CategoryAudio interviews

Denotes website entries with audio interviews

Maura Pierlot and Jorge Garcia Redondo – Alphabetter

Affirm Press, Australia, 2024
Cover design and internal Stephanie Spartels @ Affirm Press
Cover illustrations Jorge Garcia Redondo

The question of how early one should teach ethics to children and in what form is at the heart of this book. Maura Pierlot posits a convincing argument with this work for its early introduction.

Barbie spoke to Maura Pierlot about Alphabetter
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Val Johnson – Meandering around the Murray

Strathnairn Homestead Gallery 1
90 Stockdill Drive Holt ACT
28 February to 24 March, 2024

This exhibition will present a new body of work by contemporary painter Val Johnson, depicting scenes from the Murray River and focusing on the patterns and shapes that emerge from the landscape.

Val Johnson talks to Barbie at Strathnairn about Meandering around the Murray
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Alex Miller – A kind of confession: the writer’s private world

Allen & Unwin, Australia, 2023
Jacket design by Lisa White
Jacket illustration – Edwina Edwards, Blue Trees

A kind of confession provides a glimpse into award-winning author Alex Miller’s life from boyhood to the present, documenting his feelings, ideas about a multiplicity of things and some personal and shared histories.

Barbie spoke to Alex Miller about A kind of confession
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Musica Viva Australia – Long Lost Loves (and Grey Suede Gloves)

Pianist Michael Curtain with mezzo-soprano Anna Dowsley
Llewellyn Hall, ANU School of Music, Canberra
7pm Friday 1 March 2024

Written and directed by Constantine Costi, Long Lost Loves (and Grey Suede Gloves) weaves together a series of American composer William Bolcom’s cabaret songs to create a poignant meditation on life, love and living in the moment. 

Barbie spoke to Michael Curtain about Long Lost Loves (and Grey Suede Gloves)
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Tilly Pamment – The Plain Cake Appreciation Society

Published by Murdoch Books, an imprint of Allen & Unwin, Australia, 2023
Design Manager and illustrations by Kristy Allen
Designers Trisha Garner and Susanne Geppert
Photography, recipes and styling by Tilly Pamment

Tilly Pamment’s cake cookbook is a beautifully produced work of art with her elegantly styled photographs of every cake, variously accompanied by flowers, fabrics, covetable ceramics and baking paraphernalia.

Barbie speaks to Tilly Pamment about The Plain Cake Appreciation Society
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Best-selling author is new Australian Children’s Laureate

The Australian Children’s Laureate Foundation has announced Sally Rippin as the 8th Australian Children’s Laureate for 2024 and 2025.

Barbie spoke to Sally Rippin about her role as the new Australian Children’s Laureate
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Fleur McDonald – Voices in the dark

Allen & Unwin, Australia, 2023
Cover design Nada Backovic
Cover images Shelly A Richmond; Arcangel; Ewen Bell

This is Fleur McDonald’s 22nd rural fiction novel. In it, along with the expected rural policing story led by the much loved Detective Dave, she delves into the challenges of parenting, various models of the family unit, parent-child relationships, issues of power imbalance – familial, professional and societal – and social mores to do with out of wedlock teenage pregnancy.

Fleur McDonald talks to Barbie about Voices in the dark
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Cobargo Folk Festival urges patrons to book early

Friday 1 – Sunday 3 March 2024
Cobargo Showgrounds

Irish singer-songwriter Lisa O’Neill will be one of the headline acts at this year’s Cobargo Folk Festival – and organisers have urged people to book their tickets as soon as possible.

Richard spoke to Festival Director Zena Armstrong
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Caroline Reid – Florisma

ANCA Gallery
1 Rosevear Place, Dickson ACT
31 January to 18 February 2024
Open Wednesday to Sunday 12pm to 5pm
Office open Monday to Friday 9am to 2pm

Florisma is an exhibition of large acrylic abstract paintings and ceramic vessels. The artist’s work is based on and painted in her Canberra garden in Spring and is a blaze of colour and energy.

Barbie visited ANCA Gallery to talk to Caroline Reid about Florisma
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Cate Whittle and Nicky Johnston: Millie – The Cutest Puppy in the World

Scholastic, Australia, 2024
Book design by Sofya Karmazina

Artist Nicky Johnston is undoubtedly one of the children’s picture book world’s queens of cuteness. Thus the combination of her sweet anthropomorphic representations of Millie with Cate Whittle’s gentle story is a marriage made in heaven.

Cate Whittle talks to Barbie about Millie – The Cutest Puppy in the World
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Kell Woods – After the Forest

Harper Voyager, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, Australia, 2023
Cover design and illustrations by Andrew Davis

It would do this luscious book a disservice to describe it as a retelling of a fairy tale. After the Forest is a beautifully written historical fantasy which plumbs the depths of human psychology and experience.

Kell Woods talks to Barbie about After the Forest
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Lee Christine – Glenrock

Allen &, Australia, 2024
Cover design by Nada Backovic
Cover images Getty Images/Liliya Krueger (model); David Diehm Photography (background)

Lee Christine’s latest crime thriller is an exercise in comparative morality. It’s a fast-paced delve into the nefarious deeds and nasty people in places of power, high and low, touching on the justice system, organised crime and to a lesser extent by implication, the police force and prison system.

Lee Christine talks to Barbie about Glenrock
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Léonie Kelsall – The Blue Gum Camp

Allen & Unwin, Australia, 2024
Cover design Nada Bakovic
Cover photos Getty Images; Kim Miller; iStock, Unsplash
Inside back cover photo Taylor Portelli

True to the Trojan Horse approach adopted by so many contemporary Australian rural romance writers, Léonie Kelsall has incorporated a number of significant social and human issues into this novel.

Léonie Kelsall talks to Barbie about The Blue Gum Camp
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Erina Reddan – Deep in the Forest

Pantera Press, Australia, 2023
Cover design Elysia Clapin
Cover image Shutterstock/Shift Drive

What a clever author Erina Reddan is! Whilst this novel is an edge of the seat thriller, highly filmic and so visually graphic it could easily be a television drama series, it is also a beautiful literary work, rich in imagery and complex in its themes and motifs. It’s delicious reading.

Erina Reddan talks to Barbie about Deep in the Forest
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