December 1, 2011

Monthly Wire

December 2011 Editors Note

By Monthly Wire
Ben Naparstek
Ben Naparstek

People often lament that they don't have time to read fiction. In our social media age, the pressure to stay constantly up to date about current affairs is so demanding that it's no wonder fiction can become a low priority. But it is always seemed to me that top-line fiction and non-fiction have similar value: inviting readers to consider the world from different perspectives, explore complex human and moral quandaries, experience the gamut of emotions and lose themselves in an entertaining yarn.

The five stories in this year's annual Summer Reading Special have these qualities in spades. Stretching from comic to tragic, realist to fantastic, spare to poetic, leading Australian writers Cate Kennedy, Steven Amsterdam, Sonya Hartnett, Janette Turner Hospital and Nicholas Shakespeare demonstrate the range and power of great fiction.

There's also an abundance of political and social fare for you to enjoy at leisure over the holidays, before the Monthly returns in February and we unveil our exciting plans for 2012. On behalf of the Monthly team, I wish you a festive summer break and a prosperous new year.

Ben Naparstek
Editor

From the front page

cartoon:In light of recent events

In light of recent events

Who’s preferencing whom?

Detail of cover of Simon Tedeschi’s ‘Fugitive’

Ghost notes: Simon Tedeschi’s ‘Fugitive’

A virtuoso memoir of music and trauma, and his experiences as a child prodigy, from the acclaimed Australian pianist

Image of Steve Toltz

The quip and the dead: Steve Toltz’s ‘Here Goes Nothing’

A bleakly satirical look at death and the afterlife from the wisecracking author of ‘A Fraction of the Whole’

Composite image of Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese speaking during the first leaders’ debate on April 20, 2022. Image © Jason Edwards / AAP Images

Election special: Who should you vote for?

Undecided about who to vote for in the upcoming federal election? Take our quiz to find out your least-worst option!

Online exclusives

Composite image of Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese speaking during the first leaders’ debate on April 20, 2022. Image © Jason Edwards / AAP Images

Election special: Who should you vote for?

Undecided about who to vote for in the upcoming federal election? Take our quiz to find out your least-worst option!

Image of the Stone of Remembrance at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra. Image © Lukas Coch / AAP Images

Remembrance or forgetting?

The Australian War Memorial and the Great Australian Silence

Image of Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese, Labor MP Emma McBride and shadow housing minister Jason Clare after meeting with young renter Lydia Pulley during a visit to her home in Gosford on May 3, 2022. Image © Lukas Coch / AAP Images

Property damage

What will it take for Australia to fix the affordable housing crisis?

Image of Daniel Johns. Image © Luke Eblen

Present indicative: Daniel Johns’ ‘FutureNever’

The former Silverchair frontman’s second solo album lacks cohesion, but affords him space to excavate his past