Books

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Bill Gates shares holiday reading list

<p><em>Image: CNN</em></p> <p>Almost every year Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates lists books he has read and recommends them on his blog. This year Bill has shared what he calls his “holiday readers”. He shares he has read a lot this year but these five books stood out most.</p> <p>1. A Thousand Brains: A New theory of intelligence by Jeff Hawkins. “Few subjects have captured the imaginations of science fiction writers like artificial intelligence. If you’re interested in learning more about what it might take to create a true AI, this book offers a fascinating theory.” Hawkins was the co-inventor of the PalmPilot device back in the 90s.</p> <p>2. The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing and the Future of the Human Race, by Walter Isaacson is the second book that gates recommends. “The CRISPR gene editing system is one of the coolest and most consequential scientific breakthroughs of the last decade,” says Gates. The author does a good job highlighting “the most important ethical questions around gene editing.”</p> <p>3. Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro. “This book makes me think about what life with super intelligent robots might look like-and whether we’ll treat these kinds of machines as pieces of technology or something more.”</p> <p>4. Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell. “If you’re a Shakespeare fan, you’ll love this moving novel about how his personal life might’ve influenced the writing of one of the most famous plays,” he noted.</p> <p>5. Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir. It is a “wild tale about high school science teacher who wakes up in a different star system with no memory of how he got there.” Gates found this to be a fun read and finished it in one weekend</p>

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A MUST for any racing fan: Immortals of Australian Horse Racing review

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Australia has a long history when it comes to horse racing legends, with the likes of Phar Lap and Makybe Diva taking to the tracks over the years and quickly becoming legends.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Prolific non-fiction author Alan J. Whiticker has brought the stories of two dozen of these racers to life in his latest book </span><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.simonandschuster.com.au/books/Immortals-of-Australian-Horse-Racing/Alan-Whiticker/9781925946963" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Immortals of Australian Horse Racing: the Thoroughbreds</span></a></em> <span style="font-weight: 400;">(Gelding Street Press $39.99).</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Immortals</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> features in-depth statistics about each thoroughbred, with historic photos and artwork scattered throughout depicting the horses in action.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7845861/horse-review2.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/c1d0f6663e6141108ec25c94654d7062" /></span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Immortals peppers each racer’s profile with historical photos that any history buff is sure to appreciate. Image: Supplied</span></em></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">He also takes the chance to bust some common myths about these famous horses, while still acknowledging the roles these tall tales play in Australia’s racing mythos.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“[Archer’s] tale has become an important part of the Melbourne Cup mythology and helped make the first dual cups winner immortal,” he writes.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Along with Archer, Whiticker’s pickings include the horses almost everyone will recognise - Phar Lap, Black Caviar, Tulloch, Kingston Town, Winx, Manikato, and Makybe Diva - plus a selection of crowd favourites such as Peter Pan, Might and Power, Gunsynd and Sunline.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">But horses with celebrity status aren’t the only ones to make the cut; Whiticker also includes the lesser-known stories of freakish Vain, ‘super mare’ Wakeful, tragic Dulcify, and underrated Northerly.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7845860/horse-review3.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/2ae98417b1494ab4ac59345586d10baa" /></span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Many have come to (falsely) believe that Archer travelled from Nowra to Melbourne by hoof, but Whiticker points out that this contributes to his immortality. Image: Supplied</span></em></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Whiticker tracks each horse’s story from their birth and their debut on the track to the pitfalls and moments of victory that made them immortal.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Meanwhile, the ‘ranking’ of thoroughbreds also lays out Australia’s racing history from the start of the Melbourne Cup to Winx’s retirement in 2018, and each horse is compared to those that came before and after them.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Though less knowledgeable readers may be daunted by the statistics and racing jargon at first glance, Whiticker compensates for this with his engaging and flowing style of prose.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">All in all, racing fans and history buffs will enjoy the in-depth stories that Whiticker creates, writing as if he were commentating from the sideline.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I trust this book will settle several arguments about the greatest thoroughbreds of all time and no doubt start a few more,” Whiticker writes of his selection.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“One thing is for certain: they are all unforgettable in their own right.”</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Images: Supplied</span></em></p>

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5 minutes with author P J McKay

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">5 minutes with the Author</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">, <em>OverSixty</em> asks book writers about their literary habits and preferences. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Next in the series is <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.pjmckayauthor.com/" target="_blank">P J McKay</a>, a novelist and mum-of-three based in Auckland. After training and working as a food scientist, McKay began writing while undertaking her Masters in Creative Writing at the University of Auckland. During her studies, McKay was inspired by her travels through former Yugoslavia to pen her debut novel, </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Telling Time</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">. After winning the 2020 First Pages Prize, McKay’s novel is now available.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">OverSixty</span> </em><span style="font-weight: 400;">sat down with McKay to chat about representing New Zealand’s Croatian community, her current reads, and the role cooking played in her novel.</span></p> <p><strong>O60: What book(s) are you reading right now?</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">My current book on the go is <em>Betty</em> by Tiffany McDaniel — insights into the Cherokee Indian culture are an added bonus and despite the tough themes I’m enjoying cheering this resilient young woman on.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">And I have just finished two novels:</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><em>Crazy Love</em> by Rosetta Allan — A love story with a twist. A triumph of love conquering adversity. A no-holes barred insight in the realities of supporting our mentally unwell. This is Rosetta’s third novel. She manages to inject humour into what’s a tough subject to tackle and never allows the story to wallow.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">And for something much lighter, </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Take me Home</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> by Karly Lane — transports the reader from Australia to Scotland. A feel-good story with a dash of romance. </span></p> <p><strong>O60: Does your training in food science influence your writing in any way?</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Great question! There are a few food descriptions peppered through <em>The Telling Time</em>. My love of cooking (and consuming food!) has most definitely influenced this. Some reviewers have noted it as a bonus to be transported by these descriptions. Any reference to food is of course relevant to the era and/or the setting but given the aroma, taste or even just the sight of food transports us to different settings it can be a useful and fun tool to employ: think Greece and Mediterranean dishes, or traditional Australasian sweet treats — lamingtons for example — or food which is typical in Croatia, such as <em>črostule</em>, <em>njoki</em>, <em>špek</em> or the local wine on Korčula, <em>Pošip</em>. As an author I invite the reader to use all their senses when imagining my characters in scene. If I get their taste buds watering then that’s a bonus.   </span></p> <p><strong>O60: How did you start writing historical fiction?</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It’s the genre which I enjoy most as a reader and my background roles in research were also very helpful. The nugget for this novel came from my own experience when backpacking in the late 1980s tied in with my interest in the immigrant experience and for <em>The Telling Time</em>, the Croatian diaspora. I also wanted the novel to encompass the mother/daughter relationship, hence the dual timeline that includes the late 1950s and 1989. It’s scary to think that these two eras now count as historical! When researching for a novel like this it means going back even further in time. <em>The Telling Time</em> references events from the early 20</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">th</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> Century, WWIII, and the events that followed afterward, particularly in the former Yugoslavia. I love that historical fiction often gifts the reader information they didn’t previously know. This for me is the joy of historical fiction writing; finding those facts to thread through the fiction to ensure the ‘world of the novel’ is credible. </span></p> <p><strong>O60: <em>The Telling Time</em> was inspired by your travels and the connections you made with the local Croatian community. How did it feel to represent this community with your novel? </strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">I feel privileged to have been privy to stories from the Croatian community and delighted to shine some light on what makes this group unique, but also what unites their stories with other immigrant groups. It is always tricky finding the balance when representing a community that is not your own lived experience. For me, it was important to observe and listen at the local Dalmatian club when attending club nights and events. There were excellent resources to draw on at the club — their cultural museum and language tutor who checked my use of Croatian words/phrases in the novel — and having the novel reviewed by Dr Nina Nola from the University of Auckland’s English department was another essential step. Nina’s mother immigrated to New Zealand from Hvar in the 1950s. This is a novel, and therefore a work of fiction, but staying true to the culture and customs is an essential component and the feedback from readers of Croatian heritage suggests I have succeeded in getting the balance and details right. Of course, when Croatian publishers Znanje d.o. bought the translation rights for the novel earlier this year (to be published there in June 2022) this was a further seal of approval. I felt both proud and delighted that I would soon be able to gift copies of the translated novel to the club.  </span></p> <p><strong>O60: What book or books do you think are  underrated?</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">That’s a curly question! <em>The Lost Lights of St Kilda</em> by Elisabeth Gifford is a gentle historic novel, published last year which I thoroughly enjoyed but don’t hear a lot about now. And I’ll put in a plug for fellow New Zealand author, Rosetta Allan, mentioned above. Along with <em>Crazy Love</em>, her two other novels, <em>Purgatory</em> and <em>The Unreliable People</em>, are both fabulous reads that deserve more air-time!!</span></p> <p><strong>O60: How do you deal with writer’s block?</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">I found the best solution was to chat more. By this I mean nutting out a problem with trusted friends or asking a question which then often provided a lead, or new tangent to explore. There was one dire moment of writer’s block when I was desperate to get my character, Gabrijela, out of the house. I asked Mum for ideas about social events in the 1950s and she told me how popular a day at the races was along with a personal story about backing an outside runner called Red Glare. Bingo! Guess where Gabrijela was now off to! Critique was also a valuable tool, especially during my Masters in Creative Writing year at Auckland University. It challenges you to think harder and strive to improve, to iron out the creases waiting to trip the reader out of their suspended disbelief.</span></p> <p><strong>O60: Which author, dead or alive, would you most like to have dinner with?</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Has to be Janine Cummins, who wrote </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">American Dirt</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">. </span><span style="font-weight: 400;"></span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Images: Supplied</span></em></p>

