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Tom Keneally's story worth telling

Stories can entertain and educate, and challenge our way of thinking. How do you think The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith does all this? Keep in mind that the book was published in 1972, five years after the 1967 Referendum.

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Journey to the west - part 2

This is the second part of a Chinese folk story dating back 1,300 years called the Journey to the west: preparing for the great journey. The story is about finding three magical companions - a monkey, a pig and a strongman - for a monk who is going on a dangerous journey. The resource is 15 web pages and includes text, ...

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Pink suits and circus wagons in 'The Great Gatsby'

Part of the success of F Scott Fitzgerald's novel 'The Great Gatsby' is the intriguing title character, Jay Gatsby. In this audio clip, explore the effect that Fitzgerald's skilfully-constructed character has on those who read the novel. Find out what makes this character so intriguing.

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Where image matters the most

'The awful things we do to pursue what gorgeous is.' With these dramatic words, Mark Lloyd concludes his powerful performance poem exploring the issue of body image. His emotive delivery and strong imagery highlight the impact that words can have when used by bullies or by those who stand against them.

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Just for girls? Daphne du Maurier's 'Rebecca'

Gender and its representation is a significant concern for many writers, readers and critics. Some dismissed Daphne du Maurier's 1938 novel 'Rebecca' as a romantic novel, but du Maurier insisted that she was exploring deeper issues of jealousy and power in relationships. Explore these different readings in this discussion. ...

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Finding friends in literature

Is it important to like characters in a book you're reading? If so, why? If not, why not? Watch as Leigh Hobbs explains why he thinks people like the character of Old Tom in his book, The Big Book of Old Tom.

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Lies, deceit and bad driving in 'The Great Gatsby'

Questions of morality are frequently probed by writers. F Scott Fitzgerald explores the human propensity for deceit in one of the most intriguing characters in 'The great Gatsby', Jordan Baker. This clip from 'Books and arts daily' on Radio National is one in a series of eight.

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Michael Gow on dealing with loss

Have you ever pretended that everything was fine when in fact you were feeling sad, upset or angry? Several characters in Away pretend that everything is fine even as they battle with great losses. Does Michael Gow, the playwright, think this is a good way of dealing with loss? What are his thoughts on this issue and what ...

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Is the great Gatsby 'tilting at windmills'?

Intertextuality is about the process of making connections, either consciously or subconsciously, and can shape the way we interpret a text. In this audio clip, explore the intertextual link between two classic novels: 'The great Gatsby' by F Scott Fitzgerald and 'Don Quixote' by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. This clip ...

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Cult novels and their characters

A cult novel is one that holds special status for certain readers. Generally, cult novels are those that are passionately loved by a small group of people. In this clip, discover why author Markus Zusak's favourite cult novel is 'Catch-22' by Joseph Heller.

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Life-changing moments: from basketball to guitar

Sometimes devastating events have a silver lining. Brendon Reynolds's life changed completely after a major injury during a basketball game. Hear how as you listen to his Heywire audio story.<br /><br />Could you write or record a story about yourself and/or your community? The ABC's Heywire competition calls for stories ...

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David Malouf on violence in literature

Do you think we live in a violent world? Do you agree with David Malouf when he says that violence is everywhere? Should stories reflect what is happening in the world? How do you feel about violence as a theme in literature?

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Confabulating on 'Cold Comfort Farm'

Join in the debate about whether the 1932 novel 'Cold Comfort Farm' by Stella Gibbons should be considered a classic. The novel follows Flora Poste, a young woman who moves in with her country relatives in a village called Howling. It parodies other novels that represented rural life as woeful, and is filled with delightfully ...

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Tom Keneally's pluralist society

Thomas Keneally says in this interview that experiences of people from pluralist societies, like Jimmie Blacksmith and children of migrants, make for great stories. Why do you think this is?

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Just big kids? Why adults are reading YA fiction

The Young Adult, or YA, publishing market might be huge, but not all readers of YA books are teenagers. Perhaps surprisingly, increasing numbers of adults are choosing to read books written for the YA market. Join in this panel discussion as four YA authors discuss the reasons why their books are being picked up by adult readers.

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Tom Keneally and 1960s Australia

Have you heard of the 1967 Referendum, Vincent Lingiari or the Freedom Ride? The late 1960s was a period of great social upheaval with many young Australians unhappy with the treatement of Indigenous Australians and with Australia's involvement in the Vietnam War. How effective is Thomas Keneally's parallel between the ...

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'The great Gatsby': dream or nightmare?

Often the impact of a novel lies in its ability to comment on society. In this audio clip, discover how American writer F Scott Fitzgerald challenges readers to reconsider the society in which they live. This clip from 'Books and arts daily' on Radio National is one in a series of eight.

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Woolly holiday

For Genevieve Wright, the first day of school holidays means heading to the shearing shed to spend a day of back-breaking work! As you listen to her Heywire audio story, explore Genevieve's characterisation of herself. How does she reflect her personality through the descriptions of her actions and environment?<br /><br ...

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Finding 'closure' in Michael Gow's Away

What does it mean to 'find closure'? Characters in Michael Gow's Away struggle with accepting unpleasant truths and letting go of the past. Coral finds closure when she finally accepts her son's death. How is this symbolised in the play?

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What's the moral of the story?

Have you heard of the expression, 'the moral of the story'? What does the interviewer think the moral of this story is? How does this compare to what the author and illustrator of the story, Leigh Hobbs, says the moral is?