Weekend Round-Up 2006 #10

Adelaide Writers' Week kicked off over the weekend, and, to celebrate, "The Age" has published Kate Llewellyn's love letter to the event. Held every two years since its inception in 1962, Writers' Week has grown from a lecture at the University of Adelaide to 4 marquees on the banks of the River Torrens, and Llewellyn has been to all of them. There's a lot of name-dropping in the piece but this is only to be expected at an author-driven event, and anyway Llewellyn carries it off with such charm you just go with the flow.

A feeling of complete joy comes over me as I walk down North Terrace on the way to the tents. The day stretches ahead and there is nothing but pleasure to look forward to.

Wherever I am I make sure that I am back in Adelaide in time for Writers' Week. Year after year, weaving through the growing crowds in the hot autumn air, choosing seats under trees or umbrellas, meeting friends, long lunches in a bistro by the Torrens; it has gone on for 44 years.

Young hirsute men have grown into gentlemen with comb-overs who still attend. (Why won't they cut their hair?) We pregnant girls are grandmothers. I am one of the diminishing number who have never missed a Writers Week. Nor will I, I hope, until I fade like a dust mote floating from a tent into the autumn air.

DBC Pierre's second novel Ludmilla's Broken English is reviewed in "The Age", but the piece isn't on the website. I suspect you'll be seeing a lot of this book over the next week or so. Australian novels normally get about 3 weeks in the spotlight here, then it's "back to the garret for you boyo". James Ley finished his review with: "Can't wait for the third novel and a Triumphant Return to Form." Yeah, righto James. Just keep taking the tablets, all right?

M.J. Hyland had a bit of a hit with her first novel, and now presents the difficult follow-up. Gregory Day is impressed: "Carry Me Down is a heartrendingly domestic work full of compassion for the most ordinary of our human frailties, as parents, as children, as precocious solo flyers in the defiantly gravitational airs of life and as mediocre family groups stuck within our own blood dialects."

In "The Weekend Australian", Graeme Blundell profiles Australian crime writer Marshall Browne, best known for his Inspector Anders novels. The author has recently delivered the third in this series to his publisher as well as Rendezvous at Kamakura Inn, described as "a violent locked-door mystery set in a frozen Japanese retreat haunted by yakuza assassins." This looks like turning into a new series, as does his character Franz Schmidt in The Iron Heart, who previously appeared in The Eye of the Abyss in 2002. Keeping three series on the go will be a bit of a struggle but it will certainly keep the author busy.

Cath Kenneally reviews M.J. Hyland's Carry Me Down and tends to get a bit carried away I feel, invoking Salinger for Hyland's first novel, and Faulkner and James Joyce for this one. The kiss of death perhaps?

Pandanus Books is best known as a publisher of non-fiction titles dealing with the Pacific Rim and South-East Asia. Lately it has been branching out into fiction and its latest offering is Venom by Dorothy Horsefield. Lon Bram is quite taken with the book referring to it as a "gem".

There's also a review of the new DBC Pierre, and two collections of poetry given the once over by Barry Hill.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on March 6, 2006 3:05 PM.

Poem: In Defence of the Bush by Banjo Paterson was the previous entry in this blog.

Australian Bookcovers #2 - My Brilliant Career by Miles Franklin is the next entry in this blog.

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