Category: Blog

Neurological Illness in Australian Fiction

I don’t read fiction about illness much. I know that’s not what you expected, as it goes directly against the premise of this essay. But fiction allows me to inhabit another body; it’s a luxury. I’m not sure I want to read about a body that is ill like mine. Thinking about my experience of illness takes up so much of my life already: the GP appointments, the psychologist, the psychiatrist, the neurologist I haven’t yet seen but have spent nine months on a waiting list for, imagining what it’ll be like to enter that room. I’m not as well…

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Distilling Illness in ‘Shaping the Fractured Self’

Words || Katerina Bryant  “Sometimes pus, sometimes a poem… but always pain.” —Yehuda Amichai, as quoted in Shaping the Fractured Self The first poem I loved was Sylvia Plath’s Tulips. I didn’t understand it; not at first. I was in the last year of high school and our teacher took us through the poem; line by line, stanza by stanza. I remember the way she would pace the room as she spoke during English and History, calling Rasputin a “weirdo” and Charles Manson “freaky”. Her hair was henna red and her excitement awoke an excitement in me, even though I…

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Australian Writing and Essays on Illness || Katerina Bryant

Words || Katerina Bryant  When I first became ill, I tried to find stories like mine. I needed to see myself on the page to believe I could adapt to a new life: a quieter, restrained life. I will not go into the particulars of my illness here—it is a sticky blend of mental illness and seizures that takes over the page once I begin to write about the details. But I will say that for the first few months of my illness, I left the house only for work. I did not dare live a life that could compound…

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How Australian writing contributes to conversations about chronic illness || September’s blogger is Katerina Bryant

I view writing as my way to understand the complexities of lives I have and haven’t lived. So, often my writing is far-reaching—I’ve yoyo’d from writing about hunting feral pigs to mental illness to my recent obsession, women clowns. It seems the only consistency in my work is that it’s nonfiction.

Agreeable book reviewing is a dangerous, vapid “epidemic of niceness”

Words || Jack Cameron Stanton  Over the weekend I visited my parent’s house for brunch with the Lebanese side of the family, and in order to cater for political differences I strolled to the service station and purchased The Weekend Australian and Sydney Morning Herald. Over a breakfast of fresh manoush and lahembajin, the Lebs scoffed at two wildly different headlines—‘SCOMO LEADS A NEW GENERATION’ vs ‘MORRISON SNATCHES TOP JOB’ (I’m sure you can guess which is which)—while I slid out the review sections of each paper to examine them. The Weekend Australian offered six pages of substantial book reviews,…

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