Things To Look Forward To 

David Gaunt has owned Gleebooks with partner Roger Mackell since 1976.

Indigenous Literacy Project update

 - Wednesday, August 28, 2013


I've written many times about Gleebooks' commitment to the Indigenous Literacy Project, and, as we celebrate another Indigenous Literacy Day on Wednesday September 4th, please don't forget that you can help by donation, by buying books, or by organising fund raising ideas at work, through your book club, or any way you like (check out indigenousliteracyfoundation.org.au for ideas).

Just to give you a better idea of how the money raised for the Foundation is spent: a small and dedicated ILF office works closely with remote communities to supply carefully selected, culturally appropriate books and resources to more than 200 communities. The book lists are meticulously prepared by a team of children's literature and literacy experts, and are renewed regularly. To this core objective, we add concentrated work in some communities to embed an infancy directed baby book/early reading home-based project, as well as making publication of writing in own language and works in translation possible. As well as this, the Foundation makes field trips to communities to build and cement relationships through writing workshops with children. I was lucky enough to accompany writers Andy Griffiths, Leonie Norrington and John Danalis on a trip to Melville Island to work with children in Tiwi communities a couple of weeks ago. It was a fabulous experience. The kids were engaged and enthusiastic about writing stories of their world to share with us, and having a chance to share a moment in their lives. It was great encouragement for the Foundation's work.

Tim Winton's novels are at least five years apart these days, so there's double cause for celebration that a new novel, Eyrie, is publishing on October 14th. Firstly because this is a superb piece of work: a really difficult fictional subject (a man who has lost hope, reputation, life relationships and is dragged reluctantly into a tangled, volatile world) is explored and developed brilliantly. It really is, as the publisher's advance promo says, ground breaking. The second reason to rejoice is that Tim, who is a warm and generous communicator about his work, will be coming to a special event at Sydney University's Great Hall, on Thursday October 24th. It's booking quickly, so please contact us at the shop, or the website, if you want to come.

Other books to watch out for: Jhumpa Lahiri (who wrote the wonderful Interpreter of Maladies, has a new novel out in October called Lowland. I've just started it and am very impressed. Sharp and very well-observed character and place (it starts in Calcutta, in the early 1950s). And don't forget that Fiona McFarlane's The Night Guest, the best debut novel of 2013-intelligent, both warm and sharp, and thoroughly original-is out now!  David Gaunt