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FD Monday 23 May 2011: Sydney Writers Festival and Cate Kennedy
May 27, 2011 01:27 AM PDT

Author James Gleick gave the closing address for the Sydney Writer’s Festival – another massive event with 400 Australian and international writers participating in over 300 events.

Gleick, whose work explores the cultural impacts of science and technology was talking about the future of the book and for a festival themed around the power of language, and particularly the power of writers to name, create and shape our world the future of that kind of power.

This week on the show we will be focusing on some of the Aussie talent who attended the festival. We speak with Cate Kennedy about why poetry is still important; and Final Drafter Catriona Menzies Pike talks to some of the people out and about at Walsh Bay over the week.

Cate Kennedy, 'The Taste of River Water’ published by Scribe - interviewd by Jeanavive McGregor

SWF Voxies produced by Catriona Menzies-Pike

FD Monday 16 May 2011: Yoram Gross' 'My Animated Life'
May 16, 2011 01:00 AM PDT

Tonight on the show the story of the man behind the iconic, cheeky koala, Blinky Bill and the adventures of Dot and The Kangaroo. I spoke with Yoram Gross about his memoir ‘My Animated Life’ of growing up in Nazi occupied Poland - an amazing tale of resourcefulness, survival and tragedy from one of our most iconic animators.

And later we hear from Madeleine James about what she will be checking out at the Sydney Writers Festival.

Yoram Gross, My Animated Life - published by Brandl & Schesinger - interviewed and produced by Jeanavive McGregor

FD Monday 2 May 2011: Shape Shifters
May 02, 2011 01:01 AM PDT

This week we are talking about shape shifters, those books that can shift our ways of looking at a place and one of those unique people who take up many different guises. First up we have our resident music man, Martin Hewertson about the biography of the prolific Alan Lomax, the man who helped to bring us Lead Belly and Woodie Guthrie.

And Madeleine James tells us about a few books that have changed her relationship with Sydney.

We have some great, aching folk tunes to tap along to too.

John Szwed, The Man Who Recorded the World - review by Martin Hewertson.

The Razor & The City, featuring Larry Writer, 'Bumper: The Life and Times of Frank Bumper Farrell', published by Hachette and Delia Falconer's 'Sydney', published by NewSouth Books - produced by Madeleine James.

Music featured on the show from Alan Lomax's Murder House.

FD Monday 11 April 2011: Jane Sullivan's Little People
April 11, 2011 07:56 PM PDT

Tonight on the show we speak with second time author Jane Sullivan about historical fiction and cabinets of curiosities in her latest novel Little People, based on the the real-life tour of the celebrated troupe of midgets led by General Tom Thumb to Australia in 1870.

We also hear from the editor of Tharunka Magazine about a new writing competition that promises to alleviate some of those student purse strings.

Jane Sullivan, Little People, published by Scribe - interviewed by Jeanavive McGregor

Tharunka Magazine, Editor Kylar Loussikia. For more information abuot the Non-Fiction Writing Competition go to facebook.com/tharunka. But basically its $800 for the best non-fiction or fictocritical essay, it's judged by two UNSW academics, and entries close July 6.

FD Monday 4 April 2011: Graphic Novels
April 04, 2011 01:00 AM PDT

Tonight we are taking off our capes and spandex suits to find out whether there is more to graphic novels than superheros and supermutants.

Our Lauren Farrow speaks to one of the men behind Gestalt publishing an independent publishing house in WA and takes a look at those graphic novels that have been adapted for screen. And I speak with UTS lecturer, Rowan Savage about the critically acclaimed and criticised Maus: A survivor’s Tale by Art Speilganman.

Wolfgang Bilsmer, Gestalt publishing - interviewed and produced by Lauren Farrow

Graphic Novels verse Movies - produced by Lauren Farrow

Rowan Savage, UTS Lecturer on Art Speilganman's Maus: A survivor’s Tale published by Apex Novelties - interviewed by Jeanavive McGregor

FD Monday March 21: A glimmer in the darkness
March 28, 2011 01:00 AM PDT

This week we revisit two interviews with two authors whose writing tackles difficult and traumatic topics but still manage to glimmer in the darkness. We hear from Sophie Laguna about her disturbing and strangely uplifting novel One Foot Wrong and from Lara Fergus about her debut novel, My Sister Chaos.

