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Final Draft - Monday 12 December 2011 - Animals
December 12, 2011 01:10 AM PST

This week we’re talking about animals. More specifically, animal people. Either you are or you aren’t. Are you a dog person? A cat person? Are you distrustful of that people who dislike animals? We often imbue animals with all kinds of characteristics, we deny them their animal natures as we try to make them more like us.

Charlotte Wood’s new novel, Animal People, explores some of those themes.

(Produced by Neda Vanovac. Animal People published by Allen & Unwin)

We’re also featuring a reading from emerging Sydney writer Beth Hill, who impressed a live audience last month with her short story, Fish.

(Produced by Neda Vanovac. Read more of Beth's work at tomakeabeardance.wordpress.com)

And Sam Twyford-Moore from the Rereaders popped into the studio to talk literary podcasts and what they’ll be serving up next.

(Produced by Neda Vanovac. More on the Rereaders at www.therereaders.com)

Final Draft - Monday 5 December - Letters, Convicts, and Australia's first novel
December 06, 2011 05:57 PM PST

Tonight we’re darting through the history of writing in Australia, from the nation’s first published novel in the early 1800s to reviving the lost art of correspondence today.

That Australia’s first published novel was written by an English convict can’t come as too much of a surprise. Henry Savery began writing Quintus Servinton in 1830 while serving time for forgery in prison in Tasmania. His book traced his own well-educated, ambitious beginnings to a sentence for passing forged cheques. He narrowly escaped a deal by hanging but was transported to Australia on a life sentence.

Mariana Soares chats to author Ron Howard about his biography of the manic-depressive Henry, A Forger's Tale, which recently won the Walter Stone Award for Life Writing.

Neda Vanovac speaks with Marieke Hardy about Women of Letters. Keen to host events showcasing the talents of Australia’s female writers, Marieke Hardy and Michaela Maguire founded the monthly literary event. Noni Hazelhurst, Virginia Trioli, Judith Lucy and Helen Garner are just some of the women who stepped up to the challenge of writing letters on a theme and reading them out. The events have become a huge hit, with writers lining up to bare their souls, and Marieke and Michaela have been busy over the past two years hosting events around the country.

(Ron Howard Interview produced by Mariana Soares. 'A Forger's Tale: The Extraordinary Story of Henry Savery, Australia's First Novelist' published by Arcade Publications.)

(Marieke Hardy Interview produced by Neda Vanovac. Women of Letters published by Penguin Australia.)

Final Draft - Monday 28 November - Australian Political Biography
November 29, 2011 07:23 PM PST

A busy show this week - we’re talking politics. Our hung parliament has seen more twists and turns this year than a crime thriller, and so we’re turning our gaze to our leaders to see what makes them tick.

Tim Brunero spoke to Susan Mitchell, author of the new book ‘Tony Abbott: A Man’s Man'. She discusses the way he’s created his own John Wayne mythology as he approaches politics with guns a-blazing. How well do we really know the leader of the Coalition?(Produced by Tim Brunero. Tony Abbott: A Man's Man published by Scribe)

Jeanavive McGregor chats to Professor Jenny Hocking of Monash University about the way we political and historical figures can be brought to full-colour life through biography. For her, political biography enables a writer to personalise politics and history. She's written three biographies and dull writing isn’t a problem if you are focusing on controversial figures such as former Prime Minister Gough Whitlam and writer and communist activist Frank Hardy. (Produced by Jeanavive McGregor. Whitlam: A Moment in History published by Melbourne University Press)

Catriona Menzies-Pike reviews the hotly-anticipated new novel from Pulitzer Prize-winner Jeffrey Eugenides, The Marriage Plot (Produced by Catriona Menzies-Pike. The Marriage Plot published by Harper Collins Australia)

The Rereaders are back this week. Sam Twyford-Moore, Rebecca Giggs and Astrid L'Orange are discussing Marieke Hardy and Michaela Maguire's book based on their monthly literary events, Women of Letters. (Produced by Jess Minshall. Women of Letters published by Penguin Australia)

Final Draft - Monday 21 November 2011 - Journeys with Tim Flannery and Alex Miller
November 20, 2011 10:50 PM PST

For this show we're going on an adventure, both literally and figuratively.

Steph Coombes speaks with one of Australia’s most famous scientists, Tim Flannery, about his new book. A memoir, Among the Islands follows his experiences in the remote Pacific Islands, whose flora and fauna had gone undocumented for decades. He talks snake-wrangling, monkey-faced bats, and museums as repositories of undiscovered material.

Tim Flannery, produced by Stephanie Coombes. Among The Islands published by Penguin.

I speak to two-time Miles Franklin award winner Alex Miller about his new book, Autumn Laing. If museums are treasure troves of undiscovered gems, then, of course, so are people. You can never really know the lives others lead, is a theme of this book, loosely modelled on the affair between artist Sidney Nolan and Sunday Reed in the 30s in Melbourne.

Alex Miller, produced by Neda Vanovac. Autumn Laing published by Allen & Unwin.

Monday 14 November 2011 - Memory
November 13, 2011 05:46 PM PST

For this week's show, we have a couple of stories for you about memory.

