Good Reading : May 2008
10 good reading ı MAY 2008 book trivia Favourites being re-released It seems this is the month for re-releases of some all-time favourites including Kate Grenville’s Dark Places, Janet Frame’s An Angel at my Table , Living in the Maniototo, and Faces in the Water . A special 21st anniversary hardback edition of Sally Morgan’s My Place was released in April. Bridging the Distance Australians have always taken distance in their stride – be it a wild journey in a biplane or a trip down the wallaby track – and this spirit of adventure is on show in a free exhibition at the National Library of Australia until 15 June. ‘Bridging the Distance’ tells the story of how Australians have learned to cope with the tyranny of distance, establishing vital routes across the country, for both work and play. Through more than 150 pictures, photographs, manuscripts, objects and books, all from the National Library’s collection, ‘Bridging the Distance’ highlights the growth of transport by rail, boat and car and the development of the aviation industry, and explores what distance means for us and our lives. More details at www.nla.gov.au Sydney Writers’ Festival is coming to town Excitement is in the air as Sydney gears up for the 11th Sydney Writers’ Festival (19 to 25 May). The program encompasses fiction, non- fiction, poetry, screenwriting, journalism, philosophy, playwriting, social commentary and criticism. An impressive list of authors will be appearing including Jeanette Winterson (UK), Anne Enright (Ireland), Philippe Claudel (France), Naldo Rei (East Timor) and Jan Wong (Canada). You can read the first chapter of Naldo Rei’s Resistance and a review of Jan Wong’s Beijing Confidential in gr’s April 2008 issue. Australian authors attending include Helen Garner, Susan Wyndham, Don Watson, Debra Adelaide and Kathryn Fox. Susan Wyndham spoke about writing Life in His Hands in gr April 2008. Professor Parker’s Book Machine Fancy a copy of The 2007 Import and Export Market for Electrical Relays Used with Circuits of Up to 1,000 Volts in Ireland? Maybe you’d be tickled pink by The 2007-2012 Outlook for Lemon-Flavoured Bottled Water in Japan. Either way, it’s a brave new world. Professor Philip M Parker of the international business school in Fontainebleau, France, has patented a machine that writes books to be printed out only if ordered, one copy at a time if required. His oddly titled bestsellers are for sale on amazon.com. How does a book get made? First, feed in your preferred topic – let’s say one of those already mentioned. Then a huge database harvests the available information and formats the results into book form. Described by the Prof as a ‘method and apparatus for automated authoring and marketing’, Parker adds, ‘…there is a need for an automated system that eliminates or substantially reduces the costs associated with human labour such as authors, editors, graphic artists, data analysts, translators, distributors and marketing personnel.’ And they said we’d all be working in a paperless office… Sneak Preview Offer! Melbourne-based author Alison Goodman has published short stories in anthologies and journals and her first novel Singing the Dogstar Blues won the Aurealis Young Adult Award and was shortlisted for the Victorian Premier’s Award. Her new novel The Two Pearls of Wisdom, due to be published in August 2008, is a magical adventure story. about Eon, a girl with special powers. A potential Dragoneye, she is able to manipulate wind and water to nurture and protect the land. But Eon also has a dark secret. He is really Eona, and as females are forbidden to practise the Art, she endures years of study concealed as a boy. HarperCollins will send an advance bound proof copy of this new title to 50 reading groups or interested readers willing to fill in a questionnaire about the novel once they’ve finished it! If you would like to enter to receive a copy, simply write your name and address on the back of an envelope and mail it to ‘Alison Goodman offer’, GPO Box 3835, Sydney NSW 2001, or enter online at www.goodreadingmagazine.com.au – but be quick because the offer closes on 31 May and only the first 50 entries drawn will be sent a proof copy.