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Five books to change the way you think about the environment and climate change

<p><em>Image: Shutterstock</em></p> <p>We are constantly bombarded with dire warnings about the environmental and climate change emergency. Act now or face unprecedented global catastrophe, as we are constantly reminded.</p> <p>These five books offer alternative perspectives and new ways we can understand and relate to nature.</p> <p><strong>Gaia by James Lovelock (1979)</strong></p> <p>In his 1979 book, James Lovelock offers an entirely new understanding of the earth as not just a planet on which life has evolved, but a self-regulating system capable of correcting any significant fluctuations that tend towards making it uninhabitable, such as increases or decreases in global temperatures or ocean salinity.</p> <p>Lovelock shows, for example, how the environment has contributed to driving down atmospheric carbon dioxide levels to compensate for a steadily warming sun. This has kept global temperatures in a habitable range.</p> <p>Ultimately though, the importance of Gaia lies not just in its bold scientific claims, but in the way it opens up the possibility of bringing together science and spirituality, the true and the meaningful. What does being a part of Gaia mean for us?</p> <p><strong>Should Trees Have Standing? By Christopher D. Stone (1972)</strong></p> <p>No law, Christopher Stone claims, can be created until we begin to challenge its non-existence. And just as it was once “unthinkable” for corporations to be given the same rights as people, the same is true today of living beings and ecosystems. Nature itself has no rights, only the people that own it or use it. Against this, Stone argues that certain natural entities – trees, forests, rivers – should be treated as people and granted “rights”.</p> <p>This radical idea is increasingly being implemented. In 2008 and 2009, Ecuador and Bolivia became the first countries in the world to recognise nature as a legal person in their constitutions. And in 2017, New Zealand recognised the legal personhood of the Whanganui River.</p> <p>Developing these insights in the 2010 edition of the book, Stone asks if the climate should also be granted legal standing. He sees this as problematic but not impossible, though it would require a legal system that goes beyond the current nation-state structure.</p> <p><strong>Biomimicry by Janine Benyus (1997)</strong></p> <p>Few would deny that technology will play a major role in achieving sustainability. But for the most part, we concentrate on individual technologies – such as electric vehicles or biodegradable packaging – without pausing to rethink technology as a whole. A significant exception to this is Janine Benyus, who argues that sustainability calls for an entirely different approach: innovation inspired by nature, or “biomimicry”.</p> <p>The book explores the practice of imitating nature to solve human design challenges and offers many case studies showing how biomimicry can apply to almost every field of innovation – from solar energy generation based on natural photosynthesis to cereal farming modelled on the native Kansas prairie.</p> <p>But perhaps the deepest significance of the book is the way it calls on us to view nature not just as something we learn about, but also as something we learn from. And in that case, we must cease to think of ourselves as the sole possessors of intelligence and knowledge and instead also come to recognise the genius of nature.</p> <p><strong>Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer (2013)</strong></p> <p>Like Benyus, Robin Wall Kimmerer thinks nature has a lot to teach us. But whereas Benyus focuses on technological innovation, Kimmerer is interested in broader lessons.</p> <p>The overarching theme of the book is how to “braid” together indigenous wisdom and scientific knowledge, a project that the author, as a citizen of the Potawatomi nation and a professional biologist, has devoted much of her life to.</p> <p>Kimmerer’s most brilliant example is sweetgrass itself – an aromatic plant used in indigenous medicine and basketry. Whereas Kimmerer’s biologist colleagues presumed that harvesting sweetgrass always harms it, a biology student of hers designed a careful experiment proving something the Potawatomi had long since known: harvesting sweetgrass actually stimulates vigorous growth.</p> <p>What these plants teach us, then, is that humans are not outside nature, but a part of nature – and with the right approaches we can enable other species to flourish alongside our own.</p> <p><strong>The Climate of History in a Planetary Age by Dipesh Chakrabarty (2021)</strong></p> <p>Addressing the meaning of climate change through the lens of history, Dipesh Chakrabarty proposes a fundamental shift from thinking about “global” to “planetary” climate change.</p> <p>Chakrabarty argues that while the world is busy solving a “global” problem, we forget to ask what the “global” means for us today. The “global”, he explains, is essentially a human-centric idea, intrinsically linked to postwar globalisation and modernisation. The “planet”, by contrast, decentres this human-centric idea, allowing nonhuman perspectives and interests to be taken into account. Most importantly, it raises the possibility of discovering new universal values.</p> <p>Chakrabarty also emphasises that the acceleration of global warming is tightly linked to the anti-colonialist modernising movements of the mid-20th century, such as Chairman Mao’s Great Leap Forward. This was an economic and social programme aimed to bring China up to speed with the Western world through intensive industrialisation and technological advancement. Chakrabarty argues that it is only by overcoming our obsession with constant growth and development that we can rise to the challenge of ensuring planetary sustainability.</p>

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Will you learn better from reading on screen or paper?

