Archive for April, 2011

Just a quick note: Kill Your Darlings is seeking an Online Intern to work with the Online Editor (me). It’s a voluntary position and applicants should be available for the equivalent of one day a week. Applications close 3 May. For more information, click here.

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Sometimes when you live in Melbourne it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the number of literary events that are on. The nights when I just go home and hang out with my plants, I know I’m missing a really fun books event somewhere in this obsessive, literary show-offy city. (Just kidding, Melbs, I love you.)

But. David Mitchell is a guest of this year’s Sydney Writers Festival, and he’s appearing in one Melbourne event, at the Wheeler Centre on May 17, which I have booked my ticket for. (You should quickly do this too, if you’re interested.) I’ve only read one of his books, Cloud Atlas, but I have some very emotional and fond memories of that book. It’s a real cracker, made up of six novellas babushka-dolled inside of one another. In particular, the fifth story, about a humanoid clone who learns to think for herself, has stuck with me since I read it four years ago. It’s one of those books I don’t think is served well by many reviews, which are obliged to describe its six stories, protagonists and time periods. Although each section is wonderful, and the palimpsest effect of the book’s confident structuring is breathtaking, the real power of the book is, as A.S. Byatt wrote when reviewing it in the Guardian, that it’s ‘powerful and elegant because of Mitchell’s understanding of the way we respond to those fundamental and primitive stories we tell about good and evil, love and destruction, beginnings and ends’. That is, it’s a bloody good yarn.

I have a short review of Patrick Holland’s short story collection The Source of the Sound in this month’s Australian Book Review, which magazine is now available in an online edition – you can buy individual issues or subscribe for a year. (Of course, the paper version is still available.) Go forth and modernise.

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