Weekend Round-Up 2006 #3

"The Age" and "The Australian" both score exclusive coups this weekend, with Kate Grenville publishing "Between Two Men", an extract from her most recent novel, The Secret River, that she had reluctantly edited out, and Stephen King appearing in "The Australian" with a previously unpublished short story "Sword in the Darkness"- more on that later.

Grenville explains that she had to cut the piece here because "As a stand-alone scene, this fictional re-working of the historical moment seemed to work. But as part of a novel, it had two big problems. First it was too quick. What happened on the frontier was a process, not a moment...The other problem was that it was confusing in view of later events." She goes on to say that though cutting this scene hurt it gave her "an understanding of the shifts of feeling that would be the basis for the novel."

A good idea this. I expect The Secret River to feature pretty strongly in various awards during 2006. Seeing how the novel came into being, even if only in this small context, is very interesting. Normally, we have to wait years for this material to see the light of day.

There appears to be a movement at "The Age" website to reduce the number of book reviews reproduced from the print edition. Why this is so I have no idea. I know it's a quiet time in Australian publishing, after the big rush to get everything out for the Christmas and summer reading binge, but surely they could put the reviews of Australian books up on their website. It's not as if they are going to lose readers this way. The only reviews added this weekend are those of a biography of photographer-model Lee Miller (not interested) and of Capote's forgotten novel Summer Crossing, again not interested. So my views on what should be available is moving well away from what the editors produce. I can't see us getting closer any time soon.

In the print edition, we have Jim Davidson's review of Australian Dictionary of Biography: Supplement 1580-1980 edited by Christopher Cunneen, from Melbourne University press, which at $74.95 is aimed more at the researcher than the general reader I suspect.

"The Australian"'s coup of the week is to run the world's first publication of Stephen King's story "Sword in the Darkness" - well, the first part of it anyway. The conclusion will be published next week. The story is from a new collection of King's work, Stephen King: Unpublished, Uncollected, from Kanrock Publishing, a new press out of Mulgrave here in Melbourne.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on January 16, 2006 1:20 PM.

2005 "The Age" Short Story Award - Third Place was the previous entry in this blog.

Literary Hoaxes is the next entry in this blog.

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