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Jennifer Byrne Presents: Should some YA novels be banned?

Ever since Mark Twain's 'Adventures of Huckleberry Finn' was published in 1884, books for teenagers have come under close scrutiny by adults concerned about their appropriateness for younger audiences. Why are some adults so worried about what teenagers read? Are they right to be concerned? Explore the tricky topic of censorship ...

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Radio National: Was Shakespeare psychic, or just a smart guy?

Shakespeare's plays are strangely relevant to today's world. Could he see what the world would be like 400 years into the future, or is it just that humans haven't changed much? Hear Phillip Adams and John Bell (actor and director of the Bell Shakespeare company) discussing Shakespeare's enduring relevance, as well as his ...

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Radio National: 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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Radio National: 'The Great Gatsby' and Baz's blockbuster

Have you ever been drawn into one of those arguments about which is better: the film or the book? In this clip, explore some responses to Baz Luhrmann's film adaptation of 'The Great Gatsby' and discover some of the factors that influence people's evaluations. It would be boring if we all had the same opinions, but have ...

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First Tuesday Book Club: The lost and the missing at Hanging Rock

Joan Lindsay's 'Picnic at Hanging Rock' is often considered a classic of Australian literature. But what makes it so well-regarded? And does everyone agree? Join in this panel discussion and explore why one person's literary masterpiece is another's turgid pot-boiler.

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Great Expectations: Victorian and Gothic

How does Charles Dickens weave Gothic elements into his classic Victorian novel, Great Expectations? Listen as Literary Professor John Bowen explains some of the ways in which Dickens draws on the Gothic tradition to challenge the conventions of Victorian literature. Consider the importance of time, repetition, violence, ...

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First Tuesday Book Club: What's so funny about parody?

Parody is a popular form of humour where a particular subject is mocked or trivialised. The novel 'Cold Comfort Farm' is an example of parody. But what makes novels such as this so funny? Find out more by exploring this clip.

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'Sing a song of sixpence' sung by Teddy Rock

Watch and listen to Buzz, Belle and Bop perform the nursery rhyme 'Sing a song of sixpence' in this animated music video. Find out where the king was, what the queen was doing and what happened to the maid. Have fun retelling the story.

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Heywire: Bikes, cameras and cystic fibrosis

What does it take to remain active and optimistic despite having a serious physical condition? Michael McMahon's photo story shows us that cystic fibrosis hasn't stopped him doing what he loves best. A proud resident of Warrnambool in Victoria, and with a strong family network around him, he is living life to the fullest. ...

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Jennifer Byrne Presents: 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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Writing wild places

How do you write about a place that is disobedient?' Four of Britain's prominent writers consider the emotions that wild places evoke. In this clip, Robert Macfarlane, Simon Armitage, Sara Maitland and Owen Sheers consider the qualities of wildness: silence; escape; beauty; threat; and a sense of being both lost and found.

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Dorothea Mackellar's 'My country' as a song

Do you know a poem with the line 'I love a sunburnt country'? The poem is 'My country' by Dorothea Mackellar. Find out what inspired Mackellar to write this famous poem and how she felt about teenager Christine Roberts basing a song on it. This is a black-and-white clip from a 1967 current affairs program This Day Tonight.

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Jennifer Byrne Presents: Teen titles dominate! The YA publishing industry

The Young Adult, or YA, publishing industry has exploded in recent years. But what is driving this surge in novels for teenagers? Join a panel of YA writers as they explore why this once niche market has become a literary phenomenon.

Audio

Radio National: Shakespeare sweated it!

Ben Jonson, a 17th-century playwright and critic, said of Shakespeare that 'a great poet is not just born, but made'. Enjoy this discussion between Phillip Adams and John Bell, Australian actor and director of the Bell Shakespeare company. They explore soliloquies, authorship and why Shakespeare came to be considered the ...

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Gary Crew and the role of objects

In some stories, writers use particular objects as symbols. In other stories, writers use objects as tools to help them shape their narrative. What does Gary Crew say about the meaning of the ring in Strange Objects? What is its purpose within the story?

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ABC News: Julia Gillard addresses misogyny in parliament

Former Prime Minister Julia Gillard's 2012 address to Parliament, in which she described the Federal Opposition's criticism of her support for controversial politician Peter Slipper as being misogynistic, proved to be one her most memorable. The speech went viral and was reported widely in international media, scoring over ...

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Heywire: To disconnect or not to disconnect?

How often are you ever truly alone? Today's technology can mean that we're in constant contact with friends and family. In this Heywire audio story, Dayna Duncan shares a time when she both needed to be connected and to balance her use of social media with other priorities in her life.<br /><br /> Could you write or record ...

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Jane Austen: The novel and social realism

Why did Jane Austen spend so much time detailing the lives of everyday people in her classic novels? Listen as Professor Kathryn Sutherland from the University of Oxford provides valuable insights into the intentions and techniques of one of Britain's best-known authors. This clip from the British Library is one in a series ...

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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?

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Feathers, Fur and Fins: A song about snakes

Do you know any songs about Australian animals? Listen to this song about snakes performed by Don Spencer. Watch and listen, as the clip shows different types of snakes and even some trained people trying to catch a snake.