I will be talking with acclaimed Australian novelist Amanda Lohrey at Gleebooks on March 25 about her wonderful new novel A Short History of Richard Kline.
“I woke with a gasp. And lay in the dark, open-mouthed, holding my breath. That feeling . . . that feeling was indescribable. For a moment I had felt as if I were falling . . . falling into bliss.”
All his life, Richard Kline has been haunted by a sense that something is lacking. He envies the ease with which others slip into contented suburban life or the pursuit of wealth. As he moves into middle age, Richard grows angry, cynical, depressed.
But then a strange event, a profound epiphany, awakens him to a different way of life.
I had zero expectations of finding When We Have Wings on this list, as it was published in 2011. So many thanks to Lisa Jacobson for not only choosing the book as her highlight of the year but for going against the trend that sees books having a shorter shelf life than yogurt.
'Highlight of the year: Claire Corbett's speculative novel, When We Have Wings (Allen & Unwin), which somehow flew under the literary radar despite its 2012 shortlistings. Corbett creates a dazzling world where the wealthy soar on lavish wings while those less fortunate dwell wingless below.' - Lisa Jacobson
‘The art of the story is mostly about the journey, and the economy of means with which the writers here carry us a great distance is at times breathtaking.’ – Amanda Lohrey
In The Best Australian Stories 2014, Patrick White Award–winning author Amanda Lohrey selects the outstanding short fiction of the year. Sometimes fantastical, sometimes raw, and always a ‘shot of adrenaline to the mind and heart’, this collection features exciting new voices alongside the established and admired.
Link to contributor Angela Meyer's thoughtful review of the collection here.
I'm pleased my story Snake in the Grass was chosen and very much enjoyed reading the whole collection.
I am so looking forward to this - an interview as a guest of the BSFA in the Artillery Arms. My interviewer is brilliant academic, writer and sometime game designer Dr Colin Harvey. This night will be so much fun. Would love to see you there.
Time: from 5pm in the bar downstairs, I think.
Interview from 7ish upstairs
Location: Upstairs, The Artillery Arms, 102 Bunhill Row, London, EC1Y 8ND
Looks like the BSFA couldn't have chosen a better pub - just across from a cemetery - how atmospheric for a group of SF writers...
As part of my Writers Omi residency I will be taking part with the other writers in my residency in two readings: one is a reading and Fall BBQ at Writers Omi on Saturday October 18 5pm. This sounds like great informal fun as there will be a reception afterwards.
The second event is a reading at KGB Bar in New York City. If you're in town it would be lovely to see you there. Sunday, Nov 2, 7pm, 85 E.4th Street.
My article for the August issue of The Monthly on the complex policy and urgent timing of the decisions on Australia's Future Submarines. Print edition in newsagents from August 1.
HMAS Farncomb (not seen) doing what subs do best...
HMAS Dechaineux leading HMAS Waller and HMAS Sheean.
HMAS Farncomb underwater, sitting on the sea bed...
My essay on the relationship between the fantasy of human space exploration - 2001 - and the reality - NASA - and whether humans will ever leave geostationary orbit again, is published in Overland, Autumn 2014.
My Carmel Bird Award longlisted story Hostile Takeover has just been published as an esingle by Spineless Wonders as part of the Amanda Lohrey Selects Series.
Here's the blurb: 'Z works within Treasury, in a government where knowledge and alliances are power, and people are bought, used and manipulated. Z is blindsided when he learns that he has been "bought" by the highest ranked official of a dangerous government agency, who took advantage of a sinister new law. Now Z must indulge her every whim and request. Will he ever find a way out of her grip? Claire Corbett's convincing characters and intriguing narrative gives an insight into an alternative reality that is scarily convincing. It will keep you guessing to the very last page.'
When I moved to Australia from Canada as a child, I was struck by the shape of my new home. In Canada I had to draw maps of my native land in exacting detail. This skill atrophied at my Sydney primary school when I was handed a plastic stencil of Australia, stamped with the helpful suggestion: “NOTE: TASMANIA TO BE DRAWN FREE HAND.” I loved that this continent was so whole and perfect I could hold it in my hand, the outline of Australia so self-contained it easily became its own template, icon and logo. What I didn’t know was that it took centuries of discovery and cartographic effort to resolve this shape.
The Mapping Our World: Terra Incognita to Australia exhibition at Canberra’s National Library of Australia (until 10 March) shows how Europeans discovered and charted our coastline, which had for centuries been imagined as the Unknown South Land, Terra Australis Incognita.
(rest of article in Feb 2014 issue or on website)
Love this image my editor John van Tiggelen used for the article - it's perfect. I still like my original title Land of Parrots...
I will be giving an author talk at Katoomba Library at 2pm, Saturday 22 February, followed by free afternoon tea and book signings.
The new Katoomba Library at the Cultural Centre is gorgeous, with views to the escarpment. If you're around it would be great to see you there.
I'm so excited by this early Christmas present. This morning I was notified I've been selected for a month's residency at Writers' Omi at Ledig House as part of their 2014 program. This is very competitive - writers from all over the world apply for this incredible opportunity.
From their website:
Since its founding in 1992, Writers Omi at Ledig House has hosted hundreds of authors and translators, representing more than fifty countries. We welcome published writers and translators of every type of literature.
Guests may select a residency of one week to two months; about ten at a time gather to live and work in a rural setting overlooking the Catskill Mountains. ... A program of weekly visits bring guests from the New York publishing community. Noted editors, agents and book scouts are invited to share dinner and conversation on both creative and practical subjects, offering insight into the workings of the publishing industry, and introductions to some of its key professionals. Click here for a list of former guest speakers.
German publisher, Heinrich Maria Ledig-Rowohlt, for whom the program is named, was noted for his passionate commitment to quality in literature. His list of authors included Thomas Wolfe, William Faulkner, Yukio Mishima, Jean-Paul Sartre, Vladimir Nabokov, John Updike, Toni Morrison and Thomas Pynchon.
Notable alumni include:
- Joseph O'Neill author of Netherland, which won the Pen/Faulkner Award
- Aleksander Hemon, author of The Question of Bruno, recipient of a "genius grant" from the MacArthur Foundation
- Gary Shteyngart, bestselling author of The Russian Debutante's Handbook, Absurdistan, and Super Sad True Love Story
- Susan Choi, bestselling author of American Woman and inaugural recipient of the PEN/W.G. Sebald Award.
- Goce Smilevski, author of Freud's Sister, which one the European Union Prize for Literature
- Jan Brandt, bestselling author of Gegen Die Welt (Against the World)
- Buket Uzuner, international bestselling author of Istanbulians
- Ned Beauman, author of Boxer, Beetle, and one of Granta's "40 Writers under 40"
- Colum McCann, author of Let the Great World Spin which won the National Book Award
- Kiran Desai, bestselling author of Inheritance of Loss, which won the Man Booker Prize
- Mikhail Shishkin, bestselling author of The Taking of Izmail, which won the Russian Booker Prize
- Shehan Karunatilaka, author of Chinaman: The Legend of Pradeep Matthew, which one the Commonwealth Prize
'Everyone should therefore seek out the latest issue (42) of the Griffith Review, Once Upon A Time In Oz....
This latest issue of the Griffith Review confirms its position as Australia's most stimulating literary journal.'