Wed, 28 Aug | Upstairs at Better Read Than Dead

Storytime - Jane Sullivan in conversation with Melanie Kembrey

In Storytime, author & literary critic Jane Sullivan takes us from Wonderland to Narnia, Moomintroll to Mr Toad and from Winnie the Pooh to the Magic Pudding, to find out why her favourite childhood books were so vitally important, and how they shaped the woman she is today.
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Storytime - Jane Sullivan in conversation with Melanie Kembrey

Time & Location

28 Aug 2019, 6:30 pm
Upstairs at Better Read Than Dead, 265 King Street, Newtown NSW, Australia

About The Event

In Storytime, author & literary critic Jane Sullivan takes us from Wonderland to Narnia, Moomintroll to Mr Toad and from Winnie the Pooh to the Magic Pudding, to find out why her favourite childhood books were so vitally important, and how they shaped the woman she is today.

Jane is in-conversation with Melanie Kembrey, deputy editor of The Sydney Morning Herald's Spectrum.

About the Book

What was it exactly? Wonder, rapture, delight, surprised recognition, laughter – but also darker feelings that made my heart beat fast and my stomach turn over, and sometimes a frantic urge to close the book before whatever it was sucked me in and destroyed me. But always, I read on.

In Storytime, author and literary journalist Jane Sullivan takes us from Wonderland to Narnia; is enchanted by Winnie-the-Pooh and the Magic Pudding, amazed by Enid Blyton and frightened by the Tales of Terror. Then there is the one book Jane truly hated – Little Women. Why had she despised Jo March, a seemingly perfect role model for a young, aspiring writer?

This intimate, intense and emotional adventure is a surprising and sometimes disturbing journey of self-discovery. As Jane relives old joys and faces old fears, she finds that the books were not what she thought they were, and she was not the child she thought she was.

Interwoven with experiences from prominent Australian writers, including Melina Marchetta and Trent Dalton, about their favourite childhood stories, Storytime is a bibliomemoir that lures us deep into the literary world. Through Jane’s explorations we understand how it is that the enchantment of books we read as children can shape the people we are today. Because we didn’t just want to read them – we needed to read them.

Praise

"A poignant meditation, and an enthralling, comprehensive analysis of literature’s meaning to the author as both child and adult." - Carmel Bird.

"Sullivan’s revisiting of the books of her childhood—and of our own—is revealing, insightful and witty. We cannot help but join her in reflecting on our childhood reading, and its impact on us then and now." - Graeme Simsion

"This lovely, gently nostalgic voyage will be celebrated by bookworms everywhere, of all ages. Storytime encourages all of us to look back at our childhood selves, and our first reading obsessions, with a little more compassion and wonder." - Ceridwen Dovey.

About the Author

Jane Sullivan is a Melbourne-based writer specialising in literary journalism. She has worked for The Age as a reporter, feature writer and editor. Jane won the inaugural Australian Human Rights Award for journalism.

She has previously published two novels, The White Star (Penguin Australia) and Little People (Scribe Publications), which was shortlisted for the Encore Award for a second novel.

Jane currently writes ‘Turning Pages’, a Saturday column on books and writing, for The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, and contributes to occasional features, essays and interviews in numerous publications, including Australian Book Review.

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