7 1/2 by Christos Tsiolkas

Is the most ‘Tsiolkas’ of all of Tsiolkas’s books? The very fact that the main character, an author, renounces writing about race, class, religion, and sexuality, and instead wants to write about beauty (which turns out to be a story about retired porn-star, Paul, and of course slides into all sorts of commentary on sexuality, money, loyalty and self-image), allows Tsiolkas to tackle all of his favourite subjects by default. Because of course, no matter how hard we try to get away from politics, race, class, religion, and sexuality, we can’t – that is life.

And so, since the fire and the pandemic, reminded again of the meaning of labour – for it was the firefighters, nurses, doctors, cleaners who sacrificed – it is any wonder that my notions of how to write and what to write have changed? No more screeds to capital-J Justice and to capital-S Society and to capital-L Love and to capital-E Equlity and to capital-R Revolution: how can those of us with soft hands even contemplate such forgery? Continue reading

Things That Are Making Me Happy This Week

Remarkably, I’ve been a COVID-dodger until this week. Two of my adult children were in isolation earlier in the year, but I was away at the time, so avoided having to isolate. Alas, it’s caught us, and all six of us are confined to the house. This week’s update was going to include Admissions at the MTC and a gin festival… but instead, it has a 2020-vibe (i.e. what I’m watching/ eating/ drinking/ listening to).

01. A win against my least-liked team to open the 2022 season. Continue reading

Things that are making me happy this week

01. I was supposed to be at Philip Island this weekend… which would have meant I missed out on the Yarra Valley Writers Festival – so the silver lining of Lockdown 5.0 is that I got to ‘attend’ (virtually) the Festival (and my trip has been rescheduled). I’m classing it as a win, okay?!

02. Related: When Meg Mason was talking about Sorrow & Bliss, she said that in the first version the story, Ingrid was going to be in Martha’s imagination i.e. how Martha might be without her mental illness – WHAT?! I’m glad she made Ingrid a real person. Continue reading

Sample Saturday – three stories about families

Sample Saturday is when I wade through the eleventy billion samples I have downloaded on my Kindle. I’m slowly chipping away and deciding whether it’s buy or bye. Not sure why I have these three – suspect I got sucked into the publishers’ marketing at some point. Continue reading

Sample Saturday – music, weapons, and perfume

Sample Saturday is when I wade through the eleventy billion samples I have downloaded on my Kindle. I’m slowly chipping away and deciding whether it’s buy or bye.

This week, all three I’ve had on my Kindle for a very long time (and so no idea why I chose them). Continue reading