Archive for February, 2017

A beautiful explanation of the library’s necessity but also how we writers are inspired… thanks, Amanda.

looking up/looking down

Here is the last of the 2016 speeches I’m posting here, this one given on the occasion of the Battye Library of Western Australian History’s 60th anniversary…


The staff at the Battye Library saw a lot of me in the first half of 2016. I am writing a work of narrative non-fiction about the artist Kathleen O’Connor, and I spent about four months of this year here, in the reading room, working through collected papers.

One day someone asked me about what I was doing and seemed surprised that I do all my own research. While it’s true that somewhere in the world there do exist those rare and endangered writers who can afford to commission others to put in the hours, I’m not one of them. But what’s more important: even if I were, I would still have been practically living in the reading room this year.

I can’t…

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‘Going in Style’

Well, after watching a preview of the film ‘Hidden Figures’ as our Valentine’s Day treat to each other, huge congratulations go to Theodore Melfi for doing such a wonderful job of writing and directing.

As CJ Johnson from Film Mafia said: Theodore Melfi directs unobtrusively, letting the story and performers shine, but admirably restrains from underlining, and thus undermining, the story’s Big Moments.”

Now I HAVE to watch out for ‘Going In Style’, also written by Theodore Melfi and starring lots of big names.


And I admit -the premise appeals:  “Desperate to pay the bills and come through for their loved ones, three lifelong pals risk it all by embarking on a daring bid to knock off the very bank that absconded with their money.”

#HiddenFigures  #GoingInStyle    #TheodoreMelfi  #FilmMafia  #CJJohnson




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This debut book set in Australia post-WWII, by an Australian Author, is on my wish-list: author interview by Booktopia.


#AustralianWriting  #BushStories  #JoyRhoades  #TheWoolgrower’sCompanion


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Hidden Figures

Wonderful – we’re going to see a preview screening this morning and I can’t wait!

Film Mafia


**** (out of five)

You’d need to have a cold stone heart – or, I suppose, prejudicially racialist views – to dislike Hidden Figures, the true story of black women working as “computers” at NASA in the 1960s. It’s a wonderful, rather incredible story, full of triumphant moments and performed by a perfect cast.

Yes, these highly talented mathematicians were called “computers” – before we called machines computers – because they made computations, in the same way accountants account and actors act. Not all of the details of the story are this revealingly accurate – the white characters, for example, are all composites of real people – but the astounding and goosebump-inducing achievements made by the three central characters are all historically cOrr ect and profoundly inspiring.

Empire’s Taraji P. Henson plays the central character, Katherine G. Johnson, a bona-fide math prodigy-genius who rose to essential prominence during the “space…

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I’m talking, Amanda… with great enthusiasm.

looking up/looking down

Here is a second speech from 2016, made on the delightful occasion of the launch of Rashida Murphy’s novel The Historian’s Daughter (UWA Publishing) last August. I decided not to edit out my concluding comments—a few tips on how readers can help books make their way in the world—as people often ask me about this…

Historian_s_Daughter_Cover_grandeThe Historian’s Daughter is a special book. First, and most importantly, it is a beautifully written, page-turning, multilayered novel with engaging characters and something worthwhile to say.

Second, it is a debut novel, which always occasions a particular kind of interest, because reviewers, the media, bookshops, readers are not only wondering What story do we have here? but also Who do we have here?

Third, this book started its life as a PhD. It has been loved and laboured over, even cried over, throughout many years and it has been the centre of…

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Oscars 2017: La La Land

Excellent review of why I thoroughly enjoy the film.

The Fluff Is Raging

The Film:La La Land

The Pitch: A Star is Born Works Really Hard and Suffers Intense Humiliation and Rejection

Number of Nominations: 14

Which Categories? Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Production Design, Best Editing, Best Original Score, Best Original Song (two nominations), Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing

Will it Win? Yes: it’s going home with a clutch of Oscars, including the Big One.


