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Sydney Ideas—Reading Cosmo, Cosmolino with Tegan Bennett Daylight

Cosmo Cosmolino

Cosmo Cosmolino

Helen Garner

Reading Australian Literature 2016

In the Reading Australian Literature series acclaimed Australian writers reflect on the books they value. In a thoughtful and engaging public lecture, each writer will discuss a favourite Australian literary text. What has led them to these books? What do they find remarkable about them? Have these encounters with Australian books left an imprint on the speakers’ own writing?

The first event in the 2016 series is:

Tegan Bennett Daylight on Helen Garner’s Cosmo Cosmolino

‘Cosmo Cosmolino is Helen Garner’s least understood and liked novel, and contemporary reviews were generally not favourable. But it’s always been my favourite of Garner’s works—it is the richest in metaphor, and the only one that deals in what we might call the supernatural, although Garner’s characteristically lucid prose makes the magical very real. Cosmo Cosmolino is a book written by a major Australian author in a period of great flux—it’s a key, I think, to her work, and both a privilege and an adventure to read.’

Tegan Bennett Daylight is a fiction writer, teacher and critic. She is the author of three novels: Bombora, What Falls Away and Safety, as well as several books for children and teenagers. Her collection of short stories, Six Bedrooms, was published by Random House in 2015. She works as a lecturer in English at Charles Sturt University.

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