From China Miéville’s bullishness about the novel to Ma Thida’s struggles against censorship, 20 keynote speeches over the course of the last year made for a fascinating conversation about the state of literature todayThe Edinburgh World Writers’ conference had its final blast in Melbourne last week, where Aboriginal writer Tony Birch made the case for a post-national literature, recalling the life-changing impact Barry Hines’s A Kestrel for a Knave had on him as a 15-year-old on his way home after he was expelled from school.”No book left the impression on me that Kes did. I was convinced it had travelled the globe to find me. From the first pages, when Billy wakes in the early morning in his damp, crowded room and is teased and abused by his brother, I felt more than empathy for him. I was sure I was Billy.”Birch’s is the final keynote address of the 20 we’ve run since the conference began at last year’s Edinburgh international book festival. In his opening address, China Miéville described the novel as “tenacious as a cockroach” – and a year later he saw no sign that the cockroach was losing its grip. So what has this year-long global talking …read more

Via: The Guardian | Books