'Text Talks'

Study guide discussion articles
for Year 12 English

Between 2000 and 2015 I wrote over 60 Text Talk items for the Education section of The Age newspaper in Melbourne, on a range of fiction, non-fiction, plays, poetry, films and TV programs on the Victorian Year 12 English course.
Each one was 1000-1100 words in length, with additional 'further reading and viewing' suggestions.
These Text Talks were, and should still be, suitable for other secondary school levels, either as stimulus for class discussion, or as 'ideas' material for teachers.
Sadly there have been no Text Talk articles written since 2015 due to budget cuts to The Age. The Text Talk column, which had run for about the past 20 years, is dead - it was good while it lasted. I am, though, maintaining this display page, and the information on it, as a record of endeavour. I believe The Age has also archived many of my Text Talk articles on their website.

Published Text Talks (2000-2015)

A Christmas Carol (fiction, Charles Dickens)
A Farewell to Arms
(fiction, Ernest Hemingway)
The Age of Innocence
All About Eve (feature film from 1950)

The Baghdad Blog
(non-fiction, Salam Pax)

Blade Runner (film)
Brooklyn (novel, Colm Toibin)
The Brush-Off (fiction, Shane Moloney)
Burial Rites (fiction, Hannah Kent)
Bypass: the Story of a Road (non-fiction, Michael McGirr)
Cabaret (film)
Raymond Carver's short stories (a selection from Will You Be Quiet, Please?)
The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith (fiction, Thomas Keneally)
Citizen Kane (film)
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (fiction, Mark Haddon)
Dead Letter Office (film)
Dear America – Letters Home from Vietnam (non-fiction, edited by Bernard Edelman)
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (feature film)
Every Man in this Village is a Liar (autobiography, non-fiction, Megan Stack)

Fine Line (episodes 1, 2 and 5, SBS TV documentary)
First They Killed My Father (non-fiction, Loung Ung)
Frontier (TV documentary)
Frontline (TV comedy episodes)
Robert Frost's poetry
Gattaca (film)
Generals Die in Bed (fiction, Charles Yale Harrison)
Hamlet (play, William Shakespeare)
Hard Times (fiction, Charles Dickens)
Home (fiction, Larissa Behrendt)
The Hunter (fiction, Julia Leigh) (later adapted into a feature film in 2011)
If This is a Man (non-fiction, Primo Levi)
I'm Not Scared (fiction, Niccolo Ammaniti)

Jackson's Track (non-fiction, Daryl Tonkin & Carolyn Landon)
King Oedipus
[Oedipus Rex] (play, Sophocles)
The Kite Runner (fiction, Khaled Hosseini)
Henry Lawson's short stories (fiction)
The Lieutenant (fiction, Kate Grenville)
The Longest Memory (fiction, Fred D'Aguiar)
Look Both Ways (film)
Maestro (fiction, Peter Goldsworthy)
Maus (graphic novel, Art Spiegelman)

Minimum of Two (fiction, Tim Winton)
Montana 1948 (fiction, Larry Watson)
Night (non-fiction, Elie Wiesel)
Night Street (novel, Kristel Thornell)
The Old Man Who Read Love Stories (film)
On the Waterfront (feature film)
One Night the Moon (film)
The Outsider (fiction, Albert Camus)
Wilfred Owen's War Poems
The Plague (fiction, Albert Camus)
The Player (film)
Edgar Allan Poe Great Short Works (fiction)
The Quiet American (fiction, Graham Greene)

The Secret River (fiction, Kate Grenville)
Sky Burial (non-fiction, Xinran)
The Stories of Tobias Wolff (fiction, Tobias Wolff)
The Thing Around Your Neck (short stories, fiction by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie)

Things Fall Apart (fiction, Chinua Achebe)
The Things They Carried (fiction, Tim O'Brien)
Things We Didn't See Coming (fiction, Steven Amsterdam)
The Third Man (film)
Triage (fiction, Scott Anderson)
The View from Castle Rock (fiction/family biography, Alice Munro)
Voices & Visions from India (CD-ROM, various)
Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague (novel, Geraldine Brooks)