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Saturday, 16 December 2006

Nineteen writers were asked by the Melbourne broadsheet The Age to recommend books that they read in 2006.

Most interesting for me were the words from Peter Temple about Cate Kennedy, whose collection of short stories I reviewed last month.

Cate Kennedy's collection of short stories, Dark Roots (Scribe, $28.95), announces the arrival of a major talent in Australian fiction. She has a near pitch-perfect voice and a feeling for the precise moment when stars move in the cosmos.

I'm afraid he put it in better words than I did. Nevertheless, the more people talk about this wonderful new writer, the better. I hope to see more of her stories published in The New Yorker in future (that was where I first came across her fiction, and the discovery made me immediately rush out and buy the book).

Nearly as interesting were the recommendations of a writer I hold in very high esteem indeed: Christos Tsiolkas. He has read Uzodinma Iweala's Beasts of No Nation, Robert Fisk's The Great War for Civilisation: The Conquest of the Middle East and E. L. Doctorow's The March.

He also recommends a movie: Terrence Malick's The New World:

This is an epic literary work, the closest American cinema has come to the breadth and power of Melville or Hawthorne. This masterpiece disappeared from our cinemas within a week and the critics largely neglected it. What a stupid, junky, facile world we live in.

Thanks to Reading Matters for the heads up.

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