Hollywood loves nothing more than celebrating itself, even when a film viciously satirizes the city and the industry (The Player, Swimming With Sharks), so a major movie about a couple of ambitious young talents trying to get ahead in movies and music in Los Angeles was always going to appeal. With an astonishing fourteen nominations, critical praise and good box-office, Damian Chazelle’s follow-up to Whiplash is almost certainly…

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Another local writer hits the screens… and your chance to win tickets.

Cinema Australia

Thanks to Madman Entertainment we’re giving away ten in-season double passes to Jasper Jones, the story of Charlie Bucktin, a bookish boy of 14 living in a small town in Western Australia.

Shot in Australia’s South West and adapted from Craig Silvey’s best-selling Australian novel, Jasper Jones features a stellar cast including Toni Collette, Hugo Weaving, Levi Miller, Angourie Rice, Dan Wyllie and Aaron McGrath.

In the dead of night during the scorching summer of 1969, Charlie is startled when he is woken by local mixed-race outcast Jasper Jones outside his window. Jasper leads him deep into the forest and shows him something that will change his life forever, setting them both on a dangerous journey to solve a mystery that will consume the entire community.

In an isolated town where secrecy, gossip and tragedy overwhelm the landscape, Charlie faces family breakdown, finds his first love, and discovers what it…

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A Street Cat Named Bob

Wow – I love how you find these gems then share them. Thanks CJ.

Film Mafia

a-streetcat-named-bob-luke-treadaway-768x539-c-default Luke Treadaway as James Bowen, with Bob as Bob.

***1/2 (out of five)

Okay, this is what happened: James Bowen, a young Englishman from a broken home who had spent part of his youth in Australia, found himself in the serious predicament of living on the streets of London with only a guitar and a heroin habit. He busked for chump change and half-eaten Pret A Manger sandwiches and searched for dry ground at night. He tried multiple times to kick the habit by enrolling in a state-sponsored methadone program, each time relapsing.

During his last chance with the program, when he was showing more determination, staying off the gear and sticking with the methadone, his case-worker took a little pity on him and arranged for him to occupy an unused council flat. While there, he met a beautiful, free-spirited girl and a stray ginger cat. The girl, based purely…

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Always loved the song. Sang it sitting in a circle on our lawn when I was a teen with folky friends… Thanks for this in depth appreciation.

The Immortal Jukebox

‘We leave something of ourselves behind when we leave a place, we stay there, even though we go away. And there are things in us that we can find again only by going back there’  (Pascal Mercier)

‘The desire to go home that is a desire to be whole, to know where you are, to be a point of intersection of all the lines drawn though all the stars, to be the constellation- maker and the center of the world, that center called love.’ (Rebecca Solnit)

‘You can’t go home again.’ (Thomas Wolfe)

‘Lord, I’m one, Lord, I’m two, Lord, I’m three, Lord, I’m four,

Lord, I’m five hundred miles away from home.’ (Hedy West)

Much meaning can be expressed in so few letters of the alphabet

Just four will do.

Good. Evil. Luck. Fate. Time. Fear. Hope. Hate. Womb. Tomb. Life. Love.

And one four letter word might contain…

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“Small Great Things”


Jodi Picoult’s Small Great Things to be adapted for film.

by |February 6, 2017
Julia Roberts and Viola Davis are set to star alongside each other in the film adaptation of Jodi Picoult’s Small Great Things.

Marc Platt, whose work has included La La Land, is set to produce the film with Adam Siegel. A screenwriter has yet to be announced.  READ MORE.


#SmallGreatThings  #JodiPicoult  #BookToFilm  #AdaptedForScreen  #ScreenNews

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Stephen Page

Author: The Salty River Bleeds, The Timbre of Sand, Still Dandelions, A Ranch Bordering the Salty River. Alum: Palomar College, Columbia University, Bennington College. Follow on twitter @SmpageSteve on Instagram @smpagemoria on Facebook @steven.page.1481

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