Book update #1

First copy of Letter to the Author of the Letter to the Father> Cover is out there
> Release date is locked in
> Book has been printed
> Hard work is done
> I’m talking about Letter and 3:AM and other things at The Paperback Bookshop in Melbourne on August 8 and I’m looking forward to the time I’ll spend with Anna MacDonald like little else. If you’re in town on that evening, come along to hear Anna be super articulate and thoughtful and me ramble and forget what I’m saying and read about the dead man.

With gratitude to my Transmission Press family.

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On ‘Impossible Friends’

tristan foster and aashish kaulMy essay Impossible Friends has been published by the good folk at Meanjin. I use the essay to tell the stories of four writers: Kyle Coma-Thompson, Aashish Kaul, Saudamini Deo and Daniela Cascella. They are each smart and talented and good people who I only know because I write and they write and while that’s still a weird thing to me I’m very grateful to know each of them.

Big thanks to Brendan for giving me the freedom to write this piece.

On ‘Scenes from Gerald Murnane’s Golf Club’

Scenes from Gerald Murnane’s Golf ClubI wrote a piece for the Paris Review called Scenes from Gerald Murnane’s Golf Club – on the Murnane symposium last December, organised by Western Sydney University. Symposiums aren’t typical PR fodder, but this one was at a tiny golf club in Murnane’s country home-town, and was both a celebration of the writer and, quite possibly, a goodbye of sorts. In case it’s not clear in the piece, it was a surreal and fun day which was only one part of an amazing trip that included hanging out at the pub in Natimuk with writers I’ve long admired, then spending the next morning with Alexis Wright.

If you’re planning a bush symposium, sign me up.

With thanks to Nick from Giramondo, Andre for the photo and Nadja for humouring me.

On ‘John’

John BergerI am delighted but saddened to have a new piece of fiction titled John in Tincture Journal – delighted that Tincture’s tireless editor Daniel Young gave the story a home, saddened because this is the journal’s final issue. The local literary culture is unquestionably poorer for it; apart from being a top guy, Dan edited closely, paid contributors, implemented an innovative e-publishing model and, crucially, gave many new writers their start. As with so much that goes on locally lit-wise, we are likely to only really understand what we had in Tincture now that it has ended.

Oh, and the story? The story is about a chance encounter with John Berger, who I am missing dearly.

Hugs and thanks, Dan.

On the occasion of the announcement of the forthcoming publication of Letter to the Author of the Letter to the Father

Kafka as a boyI have a book coming out.

That’s a sentence I’ve wanted to be able to write for, I don’t know, over a decade now, but, before March this year, wasn’t something I thought I’d be able to say seriously any time soon – if ever. But Transmission Press have spent the period since then patiently working with me to make this thing to be titled Letter to the Author of the Letter to the Father. It brings together the fiction I’ve written over the last three years or so, and the surprising and gratifying thing about it all – at least for me, their humble author – is to see the resonances and recurrences of themes and motifs across narrative styles and POVs and formal play.

It’s surprising because I wrote these stories to tell stories, yes, but also to challenge and entertain myself. To create, to evoke, to help me deal with life on this weird ball – and not with a serious view of binding them together and putting it up for sale.

I’ll write more about it all soon, but for now I’m grateful to Transmission Press for giving my fragmented, melancholy fiction a chance, and giving me so much creative control while also ensuring we’re creating the best collection possible.

Anyway, don’t worry too much about that right now. Instead, pick up a few books from a bookshop or subscribe to a literary journal or join a library, one with beanbags and aircon.