As Australian cities have grown, so has the reflection of the suburban environment in Australian poetry. The attitude of the poets varies; from distaste in the case of AD Hope and Gwen Harwood, to the ironic appreciation of John Tranter and Cath Kenneally, to a deep affection for the suburban shown by Aidan Coleman, John Griffin and Bruce Dawe.
The suburb is portrayed by Australian poets as a place of anonymity, boredom, and shallow conformity, but also, by contrast, as a mystical zone, life-affirming and free. As well as the poets named above, we'll also hear works from Peter Goldsworthy, Patricia Irvine, Dorothy Hewett, Elizabeth Riddell, and Peter Manthorpe.
In defence of platitudes
'Like linguistic wallpaper', is how Sian Prior once thought of the category of expressions called platitudes; until she found a reason to use those trite, but true, terms herself.
Gravity by Tim Winton, read by Stuart Halusz, produced by Christine Kinsella
Jerra Nilsam faces up to his responsibilities and finds that life is not so fearsome after all.
Fracture by Anne Marie Drosso, read by Jen Cronin, produced by Libby Douglas
While a woman’s broken leg slowly heals, she develops an unexpected closeness to her young doctor.
Beach - Part 3 by Timothy Daly, narrated by William Zappa, performed by the 2006 NIDA Graduates, produced by Anne Wynter
Much of our history has taken place on the beach, from Captain Cook to Gallipoli, from legal arrivals to illegal drop-offs during the night; from shark attacks to the death of a prime minister and the stalking and murder of innocent children. This is not one beach, it is all of them. This five part series weaves back and forth over nearly 250 years of our national history and the multitudes of characters who populate the beach.
THE BOOK SHOW
Monday to Friday 10:00am (repeated at midnight)
Randa Abdel Fattah's West Bank story
Australian-Palestinian writer Randa Abdel Fattah talks about her latest book Where The Streets Had a Name, a tale of longing and loss seen through the eyes of a thirteen year old Palestinian girl.
A Most Wanted Man - John le Carré
A half-starved young Russian man is smuggled into Hamburg. He has an improbable amount of money hidden in a purse round his neck. He's a devout Muslim. Or is he? John le Carré's latest novel A Most Wanted Man has spies from three countries converging on Germany in pursuit of the War on Terror.
Stella Miles Franklin: A Biography
In the 1970s Jill Roe was invited to write an entry on Miles Franklin for the Australian Dictionary of Biography. Since then she has edited Franklin's letters and written extensively about her life and work. Now Jill Roe, Emeritus Professor of History at Macquarie University, has published a comprehensive biography, 26 years in the making, in which, she says, she has tried to tell Stella Miles Franklin's whole story.
THE BOOK READING
Monday to Friday 2.00pm
3/11/2008 - 28/11/2008
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield, read by Sheridan Harbridge, produced by Anne Wynter
Vida Winter, a bestselling yet reclusive novelist, has many outlandish life histories, all of them invention. Now old and ailing, at last she wants to tell the truth about her extraordinary life. Her letter to biographer Margaret Lea, a woman with secrets of her own, acts as summons. Vida's tale is one of gothic strangeness featuring the Angelfield family: the beautiful and wilful Isabelle and the feral twins Adeline and Emmeline. As Vida disinters the life she meant to bury for good, Margaret is mesmerised, but remains suspicious of the author's sincerity. She demands truth from Vida, and together they confront the ghosts that have haunted them both.
Monday to Friday 10.45am
17/11/2008 - 21/11/2008
MY LIFE AND HARD TIMES by James Thurber, read by Tyler Coppin, produced by Justine Sloane-Lees
Widely hailed as one of the finest humorists of the twentieth century, James Thurber looks back at his own life growing up in Columbus, Ohio, with the same humour and sharp wit that characterised his sketches and writing. First published in 1933, My Life and Hard Times recounts the delightful chaos and frustrations of an eccentric family, boyhood, youth, odd dogs, recalcitrant machinery and the foibles of human nature.