We’re back with a new issue, and already the 2012 literary calendar is off to a flying start. Perth Writers’ Festival in February and Adelaide Writers’ Festival in March saw record crowds, with guests as various as Alan Hollinghurst, Javier Cercas and Jenny Erpenbeck.
I went along to the Adelaide Writers’ Festival last month to attend a fascinating panel of international publishers and editors, hosted by the Australia Council. The digital revolution was a focus of discussions, particularly among publishers from the US and UK, who cited the behemoth that is Amazon as looming threateningly. Between 80 and 90 per cent of ebook sales in the UK are currently made through Amazon, as are nearly 50 per cent of all print book sales. These statistics put digital publishing in Australia in stark perspective, where we enjoy a healthy variety of online retail options. This discussion was particularly timely, as Kill Your Darlings took its first steps into the world of ebooks and digital editions earlier this year. We look forward to presenting more exciting digital content in the coming months.
With the carbon-tax still a contentious political issue, journalist Greg Foyster’s fascinating lead feature, ‘The Big Pitch: Selling Advertising to the Public’, marries seemingly unlikely trending subjects: advertising and climate change. Foyster, a former copywriter, has written a fascinating and deeply personal exposé of the advertising industry – its machinations, motivations, and its insidious manipulations. From the nostalgia of Mad Men to the high-rating The Gruen Transfer, Foyster’s article is a call for us to examine our patterns of over-consumption.
Elsewhere in Commentary, Wayne Macauley pays tribute to Gerald Murnane’s iconic novel, The Plains. Icons abound in this issue, in fact – Annabelle Craft moves to Queensland and investigates the chequered history of the Big Pineapple, while Anne-Marie Reeves reflects on the legendary David Bowie, and considers how his music has shaped her own creative development.
This issue has also taken on an extroverted flavour, with commentary about wildly different places, cultures and countries. Luke Meinzen describes his three years living and working in Mongolia, while Vanessa Murray and Jamie Melbourne-Hayward attend one of the last bullfights in Catalonia, in northern Spain. It’s a confronting spectacle.
Issue 9 features new fiction from Toni Jordan, Krissy Kneen and Carmel Bird, and Kill Your Darlings speaks with American writer Kelly Link, whose macabre and chillingly strange short fiction has earned her an international cult following.
In Reviews, Scott Macleod celebrates Paul Auster’s acclaimed novellas, The New York Trilogy, and Cristian Strömblad remembers the influence of Nirvana’s Nevermind during his own angsty youth.
Finally, Kill Your Darlings bids farewell this issue to our associate editor, Jo Case, who’s leaving us to focus on writing her debut book, as well as take up a new position as Senior Writer/Editor at The Wheeler Centre. Jo was a part of the founding team of Kill Your Darlings and she played an integral role in getting the publication off the ground and generating our content – her contribution to our expansion and longevity has been especially significant, and greatly appreciated by the Kill Your Darlings team. We wish Jo the very best with all her writing and look forward to seeing her in our pages again soon.