Art & Design


Literature Events: October Edition

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Like a fat man standing at a water slide entrance, cautious yet excited, October is a mess of conflicted feelings.

The skinny middle child of a festive plump family, October waits as the holiday table is set. Representatives of major department stores are busy prepping the year’s final surge: a city-wide splurge of culturally unspecific decoration. Both cups have officially runeth over (AFL and NRL), and the month of grey mornings has officially begun (yes the clocks say 7am but my body clings to the historical for a few more weeks).

October is a month that requires great sensitivity. Many remain on edge about what’s to come (ie Christmas dinner) and Hamish McDonald (of 6pm with George Negus fame) kicks the dialogue off as he joins the Ambassador of Jordan, Rima Ahmad Alaadeen, and other panelists to discuss the implications of the Arab Spring on October 20.

On October 11, one of Australia’s most highly acclaimed cultural critics, Simon Leys, attempts the seemingly impossible; to finally explain the purpose of literary criticism. Which is great because that’s one headache you definitely don’t want this close to the holiday season.

As we gain the crest of the year’s biggest landfill, October is also a time to reflect. The seventh billion person is likely to be born before the end of year, hence It’s Getting Crowded in Here (at The Wheeler Centre on October 12) looks ahead at the challenges that citizen seven billion will likely face in their lifetime.

This month is also an opportunity to form gangs and collude on deviously thoughtful Christmas lists. And there’s plenty of shiny new titles to cram your stocking: Miles Vertigan’s debut Life Kills launches at Bella Union Bar on October 6, Elliot Perlman’s The Street Sweeper (October 13), Wayne McAulley’s The Cook (October 19) and Alex Miller’s Autumn Laing (October 25).

And if that selection is a tad low tempo for you, Matthew Reilly, author of adrenaline fueled blockbusters Ice Station, Temple and Area 7, drops in at the Wheeler Centre on October 17 to explain his latest contribution to unapologetic escapism, Scarecrow and the Army of Thieves.

Not to be forgotten, Australian Book Review will put its best fictional foot forward with the launch of the annual ABR Fiction Edition and announce the winner of the Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Competition – all on October 12 at Readings Carlton.

Please note: all events kick off an hour earlier than they did last month.



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