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Author Archives: Hannah Kent


Highbrow vs Lowbrow: Hannah Kent defends Highbrow Literature

I understand why many people have a problem with highbrow literature. ‘Intellectual snobbery’ is a common accusation, as though the reason people read and write the stuff is solely to intimidate their dinner guests. ‘Highbrow literature is for wankers,’ I hear them say. Well, ladies and gentlemen, so is Fifty Shades of Grey. Read more »

From the editors: Hannah Kent’s culture picks for 2011

With 2011 now hurtling to a close, I’m finding myself increasingly thinking back on the year that was. All the New Year’s resolutions I didn’t keep (write a diary, wear less black, look up ‘pulchritude’), the various skills acquired (baking kanelbullar, learning how to pronounce Colm Tóibín, … Read more »

‘I saw a deal of blood': The Roving Party by Rohan Wilson

The Roving Party is the poised debut of Rohan Wilson, and the deserving winner of the 2011 Australian/Vogel award. Set in 1829, the novel is a re-imagining of the ‘Black War’ that saw the indigenous population of Tasmania hunted, killed and corralled by British Colonialists. Read more »

Northern Lights, Madness and Mayonnaise: The Truth about Writers’ Retreats (Part 2)

A few months after I met Peter Bishop of Varuna Writers’ House, I received an email inviting applications for residency at the Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers’ Centre in Western Australia, another retreat where writers may find ‘a space’ in which to progress their writing. Like Varuna, KSP … Read more »

Northern Lights, Madness and Mayonnaise: The Truth about Writers’ Retreats (Part 1)

Everyone has their reading habits. There are the ‘thou-shalt-not-crack-the-spine’ folks who read like perverts, peeking between narrowly opened pages. There are those who open books like they’re skinning rabbits, ripping the cover right around and ravaging any semblance of binding. There are the origami-ists, the ‘I-must-dog-ear-this-novel-to-within-an-inch-of-its-life’ readers, … Read more »

Hunches and the historical novel

I have always tried hard not to mysticise the creative process. To me, imagination, although precious and powerful, is not supernatural; ideas come to us through a process of conscious and subconscious suggestion. Writers draw upon facts, or experience; they write from a position of knowledge or … Read more »

Booing idiots, ‘accidental’ groping and Florence and the Machine: Blissed out at Melbourne’s Laneway Festival

Yes, it’s that time of year again, where the young and old get their toes tapping to the tunes all around Australia: music festival season. With events like Big Day Out, Laneway, Good Vibrations, Soundwave, V Festival, Future Music and Bluesfest storming cities around the country, there’s … Read more »

Literary Gluttony: Hannah Kent on Holiday Reading

Ah, Christmas holidays. That special time of year filled with endearing family spats, sunburn that leads to ridiculous tan lines, and what my friend likes to call ‘meat sweats’ from days spent overeating at the beach, park, or token relative’s bottle- or cat-strewn backyard. A time to tie … Read more »

Interview with a Porn Star: Kill Your Darlings speaks with Monica Mayhem

Pornography, and the mainstreaming of porn in our society, is a divisive issue. Does porn encourage misogyny and sexual violence, or is it a necessary part of society? Can porn help save relationships, or does it encourage unrealistic expectations of sex? Does it provide a necessary outlet … Read more »

A Walk to Remember

  About a week ago, I was sitting at my desk at home when I had a rather horrifying realisation. It had been a long day – I had worked steadily at my computer from seven-thirty in the morning until six at night, without stopping for lunch. … Read more »