<p>Research now suggests that if you really need to learn something, you’re better off with print.</p> <p>Studies have shown that when people read on-screen, they don’t completely understand what they’ve read, as well as when they read it in print. Even worse, we don’t realize we’re not getting it. For example, researchers in Spain and Israel took a close look at 54 studies comparing digital and print reading. Their 2018 study involved more than 171,000 readers. Comprehension, they found, was better overall when people read print rather than digital texts. The researchers shared the results in <em>Educational Research Review</em>.</p> <p><strong>The question is, why?</strong></p> <p>Reading is reading, right? Not exactly. Reading is reading, right? Not exactly. Maryanne Wolf works at the University of California, Los Angeles. This neuroscientist specializes in how the brain reads. Reading is not natural, she explains. We learn to talk by listening to those around us. It’s pretty automatic. But learning to read takes real work. Wolf notes it’s because the brain has no special network of cells just for reading.</p> <p>To understand text, the brain borrows networks that evolved to do other things. For example, the part that evolved to recognise faces is called into action to recognise letters. This is similar to how you might adapt a tool for some new use. For example, a coat hanger is great for putting your clothes in the closet. But if a blueberry rolls under the refrigerator, you might straighten out the coat hanger and use it to reach under the fridge and pull out the fruit. You’ve taken a tool made for one thing and adapted it for something new. That’s what the brain does when you read.</p> <p>It’s great that the brain is so flexible. It’s one reason we can learn to do so many new things. But that flexibility can be a problem when it comes to reading different types of texts. When we read online, the brain creates a different set of connections between cells from the ones it uses for reading in print. It basically adapts the same tool again for the new task. This is like if you took a coat hanger and instead of straightening it out to fetch a blueberry, you twisted it into a hook to unclog a drain. Same original tool, two very different forms.</p> <p>As a result, the brain might slip into skim mode when you’re reading on a screen. It may switch to deep-reading mode when you turn to print.</p> <p>That doesn’t just depend on the device, however. It also depends on what you assume about the text. Naomi Baron calls this your mindset. Baron is a scientist who studies language and reading. She works at American University in Washington, D.C. Baron is the author of <em>How We Read Now</em>, a new book about digital reading and learning. She says one way mindset works is in anticipating how easy or hard we expect the reading to be. If we think it will be easy, we might not put in much effort.</p> <p>Much of what we read on-screen tends to be text messages and social-media posts. They’re usually easy to understand. So, “when people read on-screen, they read faster,” says Alexander at the University of Maryland. “Their eyes scan the pages and the words faster than if they’re reading on a piece of paper.”</p> <p>But when reading fast, we may not absorb all the ideas as well. That fast skimming, she says, can become a habit associated with reading on-screen. Imagine that you turn on your phone to read an assignment for school. Your brain might fire up the networks it uses for skimming quickly through TikTok posts.</p> <p><strong>Where was I?</strong></p> <p>Speed isn’t the only problem with reading on screens. There’s scrolling, too. When reading a printed page or even a whole book, you tend to know where you are. Not just where you are on some particular page, but which page — potentially out of many. You might, for instance, remember that the part in the story where the dog died was near the top of the page on the left side. You don’t have that sense of place when some enormously long page just scrolls past you. (Though some e-reading devices and apps do a pretty good job of simulating page turns.)</p> <p>Why is a sense of page important? Researchers have shown that we tend to make mental maps when we learn something. Being able to “place” a fact somewhere on a mental map of the page helps us remember it.</p> <p>It’s also a matter of mental effort. Scrolling down a page takes a lot more mental work than reading a page that’s not moving. Your eyes don’t just focus on the words. They also have to keep chasing the words as you scroll them down the page.</p> <p>Mary Helen Immordino-Yang is a neuroscientist at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. She studies how we read. When your mind has to keep up with scrolling down a page, she says, it doesn’t have a lot of resources left for understanding what you’re reading. This can be especially true if the passage you’re reading is long or complicated. While scrolling down a page, your brain has to continually account for the placement of words in your view. And this can make it harder for you to simultaneously understand the ideas those words should convey.</p> <p>Another reseacher found that length matters, too. When passages are short, students understand just as much of what they read on-screen as do when reading in print. But once the passages are longer than 500 words, they learn more from print.</p> <p>Even genre matters. Genre refers to what type of book or article you’re reading. The articles here on <em>Science News for Students </em>are nonfiction. News stories and articles about history are nonfiction. Stories invented by an author are fiction.</p> <p>If you want to do better in school or even your career, it’s not quite as simple as turning off your tablet and picking up a book. There are plenty of good reasons to read on screens and as the pandemic taught us, sometimes we have no choice.</p>

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Kyle Sandilands "couldn't give a s***" about Lisa Wilkinson's memoir

<p>The radio shock jock has gone on a classic Sandilands rant on his radio show, slamming Lisa Wilkinson's upcoming autobiography. </p> <p>Speaking live on <em>The Kyle and Jackie O Show</em>, Kyle admitted he "couldn't give a s***" about Lisa's 40-year media career that she has documented in her book <em>It Wasn't meant To be Like This</em>. </p> <p>In her book, Lisa details her time on <em>The Today Show</em>, which came to an abrupt end in 2017 when she was outside after advocating for equal pay with her co-host Karl Stefanovic. </p> <p>However, according to Kyle, there's not much interest. </p> <p><span>"How exciting could her life be?" Kyle wondered aloud to his listeners. </span></p> <p><span>He was also quick to dismiss her claim that she was paid less than Karl, saying this was common practice in the television industry. </span></p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">"Just because you are working on the same show as each other doesn't necessarily mean equal pay, just saying. Sometimes they have to pay someone more because they negotiated it that way," he said.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">'You don't just get what the other one gets. That's not the way the world works."</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">He also said, "<span>She couldn't negotiate a decent salary, or her management couldn't, and she changed to a better network [Channel 10] where they paid her what they thought she was worth. That's all that happened. There's no badness or awfulness."</span></p> <p><span>After calling her memoir "boring", he did admit that Lisa is "very good at her job" on <em>The Project</em> after parting ways with Channel Nine. </span></p> <p><span>Kyle, who is good friends with Karl Stefanovic, said Lisa has marketed her book in such a way because "she's a journo... she's good at publicity."</span></p> <p><span>Lisa's book, <em>It Wasn't Meant To Be Like This,</em> will be </span>released on November 3rd. </p> <p><em>Image credits: KIISFM / Instagram @lisa_wilkinson</em></p>

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“Today was your last day”: Lisa Wilkinson reveals brutal dismissal

<p>After suddenly disappearing from the Channel Nine breakfast show <em>Today</em> in 2017, viewers around Australia were shocked at Lisa Wilkinson's quiet exit. </p> <p>Now, Lisa has revealed exactly what happened the day she was axed in an <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/national/lisa-wilkinson-finally-reveals-the-truth-about-leaving-today-and-her-last-show-with-karl-stefanovic/news-story/ef89081ecb766cac59cae0ba2909351a" target="_blank">exclusive extract</a> from her tell-all memoir called <em>It Wasn't Meant To Be Like This. </em></p> <p>After sitting alongside co-host Karl Stefanovic for more than a decade and appearing to be close friends, Lisa discussed how Karl <span>treated her with an unusual “disregard” on what ultimately became her final day on-air.</span></p> <p>Hours later, she was sacked over the phone while shopping at Woolworths. </p> <p>In her book, Lisa writes of her <span>awkward final on-air encounter with Karl Stefanovic, as she says he ignored her for a week in the lead-up to her brutal axing.</span></p> <p><span>The tension between the hosts came after he ditched her 25th wedding anniversary celebration and vow renewal with a last-minute text cancellation.</span></p> <p><span>“Karl and his new partner Jas had been invited but dropped out just two days before via a text to Pete saying that they were extending an overseas trip and wouldn’t be attending,” she wrote, adding how strange it was he hadn’t contacted her with apologies nor congratulations.</span></p> <p>“In the 10 days since, Karl hadn’t contacted me, his co-host of almost eleven years, at all. No phone message, no text, no apology, not even a simple congrats,” she wrote. “Just complete silence.”</p> <p>She added, “In all the years we’d sat next to each other, even though there were the occasional frustrations on both sides, upsets were rare."</p> <p><span>“But on this particular morning, I was upset. With limited numbers, there were two precious spots at the wedding we could so easily have filled with dear friends, but Karl’s late text meant those seats had gone empty.”</span></p> <p><span>Lisa wrote that as their first show after the wedding began, Karl arrived at his desk just in time to appear live on air, leaving no room for small talk and disappeared at his earliest chance. </span></p> <p>“Not a mention. Not a ‘how was the holiday?’ And certainly no ‘Sorry about that no-show at the wedding’. Not … anything,” she wrote.</p> <p>“What I felt in that instant was hard to put into words. More than anything, I felt just a little bit pathetic. What was this thing Karl and I had between us?"</p> <p>“I’d presumed that along with our work relationship, there was a friendship as well. I must have been wrong.”</p> <p>As Karl finally congratulated Lisa on her vow renewal while the cameras were rolling, Lisa said she felt taken aback by his unusual actions. </p> <p>Despite being hurt by the situation, Wilkinson said she took a deep breath and said: “Yeah, I did Karl, but why would anybody care about that when it’s news time? Good morning.”</p> <p>After that comment, she said: “Karl knew I had cut him dead, something I had never done on or off air before.”</p> <p>“For the next two hours, I exchanged not a single word with Karl outside of what was scripted – because for the first time, I just didn’t trust myself to ‘play nice’,” she wrote.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CRgGAJRlPGB/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CRgGAJRlPGB/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Lisa Wilkinson (@lisa_wilkinson)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>In the wake of these extracts being published, on Monday morning's edition of <em>Today</em>, Karl Stefanovic took the day off. </p> <p>His absence wasn't acknowledged by the hosts, as he was replaced for the day by <em>Today Extra</em> host David Campbell. </p> <p>Lisa's autobiography, <em>It Wasn't Meant To Be Like This</em>, will be released on November 3rd. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images / Instagram @lisa_wilkinson</em></p>

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Rare May Gibbs book published for the first time in Australia and New Zealand

