Life Stages In Literature

We can go through life with such a terrible poverty of self-awareness. A poverty so deep we do not possess our own lives. Youth is a blur. Middle age can be a grind and old age, a brutal humbling.

But turn to literature – great literature – and awareness is there, says my guest today.

From Huck Finn on the river to King Lear at his end. Toni Morrison’s Sula. Virgina Woolf’s day-dreaming mother. The stories and insights to place us, ground us, in our own lives. Literature can get at the heart of what we’re doing and the experience we share can be illuminated.

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  1. Digging up the Past - ABC Perth - Australian Broadcasting Corporation

    Judith Lanigan and Linda Jaivin describe how they turned history research into thrilling fiction in their respective novels.

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  2. Festival Book Club - Patrick Gale and Salley Vickers - ABC Perth - Australian Broadcasting Corporation

    Patrick Gale and Salley Vickers talk about turning heartache into an opportunity for writing good fiction at the 2010 Perth Writers Festival.

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  3. The Guardian Books Podcast: Looking ahead in science fiction

    Science fiction is the marmite of literature – people tend to love it or hate it. Yet no one could deny that it has produced many of the great myths of our age, from Frankenstein’s monster to William Gibson’s cyber-reality.

    SF blogger Damien Walter joins our panellists to discuss where it is now, and why we should all tune in to a genre that can be satirical, prophetic, political and plain good fun, often all at the same time. He also outlines some of the titles to look out for in 2010.

    We also look at John Wyndham’s previously unpublished novel, Plan for Chaos, and interview China Miéville, rising star of the "new weird".

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