival with two special sessions for children and a Book Nook. The family sessions will be on Sunday morning with Bradley Trevor Greive, Nicole Gill and Christina Booth. Two wonderfully interactive sessions with drawing, music and lots of laughter guaranteed. Everyone is invited to dress up as their favourite creature or sheep!
Festival tickets are selling fast and our Masterclass with Bradley Trevor Greive has already BOOKED OUT! If you’re thinking of coming along NOW is the time - we don’t want you to miss out. taswrf.org
Here are three more sessions to whet your appetite - this time we have included our festival guests in action. This week’s festival competition prize has tickets to the State Cinema.
Happy Festival planning!
17.08.17 5:14 pm
Left to right: Margaretta Pos, Tony Fenton, Anne Blythe-Cooper, Lucinda Sharp
When the longlists for the Premier’s Literary Prizes 2017 were revealed at a glittering function last Friday night, the name Forty South Publishing was read out three times. Three out of ten is pretty pleasing. </b>
Congratulations to three authors who were long-listed for the Margaret Scott Prize (for best book by a Tasmanian writer) - Anne Blythe-Cooper (“The Shape of Water”), Tony Fenton (“A History of Port Davey, South West Tasmania, Volume One: Fleeting Hopes”) and Margaretta Pos (“Shadows in Suriname”). And thanks to the editors and designers who contributed to these publications including Chris Champion, Kent Whitmore, Hannah Gamble, Imogen Brown, Nick Gross, Sheila Allison.
Congratulations to all the other authors who made the longlists. As the judges noted, the longlists demonstrate the rich diversity of current Tasmanian writing and reading culture.
Over 100 books were entered and 10 made the longlist in each category, as follows:
Margaret Scott Prize – 2017 longlist for best book by a Tasmanian writer – $5 000
• The Shape of Water by Anne Blythe-Cooper, published by Forty South Publishing
• In Brazil by Fran Bryson, published by Scribe Publications
• Woven Landscape: Connections in the Tasmanian Midlands, written and published by Peter E Davies
• A History of Port Davey, South West Tasmania, Volume One: Fleeting Hopes by Tony Fenton, published by Forty South Publishing
• The White Room Poems by Anne Kellas, published by Walleah Press
• South Pole: Nature and Culture by Elizabeth Leane, published by Realktion Books
• Shadows in Suriname by Margaretta Pos, published by Forty South Publishing
• The Museum of Modern Love by Heather Rose, published by Allen & Unwin
• Down the Dirt Roads by Rachael Treasure, published by Penguin Random House
• Crocoite by Margaret Woodward, published by A Published Event.
Tasmania Book Prize – 2017 longlist for the best book with Tasmanian content in any genre – $25 000
• Losing Streak: How Tasmania was Gamed by the Gambling Industry by James Boyce, published by Black Inc
• The Diemenois: Being the Correct and True Account of the Sensational Escape, Seclusion and Cruel Demise of a Most Infamous Man by J W Clennett, published by Hunter Publishers
• Archipelago of Souls by Gregory Day, published by Pan Macmillan Australia
• Solomon’s Noose: The True Story of Her Majesty’s Hangman of Hobart by Steve Harris, published by Melbourne Books
• Physick by Pete Hay, published by Shoestring Press
• The Better Son by Katherine Johnson, published by Ventura Press
• Wild Island by Jennifer Livett, published by Allen & Unwin.
• Fall of the Derwent by Justy Phillips and Margaret Woodward, published by A Published Event
• Musquito: Brutality and Exile by Michael Powell, published by Fullers Publishing
• Into the Heart of Tasmania by Rebe Taylor, published by Melbourne University Publishing.
The shortlists will be announced at a reception on the mainstage at the Theatre Royal on Thursday, 14 September 2017 as part of the Tasmanian Writers and Readers Festival.
The Saturday Paper
16.08.17 7:40 am
Monash University Publishing
15.08.17 2:46 pm
‘Me Write Myself’ The Free Aboriginal Inhabitants of Van Diemen’s Land at Wybalenna, 1832–47
By Leonie Stevens*
‘This beautifully written and detailed history of Wybalenna on Flinders Island and its colonial contexts, is told through the rich records left by and about the First Tasmanians resident there. It privileges Aboriginal testimony in a way rarely achieved before and will become a classic of Tasmanian history.’ Richard Broome, Emeritus Professor of History, FAHA, FRHSV
Exiles, lost souls, remnants of a dying race ... The fate of the First Nations peoples of Van Diemen’s Land is one of the most infamous chapters in Australian, and world, history. The men, women and children exiled to Flinders Island in the 1830s and 40s have often been written about, but never allowed to speak for themselves. This book aims to change that.
