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Category Archives: mental illness


Dark Places and Safe Spaces: S.A. Jones’ Isabelle of the Moon and Stars

S.A. Jones’ Isabelle of the Moon and Stars is a powerful and affecting depiction of a young woman struggling with mental illness and emotional turmoil. A book like Isabelle might well be described as the underdog of Australian publishing: a character-focused literary novel published by a small press … Read more »

Mental illness and Josh Thomas’ Please Like Me

While the jury is still out on the success of Please Like Me’s efforts to address ideas around mental health, the discussions both its seasons have provoked and continue to encourage are incredibly important. That, I definitely like. Read more »

Everybody hurts: Leslie Jamison’s The Empathy Exams

There’s a difference between identifying someone’s malady – or lack thereof – and understanding their experience of it. To what extent can we truly imagine being in another person’s skin? Read more »

The rom-com isn’t dead – it’s just a bit unstable

Several years ago, the romantic comedy was pronounced dead. In an Op-Ed piece for The New York Times, Sam Wasson pointed the finger squarely at Hollywood. Big studios were allowing the genre to drown in a sea of humourless mediocrity. On the surface, Wasson had a point: … Read more »

The beginnings of a professional lunatic

I went mad in 1976. It changed my life beyond recognition. Doors closed. I lost my identity. I was so invisible in the world I walked in the shadows of others and cast none of my own. My friends around me got on with their lives and … Read more »

Public and private: On writing zines

When I told my family I’d be moving back to central Queensland, they were equal parts thrilled and concerned. I’d accepted a job with Australia’s biggest commercial radio network, delivering news bulletins over a broadcast area spanning 1600 square kilometres. Having such a public job meant that … Read more »

The story of Sectioned

Self-publishing your first book can be a terrifying prospect, even when you know what you’re doing. When I was a child I wrote a story about a polar bear, typed it up, added pictures, designed a cover and bound it into a rather crude-looking book. Little did … Read more »