In the blurb-saturated present, authors can decry blurbs as corrupt and silly all they like. When they publish new books, however, they will be conscripted to marketing duties, obliged to solicit blurbs, and most will provide glowing snippets to hype their friends and colleagues too.
Sydney Review of Books
Public Books and the Sydney Review of Books have partnered to exchange an ongoing series of essays with international concerns.
All Futures Are Possible
“It is fanciful to invest too much faith in the isolated act of reading – the stimulated, inspired or entertained brain does not store carbon.”
How To Scuttle A Public Broadcaster
On the 100th anniversary of the founding of the BBC, national public broadcasters across the world are still subject to constant spurious attacks.
Taking Our Time: How Australian Universities Measure Academic Work
“Who gets to decide what is valuable and necessary work for an academic today?”
Mandy Sayer interviews Helen Garner, 1989
“We didn’t think of ourselves as hippies, we thought of ourselves as serious people with politics.”
Ditching the “New Yorker” Voice
“What does it mean to self-narrate? What does self-insight look like?”
My Certainty Shall Be Their Confusion
Ann Quin is, above all, a self-aware writer, with an ironic understanding of the limits of symbolic expression, who was nevertheless prepared to test those limits.
The Ten Thousand Things
“I am supposed to be writing this essay, ostensibly on technology, but not for the first time, I believe I am unable to write; and not writing, doubt that I will I ever write again.”
The Perspective Is the Story
Jenny Erpenbeck’s fiction is an attempt to grasp the underlying precariousness of our sense of identity and belonging.
The Crumbling Tower
Academics are scrambling to fulfill the increasingly bureaucratic research measures of the neoliberal university.
The collective ventures of the Federal Writers’ Project force us to think about how writing might be reinvented in the context of economic crisis.
The summer I turned 17, in the springboard pause between high school and university, I began working as a nurse aide in the geriatric rest home and hospital run by my mother.
The fires that are burning across Australia are changing this place, quite possibly forever, and with it our natural, social, cultural, and political narratives.
The Necessity of an Alternative
Margaret Thatcher made her notorious claim that there is “no such thing as society” in an interview with Women’s Own magazine published in ...
Raise Your Needles: In Defence of Public Knitting
It was a triumph bagging the last table on the busy rooftop bar, especially so late ...
Public Books and the Sydney Review of Books have partnered to exchange a series of articles with international concerns. Today’s article, “Temporal Lines: An Interview with Pedro Mairal, Samanta Schweblin, Fabian Martinez,” by ...
Goodbye to All That: The End of Neoliberalism?
For Richard Denniss, the evolution of the Australian War Memorial into a giant billboard illustrates the logic of neoliberalism, something that, he says ...
Bleached Atmospheres of Dread
Myles McRae MLA was a monster of male entitlement. Any person who read the Australian newspapers in the year 1891 would have thought so. Six feet tall ...
A History of Reading: Alan Marshall and Helen Keller
On May 9, 1933, the day before the Nazis burned her book as part of their action ...
Women Who Write About Their Feelings and Lives
Two recent memoirs by women who grew up in “sexually liberated” 1970s artistic Australia present a sobering picture: of predatory and violent men whose ...