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Author Richard Flanagan's speech to the Garma Festival 2018: full transcript

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When my father died at the age of 98 he had largely divested himself of possessions. Among what little remained was an old desk in which he had collected various writings precious to him over the years: poems, sayings, quotes, a few pieces he had written, some correspondence. 

Among them my elder sister found a letter written by one of my father’s cousins many years before. In it she told my father that his mother, my grandmother, was of Aboriginal descent, and that in her family she had been brought up to never mention this fact outside of the home.

My father loved discussing interesting letters with his family. He never discussed this letter. Yet he kept it. The story of covering up Indigenous pasts was a common one in Tasmania, where such behaviour was for some a form of survival. There is no documentation to prove my father’s cousin’s story is true, but that doesn’t make it untrue. It leaves the story as an unanswerable question mark over my family.

The theme of this year’s Garma …

No Easy Day author interview appears on Channel 10 nine months after screening in US

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Channel 10 is promoting the screening of a US 60 Minutes interview with the author of No Easy Day which first aired in America last September.

It's publicity says, 'In a one-hour TEN special event, hear the remarkable first-hand account of the raid that killed the world’s most wanted terrorist, from one of the US Navy SEALS who pulled the trigger. Telling his story for the very first time on Australian television, Mark Owen – a former SEAL who was in the room when Osama bin Laden died – speaks to Scott Pelley in his only interview.

Cread first reported the interview with author Matt Bissonnette (briefly known by the pseudonym Mark Owens)in our September 1, 2012 story on the then new book release, No Easy Day.

Read our full story here which contains video of part of the interview which TEN is describing as a 'special event'.

Of course many in Australia will have not seen the interview or read the book, which was contrvoersial at the time not only for possibly putting t…

Is reading really about believing?

When forming beliefs and ideas are you more influenced by a powerful story or compelling facts and information?

Shortly Cread will publish a joint review of José Saramago’s Cain (2010), alongside William Paul Young's Cross Roads (2012) and compare their use of narrative fiction to declare a view of God.

They employ radically different forms matched by the divergence of the 'message' they convey. But is one more successful than the other in influencing, moving or informing readers? Or is that even the goal?

One of the great dangers of fiction writing is 'telling' rather than 'showing' and books that seek to communicate a pre-determined message are particularly vulnerable. Which is not to say that most authors do not intend to communicate values to their readers.

The reality is that, even sub-consciously, authors fill their novels with their values and beliefs, carrying them along in their characters and plots. Perhaps the more sub-conscious this is, the more…

Women entertain angels in the midst of 9-11, Ash Wednesday fires

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Two women who have been through the most horrific events of our time have written of the comfort and aid brought by angels during periods of suffering.

Genelle Guzman was the last person rescued from Ground Zero after the September 1, 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre and tells her story in Angel in the Rubble.

Ann Fogarty is one of few people to survive the seriousness of burns she received while protecting her children from the Ash Wednesday fires in 1983 and she tells her story in the new book, Forged with Flames.

As scepticism often greets accounts of people coming through near death experiences and saying they went to heaven (or hell), so too no doubt many will be tempted to write-off accounts of angels from women suffering extreme trauma.

But these are strong survivors who have told their stories in detail some time after the events, very differently, but with similar degrees of certainty. It may come down to your beliefs about spiritual reality...
Mysterious Paul …

Mal Fletcher's new book to be launched in November

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This morning Mal Fletcher tweeted:
"Just saw draft ideas for cover of my new #book, launch late November. Very impressive! Editing now in progress. #author" It sounds like a fast-turnaround, but then Mal Fletcher is a man with a firm grip on the future.

A futurist and social commentator with a background as a Christian pastor, Fletcher moved from Australia to Europe in 1994 to found Next Wave International, a communications group which helps European community organisations and charities to deal with future change.
Based first in Copenhagen then London, he also launched the Euro Youth Events network, hosting ongoing, alcohol-free concerts in eight major European capitals.
Fletcher also founded the Strategic Leadership Consultation, an annual summit for European community and church leaders from 20 nations. The summit focuses on engaging the future of society in a proactive way.
In 2008, he launched 2020Plus to assist companies and media groups as they prepare for change durin…

The world's highest earning authors and their support of charity

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Publishing success stories have been in the news following the runaway commercial success of EL James' 50 Shades of Grey and more recently, JK Rowling's first adult book, The Casual Vacancy,  becoming a best-seller before it was released.

