Hooray for Alec Patric! His book ‘Black Rock White City’ just won the Miles Franklin Award for best book. And that is a big ole deal, as it’s Australia’s premier literary prize, and is worth a whopping $60,000 AUD. Not bad for a man who works in a St Kilda book store and struggled to get published.
Caroline Barron and Alec Patric at Readings Book Store, Melbourne, 2015. Image copyright Caroline Barron
I gave the book five stars on Goodreads back in June 2015—click on the link to read my review.
Alec Patric. Image copyright Alec Patric
And, after meeting Alec in Melbourne, we had a lovely, long conversation over email. Click on the link to read some wonderful insights into a writer’s mind.
I originally wrote this piece for an Auckland University post-graduate research speech competition—the first creative writing masters student ever to enter. Many of my competitors were scientists, medical students and engineers and I wanted to demonstrate that research has a serious place in creative writing—along with imagination and serendipity.
The resulting article was published in NZ Author, the magazine the NZ Society of Authors distributes to its members—a brilliant read for those interested in the New Zealand and international writing scenes. Some libraries have subscriptions or you can subscribe to the magazine here.
Saturday 14 November, 2015
Five minutes after walking out of Waiheke Literary Festival’s session Writing About War, I read the news about Paris: the executions, the stampede outside the Bataclan theatre, the fear and the chaos. It felt somehow meaningful that I’d spent the previous 90 minutes listening to two New Zealand historians—Dr Mary Paul and Christopher Pugsley— discuss war writing and its attempt, as Pugsley said, to ‘make order out of the chaos of war’.
Dr Mary Paul, Christopher Pugsley and Penguin’s Jeremy Sherlock. And some swimwear.