hus concludes the Brisbane Writers Festival. An odd thing happened yesterday. I got a call from festival publicity who connected me to a journalist writing for the Australian who wanted to talk to me. I'm already on my way out of the house to my evening session at the Powerhouse, with the plan to take on board a couple of 'looseners' with my pal White, chairman for the session, on the way. Anyway, she arranges to come round for a quick interview. A cameraman arrives first, catching me unawares; he's taken fifty pictures by the time the journalist arrives and settles down with her notepad. I suddenly recall where I've seen her name in the last week: Rosemary Sorensen, arts writer for the Australian, wrote a negative review of Nicki Greenberg's Great Gatsby
just a few days ago, ending it on a very peculiar note, 'Shaun Tan says... (quoting his praising blurb)... but then he would, wouldn't he.' Shaun told me yesterday that he would have considered it fair play if she reviewed his own book and criticised some structural aspect of it, but to snidely dismiss his personal taste in a review of another person's book was unseemly (I can't recall Shaun's actual words). She arrived with the definite idea that the 'graphic novel' is preposterous pretense at literary seriousness and was putting me on the spot to prove otherwise. I put up a vigorous and intelligent defence. I shall let you know if it makes print. Meanwhile, a quick tally shows that I have now promoted the cause in eleven separate public 'events,' and managed to mention my own books too whenever I saw the chance, since I posted the Melbourne Age article here three weeks ago. Can you imagine how many 'looseners' that entails?
(ps. The tv spot may turn up on ABC Sunday Arts later today, I guess.*)
pps. And a big round of appreciation to the lovely Cori Stewart, who fought to get the 'graphic novel' into the Brisbane show this year, and who organised all the events while sweetly putting up with my curmudgeonly rants. Bless you.
*Nicki thinks it's next week. (Not showing on this week's menu"
Labels: Brisbane Festival