Racing to publish a book on a significant event or trend is no new phenomenon. Timelines are pulled forward—though it still takes a few months to put a book together, from writing the words to stock arriving in bookshops. Recent examples include books on the Thai cave rescue, Christchurch massacre, and forthcoming titles on the 2019-20 Black Summer. It’s no surprise then that with such a globally pervasive event such as the current pandemic, Covid-19 books are already appearing. In the acknowledgements section of her book about Covid-19, Deborah Mackenzie states ‘this is what the book trade calls a “crash” […]
The Queer Reader 101 booklist started as a joke between my girlfriend and me. I say started, because now there’s an actual stack on my bedside table: The Price of Salt (Patricia Highsmith), Valencia (Michelle Tea), Written on the Body (Jeanette Winterson) and Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl (Andrea Lawlor). I’ve added some Eileen Myles and Ivan Coyote, and Angela Steidele’s Gentleman Jack. But since I’m a slow and distracted novel reader, so far I have only begun each of these, dipping in and out, taking breaks. I spent one of those breaks replaying the video game […]
After almost two decades of the Australian Defence Force’s involvement in Afghanistan, it takes something major for the crisis there to warrant national attention. Streaks of deadly car bombings and rocket strikes rarely register. Most don’t bat an eyelid at the new normalisation of relations with the Taliban and their sinister return to global prominence. Just recently, 22 promising scholars were slain during a shooting at Kabul University, where my own father studied some 40 years ago. Within hours, the news cycle had shifted elsewhere. However, a damning report alleging that 39 Afghans were slain mercilessly by ADF soldiers was […]
When my eldest child was ten, he liked to read multiple books at once, arranged in a circle around him on his bed like a giant book buffet. He would pick one up, read a few pages, sometimes even just a paragraph or two, then put it down and move onto another. As a serial monogamist when it came to books, I was horrified. For me, reading had always been an act of immersion. Surely, he was just skimming along the surface of these books, barely getting his mind wet. I remember asking his teacher if I should encourage him […]
On 3 April 2020, US Democrat and presidential hopeful Joe Biden—or more likely one of his team of social media minions—tweeted: ‘Now more than ever, we need to choose hope over fear. We will beat COVID-19. We will overcome this. Together.’ It’s hard not to appreciate the banality of this little squitter.
It’s summer and out there bare vines are crucified along trellises contouring the hills in every direction. It used to be that in spring they leafed green and fruited and we harvested about now and the vineyard rang with Latin American voices, European voices, young laughter, diesel engines and birdsong.
I’m not too concerned at first, not really. I make jokes, like I do in any difficult situation: about how I’m an introvert anyway and can’t think of anything better than staying away from other people, how I’ve more than a decade’s experience in working from home, how this is my time to shine. I roll my eyes when my parents cancel their overseas holiday.
You don’t get the kind of war you deserve
you get the kind you get.
The delivery truck melted at Yatte Yatah.
The peach stand spared.