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Before May Gibbs wrote </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Snugglepot and Cuddlepie</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">, the iconic Australian author wrote a picture book about a “dear, nice little girl” separated from her dog, and the journey to undergo to find each other.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Over 100 years after Gibbs first wrote and published the book, </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Mamie and Wag</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> has been published for </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.smh.com.au/culture/books/may-gibbs-picture-book-published-for-the-first-time-in-australia-20210920-p58t7r.html" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">the first time</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> in Australia and New Zealand.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The title comes from Gibbs’ childhood, when she had the nickname Mamie.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Gibbs wrote the book under the pseudonym Silvia Hood and originally set the story in the Australian bush.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">But she was only able to find a publisher after changing the setting to Edwardian London.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Along the way, the lost little girl and her dog meet a beggar girl, a king and a queen, lots of cats, and chimney pot people, inspired by the chimney pots around the Holborn district in central London.</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CT3G_fPBTAb/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="13"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CT3G_fPBTAb/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by May Gibbs (@maygibbsofficial)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Changing the name to </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">About Us</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">, the altered book was published in London and New York in 1912.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">According to Maureen Walsh’s </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">May Gibbs Mother of the Gumnuts</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">, Gibbs received a grand total of 20 pounds for the work.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Stewart Reed, a historian specialising in May Gibbs who runs tours of her former Neutral Bay home, said the book will have a wide appeal.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“[The book] is very different to all her other work, but it’s got a little girl, a dog, lots of cats and the chimney people, and that appeals to kids,” he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The message that is good for parents to reinforce for their kids, that they’re not in this world alone. It’s not exactly Buddhist for karma, but it goes part way down there.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Now, publisher Scholastic has released the book and plans to publish a compendium of the beloved author’s unpublished works over the next few years.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Images: maygibbs.org, @thelittlebooklovers / Instagram</span></em></p>

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Revealed: 2021 Booker Prize shortlist

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The shortlist for the 2021 Booker Prize for Fiction has been announced, with six authors in the running for the coveted title and £50,000 prize money.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Booker Prize is open to authors of any nationality who have published a novel in the UK or Ireland, which has been written or translated into English.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The authors were selected from the 158 novels published in the UK or Ireland between October 1, 2020 and September 30, 2021.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Judging this year’s finalists, the panel includes historian Maya Jasanoff, writer and editor Horatia Harrod, actor Natascha McElhone, two-time Booker-shortlisted novelist and professor Chigozie Obioma, and writer and former Archbishop Rowan Williams.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Ms Jasanoff, the chair of the judging panel, said “With so many ambitious and intelligent books before us, the judges engaged in rich discussions not only about the qualities of any given title, but often about the purpose of fiction itself.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We are pleased to present a shortlist that delivers as wide a range of original stories as it does voices and styles.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The shortlist for the 2021 Booker Prize for Fiction include:</span></p> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Promise</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">, Damon Galgut</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">A Passage North</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">, Anuk Arudpragasam</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">No One is Talking About This</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">, Patricia Lockwood</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Fortune Men</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">, Nadifa Mohamed</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Bewilderment</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">, Richard Powers</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Great Circle</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">, Maggie Shipstead</span></li> </ul> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The winner will be announced on November 2.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: The Booker Prizes</span></em></p>

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Salman Rushdie announces novella in unusual form

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Sir Ahmed Salman Rushdie, author of the controversial book </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Satanic Verses</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">, has </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.goodreadingmagazine.com.au/latestnews/salman-rushdie-serialises-novella.html" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">announced</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> he will be writing his next book on the newsletter platform Substack.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The newsletter is called </span><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://salmanrushdie.substack.com/p/welcome-to-my-sea-of-stories?showWelcome=true" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Salman’s Sea of Stories</span></a></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> in a reference to his 1990 novel </span><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.goodreadingmagazine.com.au/haroun-and-the-sea-of-stories.html" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Haroun and the Sea of Stories</span></a></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">, and will be where his new book </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Seventh Wave</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> will be published, along with short stories, essays and other works.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Speaking to </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Guardian, </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Rushdie revealed that </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Seventh Wave</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> totals at 35,000 words and is about a “film director and an actor slash muse written in the style of New Wave cinema”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">According to his website, most of his work will be free to access.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">However, a paid subscription is needed to access additional works, including </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Seventh Wave</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">, which will be released in weekly instalments. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The point of doing this is to have a closer relationship with readers, to speak freely, without any intermediaries or gatekeepers,” his website reads.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“There’s just us here, just you and me, and we can take this wherever it goes. I hope you’ll enjoy the ride. I’ll try to make it fun.”</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: salmanrushdie.com</span></em></p>

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Unsung Heroes tells the real-life stories we may not usually hear

<p>In an effort to get the stories of our many unsung heroes heard, a retirement village called NewDirection Care in Bellmere, Queensland, has launched the first issue of a new magazine which will feature resident’s real-life stories.</p> <p>Called <em>Unsung Heroes</em>, the magazine tells the stories of the village’s residents and is written by award-winning journalist Michael Sheather.</p> <p>Natasha Chadwick, CEO and founder of NewDirection Care, explained how she and her co-workers had heard so many amazing stories from residents that they wanted a format where they could tell these stories to a wider audience.</p> <p>“These stories reach out to us and draw us in because it is in these stories that we see the echoes of who we want to be,” said Chadwick.</p> <p>“It’s a privilege – by allowing us to gently pull back the curtain on these lives that matter, lives that show us all what it means to find a purpose, we find hope and we find love in what is an increasingly uncertain and complex world,” she added.</p> <p><strong>Debut issue has 104-year-old WW2 veteran on the cover</strong></p> <p>The debut issue features a photo of 104-year-old WW2 veteran Bill Bruce on the cover and in his story inside the magazine, he reveals his secrets for a long and happy life.</p> <p>We also get to hear the inspiring story of Jeanie Bell, who became one of Australia’s most accomplished indigenous linguists and academics and helped to preserve the indigenous languages of Australia.</p> <p>Another story features war veteran Alex McCabe who shares his fascinating experience living through some of history’s greatest moments. Then we hear about Trudi and David Stretton sharing the story of how they renewed their wedding vows.</p> <p>Chadwick says the magazine is in line with the philosophy of the NewDirection Care community, adding: “Everything we do stems from our values of individuality, community, relationships, respect and empathy. I am proud of our staff and in constant awe of the residents who live at our MicroTown in Bellmere, Queensland, so it’s a privilege to celebrate the rich fabric of our community which is evident in the pages of this magazine.”</p> <p>The <em>Unsung Heroes</em> magazine is available to download via <span><a href="https://issuu.com/robynfoyster/docs/newdirectioncarejuly2021">issuu</a></span>. </p> <p><em>Image: Courtesy of Unsung Heroes</em></p> <p> </p>

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New book claims man from Snowy River “had to be Aboriginal”

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The man from Snowy River from Banjo Paterson’s famous poem has always been depicted as a white man, but one author claims the character was based on an Indigenous stockman.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The 1890 poem regales the story of a runaway horse, with various stockmen pursuing the colt and attempting to separate it from a herd of brumbies. When the wild horses descend an apparently impassable slope, the man from Snowy River is the only one who continues the chase.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Brumby Wars</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">, author and Walkley Award-winning journalist Anthony Sharwood claims that the poem indicates the story takes place in the Byadbo region of the Snowy Mountains, where he says all the local stockmen were Indigenous.</span></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">Brumbies. A vision of the legendary Man from Snowy Riveror a spectre of ecosystems destroyed by feral pests? <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TheBrumbyWars?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TheBrumbyWars</a> by <a href="https://twitter.com/antsharwood?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@antsharwood</a> is the riveting account of a major national issue and the very human passions it inspires.<br /><br />Out now: <a href="https://t.co/WF0FKMsEHu">https://t.co/WF0FKMsEHu</a> <a href="https://t.co/Gh8je2ciRa">pic.twitter.com/Gh8je2ciRa</a></p> — Hachette Australia Books (@HachetteAus) <a href="https://twitter.com/HachetteAus/status/1432938770370727940?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 1, 2021</a></blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">His theory relies on lines from the poem’s final stanza, which mention an area near Mount Kosciuszko “where the pine-clad ridges raise”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Sharwood said Byadbo is “the only part of Australia’s alpine region and nearby foothills with cypress pine forests, a native conifer that thrives in dry country”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“If the poem were sourced from stories of the Byadbo area, then the stockman had to be Aboriginal because all the best riders in the area had Indigenous blood,” he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In his newly-released book, Sharwood considers the controversial case for reducing brumby numbers due to their overgrazing of national parks, versus the calls to protect them because of their romanticised image.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Forget that Patterson knew they were pests and advocated for them to be shot to protect the pasture for cattle,” Sharwood said. “The brumbies are characters in the poem and that makes them sacred, eternal, untouchable, as quintessentially Australian as Vegemite and thongs.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">However, Sharwood isn’t the first to suggest the titular character was Indigenous.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In 1988, Victoria’s official historian Bernard Barrett proposed the character may have been based on a young Indigenous rider named Toby, with Barrett claiming “a better rider never sat a horse”.</span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 331.0546875px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7843655/gettyimages-542638958.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/cb8bd6984579401690c748346937c534" /></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Getty Images</span></em></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Professor Jakelin Troy, director of Aboriginal research at the University of Sydney and an Aboriginal Australian from the Ngarigu community of the Snowy Mountains, said we may never know who the rider was based on.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I don’t think any of us really care who the man, or woman, from Snowy River was, but it is an interesting thing to explore because it definitely plays into the mythology of the area,” she said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“One piece of research says he was my father’s great uncle called Jim Troy. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Banjo stayed with the family and Jim Troy fits the description even down to the horse. They bred them tough like their horses were a mixture of Timor pony which are really tough and thoroughbreds with a bit of Arab to make them a bit finer. The horses were a mixed breed … We will probably never know who the actual person was.”</span></p> <p><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.hachette.com.au/anthony-sharwood/the-brumby-wars-the-battle-for-the-soul-of-australia" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Brumby Wars</span></a></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> was released on Wednesday, August 1 by Hachette.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Getty Images</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"></span></p>

