Diversions Among the InterTubes

If you've ever wondered how authors go about writing outlines for their books, then Sean Williams has the details for you.

"The American Book Review" has compiled its list of the 100 Best Last Lines from Novels [PDF file]. Patrick White's Tree of Man makes the list at number 71 with "So that, in the end, there was no end."

Back in 1960, Miles Franklin Award shortlisted author Christopher Koch spent some time in Stanford. Peter S. Beagle, author of The Last Unicorn, remembers him. And check out who else was there.

Chris Mansell was peeved that she couldn't figure out where poetry fitted into the new Prime Minister's literary awards, so she wrote to the adminstrators to find out. She wasn't impressed with the reply, and it's easy to see why.

In a review by Nicholson Baker in "The New York Review of Books": "[Wikipedia] worked and grew because it tapped into the heretofore unmarshaled energies of the uncredentialed. The thesis procrastinators, the history buffs, the passionate fans of the alternate universes of Garth Nix, Robotech, Half-Life, P.G. Wodehouse, Battlestar Galactica, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Charles Dickens, or Ultraman -- all those people who hoped that their years of collecting comics or reading novels or staring at TV screens hadn't been a waste of time -- would pour the fruits of their brains into Wikipedia, because Wikipedia added up to something. This wasn't like writing reviews on Amazon, where you were just one of a million people urging a tiny opinion and a Listmania list onto the world -- this was an effort to build something that made sense apart from one's own opinion, something that helped the whole human cause roll forward."

Penni Russon, of "Eglantine's Cake" and The Indigo Girls fame, has been touring the Wimmera talking to children in schools and libraries, and found "some groups were switched on, happy to be there, interested in me and what I was talking about. And some groups were frankly depressing and shocking. In one, after half an hour of talking to restless, blank kids I finally asked in desperation 'Hands up who reads.' One hand went up straight away. Fifteen LONG seconds later, another drifted up into the air. In a room of about thirty kids, two boys and no girls were willing to admit to being readers. I looked at those two kids and thought you are the bravest kids in this room. I'm not worried about you. Not just because I think reading is important but because they're not afraid of extending themselves, they're not afraid of where reading might take them. With this same group I asked them to write down a lie about themselves. The girls I looked at had written, as their lie, 'I am gay.' It seemed to me these girls were scared of their interior lives, of their feelings betraying them, of being different in any way. No wonder books scare them."

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on March 20, 2008 8:45 AM.

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