'Text Talks'

Study guide discussion articles
for Year 12 English

8 December, 2015: Sadly there will be no Text Talk articles written in 2016, due to further budget cuts to the Education section of The Age newspaper. The Text Talk column, which has run for about the past 20 years, is dead. I will, though, maintain this display page, and the information on it. The Age has also archived many of my Text Talk articles on their website. I will locate the web link and add it to this page.

Since 2000 I have written 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 is 1000-1100 words in length, with additional 'further reading and viewing' suggestions.
These Text Talks should also be suitable for other secondary school levels, either as stimulus for class discussion, or as 'ideas' material for teachers.

Text Talks for 2015

Text Talks for 2015 are listed below. This year The Age has drastically reduced the number of Text Talks to be published. It is unclear whether there will be further Text Talks in 2016. (It was good while it lasted...)

Burial Rites (fiction, Hannah Kent).
This novel is included in List 1 of the Victorian Year 12 VCE English text list
(Published 2 March 2015)

The Lieutenant (fiction, Kate Grenville).
This novel is included in List 1.
(Published 4 May 2015)

Published Text Talks (2000-2014)

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)
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 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)