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“Outstanding accomplishment”: Cassandra Pybus wins National Biography Award

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Acclaimed author Cassandra Pybus has won the 2021 National Biography Award and a $25,000 prize for her account of Truganini, a Nuenonne woman from Tasmania.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The award recognises the best works across the categories of biography, autobiography, and memoir writing.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Judges praised </span><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.allenandunwin.com/browse/books/other-books/Truganini-Cassandra-Pybus-9781760529222" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Truganini: Journey Through the Apocalypse</span></a></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">, describing it as “the standout work in an impressive field”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The restoration of its subject elevates this book. Tuganini’s voice has been lost in the self-serving narrative of modern Australia. Reclamation is an outstanding accomplishment for any subject, and a thrilling one for a woman who stood against an empire,” the judges said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The judging panel included Senior Judge Suzanne Falkiner, 2019 National Biography Award winner Rick Morton, and 2000 National Biography Award winner Mandy Sayer.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We were all impressed by <em>Truganini</em>, which combined evocative writing with scholarly research” Senior Judge Suzanne Falkiner said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Given the limitations of assembling Truganini’s biography through the contemporary accounts of third-person witnesses, and where the subject’s own voice is entirely absent, Cassandra Pybus has deftly attempted to reverse the gaze of history.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“She reveals the sexual politics at play in areas depleted of young Indigenous women by European depredations, while recognising the agency, shrewdness, and refusal to accept the roles of passive victim of Truganini and her companions.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Pybus, an award-winning author and historian, made the </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/entertainment/books/2021-national-biography-award-finalists-announced" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">shortlist</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> alongside five other works - including a biography of Senator Penny Wong and Archie Roach’s memoir.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Each shortlisted author received a $2,000 prize.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Truganini</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> recounts the journey Truganini took around Tasmania with missionary George Augustus Robinson, to try and end the violence between colonists and Indigenous Australia.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Allen &amp; Unwin, Cassandra Pybus / Twitter</span></em></p>

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Campaigner sparks controversy after blasting picture book

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A British domestic violence campaigner has called out Judith Kerr’s 1968 picture book, </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Tiger Who Came to Tea</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">, as a reinforcement of problematic ideas.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Rachel Adamson, the co-director of charity Zero Tolerance, which aims to end men’s violence against women, has claimed the book is an “old fashioned” depiction of women.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We know that gender stereotypes are harmful and they reinforce gender inequality, and that gender inequality is the cause of violence against women and girls,” she told </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">BBC Radio Scotland</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Kerr’s picture book tells the story of a tiger who arrives on a family’s doorstep and, once invited in for tea, proceeds to consume all of their food and drinks.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Adamson criticised the “stereotypical” ending to the book, where the dad comes home from work and saves the day by taking his family to a cafe.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The campaigner also questioned why the tiger was not female or gender neutral.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We need to recognise these aren’t just stories… it is reflective of a society that we need to think more closely about,” she said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Adamson described Kerr as a “wonderful author”, but was aware that her comments would “make a lot of people unhappy”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Despite her strong views about the book, Adamson has stressed that she doesn’t want it banned.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Instead, she believes it could be used to “raise a conversation” in nurseries.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Speaking to </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Daily Telegraph</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">, Meghan Gallacher, the Scottish Conservatives spokesperson for children and young people, described Adamson’s language as “completely unhelpful”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“While attitudes change over time, parents will be left bemused at some of these claims by Zero Tolerance,” Gallacher </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9920825/Tiger-Came-Tea-lead-rape-harassment-campaigner-claims.html" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">said</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“This sort of language is completely unhelpful as we try to educate children about much-loved publications from days gone by.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“There are far better ways for this publicly funded group to go about changing attitudes, rather than simply calling for these books to be banned from nurseries.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Kerr, who had fled Nazi Germany when she was just 13, had previously denied claims there was a darker meaning to the story.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The idea came to her while she was a stay-at-home mother of her two small children.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It got really very boring,” she later recalled. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We’d go for a walk and have tea, and that was it really. And we wished someone would come. So I thought, why not have a tiger come?”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Kerr continued to write and illustrate books from 1968 until she passed away in May of 2019.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Instagram, Rachel Adamson</span></em></p>

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Dolly Parton and James Patterson to release a novel

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">From singing hit country songs to contributing to COVID-19 vaccine research, Dolly Parton has a diversified set of skills.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In her latest venture, the songstress has teamed up with bestselling author James Patterson to pen her first-ever fiction novel, due to be released on March 7, 2022.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The novel, </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Run, Rose, Run</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">, is a thriller that follows a young woman on the run who moves to Nashville to pursue her dreams as a singer-songwriter and will do anything it takes to survive.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">When she announced her debut novel, the star shared a photo of herself with the legendary novelist, as well as a picture of the book’s front cover.</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CScLi_DLNIH/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="13"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CScLi_DLNIH/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Dolly Parton (@dollyparton)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I cannot be more excited about the release of my very first novel #RunRoseRun with @jamespattersonbooks,” she captioned the post.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Alongside the novel, Dolly plans to release a companion LP of new music based on the characters and situations in the novel.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I hope you enjoy the book and the songs as much as we’ve enjoyed putting it together,” she concluded.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Just two days before making the announcement on social media, Dolly hinted at the idea on Book Lovers Day, disclosing her dream of writing her own novel.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The seeds of dreams are often found in books, and the seeds you help plant in your community can grow across the world,” she captioned a retro snap of herself holding a book.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I dream of writing my own novel one day 😉”.</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CSW-D-JLob_/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="13"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CSW-D-JLob_/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Dolly Parton (@dollyparton)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Previously, Dolly has written autobiographical books, including </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">, which was released last year.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The famed singer has also started a weekly YouTube series called </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Goodnight with Dolly</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">, where she reads children’s books for kids who are stuck at home and bored during the COVID-19 pandemic.</span></p> <p><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.littlebrown.com/titles/james-patterson/run-rose-run/9780759554375/" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Run, Rose, Run</span></a></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> is now available to preorder from </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.jamespatterson.com/titles/james-patterson/run-rose-run/9780759554344/" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Patterson’s website</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, as well as other bookstores.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Dolly Parton / Instagram</span></p>

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Author recalls swimming with Prince Charles in her new book