Penned by the exiles during their fifteen years at the settlement called Wybalenna, items in the Flinders Island Chronicle, sermons, letters and petitions offer a compelling corrective to traditional portrayals of a hopeless, dispossessed, illiterate people’s final days. The exiles did not see themselves as prisoners, but as a Free People. Seen through their own writing, the community at Wybalenna was vibrant, complex and evolving. Rather than a depressed people simply waiting for death, their own words reveal a politically astute community engaged in a fifteen year campaign for their own freedom: one which was ultimately successful.
‘Me Write Myself’ is a compelling story that will profoundly affect understandings of Tasmanian and Australian history.
*Dr Leonie Stevens researches and lectures in History. Previous to working with true stories, she had an extensive background as a fiction writer and editor. She is the author of six novels, a variety of short fiction, and is addicted to B-grade disaster films.
15.08.17 12:24 pm
First published June 27
Chris Gallagher, Director, Tasmanian Writers' Centre
14.08.17 7:09 pm
First published August 7
Dear Writers and Readers,
As we gear up for the Centre’s largest event, our TASMANIAN WRITERS AND READERS FESTIVAL 2017 the Centre goes into festival mode. Between now and October our standard Writas and This Writing Month newsletters will be replaced by these weekly Festival Update E-Bulletins - you can expect to receive this every Monday! We do know there is a need to keep up with other industry news and opportunities, so during this time we reccomend you keep an eye on the Tasmanain Writers Centre Events page where we will upload events and opportunities coming up: https://www.taswriters.org/events/
Our Festival Marketing team has been busy and on the weekend we launched the first of our weekly Facebook Prizes, have you seen it yet? Head to our Facebook page to enter before August 13th for your chance to win a Golden Ticket - this will give you a free pass to all Saturday and Sunday sessions at the Festival!
Our full festival program will go live and be on sale on 11th August and a printed program will be inserted in the Mercury’s Tas Weekend on 12th August. There are still lots of opportunities to get involved by volunteering at the Festival. The call-out and sign up for volunteering is open on our Festival Volunteer page. If you enoy receiving the latest Festival updates encourage your friends to sign up for our festival free newsletters via our website now.
The countdown is on, we can’t wait to tell you on Friday about all the sessions we have planned!
Elise Archer, Speaker of the House of Assembly Liberal Member for Denison
12.08.17 6:56 am
Today I was delighted to announce the longlists for the Tasmania Book Prize and the Margaret Scott Prize as part of the 2017 Premier’s Literary Prizes on behalf of the Premier.
These longlists are a fascinating and diverse collection of high calibre writing and a great starting point for people who want to read Tasmanian stories or work written by Tasmanian authors.
They include literary fiction, writing about politics and society, travel writing, poetry, histories and graphic novels. The judges noted that the longlists demonstrate the rich diversity of Tasmanian writing and reading culture at this point in time.
The prizes are judged by an independent panel from the literary sector, chaired by Professor Hamish Maxwell-Stewart.
Longlist for the Tasmania Book Prize for the best book with Tasmanian content in any genre - $25 000
· Losing Streak: How Tasmania was Gamed by the Gambling Industry by James Boyce, published by Black Inc;
· The Diemenois: Being the Correct and True Account of the Sensational Escape,Seclusion and Cruel Demise of a Most Infamous Man by J W Clennett, published by Hunter Publishers;
· Archipelago of Souls by Gregory Day, published by Pan Macmillan Australia;
· Solomon’s Noose: The True Story of Her Majesty’s Hangman of Hobart by Steve Harris,published by Melbourne Books;
· Physick by Pete Hay, published by Shoestring Press;
· The Better Son by Katherine Johnson, published by Ventura Press;
· Wild Island by Jennifer Livett, published by Allen & Unwin;
· Fall of the Derwent by Justy Phillips and Margaret Woodward, published by A Published Event;
· Musquito: Brutality and Exile by Michael Powell, published by Fullers Publishing;
· Into the Heart of Tasmania by Rebe Taylor, published by Melbourne University Publishing.
Longlist for the 2017 Margaret Scott Prize for best book by a Tasmanian writer - $5 000
· The Shape of Water by Anne Blythe-Cooper, published by Forty South Publishing;
· In Brazil by Fran Bryson, published by Scribe Publications;
· Woven Landscape: Connections in the Tasmanian Midlands, written and published by Peter E Davies;
· A History of Port Davey, South West Tasmania, Volume One: Fleeting Hopes by Tony Fenton, published by Forty South Publishing;
· The White Room Poems by Anne Kellas, published by Walleah Press;
· South Pole: Nature and Culture by Elizabeth Leane, published by Realktion Books;
· Shadows in Suriname by Margaretta Pos, published by Forty South Publishing;
· The Museum of Modern Love by Heather Rose, published by Allen & Unwin;
· Down the Dirt Roads by Rachael Treasure, published by Penguin Random House;
· Crocoite by Margaret Woodward, published by A Published Event.
