Larrikins: A History – Sydney launch on 26 April

22 Apr

Sorry about the extraordinarily long hiatus, everyone. Pleased to say, though, that one of the reasons for it is now out of the way. The book, Larrikins: A Historymy key labour for the past few years – has finally been published by the University of Queensland Press.

The launch is this Thursday evening, 6 for 6.30pm on 26 April, at Gleebooks (49 Glebe Point Rd, Glebe) in Sydney. If you live in the area:  I would love it if you came along and said hello.

I asked Mark Dapin, the novelist and recently sacked columnist and writer for the Good Weekend to launch the book. I’ve been a fan of his work for a long time – his maverick humour, always underpinned by a quiet eloquence and genuine smarts – and felt like a nervous schoolgirl emailing him about the launch. This is the man who once edited the bloke’s magazine Ralph and wrote the confronting crime novel King of the Road, and whose sundry articles on the strange quirks of contemporary Australian society and masculinity are always worth returning to.

Lucky for me he said yes.

photo of Mark Dapin

Mark Dapin

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3 Responses to “Larrikins: A History – Sydney launch on 26 April”

  1. Lisa Hill 9 May 2012 at 10:44 am #

    Congratulations on what sounds like a must-read!
    Dapin sounds like the perfect choice to launch it. But let’s not talk about his sacking, let’s talk about his success: I’ve just read and reviewed his latest novel, Spirit House, longlisted for the Miles Franklin – and loved it. It’s maverick humour and myth-busting in the service of profound truths about Japanese POWs and the Australian spirit. Quality literature that deserves to race up bestseller lists.
    If you get the chance, please tell him from me a.k.a. ‘Ambassador for Australian Literature’ that I think it should have been *short*listed – and more!

    • Melissa Bellanta 9 May 2012 at 12:10 pm #

      So true, Lisa. It’s an excellent book- and much recommended.

  2. nick larkins 12 June 2012 at 7:16 pm #

    Interesting, can’t wait to have a read of this and thanks for all your hard work on it Melissa. My last name is Larkins and predictably I have been called a Larrikin all my life, and people have often expected to see the stereotypical Larrikin personality, or whatever version of it has filtered through to them.
    I can’t help wondering if being expected to be a Larrikin has influenced my personality, in the same way someone often told about the personality traits attributed to a particular astrological sign starts to identify with and act them out.
    I often wondered too if there was any Larrikin connection with the Irish convict surname Larkins, and early cultural stereotypes of Irish Australians, or if it’s purely coincidence.

    I grew up in Tasmania, which has a slower evolving cultural venacular due to its isolation, and use of the word Larrikin was very common when I was young, particularly among members of my Grandparents’ generation, born before the second world war.
    In this century I often hear people trying to call me a Larrikin, reaching deep into their cultural inheritance and not being too sure, and coming out with ‘Larrikeet’!

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