<p><img style="width: 0px; height: 0px;" src="/nothing.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/6769599ade9143b4beea9b742c4674a9" /><img style="width: 0px; height: 0px;" src="/nothing.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/401044158a9d43b69893430da54a1b30" />In her new book <em>Finding Fabulous Over 60</em>, Lesley Thomas opens up about how she had some drinks and swam with Prince Charles in 1983 – as well as a collection of other amazing life lessons. </p> <p>Lesley Thomas was the woman we saw swimming with Prince Charles on the front page of all the newspapers when he visited back in 1979 and 1983. She says, however: "I was not the model who ran up and kissed him in the surf!"</p> <p>But she did swim with Prince Charles several times at the North Cottesloe surf club beach when he visited Perth. She adds: "He turned up unexpectedly late one Sunday afternoon. The full story is in my book, but he came to the party and stayed two hours and had a great time because there were no press, no cameras, no mobile phones and he could relax, have a couple of drinks and enjoy himself - which is exactly what he and his entourage did."</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 500px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7843165/lesley-thomas-book-um.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/401044158a9d43b69893430da54a1b30" /></p> <p>As well as these stories there's much more from Thomas in her new book including how she overcame serious addictions, ended toxic relationships and lost weight, to wind up as she says: “a fit, vibrant 67-year-old woman – or so I’m told!”</p> <p>Her autobiographical book documents her darkest moments when she prayed to a power greater than herself for help. Even though the road was rocky, she based her recovery, weight loss, fitness, and absolutely brilliant sense of wellbeing on those prayers being answered and her path being guided.</p> <p><strong>Here at <em>Over 60</em>, we talked with Thomas and asked her what inspired her to sit down and write her book – <em>Finding Fabulous Over 60?</em></strong></p> <p>I wanted to help others to know it is possible to overcome and recover from addictions, childhood traumas, weight issues and toxic relationships and find for themselves the level of inner peace and joy that I have experienced more and more in my life. When Covid arrived in 2020, space opened for me when I lost my job and that is when I was guided to start writing.</p> <p><strong>Your book is autobiographical and you’ve said it’s about a “transformation” and “overcoming addictions – in particular alcohol addiction.” Was this something you struggled with yourself and you wanted to write and let people know how you became sober?</strong></p> <p>Yes, the 'disease of addiction' is debilitating, more so when you are trying to quit. You are fighting with your body, which wants a substance far more than you can cope with. It may sound dramatic, but anyone who has experienced it will know exactly what I am talking about. You feel like you are going insane and that you can hardly bear to be awake at times. The mental and physical anguish and torment are unbearable. I am hoping that the stories of my experiences with overcoming my addictions to nicotine and alcohol in particular, but also my struggles with my addiction to processed sugar and flour and overeating will give people hope that they too can overcome their addictions.</p> <p> <img style="width: 428.2700421940928px; height: 500px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7843166/lesley-and-children-um.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/6769599ade9143b4beea9b742c4674a9" /></p> <p><strong>You also talk about ‘overcoming childhood traumas’ in your book. Was this another area you found helped you in your life?</strong></p> <p>Unprocessed childhood traumas crippled me mentally and emotionally, especially in my adult life and I wasn't even aware of it. I didn't start seeking professional help until I was 45 and it was the best thing I could have done for myself. Starting the process of dealing with childhood traumas assisted me enormously as I worked on overcoming my addictions. It wasn't easy and it took a long time, but it was certainly worthwhile.</p> <p><strong>Many people would be interested in how you ‘detached from a three-year toxic relationship’. Does it inspire you to let people how you’ve dealt with issues so you can help them?</strong></p> <p>Absolutely. It is so wonderful seeing 'hope' or 'the realisation of possibilities' come into someone's eyes. I used the word 'detached' in that phrase because it wasn't just a matter of physically leaving, I had to detach mentally and emotionally (from what seemed like a soul level) as well as physically and I could hardly believe how painful that was, but I knew in my heart I had to do it and get through it for my sanity and wellbeing.</p> <p>Key to this was a willingness to look at and address honestly my own 'stuff'. In any relationship, we each have our part and we kid ourselves if we think it's 'all' someone else's fault when the relationship breaks down. Also, if we don't do this work, we will take out 'stuff' into the next relationship and it will all happen again.</p> <p><strong>So many men and women would be keen to know how you ‘lost weight and dealt with food addictions.’ Can you please give us a teaser of how you did this?</strong></p> <p>I had to accept the fact that nobody was going to do it for me. I also acknowledged that to be successful I needed to get out of my own way, become accountable, and get professional guidance.</p> <p><strong>Do you feel your life after death experiences with each of your parents after they passed has helped you on your journey?</strong></p> <p>Yes, enormously. Each of the visits of my parents after they passed that I describe in my book absolutely astounded me and left me in no doubt at all that there is life after death. It was a great comfort to me knowing that and that they are around me when I need them and are helping me.</p> <p><strong>Is there anything else you’d like to share with the readers of Over60?</strong></p> <p>With a grateful heart and a willingness to look on the bright side, I believe anything is possible for anyone. Truly! You are never too young or too old to take the first step to freedom, a better life, inner peace and a lot of laughs along the way. It's just the <em>best </em>feeling.</p> <p><strong>Lesley Thomas’s book is available on her website here: - </strong><a rel="noopener" href="http://www.findingfabulousover60.com/" target="_blank"><strong>www.findingfabulousover60.com</strong></a></p> <p><strong>Here are some of the reviews of the book:</strong></p> <p>“An incredible read! A hugely inspirational story of transformation”<br /><strong>- Sue Stone - UK Author, Secret Millionaire and Inspirational Speaker</strong></p> <p>A recommended read for sure this book left me motivated to change ...in my case to lose weight (which I have since done) and in places the stories gave me a good old fashioned laugh. And who does not need a dose of that!!!!</p> <p><strong>- Henry Blatman</strong></p> <p>Photos: Courtesy of Lesley Thomas</p>

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2021 National Biography Award finalists announced

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The National Biography Award, a yearly recognition of the best biographies and life stories across Australia, has returned for another year, with the State Library of NSW announcing the finalists for 2021.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Judges Suzanne Falkiner, Rick Morton, and Mandey Sayer selected six works to shortlist out of 101 entries.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">With the winner set to be announced on August 26, here is a roundup of the shortlisted autobiographies and biographies for this year.</span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7843075/archie-roach.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/8ea1f6a7e50240c7a5735aae3a0ed503" /></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Simon &amp; Schuster, Getty</span></em></p> <p><strong><em>Tell Me Why</em>, Archie Roach</strong></p> <p><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.simonandschuster.com.au/books/Tell-Me-Why/Archie-Roach/9781760854539" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Tell Me Why: The Story of My Life and My Music</span></a></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> is a memoir detailing Roach’s life - from his forcible removal from his family as a small child to finding his biological family and becoming the legendary songwriter we know today.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Roach’s memoir touches on love, heartbreak, family, survival, and renewal, and has won the 202 Indie Book of the Year Non-Fiction and 2021 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Indigenous Writing.</span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7843079/clements-lotus.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/3ffd7e60cf1b46d1bb6ff87019e2aba3" /></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Hardie Grant Publishing</span></em></p> <p><strong><em>The Lotus Eaters</em>, Emily Clements</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Clement’s memoir recounts the young writer’s teenage years and early twenties, covering her time living in Vietnam. After a dispute between her best friend sees Emily stranded in the country, alone for the first time in her life, she decides to stay and attempts to combat her newfound loneliness.</span></p> <p><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.hardiegrant.com/au/publishing/bookfinder/book/the-lotus-eaters-by-emily-clements/9781743795699" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Lotus Eaters</span></a></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> has been praised for its deep dive into a range of subjects, including body image, friendship, sex and consent.</span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7843078/kwong-moon.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/14cd1ca7800f4534b4bc6a8ebda28baf" /></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: HarperCollins Publishers</span></em></p> <p><strong><em>One Bright Moon</em>, Andrew Kwong</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In </span><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.harpercollins.com.au/9781460758625/one-bright-moon/" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">One Bright Moon</span></a></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">, Kwong details the trials he experienced as a child fleeing Chairman Mao’s China to a new life in Australia. Having witnessed his first execution when he was just seven years old and growing up facing persecution and famine, he and his family decided they had to escape. And, twelve-year-old Andrew would be the first to make the journey.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Critics have praised Kwong for his “startling clarity” and “profoundly moving” story.</span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7843077/max-miller.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/5b4d72b2976b404b9a726b591b9378e7" /></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Allen &amp; Unwin</span></em></p> <p><strong><em>Max</em>, Alex Miller</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A tribute to Miller’s friend, Max Blatt, </span><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.allenandunwin.com/browse/books/other-books/Max-Alex-Miller-9781760878160" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Max</span></a></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> follows Miller’s journey as he pieces together Blatt’s life from the Melbourne Holocaust Centre’s records to his former home in Poland. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><em>Max</em> </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">explores the subjects of friendship, memory, and history that critics describe as a “compelling and tender story of one man’s hidden history”.</span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7843076/truganini-pybus.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/396a7b91980240358009a931877c4fd8" /></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Allen &amp; Unwin, Cassandra Pybus / Twitter</span></em></p> <p><strong><em>Truganini: Journey Through the Apocalypse</em>, Cassandra Pybus</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Pybus, an award-winning author and historian, has pored over eyewitness accounts to tell the story of Truganini, who has since become widely referred to as the ‘last Tasmanian’ in a perpetuation of the myth of the extinction of Tasmanian Aboriginal culture.</span></p> <p><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.allenandunwin.com/browse/books/other-books/Truganini-Cassandra-Pybus-9781760529222" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Truganini: Journey Through the Apocalypse</span></a></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> recounts Truganini’s story of journeying around Tasmania with self-styled missionary George Augustus Robinson to help him try to negotiate an end to the violence between white colonists and Indigenous Australians.</span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7843074/wong-margaret.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/b85afede9d5e46b6b5b3abaf635c7369" /></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Black Inc Books</span></em></p> <p><strong><em>Penny Wong: Passion and Principles</em>, Margaret Simons</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Journalist Margaret Simons has penned the first biography of Senator Penny Wong, tracing her story from her early life in Malaysia, to becoming a student activist in Adelaide, and her time in parliament. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In <em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.blackincbooks.com.au/books/penny-wong" target="_blank">Penny Wong: Passion and Principles</a></em>, Simons includes exclusive interviews with Wong and her Labor colleagues, as well as parliamentary opponents, close friends, and family members, to provide an insight into the Australian politician’s life.</span></p>

