Shaun Micallef, author of Preincarnate, answers Ten Terrifying Questions

The Booktopia Book Guru asks

Shaun Micallef

author of Preincarnate

Ten Terrifying Questions

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1. To begin with why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself – where were you born? Raised? Schooled?

Born in Adelaide. Raised by wolves. Schooled by Marist Brothers.

2. What did you want to be when you were twelve, eighteen and thirty? And why?

At 12 I wanted to be a movie star. At 18, a lawyer. At 30 a comedy writer. Now, I want to be a movie star again. Or a cowboy.

3. What strongly held belief did you have at eighteen that you do not have now?

I honestly thought that alcohol made me more engaging.

4. What were three works of art – book or painting or piece of music, etc – you can now say, had a great effect on you and influenced your own development as a writer? Continue reading

Christina Stead, Henry Handel Richardson, Clive James, Germiane Greer

Bring Back the Cultural Cringe

The cultural cringe served a purpose, it caused the best and brightest to look outwards beyond the Australian Coastline to a world of complexity, of difference, of foreign ideas, foreign questions and answers and of universal solutions. Since the demise of the cringe self-complacency has stifled our endeavours. Our benchmark is ourselves. Our history is confined to this island, oh, and the tiny stretch of Turkey, known as Gallipoli. There was a moment in recent times, more than ten years ago now, when I believed Australia would take a leading role in the development of a Global Community but that was not to be.

We are not an ignorant nation. We travel. We read. We follow, through various, sometimes dubious, means, politics and engage in it. We have a confident voice when expressing our views.

Once we looked out to sea for signs of ships bringing news from the mother country. We are our own mother country now. Yet we still love to sit on the beach and look out to sea. Let’s not stop looking out to sea. Mentally we are turning, some have turned, inwards. There is no inland sea, just dust and heat. Let’s not turn in completely.

On Australia Day I’d like to celebrate the Global Australians: some of our finest writers, who found in the surrounding seas no impediment to their personal patriotism – Christina Stead, Henry Handel Richardson, Frederic Manning, George Johnston, Hal Porter, Patrick White, Germaine Greer, Clive James, Robert Hughes, Peter Carey and Frank Moorhouse… to name but a few…

Advance Australia Fair!

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