Sophie Laguna, One Foot Wrong, published by Allen and Unwin - interviewed by Paul Kildea

Lara Fergus, My Sister Chaos, published by Spinifex Press - interviewed by Jeanavive McGregor

FD Monday March 21: The short story with Leah Swann
March 21, 2011 01:00 AM PDT

Frequent listeners may remember a conversation on the show with one of our regular guests, Georgia Richter from Freemantle Press a few weeks back. We were talking about what was coming up this year and the subject got on to the wonderful, concise sister of the novel – the short story. It’s a difficult form to get right but when done right a good short story can stay with you for days.
A few years ago, author Stephen King wrote an a mourning piece in the New York Times where he mourned the fate of the short story- relegated to the dusty, bottom shelf; self-consciously written aware of the dwindling audience. The result, he wrote were pieces “not quite dead on the page, I won’t go that far, but airless, somehow, and self-referring. These stories felt show-offy rather than entertaining, self-important rather than interesting, guarded and self-conscious rather than gloriously open, and worst of all, written for editors and teachers rather than for readers.”
They needed to be liberated from the bottom shelf, he concluded.
Richter – a writer and fan of the medium – predicted a short story come back this year and it seems she might have been on the money. Tonight on the show we speak with Leah Swann about her new collection Bearings published in Affirm Press’ series Long Short Stories.

Also on the show: Nija Dalal's review of Bowl of Cherries, by Millard Kauffman.

Leah Swann, Bearings, Affirm Press - interviewed by Jeanavive McGregor

Millard Kauffman, Bowl of Cherries, published by McSweeney’s - produced by Nija Dalal

FD Monday March 7 2011: International Women's Day
March 07, 2011 01:00 AM PST

Tomorrow is the 100 year anniversary of the first International Women’s Day, which was actually first held on the 9th March 1911. 2ser is letting the women take over the airwaves again for another year for International Women’s Day tomorrow so I hope you can tune in. But since the Final Draft misses out, we decided to dedicate our half hour this evening to women writers and women characters – past, present and future.

We have new poetry from Australian Anne Elvey and Final Drafter Lauren Farrow asks a few readers about their favourite leading literary women.

Leading Ladies - produced by Lauren Farrow

Anne Elvey, Claimed by Country, new chapbook from PressPress - interviewed by Cath Kenneally, Radio Adelaide's Writer's Radio

FD Monday 28 February 2011: Mining the Australian Landscape
February 28, 2011 01:00 AM PST

Tonight on the show we are speaking with two authors whose latest novels were influenced by the Australian landscape and interestingly, mines play a big part in both, as plot enablers and blights on the land.

First Madeleine James speaks with Jackie French about ‘A Waltz for Matilda’ a love story between a girl and a land set around Australia’s federation.

And later in the show we talk to Alan Carter about his debut novel Prime Cut. Set in the mining boom town of Hopetoun in south WA, when a headless torso washes up on the beach the investigation reveals the darker side of the quick money of mining, uncovering the exploitation of migrant workers and disturbing an even darker criminal mind.

Jackie French, ‘A Waltz for Matilda’ published by HarperCollins - interview by Madeleine James

Alan Carter, 'Prime Cut' published by Freemantle Press - interview by Jeanavive McGregor

FD Monday 21 February 2011: Long live the book
February 21, 2011 01:00 AM PST

It seems that the book is always about to die. Death was imminent with the invention of radio, film, television and now the internet. But the book has survived. Some would say, however, that it has survived only just and that books no longer sit at the centre of our culture. Sherman Young – a Media Studies lecturer at Macquarie University – argues exactly this in his book The Book is Dead (Long Live the Book).

He argues that while the book as an object is dead, there are things that books can do, characteristics that they possess, conversations that they allow that must be preserved. Young does want to talk about the future of books – so there’s something.

I know that this is a hard pill to swallow for us book lovers at Final Draft and for you, dear listeners. But with the collapse of two of Australia’s biggest book retailers last week, we thought we should take a look.

Maree McCaskill, the CEO of the Australian Publishers Association - interviewed by Justin Cinque

Georgia Blain, Births Deaths and Marriages, Vintage Books - interviewed by Rochelle Fernadez

Michelle De Kretser, The Lost Dog, Allen & Unwin - interviewed by Jay Fracaro

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