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Melbourne mum's children's book gets the royal treatment

<p>A mother-of-two from Melbourne woke up on Wednesday morning to see her children's book receiving unexpected attention from the Royal Family. </p> <p>Emma Macey, author of Matilda and the Bear, was shocked to see <span>Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, reading her acclaimed book on her popular Storytime with Fergie &amp; Friends YouTube channel.</span></p> <p><span>The Melbourne mum told 9Honey that she was thrilled to know her book had been read to an audience of tens of thousands of people around the world by such an important person.</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CSHCiEkHppe/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="13"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CSHCiEkHppe/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Emma Macey (@matildaandthebear)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span>"I loved how even Fergie could relate to situations Matilda found herself in that made her feel a bit anxious," the excited mum says. </span></p> <p><span>"It goes to show that this book is very relatable to adults just as well as the children they may be reading it to!"</span></p> <p><span>Emma was inspired to write her book last year when she saw how lockdown was affecting the mental health of her young daughters, who couldn't understand why their lives had changed so drastically.</span></p> <p><span>Emma wanted her girls to "feel safe" and discovered that having open conversations with them about anxiety and listening to them helped.</span></p> <p><span>After self-publishing her book, she has sold thousands of copies worldwide and is overwhelmed by the </span>positive response, and was elated to have Fergie relate to the book in her own way.</p> <p><span>Emma hopes the book helps offer comfort to children experiencing any kind of hardship.</span></p> <p><em>Image credit: Instagram @matildaandthebear</em></p>

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2021 Miles Franklin Award winner announced

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Tasmanian author, Amanda Lohrey, has been awarded the 2021 Miles Franklin Literary Prize for her novel </span><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.textpublishing.com.au/books/the-labyrinth" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Labyrinth</span></a></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">, making her the second Tasmanian to win in the coveted award in its 64-year history.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Set up in 1957, the Miles Franklin award was established after the death of the author, Miles Franklin, to recognise novels of literary merit that reflect Australian life.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">As Australia’s most significant literary prize, Lohrey has been awarded a $60,000 prize.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“My husband calls it the Wimbledon of literary awards. It’s just an honour [to win],” Lohrey said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“There’s something nice about being associated with Miles Franklin; she was such a larrikin, such a non-conformist.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The judges praised Lohrey’s book as a “beautifully written reflection on the conflicts between parents and children, men and women, and the value and purpose of creative work”.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Labyrinth</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> follows Erica Marsden, a hotel receptionist, as she moves from Sydney to coastal NSW to be closer to her mentally ill son in prison. While looking for a house to purchase, Erica has a dream imploring her to build a labyrinth - a mission which quickly becomes an obsession.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Lohrey was shortlisted in the 1996 Miles Franklin for her novel, </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Camille’s Bread</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">, and longlisted in 2005 for </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Philosopher’s Doll</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Text Publishing</span></em></p>

