Dystopian Fiction at Santa Sabina College 2017

In a special two-part workshop at Santa Sabina in mid-2017, I had the honour of working with an incredible cohort of Year 10 English students. To begin, I delivered a one hour lecture that offered a brief overview of the

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Communism and Faith in North Korea

On the 18th of June 2017, I was invited to speak at the St. James’ Institute in Sydney, alongside the Hon. Michael Kirby, Chair of the UN Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in the DPRK. The St. James’ Institute

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Newington Festival of Literature

The greatest plesaure of the author’s life – this author’s life, in any case – is meeting readers. Writing is a solitary task much of the time, even if social media now allows authors to share their triumphs and frustrations

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Regensburg

On the town side of the Danube, opening night of the Regensburg jazz festival offers the predictable pleasures of beer, pretzels and jazz. Yet cross the river and one passes through a Bavarian looking-glass, to a place where Germans of

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Edward Lear: Escape

Return to PART ONE Citizens of Paradise: Lear’s Nonsense Escapes In Nonsense Songs (1870) and Laughable Lyrics (1876), Edward Lear eschewed the constricted limerick structure of A Book of Nonsense. Embracing the Romanticism he once shunned, the poet’s Calibans are

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Edward Lear: Destruction

Edward Lear & The Victorian Nursery A revolutionary figure in the history of English language children’s literature, Edward Lear exploded the conventions of the Victorian nursery and replaced the relentless didacticism of Isaac Watts and Charles and Mary Lamb with

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Thae Yong-ho & the Politics of Speech

NOTE: My colleagues at Sino-NK kindly invited me to revise and expand this blog post for publication at their site. The revised post may be found here. In 2016, North Korean diplomat Thae Yong-ho defected from the DPRK Embassy in

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Words & Art Competition 2016

At the end of November 2016, I had the honour of visiting Penrith High School to meet Hellen Jiang and her classmates in Year Nine. Hellen won the senior division of the NSW Premier’s Reading Challenge Words & Art Competition

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Book Week 2016

When I was in primary school, Book Week competed with Christmas and Easter as my favourite time of year. La Semana del Libro felt sacred to this child, for whom stories and story-telling were indeed a form of religious observance.

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From One Bookseller To Another

My first job, when I was fourteen, was as a bookseller for Angus and Robertson, saving for my first overseas adventure, and throughout the odyssey of my teens and twenties I continued to work in bookstores, up until the start

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