John Darnielle’s unsettling second novel

Universal HarvesterJohn Darnielle, best known as the man behind the American indie folk band, The Mountain Goats, has just released his second novel, Universal Harvester.

The novel, published by Scribe, is a slow-burn mystery set in the seemingly calm cornfields of a small town in Iowa in the late 1990s.

Customers of the local video store are finding dark, disturbing scenes spliced onto their rented videos – scenes which seem to transfix all those who have seen them.

My interview with John was recorded live on ABC RN’s Books and Arts, and you can listen to it here.

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Trainspotting live

TRAINSPOTTING

Published in 1993, Irvine Welsh’s novel Trainspotting, about a group of down and out heroin addicts living in Edinburgh, came to define a generation.

The film adaptation of the novel became an international blockbuster, and the sequel T2 Trainspotting is in cinemas across Australian now.

Tonight in Melbourne a stage adaptation of the novel opens and promises to immerse you in Trainspotting’s world of sex, drugs and 80s trance.

I recorded this interview live on RN’s Books and Arts and you can listen to it here.

China’s One-Child Policy told in powerful new play

Bistro Vue - Tim Grey

In 2016, China’s One-Child Policy officially came to an end, and according to the Chinese government, the policy prevented about 400 million births.

The One-Child Policy also produced so-called little emperors – a generation of only children, adored and doted on by both parents and two sets of grandparents.

A new play at Melbourne’s Malthouse Theatre, called Little Emperors, draws on true stories to explore the emotional fallout of China’s One-Child Policy.

I produced this story for Books and Arts on ABC RN, and you can listen to it here.

Haunted by the Fukushima earthquake

Arts House – Asia TOPA_chelfitsch – Times Journey Through a Room (9 – 12 Feb 2017)_Image # 5_Elke Van den Ende.jpg

In 2011, a catastrophic earthquake hit Japan.

It was the most powerful earthquake ever recorded to hit Japan, triggering tsunami waves and causing level 7 meltdowns at the Fukushima Nuclear power plant.

It killed somewhere between 18 and 20 thousand people.

A new play called Time’s Journey Through a Room looks at the emotional scars left by this disaster.

I produced this interview for ABC RN’s Books and Arts, and you can listen to the story here.

My dad’s tea addiction

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My father Simon Moodie and me (Ruslan Kulski, ABC)

My dad Simon Moodie is very concerned that his favourite tea, Robur Green Signal Black Tea, has just been pulled from supermarket shelves.

It’s a Blended China Pekoe, with a distinctive smoky flavour.

The tea was first made by Griffiths Brother’s Tea Company, which was established in Melbourne in 1879 by James and John Griffiths.

We go on the hunt for this historic Australian tea, following my dad as he goes to independent supermarkets around Melbourne to buy up as much of the remaining tea as he can get his hands on and meeting other fans of Green Signal Tea from around Australia.

I produced this story for Blueprint for Living on ABC RN, and you can listen to the story here.

Graham Moore: The Last Days of Night

 

 

Graham Moore is the New York Times bestselling author of The Sherlockian and the Academy Award–winning screenwriter for The Imitation Game.

His latest novel, The Last Days of Night, tells the story of the battle between the great inventors Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse to electrify America.

But instead of being narrated by one of the two great men, this novel is told from the perspective of a young lawyer named Paul Cravath, fresh out of Columbia Law School, who takes on the mammoth task of representing Westinghouse in his legal battle against Edison.

I produced this story for Books and Arts on ABC RN, and you can listen to the story here.

Matthew Griffin’s heartbreaking debut novel Hide

 

Matthew Griffin’s debut novel, Hide, tells the story of two men who meet in North Carolina not long after World War Two, and fall in love.

Griffin’s tender novel switches between the early days of their relationship and the present day, when Wendell is struggling to care for the increasingly unwell and confused Frank.

It’s a heartbreaking story about ageing and the enormous sacrifices this couple have had to make to be together.

I produced this story for Books and Arts on ABC RN, and you can listen to the interview here.