It's no surprise that it is still possible to make big dollars in publishing and writing, despite the doom and gloom from the industry. And tensions remain between the artistic pursuit of writing and the commercial business of publishing, the fame notoriety or marketing of the author and the quality and value of what they actually write.

So who are the world's highest earning authors and, for a different perspective, what do they do with their wealth in terms of charitable giving?

Forbes magazine has a wide-variety of "rich lists" and these writers are named in their World's Top Earning Authors List. Forbes writer Jeff Bercovici says, "To generate our earnings estimates, we talk to authors, agents, publishers and …

JK Rowling's new book for adults is no Harry Potter

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JK Rowling's new novel is the most pre-ordered book of 2012, and it's no Harry Potter either. (Click image to order yours.)

A Casual Vacancy is a book for adults and its content is real world not fantasy. Set in the rural English town of Pagford, it's a novel about the death of a man named Barry, a parish council election with class-warfare, addiction and teen sexuality.

Writer Ian Parker has read A Casual Vacancy, and has written about it in The New Yorker. He made a point of the fact that it's for adults, quoting this: “leathery skin of her upper cleavage radiated little cracks that no longer vanished when decompressed” and "...with an ache in his heart and in his balls".

While these quotes demonstrate the change from writing for children to writing for adults, in some ways the writing – according to Parker – hasn't changed so much.

“...but whereas Rowling’s shepherding of readers was, in the Harry Potter series, an essential asset, in The Casual Vacanc…

Full text of letter from authors condemning fake book reviews by Ellory and other

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Forty nine leading British writer have written to The Daily Telegraph in London condemning the proliferation of false book reviews.

This follows revelations that several authors, the most recent being award-winning crime writer RJ Ellory, have posted flattering reviews of their own work while criticisng the work of other authors.

The group, including bestselling writers Ian Rankin, Lee Child, Karin Slaughter, Val McDermid and Helen FitzGerald, say widespread use of “fake identities” was causing untold damage to the publishing world.

They urge the reading public to "take possession" of the online review process with free and honest reviews that will drown out "phoney voices".

The online review capacity of sites such as Amazon has suffered a credibility issue in the past with the widespread practise of authors and publishers purchasing positive reviews.

One example was American Todd Rutherford's now defunct gettingbookreviews.com where he offered 50 positive review…

Shallow pop-fiction such as Fifty Shades of Grey undermines women's dignity: author

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Impoverished pop-fiction with "flat characters"such as in Fifty Shade of Grey was cheating young women of a dignified view of themselves, according to the author of a new book, Unseduced and Unshaken: The Place of Dignity in a Young Woman's Choices.

Dr Rosalie de Rosset says the success of books like Fifty Shades and the Twilight series represents a frustrating trend among today’s women, but she is no less complimentary of Christian writing.

Of the vast array of Christian books targetting women, Dr de Rosset says much of it consists of "Jesus fixes everything” scenarios that do not reflect anything like the complexity and depth of real life.

“They are not well written and they are not theological.” she says. 

Dr de Rosset is a Professor of Literature, English and Homiletics with a 42-year connection with Moody Bible Institute and a PhD in Language, Literacy, and Rhetoric from The University of Illinois,  Chicago.

In an interview published on the Christian Today w…

Cread storifies Melbourne Writers Festival

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The Melbourne Writers Festival is nearly through its first weekend and already the inspiration, ideas and social media praise are flowing freely.

Cread, sadly not at the Festival in the flesh, is like many others following by social media. Here's a Storify wrap-up of what's happened in the first few days... Presumably the tweets and posts will be highly literary.






[View the story "Melbourne Writers Festival" on Storify]Melbourne Writers FestivalCheck out the social media buzz so far from MWF - featuring a selection of the world's best novelists, playwrights, poets, screenwriters, journalists, songwriters, bloggers – anyone who's part of the world of words. The 27th Melbourne Writers Festival runs from August 23 to September 2. Storified by Cread · Sun, Aug 26 2012 02:57:03Cheers #mwf opening night. http://instagr.am/p/Ov1p3YOd_W/Bronwen Clune At Melbourne writers festival to see Rober Forster @ Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) http://instagr.am/p/…

New Creadeo page features fascinating bookish video

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At Cread we are just getting started in our attempt to be a lively, accessible and interesting website about everything books and reading.

Our latest addition is a slight nod to that other medium, video. On our page Creadeo (sorry, we cant help ourselves squeezing every last drop from the whole play on words thing) you'll find regularly updated, bookish videos - author interview, book readings, literary lunches and the like.

First up, Samantha Shannon who is being touted, prematurely she feels, as the next JK Rowlings.

See what she has to say and what she likes to read