ABC Radio National
Books and Drama newsletter
15-22 August 2008
Fishing in the Devonian
Poetica’s contribution to National Science Week, featuring the poems of Carol Jenkins.
In this program, Carol speaks about her writing process and the sources of inspiration for her Science poems, drawing on her expert knowledge of Science and Law.
Images by the illustrator and author Shaun Tan adorn the Children's Book Council's advertising for this year's Book Week (16-22 August, 2008). Reflecting on his fascination with both writing and painting, he reveals his thoughts on visual literacy and about creating an intimate distance between words and pictures.
The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio, read by Michael Loney
In 1348 the Black Plague raged over most of Europe. The following year the young Giovanni Boccaccio, whose reputation as a writer and friend of Petrarch was growing, began his most famous work, The Decameron. It told the story of ten young aristocrats from Florence who, to escape the plague in the city, took refuge in a villa on an estate in the Florentine countryside. To while away the time the three men and seven women each told a story a day. There were 100 stories in all.
A Bad Joke by Ha Jin, read by Patrick Dickson
It pays not to be too disrespectful of those in authority for two ignorant peasants in China.
Fragments of Hong Kong, by Katherine Thomson, featuring Ivy Mak; Peta Sergeant; Karen Pang; Patricia Yiling Toh and Michelle Vergara.
On the eve of the 1997 British handover of colonial Hong Kong to China, Fragments of Hong Kong is an intimate journey into the lives of six Hong Kong women whose lives are brought together and changed forever, by an unexpected and dramatic event.
THE BOOK SHOW
Monday to Friday 10:00am (repeated at midnight)
Amanda Curtin's new novel The Sinkings
Western Australian writer Amanda Curtin's new novel The Sinkings deals with the 19th century murder of an ex-convict called Little Jock, who had lived his life as a man, but was found in death to have been a woman. Amanda Curtin uses this story to traverse some difficult territory, exploring the experience of being neither man nor woman, of being born of indeterminate gender and what that might mean, not just for a child, but also for a mother.
Obscene: the literary world of Barney Rosset
American entrepreneur and publisher Barney Rosset mounted landmark, and ultimately successful, legal battles for free speech over the right to publish an uncensored version of Lady Chatterley's Lover and over Henry Miller's controversial novel Tropic of Cancer. He introduced Americans to writers such as Samuel Beckett, Eugène Ionesco and Harold Pinter and published many of the writers of the Beat generation, including William Burroughs and Jack Kerouac. Filmmakers Neil Ortenberg and Daniel O'Connor have recorded the achievements of this passionate, and at times infamous, crusader for free expression in their documentary Obscene.
David Sedaris engulfed in flames
Self-deprecating writer David Sedaris was 'humorist of the year' in 2001 after his book Me Talk Pretty One Day received rave reviews. Sedaris has written six mostly autobiographical works. His latest is When You Are Engulfed in Flames.
Times Literary Supplement editor Peter Stothard
Books for children
Award-winning writer Sonya Hartnett, children's literature specialist Professor John Stephens and illustrator and author Tina Matthews discuss writing for children.
THE BOOK READING
Monday to Friday 2.00pm
4/8/2008 - 29/8/2008
Journey to the Stone Country by Alex Miller, read by Julie Hudspeth
Betrayed by her husband, Annabelle Beck retreats in confusion and pain to the supposed sanctuary of her old family home in Townsville. There she meets and begins work with Bo Rennie, an ex-stockman and Jangga. Annabelle is increasingly intrigued by Bo's modest assurances that he holds the key to her future and she sets out with him on a path of recovery that leads her back to her childhood.
Monday to Friday 10.45am
25/8/2008 - 5/9/2008
Thirteen Tonne Theory (Life inside Hunters and Collectors), written and read by Mark Seymour
What happens to a band that sees its future packed in a thirteen-tonne truck on a never-ending highway? For eighteen years, Mark Seymour fronted one of Australia's most loved and hard-working bands, Hunters and Collectors. With superstardom always just beyond reach, they hit the road, becoming an efficient and relentless touring machine that kept pubs overflowing around the country. With a lyricist's eye for detail, Mark reveals the endless fried breakfasts, between-gig comas, bewildering industry negotiations and the struggle to be heard in a democracy of blokes that, as an artistic collective, shared everything equally, from the drinks rider to songwriting copyright.