I am what I read (2) 2011

I have introduced a new page: INFLUENCES: a reading list.

2010 contained some remarkable surprises. On my second attempt I got past the (yawn!) first 100 pages of the book that goes nowhere, Flaubert’s Madame Bovary. I discovered Orhan Pamuk, whose My name is Red narrated from a handover of one narrator to another gave me new ideas for telling stories. Other highlights were Eva Hornung’s Dog boy, Steven Amsterdam’s debut novel Things we didn’t see coming, The old man and the sea by Hemmingway, Robert Dessaix’s The night letters, and three books from Northern Territory authors: The hard light of day by artist Rod Moss, The rooftop sutras by Levin Diatschenko, and MK Turner’s Iwenhe Tyerrtye: what it means to be an Aboriginal person.

2011 was the Year of Russian Classics: the internal hells of Dostoyevsky, the beauty of Tolstoy, the strangeness of Gogol. In reading these epic classics I got over my phobia of big books. Recent publications destined to be classics included Peter Temple’s Truth, Delia Falconer’s The lost thoughts of soldiers, Anna Funder’s All that I am, The sense of an ending by Julian Barnes. And one book that everyone who endeavours to learn more about Australian Aboriginal people should read: WEH Stanner’s The Dreaming and other essays.

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