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Some of Australia’s most acclaimed writers, including Christos Tsiolkas and Alice Pung, will feature in a groundbreaking collaboration between independent publisher Black Inc., the University of Melbourne and State Library Victoria.

In a series of six short books, Writers on Writers, to be launched in October, each author will reflect on another Australian writer who has inspired and influenced them.

Black Inc. publisher Chris Feik says each book will have its own unique flavour, voice and approach. “We hope these memorable encounters between writers will open up new reading worlds and shine a fresh light on past treasures,” says Mr Feik.

In one of the two titles that will launch the series, Melbourne-based author, editor and University of Melbourne alumna Alice Pung writes about John Marsden, one of Australia’s most popular writers of fiction for children and young adults.

Also released in October, Erik Jensen delves into the world of celebrated Australian novelist and poet Kate Jennings by exploring the sparse, pungent prose of Jennings’s novel Snake.

Mr Jensen is the editor of The Saturday Paper and author of Acute Misfortune: The life and death of Adam Cullen, a biography of the late Archibald Prize-winning artist.

These two titles will be followed by the release in May 2018 of Christos Tsiolkas on novelist and playwright Patrick White, author of the literary classic Voss and winner of the Nobel Prize for literature. Mr Tsiolkas, a University of Melbourne graduate, is the award-winning author of five novels, including The Slap and Barracuda.

Adrian Collette, Vice Principal, Engagement at the University of Melbourne, says “Writers on Writers will generate new interest in Australian books. It will also encourage us to think about the craft of writing and introduce fresh audiences to the work of some of Australia’s iconic writers.”

Ms Justine Hyde, Director Library Services and Experience at the State Library, says the series will celebrate the distinctive voice of the Australian writing that the Library has fostered and collected for 161 years.

“Australia has a rich literary heritage which this series explores through a writer’s eyes to give a deeper understanding of the art and craft of the creative act and its written expression.”

The Writers on Writers series is published by Black Inc. in association with the University of Melbourne and State Library Victoria.

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  1. Patrick White opened the door into the sky for me…. himmelfarb and dubbo took one hand each and lifted me up to look, and yes, the spiritual wine of ages did lace the upper clouds as I had imagined as a child, and yes there was a pathway through literature. I went on to read everything he had published, and thus began my journey through shakespeare and boll and pirandello and stienbeck until at last I could write my own stairways for others. Kerouac stopped me in my tracks so I never published, and it is without pain or remorse that my many works stay hidden – there is no pain because I have seen though the ages and danced with the famous passions and the obscure inferences, and I have heard the voices of god. I thank Patrick for that.

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