21 January 2013

reading and editing

Perhaps my last post's darkness was shaped in part by my being affected at the time by a minor concussion, but the year has not gotten off to a wonderful start with the dessication and inflammation of much of the Australian continent and climate abnormalities and extremes at the cold end of the scale in the northern hemisphere—plus further decline in governability in Saharan Africa, inflamed by the disintegration of Libya and spread of arms and angry people from there, and now with western interventions and problems in Algeria. It was good to be sent this article from the Transcend organisation, with some real information on the Mali situation.

My period unable to get out after concussion mercifully did not prevent me reading.

Two very good books read, I have reviewed at Amazon, Mo Yan's Big Breasts and Wide Hips and Ann Jones's Kabul in Winter. Links are to the review page, egotistically, my review the most recent as of this date  .. :-)

Ann Jones's book should be read, serialised, at the beginning of every sitting of the Australian parliament and the US Congress until they begin to learn something about the world (more than they seem to get from the ritual reading of the Lord's Prayer).

I found Mo Yan's book relevant to my preparing to go on with my novel. It is intimidating though, to seek to write about China from the outside, when there is such astonishing literature from the inside. On the other hand I do want to do something which is from the outside, with an Australian perspective...

Meanwhile I am delighted that I have today been able to take to the printer the formatted copy for the memoirs of Isabel MacCallum. My first venture into editing and publishing thus plus also a very worthy book, which definitely will be launched in Nowra on 25 February. Wonderfully impressions** of early life, with good recall, candour towards self as well as others and situations, a nice blend of intellectual and ethical and practical perspectives... and entertaining.

More will be reported at the Backhouse Press blog soon.

** as regards 'impressions, I remain greatly influenced by those words of Ford Madox Ford which I quote at top of A Place of Info