The judges will now move on to the challenging task of selecting the final shortlists for the 2017 Premier’s Literary Prizes from these longlisted titles.
The shortlists will be announced at a reception on the mainstage at the Theatre Royal on Thursday, 14 September 2017 as part of the Tasmanian Writers’ and Readers’ Festival.
The shortlists announcement will also include the $5 000 University of Tasmania Prize for the best new unpublished literary work by an emerging Tasmanian writer and the $5 000 Tasmanian Young Writer’s Fellowship.
The winners of all the prizes will be announced at an event at Government House in late 2017.
For more information about the Premier’s Literary Prizes visit http://tasmanianartsguide.com.au/plp/
05.08.17 6:04 am
Environmental romance author Jennifer Scoullar has set her latest novel in historical Tasmania. When we chat, Jennifer tells me ‘it’s a project she has been keen on for a long time’. She adds ‘there is something iconic about Tasmania and its strong investment in the wilderness’. During the writing of the book she made several trips down to Tassie, a trip she always enjoys.
An interesting aspect of this book is Jennifer letting us inside the thoughts of a Tasmanian tiger called Coorina. We see events from Coorina’s point of view. In fact animals are given a strong presence in the book as a whole and in some cases have more humane characteristics than some of the human characters.
The books main protagonist Luke Tyler, a young man with a seemingly dream future which falls to pieces when he attempts to avenge his sister’s honour by confronting her assaulter, a well - respected man of the community. For his intervention Luke is sent to a prison farm in the highlands of Tasmania for over a decade.
Not willing to spend such a long time in gaol he escapes and is able to find safety and protection from Daniel Campbell, an environmentalist. Jennifer says Daniel’s character is based on the life of, Rev Henry Dresser Atkinson one of the first Tasmanian environmentalists in the early days of the colony. Luke begins a romance with Campbell’s daughter before the authorities find him again and he must run. This time he goes further afield to South Africa where he continues his interest in animal conservation and starts an animal reserve. Achieving fame in his field he has an opportunity to revisit his Tasmanian homeland as a respected conservationist and in doing so reacquaints himself with both old friends and also confronts old enemies.
Fortune’s son is out now published by Penguin Books.
03.08.17 2:18 pm
Award-winning actor Noeline Brown shares the colourful social history of the 1960s in new book!
The sixties was a decade of safari suits, shift dresses, capri pants and droopy moustaches. Of French onion soup, junket, tripe and Bloody Marys. Of success on the world’s sporting stage and of social and political stirrings at home, as Baby Boomers and their parents began to see the world differently.
In the new book Living the 1960s (NLA Publishing, 1 October, $39.99), award-winning and much loved actor Noeline Brown provides a colourful social history on what life was really like in 1960s Australia. Told with her trademark dry sense of humour and storyteller’s gift, Noeline explores the politics, sport, arts, social tribes, music, fashion, women and family, and city life that defined the era. Her personal stories complement the well-researched historical narrative.
Containing more than 160 images, and combining entertaining social history, fact boxes and lively anecdotes, Living the 1960s paints a picture of a decade that didn’t just swing—it twisted, stomped and screamed. For Noeline, as for a generation of Australians, it was the most important decade of her life. Living the 1960s is a trip down memory lane for Australians who experienced the sixties and an entertaining social history for those who want to know what it was like to live it.
Noeline Brown is an award-winning actor and doyenne of Australian show business. She came to national prominence on the set of the satirical The Mavis Bramston Show in 1964, building a career as both a comedian and a renowned dramatic actor in sitcoms, films, radio shows and plays. She has twice stood as a candidate in New South Wales state elections and was appointed Australia’s first Ambassador for Ageing.
Paige Turner (aka Rachel Edwards)
03.08.17 6:45 am
The Memory of genocide in Tasmania, 1803 – 2013,
Scars on the Archive
The Memory of Genocide in Tasmania is a daunting, exhausting and devastating book that examines genocide and modernity and the attempt to desecrate Aboriginal culture in Tasmania. It looks at the delusions that have led generations of Tasmanians to consider that the palawa people were extinct and sharply interrogates how Tasmanians interpret the island and its myriad cultures.
