Q&As and Interviews posts

Josh Langley on exploring mental health in children’s books

In recognition of Mental Health Week (8 October to 14 October), we chat to Josh Langley, an Australian author/illustrator who has written two picture books that can open up discussions with young kids about taking care of their mental health. It’s OK to Feel the Way You Do is designed to get kids talking about their feelings. What inspired you to write this book?

It was my partner’s idea. I i…

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Our Teen Advisory Board interviews Zana Fraillon

The Readings Teen Advisory Board is a volunteer group of teens that meet once a month to chat about young adult books, learn about careers in the book industry and give us advice. The Board recently read The Bone Sparrow, a moving story about a Rohingyar refugee born in a detention centre. Here, they ask author Zana Fraillon their most pressing questions. How hard was it to maintain a balance…

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Mark Rubbo interviews Richard Flanagan

by Mark Rubbo

Our Managing Director Mark Rubbo chats with Man Booker prize winning author Richard Flanagan about his new genre-bending novel, First Person. Your new novel First Person has some connection to your own experience, in that it is about a young writer who is commissioned to ghostwrite the memoir of a notorious conman. You were commissioned to ghostwrite the memoir of notorious conman John Friedri…

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Alice Pung interviews Jock Serong

by Alice Pung

Alice Pung interviews Jock Serong about On the Java Ridge, his literally page-turning novel of politics, asylum seekers, a storm, a surf trip… and treason on the high seas.

Jock Serong tells me a true story about a British surfer who went out to ride the waves immediately after a tsunami struck Sri Lanka: ‘Tens of thousands of people were killed, but he went out the very next day. This guy wou…

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Jamila Rizvi interviews Briohny Doyle

by Jamila Rizvi

Jamila Rizvi interviews Briohny Doyle about her memoir of ‘adulthood’, Adult Fantasy.

Briohny Doyle and I are seduced by the same kinds of clickbait.

Acknowledged collectively with the hybrid term ‘listicle’, these are the stories Buzzfeed pioneered but that are now produced en masse by everyone from Cosmopolitan to Business Insider. Thirty things you should know by thirty, 12 signs you’re re

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Q&A with artist Adam John Cullen

by Adam John Cullen

Melbourne based artist (and St Kilda bookseller!) Adam John Cullen is one of 78 dynamic Australian artists featured in Melissa Loughnan’s Australiana to Zeitgeist. We chat with Adam about his practice, and the best ways to learn more about other Australian artists.

1. Tell us a little bit about your art practice.

My practice is largely based in sculptural installation, working with themes of …

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Q&A with Annie Smithers

by Chris Gordon

Chef, gardener and restaurateur Annie Smithers chats with our events manager Chris Gordon about her new cookbook, Annie’s Farmhouse Kitchen. Your new cookbook is a collection of the menus you’ve cooked for your wonderful restaurant (du Fermier). I love this. How do you collect your ideas to pull such an such an impressive array of recipes together? Are you a note taker?

When I first thought …

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Jo Case interviews Jessica Friedmann

by Jo Case

Jo Case interviews Jessica Friedmann about her debut collection of essays, Things That Helped.

The opening chapter in Jessica Friedmann’s memoir-in-essays, Things That Helped, closes with her lying on her bathroom floor in the middle of the night, resolved to drown herself in the Maribyrnong River, but unable to get up. She’s a young woman engulfed by early motherhood, distanced not just from …

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Hear from one of the contributors to They Cannot Take the Sky

They Cannot Take the Sky is a collection of first-person accounts of the reality of life in mandatory detention. It has been compiled and edited by Behind the Wire, an award-winning oral history organisation. Amir Taghinia is a 23-year-old man who has been in immigration detention on Manus Island since 2013. His story appears in They Cannot Take the Sky, under the title ‘We are all convicted to …

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Q&A with Alison Evans, author of Ida

We chat with debut Australian author Alison Evans about their debut YA crossover novel, Ida, an evanescent story of doppelgangers, time travel and deciding what to do with your life. Your protagonist Ida has the intriguing ability to move between parallel universes – an ability that grants her power and control, but also brings her much confusion. What were the origins of this idea?

I was wor…

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