First up, we go for a wander down memory lane – or rather, we go with the Rereaders for a fossick in memory’s wardrobe with Lorelei Vashti’s blog Dress, Memory.

I speak to author Diane Armstrong about emigrating to Australia from Poland in 1948 as a child survivor of the Holocaust, and how she went about peeling back the layers of the present to recreate a picture of Sydney during the post-war period.

And Rochelle Fernandez has a chat with the publisher of Voiceworks, the only top-tier literary journal in Australia for the under-25s, as they talk about writing opportunities for young people.

The Rereaders, produced by Jessica Minshall.

Diane Armstrong interview produced by Neda Vanovac.

Voiceworks interview produced by Rochelle Fernandez.

Final Draft - Monday 7 November 2011
November 13, 2011 04:16 PM PST

For this show, we have three very different conversations on a bit of a loose theme of what we like to read.

First up, an interview with journalist Diana Plater about her bookshelf, where she shares a story about Che Guevara and Fidel Castro holed up in a Harlem brothel hotel in New York in the 60s.

Kim Tan and Toby Leon are back and reviewing episodes three and four of ABC TV’s The Slap, and Alice Grundy, founder of new literature magazine Seizure pops in to the studio for a chat.

Off the Shelf with Diana Plater, produced by Neda Vanovac.

The Slap review Episodes 3 & 4, produced by Kim Tan.

Alice Grundy interview, produced by Neda Vanovac.

FD Monday 31 October 2011: Women on the Move
October 31, 2011 05:07 AM PDT

For this show, we go on two different journeys across Asia with two restless women bitten by the travel bug.

Kim Barker did 'The Taliban Shuffle' as Afghanistan and Pakistan correspondent for the Chicago Tribune for eight years from 2001. She lived a high-pressure life chasing suicide bombings and rigged elections. She spoke to Neda Vanovac about bluffing her way through and never losing her fear.

Steph Liong brings us the story of Australian writer Carolyn Shine, who thought moving continents would be easier than moving suburbs, and went from Bondi to Vietnam.

We also take another peek into the world of the Rereaders, who are talking about the exclusion of indigenous poets in Australian anthologies.

Kim Barker, The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan, published by Scribe Publications, produced by Neda Vanovac.

Carolyn Shine, Single White Female in Hanoi, published by Transit Lounge Publishing, prduced by Stephanie Liong.

The Rereaders, featuring Sam Twyford-Moore, Rebecca Giggs, and Fiona Wright, produced by Jessica Minshall.

FD Monday 24 October 2011: Dystopias
October 26, 2011 07:53 PM PDT

This week we're talking dystopias. Think apocalypse, societal collapse, and totalitarianism.

Neda Vanovac looks at the wave of young readers gorging themselves on dystopian fiction.

Catriona Menzies-Pike talks all things grim and J.G. Ballard, author of Crash and Empire of the Sun.

Leaving all things dystopian for a bit, Kim Tan talks to Toby Leon about the television adaptaion of The Slap, based on the book by Christos Tsiolkas.

Young Adult Dystopias, featuring Alison Stewart's Days Like This, published by Penguin Books, and Maria V. Snyder's Outside In published by Harlequin Teen. Produced by Neda Vanovac.

J.G. Ballard Fictional Worlds produced by Catriona Menzies-Pike.

The Slap review, produced by Kim Tan.

FD Monday Oct 10 2011: The Blake Poetry Prize
October 10, 2011 01:00 AM PDT

About a month ago, Final Draft had a lovely opportunity to record the winner and highly commended poets of the Blake Poetry Prize. There is something quite magic about poetry read aloud, but particularly of a poet reading their own work – phrases and words well considered by tongue and by pen.

And tonight we get to hear them over the airwaves. We hear Sydney based poet, Fiona Wright reading her poem The Fox Man. And we speak with poets Robert Adamson and Todd Turner – as well as listen to their Blake entries.
Also later tonight – The Rereaders are back and taking on literary magazines.

Blake Poetry Prize 2011 – www.blakeprize.com.au
Winner: Via Negativa, The Divine Dark by Robert Adamson
Highly Commended: The Fox Man by Fiona Wright and Fieldwork by Todd Turner

The Rereaders featuring Sam Twyford-Moore, Rebecca Giggs and Fiona Wright – produced by Jessica Minshall.

FD Monday September 26 2011: Joseph Braude and Anna Funder
September 26, 2011 01:00 AM PDT

This week, two authors who deal in intrigue, bravery and betrayal under authoritarian regimes.

First we hear from Joseph Braude, the first ever journalist allowed to embed with a unit of the Moroccan police. And then, Rochelle Fernandez chats with Anna Funder about her latest novel, All that I am – set in the beginning of the Nazi rise to power.

Joseph Braude, The Honoured Dead: A Story Of Friendship, Murder and the Underbelly of the Arab World, published by Scribe. Interview by Neda Vanovac.

Anna Funder, All That I Am, published by Hamish Hamilton – interview by Rochelle Fernandez.

Ben Jenkins and Dominic Knight, National Young Writers Festival – interview by Neda Vanovac. For more information go to: www.youngwritersfestival.org

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