Friday, October 12, 2012

Contributors for The Best Australian Stories, Essays and Poems 2012 announced!

Contributors for The Best Australian Stories, Essays and Poems 2012 have been announced.

We're delighted to announce the contributors for The Best Australian Stories 2012, edited by Sonya Hartnett, The Best Australian Essays 2012, edited by Ramona Koval and The Best Australian Poems 2012 edited by John Tranter.

Contributors include Alex Miller, James Bradley, Romy Ash, Chris Womersley, J.M. Coetzee, Helen Garner, Gillian Mears, Clive James, Nicolas Rothwell, Robert Adamson, Les Murray, Jennifer Maiden and many more. 

To see lists of all the contributors visit

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Interview with Guy Pearse about Greenwash

We interview Guy Pearse about his new book Greenwash: Big Brands and Carbon Scams.  

What is Greenwash about? 

The book explores whether the climate-friendly revolution being advertised by the world’s biggest brands is real, and exposes the various ways that brands with rising carbon footprints greenwash the truth. I compared climate-friendly marketing from all over the world with the carbon footprints of the products sold by the brands involved.  

What made you decide to write Greenwash? 

I usually do my best to avoid advertising, so to deliberately immerse myself in advertising for years was a nauseating prospect. However, as much advertising as I had managed to miss, it was impossible not to notice the explosion in green marketing. Many people are disillusioned about political inaction and some probably see the greening of big business as the only hope; and there’s a widespread assumption that the clean-energy revolution is inevitable, if not already here. I wanted to see whether these hopes were well founded or misplaced – whether the corporate actions behind the revolution being advertised add up to a shrinking carbon footprint, or are likely to any time soon. After all, so much hinges on the answer, and yet, no one seems to ask the question.  

Interview with Tanya Levin, author of Crimwife

We interview Tanya Levin about her new book Crimwife: An Insider's Account of Love Behind Bars.  

 What is Crimwife about? 

Crimwife is essentially about the experiences of the partners of inmates and criminals. It is a mix of individuals’ stories, including my own, of falling in love with someone on the wrong side of the law. It also answers some of the old questions about these relationships: how they start, what life’s like when you’re in one, and of course, why do women stay with men like these?  

Why did you decide to write Crimwife? 

Visiting my partner in jail was a very different perspective from having worked in a prison as I had done. I suddenly became aware of other people who were impacted by incarceration and the justice system: the inmates’ families. Their partners sacrificed and devoted so much to sustain their men’s survival on the inside, yet they seemed almost invisible, ignored by the usual stories of jail life. Their side of the story needed to be told.

An interview with Chris Feik, editor of The Words That Made Australia

We interview Chris Feik about The Words That Made Australia

What are some of the themes in The Words That Made Australia? 

The idea of the workers’ paradise has been a constant in our history. So have some tormenting questions: Are we a real country? Who are the true Australians? Is immigration a threat or an opportunity? Then there are things that force their way into view against powerful resistance, such as what WEH Stanner called “the great Australian silence” about indigenous dispossession. Or the overwhelming blokiness that Miriam Dixson notes. It took until the ’60s and ’70s for definitive pieces to be written pointing these things out. 

Why this collection? 

When we started work, we found that there were already books of snippets of Australiana, handsome collections of documents and speeches, and home-grown belle-lettres. But there was no book that gathered together the moments when someone had arrived at a new insight (for example, the cultural cringe), or given a state-of-the-nation overview that crystallised things (for example, the lucky country or the end of certainty). Once we realised that was what we wanted, everything fell into place – the book had its raison d’ĂȘtre.