Has Australian Writing Finally Come of Age?

Those in the know would perhaps argue with my title, claiming that Australian writing came of age many years ago, with the likes of Peter Carey, Kate Grenville, Tim Winton and Elizabeth Jolley portraying ‘the Australian way’ in no uncertain terms. I must admit though, that for me, Richard Flanagan’s success in winning the 2014 Man Booker Prize with The Narrow Road to the Deep North, caused more than just a little shiver up and down my spine. In a good way.

Flanagan had previously been nominated for literary awards for his first 3 novels: Death of a River Guide (1994), The Sound of One Hand Clapping (1997) and Gould’s Book of Fish (2001), which won him the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize in 2002. However, his most recent success, was not only loosely based on the story of his Fathers’ survival of the Burma Railway, but he is touted extensively as the best Australian Writer of all time.

Now, call me parochial, but he is also the first truly Aussie, Man Booker winner since Peter Carey’s History of the Kelly Gang won the gong in 2001 (forgive me DBC Pierre, but you only lived in Australia til you were two and then ostensibly grew up in Mexico).

And he is is a Baby Boomer!

Why does this inspire me to the nth degree? Well, because we all have a story and for most of Us, that story is the reason why we write. To banish the ghosts of our past. Flanagan went boldly and wrote his story as a Baby Boomer in Australia today AND was acclaimed for it’s strength and honesty. And without he himself being a refugee, migrant or any other cross cultural mix, that has become the fodder for Man Booker winners over the past decades.

Awards are political, I hear you say. It depends who Is sleeping with whom. Yes, yes. Personally though, the reaction to his novel has given me hope that I may still be able to get my story out there for all the world to see. Humble, anonymous, Baby Boomer on the trash heap – ME. And exorcise a few obstinate demons, while I’m at it!

Happy Boomer New Year or Na, No Novel Finished Yet!

Boomers round the world, Happy New Year. Don’t you just love it! Another chance to rebirth, recharge, renew… and cut and paste last year’s resolutions onto this year’s diary front page.

Have you noticed that the Boomer bashing has gone quiet of late? Very few, new excerpts or theories on what we’ve been up to, have emerged from the media in recent months. Well no news is good news, I guess, but I think it’s time we upped the ante a bit, don’t you? So here’s the challenge. If you find something interesting about, or for BBs, comment or send it on and I will research and publish it. And to start us off for the year, here’s an update on what this Boomer has been doing….NOTHING!

You may remember that in 2013, I began writing my novel, The Last Baby Boomer?  I intended to finish it during Na No Wri Mo in November year before last, but it was not to be. November 1 2014, the charge was sounded again via Na No Wri Mo, with the intention of delivering said novel. Alas, a repetition of 2013. Hence copied and pasted New Year’s Resolution No. 13 – FINISH THE LAST BABY BOOMER. Feel free to ask me when the publication date is later this year!

Whilst the world tut -tuts about those pesky, cashed up with superannuation, old fogies having the time of their lives, we alone know the reality. IT’S NOT EASY BEING GREEN OR BEING A BABY BOOMER!

Let’s share our collective knowledge and lighten the load this 2015!