Tune into the ABC tonight for Brilliant Creatures

by |September 16, 2014

The cultural cringe will be closely examined on the ABC tonight in Brilliant Creatures, a documentary on Australia’s propensity to send its intellectuals packing.

Hosted and largely conceived by British novelist Howard Jacobson, Brilliant Creatures is a two-part look at the endowments to and departures from Australia by four of its very best minds: Germaine Greer, Robert Hughes, Barry Humphries, Clive James.


germaine

Germaine Greer

The Female Eunich
by Germaine Greerthe-female-eunuch

A worldwide bestseller, translated into over twelve languages, The Female Eunuch is a landmark in the history of the women’s movement.

Drawing liberally from history, literature and popular culture, past and present, Germaine Greer’s searing examination of women’s oppression is at once an important social commentary and a passionately argued masterpiece of polemic.

Probably the most famous, most widely read book on feminism ever.


 

Robert Hughes

Robert Hughes

The Fatal Shore
by Robert Hughesthe-fatal-shore

In 1787, the twenty-eighth year of the reign of King George III, the British Government sent a fleet to colonize Australia…

An epic description of the brutal transportation of men, women and children out of Georgian Britain into a horrific penal system which was to be the precursor to the Gulag and was the origin of Australia.

The Fatal Shore is the prize-winning, scholarly, brilliantly entertaining narrative that has given its true history to Australia.


 

Barry_Humphries_July_2001

Barry Humphries

Handling Edna
by Barry Humphries

An intimate and penetrating examination of the world’s most famous woman, Dame Edna Everage, by the man who knows her best.

handling-edna

In this unauthorised biography, acquired for an unprecedented advance and in spectacular secrecy, long-time manager and the man who was there from the very beginning, Barry Humphries takes a behind-the-scenes, no-holds-barred look at an icon of our times – Dame Edna Everage.

Superstar, swami, confidante and advisor to royalty, Hollywood stars and international political leaders, Dame Edna s life has catapulted her far from her humble Moonee Ponds beginnings as a suburban housewife to the most elite social and artistic circles in the world. Who would have thought that this modest Australian woman could achieve so much from London to Louisiana to New York to Tokyo? Who could have anticipated her global fame? Barry Humphries certainly didn’t.


 

clive

Clive James

Unreliable Memoirs
by Clive James

The first volume of Clive James’s autobiography.

‘I was born in 1939. The other big event of that year was the outbreak of the Second World War, but for the moment, that did not affect me.’unreliable-memoirs

In the first instalment of Clive James’s memoirs, we meet the young Clive, dressed in short trousers, and wrestling with the demands of school, various relatives and the occasional snake, in the suburbs of post-war Sydney. His adventures are hilarious, his recounting of them even more so, in this – the book that started it all…

 

 


Presenter

Howard-Jacobson_1737896c

Howard Jacobson

J
by Howard Jacobson

A life-changing novel by one of Britain’s greatest novelists, winner of the Man Booker Prize in 2010.

Set in the future, a world where the past is a dangerous country, not to be talked about or visited, J is a love story of incomparable strangeness, both tender and terrifying.

Two people fall in love, not yet knowing where they have come from or where they are going. Kevern doesn’t know why his father always drew two fingers across his lips when he said a world starting with a J. It wasn’t jthen, and isn’t now, the time or place to be asking questions. Ailinn too has grown up in the dark about who she was or where she came from. On their first date Kevern kisses the bruises under her eyes. He doesn’t ask who hurt her. Brutality has grown commonplace. They aren’t sure if they have fallen in love of their own accord, or whether they’ve been pushed into each other’s arms. But who would have pushed them, and why?

Hanging over the lives of all the characters in this novel is a momentous catastrophe – a past event shrouded in suspicion, denial and apology, now referred to as What Happened, If It Happened.

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About the Contributor

Andrew Cattanach is a regular contributor to The Booktopia Blog. He has been shortlisted for The Age Short Story Prize and was named a finalist for the 2015 Young Bookseller of the Year Award. He enjoys reading, writing and sleeping, though finds it difficult to do them all at once.

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