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Literary Studies: True Stories (8623)
Semester 2 / 2011


The Tall Man Chloe Hooper , 2006 single work essay (taught in 1 units)
— Appears in: The Monthly , March 2006; The Best Australian Essays 2006 2006; (p. 111-137)
Chloe Hooper examines the background and circumstances surrounding the death of the Torres Strait Islander man, Cameron Doomadgee (Moordinyi), while in police custody.
Consider The Lobster!$!Wallace!$! !$!Little, Brown and Company!$!
Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids and the Long Con that is Breaking America Author: Taibbi!$!Taibbi!$! !$!Scribe!$!
Hamlet's Blackberry: A Practical Philosophy for Building a Good Life in the Digital Age!$!Powers, William!$! !$!Scribe!$!
The Devil Wears Prada!$!Lauren Weisberger!$! !$!Harper Collins!$!
Quarterly Essay # 34 : Malcolm Turnbull And The Liberals!$!Crabb!$! !$!Black Inc!$!
Newjack: Guarding Sing Sing !$!Conover!$! !$!Minerva Vintage!$!
In Cold Blood!$!Capote, Truman!$! !$!Penguin!$!


How do we know whether the book we are reading is true or invented? Is it only because the dust-jacket tells us so? What if the label is playfully or deliberately misleading? Novels can be written that include actual figures, and journalists can write in ways that we usually associate with fiction. This can be confusing for readers. If the act of representing actual people and events in narrative form throws up complex issues, it also makes for compelling reading, and allows writers to explore issues in greater depth than can daily journalism. In this unit, students will examine what happens when writers, whether journalists, novelists or others, tell true stories in books. Works of pioneers of book length journalism are examined as well as contemporary examples.

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Levels: Undergraduate