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Happy New Year from all at Kill Your Darlings – we hope you enjoyed the holiday break. We’re looking forward to bringing you a new range of commentary, fiction, interviews and reviews throughout 2012.

And with many of you still recovering from all that holiday gluttony, author and social historian Maria Tumarkin’s lead feature in this issue, a ref lection on our obsession with eating and drinking, is timely. ‘Sublime and Profane: Our Contemporary Obsession with Food’ is a thoughtful meditation on hunger, waste, fetishisation and how we can sometimes take food culture a little too seriously. In an age when MasterChef winners’ cookbooks outsell every other Australian title (and when bookstores are closing and cafes and fast-food outlets pop up in their wake), Maria’s rumination on our food fascination provides plenty to chew on.

Elsewhere in Commentary, Clementine Ford returns to our pages with the story of her time spent as a phone-sex worker. And in a similarly candid vein, Scott Steensma recalls a curious war waged against his teenage sister – a battle over a stash of pornographic magazines discovered in their family home.

Georgia Gowing travels to Paris, The City of Lights, only to head underground to the darkness of its Catacombs and, later, to its cemeteries. Mardi O’Connor remembers the awkward years of her Catholic high-school education, while Emilie Collyer attends the National Achievers Conference in Sydney, in search of some inspiration about how to make millions (and to work out what Donald Trump’s ‘do’ is actually all about).

This issue also features an extract from from Michael Sala’s forthcoming novel, The Last Thread, as well as new fiction from Jessie Cole and Matthia Dempsey.

Kill Your Darlings speaks with Malcolm Knox – novelist, critic and former literary editor of Sydney Morning Herald – and gets him chatting about his latest novel, The Life.

And finally, in Reviews, Anthony Morris takes a look at US crime series Breaking Bad and Justified, while Natalie Kon-yu discusses Siri Hustvedt’s latest novel, The Summer Without Men. Investigating controversial novelist Lionel Shriver’s negative response to Hustvedt’s work, Natalie explores some deep and troubling attitudes that remain towards women’s writing.

So kick back and find a spot in the sun. We hope you enjoy this summer issue. See you again in April.