Author Archives: observeroftimes

What every writer dreams of

Across the coffee table from me sits a man who runs a small press. I notice his chair is higher than mine. The year is 1998 and we’ve met in his huge office to discuss publication of my first novel. … Continue reading

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What plagiarism looks like

Who remembers the rune craze during the 1980s? Maybe JRR Tolkien’s epic fantasy novels, The Hobbit (1937) and The Lord of the Rings (1954), deserve some blame, or maybe it was just part of a boom in oracular kits, a … Continue reading

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disembodied voices

In recent years I’ve begun to write more fiction from a male perspective. My earliest attempts scored mixed reviews from women, but enough men were taken in that I opted to continue. Not only does maleness free my narrators to … Continue reading

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formative fiction

Most writers can reel off a handful of titles of books they’d call formative, typically read for the first time during their teens. One of mine is Wuthering Heights (1847) by Emily Brontë, a classic of incomparable passion despite no … Continue reading

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The Lie of the Learned: Sydney Writers’ Festival 2019

RACHEL KUSHNER: WHAT IT MEANS TO BE FREE May 2, 6.30–7.30pm University of Sydney Social Sciences Lecture Theatre (‘One of America’s finest writers, Rachel Kushner, joins Professor Annamarie Jagose to discuss her latest novel The Mars Room and a body … Continue reading

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Dementia is relative

The last time I visited my mother she expressed great surprise. And not because she hadn’t been warned in advance: I stopped doing that around the time she forgot that phones were an option. She isn’t surprised when ‘waiters’ bring … Continue reading

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Everything is connected

One of the oft-discussed features of the mental disorder called schizophrenia is an extreme preoccupation with meaning. In a society increasingly suffering from the malaise of meaninglessness – a sense that something is missing exploited by a vast range of … Continue reading

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