Today in brief: The finalists for the Walkley Awards for Excellent in Journalism have been announced. Gary Shteyngart's *Little Failure* book your diary. An autistic boy becomes BFFs with Siri. Trolls, stalkers and authors versus readers online. And why women with ADHD are massively underdiagnosed.
The finalists have been announced for the 2014 Walkley Awards for Excellence in Journalism; winners will be announced on 4 December. You can read the full list of finalists online.
The longlist in the book category is:
· Paul Barry, Breaking News: Sex, Lies and the Murdoch Succession, Allen & Unwin;
· Mathew Condon, Jacks and Jokers, University of Queensland Press;
· Rafael Epstein, Prisoner X, Melbourne University Press;
· Sophie Cunningham, Warning: The Story of Cyclone Tracy, Text Publishing;
· Paul Kelly, Triumph and Demise: The Broken Promise of a Labor Generation, Melbourne University Press;
· Madonna King, Hockey: Not Your Average Joe, University of Queensland Press;
· David Marr, The Prince: Faith, Abuse and George Pell, Black Inc;
· Margaret Simons, Kerry Stokes: Self-made Man, Penguin;
· Clare Wright, The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka, Text Publishing.
Gary Shteyngart has published a diary of his Little Failure book tour in the New Yorker.
At previous readings of Little Failure, I’ve had weeping fellow Russian immigrants my age or younger ask me to sign copies of the book for ‘a failed paralegal,’ ‘a worse failure than even you,’ and ‘Shit-for-brains.’ ‘You are the Russian Judy Blume,’ I was told once, in Chicago, which made me tear up a little.
One of his stops on this year’s book tour was, of course, at the Wheeler Centre. You can watch the video below.
An article that’s been furiously doing the rounds of literary circles over the past fortnight is the tale of YA author Kathleen Hale, who wrote for the Guardian about becoming obsessed with a particularly harsh online critic, on Goodreads … and becoming embroiled in a saga that played itself out on the internet. Was she trolled, or is she a stalker? Should authors respond to their critics? Do amateur online critics have a responsibility to consider the author? All these questions have been raised and debated. Danielle Binks has written a great piece for Killings that considers the arguments.
Spike Jonze’s Oscar-nominated film Her showed a near-future where a man falls in love with his operating system (compared to Apple’s Siri). Last week, the New York Times published a story about a 13-year-old autistic boy who has become best friends with Siri. This is not, unlike Her, a cautionary tale about technology, though … his mother writes about all the benefits of the friendship, including the way Siri models manners and her inexhaustible capacity to answer a cavalcade of questions.
Like autism, ADHD is commonly thought of as something that affects boys and men – though it can also affect women. Apparently (also like autism), it manifests differently in women, which is partly why it’s less often diagnosed; half to three-quarters of women with ADHD are undiagnosed. ‘Women with the disorder tend to be less hyperactive and impulsive, more disorganized, scattered, forgetful, and introverted.’
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