Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Don Walker in conversation with Stephen Cummings

Earlier this year we published Shots, a memoir by Don Walker, the former Cold Chisel keyboardist and songwriter. Don spoke with The Sports’ Stephen Cummings (who has also released a memoir recently) at the Sydney Writers' Festival in May. The resulting conversation was lively and entertaining - they spoke about music-making, the music business, writing and much more.

You can watch the first part here:

And the second part here:

Thanks to SlowTV for providing the footage.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Black Inc. wins Small Publisher of the Year

We're very proud to announce that Black Inc. has won Small Publisher of the Year in the 2009 Australian Book Industry Awards.

You can read all about the awards and various winners in this article from the Sydney Morning Herald.

We would also like to congratulate Penguin for winning Publisher of the Year and Readings Carlton, one of our all time favourite bookstores, for winning independent bookshop of the year.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Annabel Crabb talks to David Marr

Annabel Crabb and David Marr discussed the latest Quarterly Essay Stop At Nothing –The Life and Adventures of Malcolm Turnbull in Sydney recently. If you couldn't be there in person, we highly recommend you watch the videos below – they are very entertaining.

Part 1

Part 2

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Alice Pung on becoming a writer

We asked Alice Pung, author of Unpolished Gem and editor of Growing Up Asian in Australia, "When did you first decide to become a writer?"

Here’s what she had to say:

When I was younger, I did not yet know how to deal with my feelings, or with the seemingly unending plagues of headlice and scabies I used to get, or with looking after younger siblings while my parents both worked, feeling trapped in a horrible domestic nightmare. I had such low self-esteem, I needed to feel like a winner at something. So I began a Guinness Book of Records at thirteen, where I made myself the world record holder in all the categories: ‘Record for the person who has pilfered every single hairstyle Ronald MacDonald has had for the past ten years’ (mum made me get a perm to burn off all the head-lice eggs), ‘Record for the best Ironing-Board impersonation’ (I was flat-chested), and ‘Record for the Worst Face in the history of the Universe’ (self explanatory). I still have that little notebook tucked away in a journal somewhere.

I looked back over my journals when I was eighteen and found them rather hilarious, even though they were unintentionally so. And that was when I decided that I would write a funny book.

I was tired of reading manuals by Asian women on how to feel miserable and oppressed. Young girls - particularly Southeast Asian girls - are socialised not to vocalise any form of anger or annoyance. And girls are not supposed to make fun of themselves because it is meant to do some sort of irrevocable damage to their brittle self-esteem. However, it seemed that Asian women could write countless books on their ten thousand sorrows, and be published, as long as the misery came from the forces of the outside world.

So I was tired of reading Oriental Cinderella stories and migrant narratives of success. Instead of inspiring me, they actually made me feel like an abject failure. When will I ever accumulate enough suffering to be a real writer? I wondered. I had defeated no communists/nationalists/evil stepmothers, did not have a seedy past or narcotic addiction, and the only thing I had ever smoked was salmon (in the oven).

Then I thought, damn it, I'm going to write a book about yellow people aspiring to become white middle class! It's not going to start with the struggles of war, but something more ironically Marxist - it would be about a working class family and their petit bourgeois dreams. And damn those who perpetuate the stereotype of the joyless Asian. My characters are going to laugh. So
Unpolished Gem was begun, a book that was premised on poking fun of my abysmally low, adolescent self-esteem; and a book about my love for my quirky, daggy family.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Life and Adventures of Malcolm Turnbull

The latest Quarterly Essay Stop At Nothing – The Life and Adventures of Malcolm Turnbull by Annabel Crabb will be hitting shelves this weekend. The essay is causing quite a media stir.

Here's a taster:

Malcolm Turnbull talking to Annabel Crabb about his falling out with Kerry Packer:

Kerry was, um; Kerry got a bit out of control at that time. He told me he'd kill me, yeah. I didn't think he was completely serious, but I didn't think he was entirely joking either. Look, he could be pretty scary...He did threaten to kill me. And I said to him: 'Well, you'd better make sure that your assassin gets me first because if he misses, you better know I won't miss you.' He could be a complete pig, you know. He could charm the birds out of the tree, but he could be a brute. He could be like that. But the one thing with bullies is that you should never flinch...
And Annabel Crabb musing on Malcolm Turnbull:
How would Australia be different if he were prime minister? What are his most closely held policy convictions? I asked dozens of Malcolm Turnbull’s political colleagues this question, asking them to name three. Many of them had to pause before responding. ‘You’ll have to excuse me. I’m eating some chocolate,’ was the best initial response, from a Liberal on the other end of a phone line.
Here are links to some of the coverage of the essay – the Age, the Sydney Morning Herald, the Australian, and Sky News.

Annabel Crabb will be discussing the essay at events in Melbourne and Sydney next week. Book a spot now so you don't miss out.