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Against cancelling Chaucer

<p>Was Chaucer a toxic misogynist, or a staunch women’s ally?<span></span></p> <p>Spying is a risky profession. For the 14th-century English undercover agent-turned-poet Geoffrey Chaucer, <a rel="noopener" href="https://books.google.com/books?id=kYzgDwAAQBAJ&amp;pg=PA95&amp;dq=Chaucer+military+intelligence&amp;hl=en&amp;newbks=1&amp;newbks_redir=0&amp;sa=X&amp;ved=2ahUKEwikmuL34d_xAhWRcc0KHRMHB0kQ6AEwAHoECAkQAg#v=onepage&amp;q=Chaucer%20military%20intelligence&amp;f=false" target="_blank">the dangers</a> – at least to his reputation – continue to surface centuries after his death.</p> <p>In his <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.the-tls.co.uk/articles/why-is-chaucer-disappearing-from-the-university-curriculum-leicester-essay-a-s-g-edwards" target="_blank">July 2021 essay</a> for the Times Literary Supplement, A.S.G. Edwards, professor of medieval manuscripts at the University of Kent in Canterbury, England, laments the removal of Geoffrey Chaucer from university curricula. Edwards says he believes this disappearance may be propelled by a vocal cohort of scholars who see the “father of English poetry” as <a rel="noopener" href="https://muse.jhu.edu/article/727754" target="_blank">a rapist, racist and antisemite</a>.</p> <p>The predicament would have amused Chaucer himself. Jewish and feminist scholars, among others, are shooting down one of their earliest and wisest allies. This is happening when <a rel="noopener" href="https://voegelinview.com/feminist-thought-of-geoffrey-chaucer-the-wife-of-bath-and-all-hire-secte" target="_blank">new research reveals</a> a Chaucer altogether different from what many current readers have come to accept. My decades of research show he was no raunchy proponent of bro culture but a daring and ingenious <a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/for-the-birds-hardly-valentines-day-was-reimagined-by-chivalrous-medieval-poets-for-all-to-enjoy-respectfully-155099" target="_blank">defender of women and the innocent</a>.</p> <p>As a <a rel="noopener" href="https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=iDoS8ewAAAAJ&amp;hl=en" target="_blank">medievalist who teaches Chaucer</a>, I believe the movement to cancel Chaucer has been bamboozled by his tradecraft – his consummate skill as a master of disguise.</p> <p><strong>Outfoxing the professors</strong></p> <p>It’s true that Chaucer’s work contains toxic material. His “<a rel="noopener" href="https://chaucer.fas.harvard.edu/pages/prologue" target="_blank">Wife of Bath’s Prologue</a>” in “The Canterbury Tales,” his celebrated collection of stories, quotes at length from the long tradition of classical and medieval works on the <a rel="noopener" href="https://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/12914/" target="_blank">evils of women</a>, as mansplained by the Wife’s elderly husbands: “You say, just as worms destroy a tree, so a wife destroys her husband.”</p> <p>Later, “<a rel="noopener" href="https://sites.fas.harvard.edu/%7Echaucer/teachslf/pri-par.htm" target="_blank">The Prioress’s Tale</a>” repeats the anti-Semitic <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.adl.org/education/resources/glossary-terms/blood-libel" target="_blank">blood libel</a> story, the false accusation that Jews murdered Christians, at a time when Jews across Europe <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.montana.edu/historybug/yersiniaessays/pariera-dinkins.html" target="_blank">were under attack</a>.</p> <p><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/411132/original/file-20210713-21-fxqh4g.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/411132/original/file-20210713-21-fxqh4g.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="An illustration of two women characters from Geoffrey Chaucer's 'The Canterbury Tales'" /></a> <em><span class="caption">The Prioress and the Wife of Bath from Geoffrey Chaucer’s ‘The Canterbury Tales.’</span> <span class="attribution"><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/the-prioress-and-the-wife-of-bath-from-old-england-a-news-photo/1036139720" target="_blank" class="source">Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)</a></span></em></p> <p>These poems in particular generate accusations that Chaucer propagated sexist and antisemitic material because he agreed with or enjoyed it.</p> <p><a rel="noopener" href="https://books.google.com/books?id=5rDoDwAAQBAJ&amp;newbks=1&amp;newbks_redir=0&amp;dq=elaine+tuttle+hansen+chaucer+and+the+fictions+of+gender&amp;source=gbs_navlinks_s" target="_blank">Several</a> <a rel="noopener" href="https://muse.jhu.edu/issue/40555" target="_blank">prominent</a> <a rel="noopener" href="https://press.princeton.edu/books/hardcover/9780691160092/chaucer" target="_blank">scholars</a> seem convinced that Chaucer’s personal views are the same as those of his characters and that Chaucer is promoting these opinions. And they believe he abducted or raped a young woman named Cecily Chaumpaigne, although the <a rel="noopener" href="http://www.umsl.edu/%7Egradyf/chaucer/cecily.htm" target="_blank">legal records</a> are enigmatic. It looks as though Cecily accused Chaucer of some such crime and he paid her to clear his name. It’s unclear what actually happened between them.</p> <p>Critics cherry-pick quotations to support their claims about Chaucer. But if you examine his writings in detail, as I have, you’ll see themes of concern for women and human rights, the oppressed and the persecuted, reappear time and time again.</p> <p><strong>Chaucer the spy</strong></p> <p>Readers often assume Chaucer’s characters were a reflection of the writer’s own attitude because he is such a convincing role player. Chaucer’s <a rel="noopener" href="https://books.google.com/books?id=E4DXD7Sk7WcC&amp;printsec=frontcover&amp;dq=life+of+Chaucer+Riverside+Chaucer&amp;hl=en&amp;newbks=1&amp;newbks_redir=0&amp;sa=X&amp;ved=2ahUKEwiws4jr0uXxAhWnEFkFHXbCAOQQ6AEwAHoECAsQAg#v=onepage&amp;q=life%20of%20Chaucer%20Riverside%20Chaucer&amp;f=false" target="_blank">career in the English secret service</a> trained him as an observer, analyst, diplomat and master at concealing his own views.</p> <p>In his teens, Chaucer became a confidential envoy for England. From 1359 to 1378, he graced English diplomatic delegations and carried out missions described in expense records only as “<a rel="noopener" href="https://global.oup.com/academic/product/the-riverside-chaucer-9780199552092?lang=de&amp;cc=lt" target="_blank">the king’s secret business</a>.”</p> <p>Documents show him scouting paths through the Pyrenees for English forces poised to invade Spain. He lobbied Italy for money and troops, while also perhaps investigating the suspicious death of Lionel of Antwerp, an English prince who was probably poisoned soon after his wedding.</p> <p>Chaucer’s job brought him face to face with the darkest figures of his day — the treacherous <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.britannica.com/biography/Charles-II-king-of-Navarre" target="_blank">Charles the Bad, King of Navarre</a>, a notorious traitor and assassin, and Bernabò Visconti, lord of Milan, who helped devise a <a rel="noopener" href="https://books.google.com/books?id=0YoxAAAAQBAJ&amp;pg=PA179&amp;dq=Bernabo+Visconti+torture&amp;hl=en&amp;newbks=1&amp;newbks_redir=0&amp;sa=X&amp;ved=2ahUKEwizxdyM8t_xAhVZGs0KHZgQCn0Q6AEwCHoECAQQAg#v=onepage&amp;q=Bernabo%20Visconti%20torture&amp;f=false" target="_blank">40-day torture protocol</a>.</p> <p>Chaucer’s poetry reflects his experience as an English agent. He enjoyed role-playing and assuming many identities in his writing. And like the couriers he dispatched from Italy in 1378, he brings his readers covert messages split between multiple speakers. Each teller holds just a piece of the puzzle. The whole story can only be understood when all the messages arrive.</p> <p>He also uses the skills of a secret agent to express dangerous truths not accepted in his own day, when misogyny and antisemitism were both entrenched, especially among the clergy.</p> <p>Chaucer does not preach or explain. Instead, he lets the formidable Wife of Bath, the character he most enjoyed, tell us about the misogyny of her five husbands and fantasize about how ladies of King Arthur’s court might take revenge on a rapist. Or he makes his deserted <a rel="noopener" href="http://mcllibrary.org/Houseoffame/" target="_blank">Queen Dido cry</a>: “Given their bad behavior, it’s a shame any woman ever took pity on any man.”</p> <p><strong>Chaucer the chivalrous defender</strong></p> <p>While current critiques of Chaucer label him as an <a rel="noopener" href="https://muse.jhu.edu/issue/40555" target="_blank">exponent of toxic masculinity</a>, he was actually an <a rel="noopener" href="https://books.google.com/books?id=E5BCs9mylBsC&amp;pg=PA379&amp;dq=Chaucer+human+rights&amp;hl=en&amp;newbks=1&amp;newbks_redir=0&amp;sa=X&amp;ved=2ahUKEwjKqeXc1OXxAhV3F1kFHZztDcYQ6AEwAXoECAoQAg#v=onepage&amp;q=Chaucer%20human%20rights&amp;f=false" target="_blank">advocate for human rights</a>.</p> <p>My own research shows that in the course of his career he supported women’s right to choose their own mates and the human desire for freedom from enslavement, coercion, verbal abuse, political tyranny, judicial corruption and sexual trafficking. In “The Canterbury Tales” and “The Legend of Good Women,” he tells many stories on such themes. There he opposed assassination, infanticide and femicide, the mistreatment of prisoners, sexual harassment and domestic abuse. He valued self-control in action and in speech. He spoke out for women, enslaved people and Jews.</p> <p>“Women want to be free and not coerced like slaves, and so do men,” the narrator of <a rel="noopener" href="https://sites.fas.harvard.edu/%7Echaucer/teachslf/frkt-par.htm" target="_blank">“The Franklin’s Prologue” says</a>.</p> <p>As for Jews, Chaucer salutes their ancient heroism in his early poem “<a rel="noopener" href="https://www.poetryintranslation.com/PITBR/English/Fame.php" target="_blank">The House of Fame</a>.” He depicts them as a people who have done great good in the world, only to be rewarded with slander. In “The Prioress’s Tale” he shows them being libeled by a desperate character to cover up a crime of which they were manifestly innocent, a century after all Jews had been brutally expelled from England.</p> <p>Chaucer’s own words demonstrate beyond the shadow of a doubt that when his much underestimated Prioress tells her antisemitic blood libel tale, Chaucer is not endorsing it. Through <a rel="noopener" href="https://sites.fas.harvard.edu/%7Echaucer/teachslf/pri-par.htm" target="_blank">her own words and actions</a>, and a cascade of reactions from those who hear her, he is exposing such guilty and dangerous actors as they deploy such lies.</p> <p>And was he a rapist or an abductor? <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/jun/07/document-casts-new-light-on-chaucer-rape-case" target="_blank">It’s unlikely</a>. The case suggests he might well have been targeted, perhaps even because of his work. Few authors have ever been more <a rel="noopener" href="https://scholarship.depauw.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1133&amp;context=studentresearch" target="_blank">outspoken about man’s inhumanity to women</a>.</p> <p>It is bizarre that one of the strongest and earliest writers in English literature to speak out against rape and support women and the downtrodden should be pilloried and threatened with cancellation.</p> <p>But Chaucer knew the complexity of his art put him at risk. As his character the Squire dryly observed, people all too often “demen gladly to the badder ende” – “They are happy to assume the worst.”<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/152312/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><span><a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/jennifer-wollock-1179510" target="_blank">Jennifer Wollock</a>, Professor of English, <em><a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/texas-aandm-university-1672" target="_blank">Texas A&amp;M University</a></em></span></p> <p>This article is republished from <a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com" target="_blank">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/calls-to-cancel-chaucer-ignore-his-defense-of-women-and-the-innocent-and-assume-all-his-characters-opinions-are-his-152312" target="_blank">original article</a>.</p>

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