The only thing this review can do though, is to skim the surface and to over-simply the hard wrought arguments. This book, as a result of the dense academic language, is destined for a small readership. Despite that, it is an incredibly important book. It includes a consideration of Tasmania as a collective noun, a challenge to “imaginary imputations of islandness,’ and a thorough exploration of the theories of genocide. There are moments of deliciously acerbic turns of phrase and it is shot through with profoundly detailed analysis. It is often the most difficult books that afford us the most change.
Shipway questions why we believe we should have a history that we should feel good about, he names Tasmanians as having an “exorbitant frontier privilege,” an “unjustified belief in our own innocence,” and a “a schmaltzy fondness for cozy smallness”. There are close readings of Richard Flanagan’s novel Gould’s Book of Fish, which he slices through a Freudian filter, explaining how the novel echoes a move towards modernity. He challenges the notion of modernity as being endemic to larger, progressive cities and he closely examines the 1978 film, The Last Tasmanian. This is a film whose offense has rightly endured, as its conveys the archaic belief that there was no living aboriginal culture in Tasmania.
There is a rigorous intellectual debate around whether genocide occurred in Tasmania and much of this is around semantics and technical definitions. It is also the site of what appears to be an academic stoush, where Shipway takes on Henry Reynolds and Nicholas Clements and their interpretation of the history of this island and their claims that it was not genocide. While the extent of Reynold’s work is considered and lauded, there are some fairly acute barbs.
It is lamentable that we must have the conversations this book forces on us, though it is necessary. Tasmanians must face the past to move on, and face it with a fearless and honest desire to probe and question. I also lament that this book is so densely theoretical and at times, difficult to read, as it is seminal. While it may be an insult to the author, I sincerely hope he can bring these deeply considered and researched notions to a more general readership, with the same succulent writing that often shines through.
Tasmanians still have a long journey ahead in terms of true reconciliation, especially with the incumbent generations of leaders having grown up being fed misinformation by the education department, heirs to a lazy acceptance of the 18th century historians who presented the traditional owners as past, whereas the reality is they have been present on this island for around 2000 generations.
Rachel reviewed Seven Stories (and Australia Day) - in The Weekend Australian’s Review last weekend ...
Black Inc. Books
01.08.17 10:24 am
31.07.17 6:54 pm
Chris Gallagher, Tasmanian Writers' Centre
28.07.17 1:21 pm
I’m thrilled to bring you the first details of our TASMANIAN WRITERS AND READERS FESTIVAL with our international guest and our masterclass program!
Professor A. C. Grayling from the UK will deliver the Festival Opening Address on Thursday evening, 14th September at the Theatre Royal. His address, titled The Challenge of Freedom, will add an international context to the Festival theme Other Worlds in Words. A. C. will appear with Tasmanian philosopher and Distinguished Professor, Jeff Malpas and award-winning author, Heather Rose …
Black Inc. Books
28.07.17 6:55 am
21.07.17 6:41 am
Recently I spoke to Mark Eyles, the author of ‘Marys Ireland’, the first in a trilogy about Mary Cannon, a young woman working in a pub in nineteenth century Ireland when she meets and falls in love with a Polish sailor Walenty or ‘Nikodo’.
The novel is set when Poland is under Russian occupation which is juxtaposed with Ireland under British rule. Life is difficult for Mary and her family losing two sisters, one in infancy and another in early adulthood, the latter along with her mother, passing away from common illnesses of the time. There is the constant panic to keep everything spotlessly clean to prevent the spread of germs leading to illness.
The family has little materially but there is plenty of fun and sparring in their home. As is to be expected in an Irish family the characters are colourful, including the neighbour Mrs Shannon who like the river is able to seep into the very fabric of the family.
A mixture of Catholicism married well with superstition co exists in Mary’s Ireland. The family are staunch church goers which helps them through their difficult times, as Mark says during our chat ‘illness and faith’ often go together. Even in this religious environment Mary still holds belief in curses such as that perceived from the local police officer Griffin.
Although political themes run through the book it is ultimately a love story, of love for family and country and for Mary love for her Polish beau.
There are some lovely expressions from Mary describing her reaction to the sailor such as ‘’you have given me a tummy full of bumble bees and dragons’. An expression suggesting both lightness and fiery passion.
We some slightly politically incorrect humour from one of Mary’s brothers when he attempts to describe Mary’s beaus steadfastness and nationality to Mrs Shannon.
When he says “Nikoda will not be rushin’ anywhere because he is standing still, …because he is a Pole”.
This is a novel of both tragedy and joy and the triumph of faith and love. Mark Eyles has done a fantastic job also in recreating the authentic dialogue of the time.
Mary’s Ireland is out now published by Aurora House