Good Reading : September 2018
by the dozen After Malcom X was assassinated in 1965, The Autobiography of Malcom X was published, but not before three chapters were removed from the manuscript. Reportedly they were too controversial to print at the time. For decades the missing chapters stirred speculation, but now some of the unpublished material has reemerged. A passage from the lost pages reads: ‘We are like the Western deserts; tumbleweed, rolling and tumbling whichever way the white wind blows. And the white man is like the cactus, deeply rooted, with spines to keep us off.’ Debate sparked last month when Richard Flanagan condemned the Brisbane Writers’ Festival for apparently disinviting Germaine Greer and Bob Carr. Although the Festival said it was due to programming issues, others believe it was an attack on free speech as the Festival took issue with transphobic comments made by Greer, and Bob Carr’s ideas about lower immigration. Flanagan wrote: ‘A writer, if they are doing their work properly, rubs against the grain of conventional thinking. Writers are often outcasts, heretics and marginalised. Once upon a time writers’ festivals celebrated them, and with them the values of intellectual freedom and freedom of debate.’ In 2003 the late sci-fi legend Ursula Le Guin was made a Grand Master by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. Le Guin couldn’t attend the ceremony, but the writer had 12 minions spread surreptitiously throughout the crowd. As her award was announced, the 12 infiltrators stood up and raised cut-out masks of the author’s face. Le Guin’s likeness suddenly filled the room. The move was meant as a statement about the male-dominated sci-fi realm – Le Guin was only the second women to receive the award since 1975. GOODREADINGMAGAZINE.COM.AU GOOD READING SEPTEMBER 2018 10 BOOK TRIVIA Booked out The missing chapters Rowling’s on a roll Australian author, Jane Harper, is back next month with her third book, The Last Man, a er the smashing success of The Dry and Force of Nature What’s trending Le Guin’s J K Rowling is busy this month with the release of her fourth book under the name Robert Galbraith, the upcoming release of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, and the arrival of the play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Down Under.