Past Perfect at Avid Reader

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Join Editor Carody Culver to explore the perils and possibilities of nostalgia with Griffith Review 83 contributors Sharlene Allsopp, Amber Gwynne, Myles McGuire and Melanie Myers. They’ll talk time travel, the Roald Dahl revision controversy, psychedelic criticism, and the seven stages of loving – and hating – Scarlett O’Hara.

About Past Perfect

The past, famously, is a foreign country – but in the twenty-first century, it’s one in which we increasingly seek solace. What fuels this love affair with recycling our history? What periods do we choose to romanticise, and how do our rose-tinted glasses occlude reality? Is all this nostalgia signifying – as the late Mark Fisher opined – the disappearance of the future?

In this edition, we explore the connection between loneliness, nostalgia and Big Tech and the ways nostalgia has been weaponised for political gain.

We revisit the heyday of advertising in the ’90s and investigate two long-standing editorial myths: have editors got worse? Do they infringe too much on the work of authors?

We talk with Melissa Lukashenko about the important role of historical fiction in recovering First Nations knowledges, experiences and stories, and learn from Witi Ihimaera about the ingenuity, mischief and gift for reinvention at the heart of Indigenous storytelling.

Griffith Review 83: Past Perfect surveys our need to idealise, sensationalise and glamorise – and asks what the circular nature of our obsessions says about our present cultural moment.

Sharlene Allsopp was born and raised on unceded Bundjalung Country into the Olive mob. She tutors writing and literature at UQ’s ATSIS Unit and was a 2020/21 fellow in The Wheeler Centre’s Next Chapter program. Her work has been published widely, including in Jacaranda Journal, Portside Review and Aniko Press. Her novel The Great Undoing, published by Ultimo Press, is out now.

Amber Gwynne is a researcher, writer and editor based in Meanjin (Brisbane). She is a senior officer in the public service, managing editor of the Journal of Australian Studies and a lecturer in writing at the University of Queensland.

Myles McGuire’s writing has been nominated for the Peter Carey Short Story Award, the Newcastle Short Story Award, the Monash Writing Prize and the QUT Writing Prize. He teaches creative writing at QUT and is currently at work on his first novel.  

Melanie Myers won the Queensland Literary Awards Glendower Award for an Emerging Writer in 2018. Her winning manuscript was published as Meet Me at Lennon’s (UQP), which was shortlisted for the 2020 Queensland Premier’s Award for a Work of State Significance and The Courier-Mail People’s Choice Award. Her short stories and non-fiction have appeared in Kill Your Darlings, Overland, Arena Magazine, TEXT and Hecate, among many others.

Carody Culver is the editor of Griffith Review. She has written for publications including Kill Your Darlings, The Lifted Brow and Books+Publishing. Her chapbook, The Morgue I Think the Deader It Gets, was published by Cordite in 2022, and she’s been a featured Australian poet on the Best American Poetry blog.

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Connected edition

  • Published 20240206
  • ISBN: 978-1-922212-92-4
  • Extent: 203pp
  • Paperback, ePub, PDF, Kindle compatible
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