Much has been made of delayed adulthood of Gen Y'ers – that they flit from job to job and take their sweet time earning the traditional adult badges: marriage, children, a mortgage. But what makes this generation tick?
In We're All Going to Die (Especially Me), award-winning journalist Joel Meares reflects on the muddle of Gen Y existence with razor-sharp insight and riotous good humour. From 'My hands are pretty, and little' and 'I can't handle my drugs' to 'I am not a New Yorker' and 'I make an excellent bridesmaid', Meares' essays are self-deprecating, confessional and rollicking good fun.
Joel Meares is the arts editor of The Sydney Morning Herald and former editor of Time Out Sydney. A regular contributor to Good Weekend and Wired, Joel has also worked at the Columbia Journalism Review in New York, where he won a Mirror Award for profile writing, and at the (sydney) magazine. He grew up Catholic near Maroubra Beach but shows little sign of either.
Ken Done has an extraordinary place in the hearts of Australians - we've all worn or decorated our homes with his artwork. His vivid, optimistic images are part of our collective consciousness and have helped define us to the world. But what do we know about the man behind the brush?
A dreamy country kid-turned-art student, Ken took off overseas for a Mad Men-esque advertising career before an epiphany at a Matisse exhibition showed him that painting was where his heart truly lay. But a return to Sydney to paint saw his art overtaken by his entrepreneurial instincts as 'Ken Done' became a sought-after global brand.
However there's more to Ken Done's story than just commercial success: the sudden loss of the profits from a lifetime's hard work and a resultant stressful court case was closely followed by a shock cancer diagnosis. It was a dark time, but the powerful paintings that came out of this bleak period have brought him long-overdue acclaim as one of our great artists.
From his studio on sparkling Sydney Harbour to the ochre tints of the outback or the luminous palette of tropical waters, Ken's artist's eye is ever drawn to beauty and colour. But through good times and bad, what has sustained him are the simple pleasures of life: family, home and, of course, painting.
On the high road: a genius wit and prodigious work ethic take him from NIDA and Neighbours, to Shakespeare and award-winning theatre, and on to acclaim and adoration on stand-up stages all over the world.
On the low road: a yearning for true love mutates into a downward spiral of addiction - a maelstrom of faked and near deaths, shared houses and needles, twisted trysts with cocaine and ice on the road to rock bottom... and, just maybe, redemption.
From first gentle kiss to hate-fuelled wrecking ball, Greg Fleet has written the most mesmeric of memoirs - part guilty pleasure, part sweet poison.
These things happen ...
PRAISE FOR THESE THINGS HAPPEN
"for all its deadpan style this is a cautionary tale ... about drug addiction, being rocked by life and salvaging the things you love." The Saturday Age
"These Things Happen strikes a rare balance, tackling a difficult subject with redemptive humour but never hiding from the gravity of it." Irvine Welsh
A provocative meditation on race, Claudia Rankine's long-awaited follow up to her groundbreaking book Don't Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric.
Claudia Rankine's bold new book recounts mounting racial aggressions in ongoing encounters in twenty-first-century daily life and in the media. Some of these encounters are slights, seeming slips of the tongue, and some are intentional offensives in the classroom, at the supermarket, at home, on the tennis court with Serena Williams and the soccer field with Zinedine Zidane, online, on TV-everywhere, all the time. The accumulative stresses come to bear on a person's ability to speak, perform, and stay alive. Our addressability is tied to the state of our belonging, Rankine argues, as are our assumptions and expectations of citizenship. In essay, image, and poetry, Citizen is a powerful testament to the individual and collective effects of racism in our contemporary, often named "post-race" society.
An intimate, moving book written with the immediacy and directness of one who still struggles with the effects of mental and chronic illness, The Collected Schizophrenias cuts right to the core. Schizophrenia is not a single unifying diagnosis, and Esmé Weijun Wang writes not just to her fellow members of the “collected schizophrenias” but to those who wish to understand it as well. Opening with the journey toward her diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder, Wang discusses the medical community’s own disagreement about labels and procedures for diagnosing those with mental illness, and then follows an arc that examines the manifestations of schizophrenia in her life. In essays that range from using fashion to present as high-functioning to the depths of a rare form of psychosis, and from the failures of the higher education system and the dangers of institutionalization to the complexity of compounding factors such as PTSD and Lyme disease, Wang’s analytical eye, honed as a former lab researcher at Stanford, allows her to balance research with personal narrative. An essay collection of undeniable power, The Collected Schizophrenias dispels misconceptions and provides insight into a condition long misunderstood.