Open Page

I seem to dream more awake than I do asleep. As a child, I often acted out imaginary scenarios, speaking the various parts aloud. Every so often I’ll catch myself doing it again.

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Open Page with Sophie Cunningham

Australian Book Review
23 July 2014

I love pop music that makes me want to dance and fills my heart with joy. Michael Jackson used to be my man. My current favourite song is ‘Happy’ by Pharrell Williams. I’m living in Brooklyn at the moment and the song has been bursting out of the window of every second car all summer long. But if we’re talking desert island albums, I’d be taking some Miles Davis with me. Kind of Blue maybe, or fast forward a few decades to Bitches Brew.

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I don’t understand happiness – it always feels coercive – and because of this I don’t understand why the promotion of products that bring happiness holds such wide appeal. I associate consciousness with anxiety: whatever takes you out of yourself brings a kind of relief from this. This can include writing, but also dreaming.

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Open Page with Linda Jaivin

Australian Book Review
30 March 2014

I have broad tastes: Jimmy Little, Sufjan Stevens, Frank Sinatra, Radiohead, P.J. Harvey, Lorde, Gurrumul, Powder-finger, Karma County, Sex Pistols, Paris Combo … I’d like to be able to drop some more highbrow names into the mix, but honestly I never listen to Mozart or Bach.

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Open Page with Michael Gow

Australian Book Review
27 February 2014

Virginia Woolf wrote somewhere that the reason she resented death was because it was the one experience she’d never describe. Art gives shape to what’s happened to you, so it is therapy, but therapy plus form and myth and poetry. I like the double pay-off of writing alone, then handing it over to others to fill the images with living bodies.

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Open Page with Garry Disher

Australian Book Review
27 November 2013

When not preferring silence, I like to listen to Leonard Cohen and Emmylou Harris, but a friend recently introduced me to the early music ensemble, Accordone (Marco Beasley and Guido Morini).

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Open Page with Tim Winton

Australian Book Review
31 October 2013

I tend to reread The Sun Also Rises every year, if only to remind myself of what it was like to be eighteen or nineteen and overcome by the initial excitement, the shock, of something fresh and distinctive.

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Open Page with Sheila Fitzpatrick

Australian Book Review
30 September 2013

I like words, though making music is even better. Writing is almost as good as playing the violin.

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Open Page with Dennis Altman

Australian Book Review
27 August 2013

I think we all write out of a mixture of egoism and a need to work out how we understand the world – ‘writing as therapy’. Luckily, I have only rarely felt the need to write to fulfil the demands of academia, which are producing vast amounts of ‘writing’ that benefits no one and is a strain on those forced to produce it.

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Open Page with Kerryn Goldsworthy

Australian Book Review
27 June 2013

I have ludicrous erotic dreams about dreadfully inappropriate people. I also dream about crashing the car. I hope these two things are not connected.

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