Passages of Writing: Point Counter Point by Aldous Huxley

Book:  Point Counter Point, Aldous Huxley. First pub: Penguin 1928. This edition: Penguin 1974.

Why: I love the juxtaposition and banter of the two conversations at once, both ignoring the other. It’s how I plan to get my teenage children to their next immunizations. And, I hope to manage a similar interaction in my own book.

His terror, his anxious impatience became almost hysterical.

‘No. I can’t, I really can’t,’ he protested when Spandrell had told him that he must spend the evening at Tantamount House.

‘All the same,’ said the other, ‘you’re damned well going to,’ and he headed the car into the mall. ‘I’ll drop you at the door.’

‘No, really!’

‘And if necessary kick you in.’

‘But I couldn’t stand being there, I couldn’t stand it.’

‘This is an extremely nice car,’ said Spandrell pointedly changing the subject. ‘Delightful to drive.’

‘I couldn’t stand it,’ Illidge whimperingly repeated.

‘I believe the makers guarantee a hundred miles an hour on the track.’

They turned up past St James’s Palace into Pall Mall.

‘Here you are,’ said Spandrell, drawing up at the Kerb. Obediently, Illidge got out…


Passages of Writing: The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Carson McCullers.

Book: The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers. First Published 1940. This edition: Penguin Classics 2008.

Why: It’s such a sweet way to describe it, and who doesn’t do it? But there’s more to it than that, it’s a question: why would she need to?

She shut her eyes and went into the inside room.

p 160. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Carson McCullers

Passages of Writing: The Only Constant by Robyne Young

Book: The Only Constant, Robyne Young. A promotions from the pen Publication. Bookpod Book store

Why: The thing that hooked me with this book of shorts is the unexpected switch of voice, and tone, from one story to the next, leaning in on moments that are distinctively Australian, with a voyeuristic turn of phrase that nails moments I’m sure I can remember being in.

Dorothy quietly nods and picks up every word into each powder blue stitch so that by the time the bus pulls into Mudgee where Dorothy’s son-in-law is waiting to take her the rest of the way to Rylstone, the level of Angela’s reservoir of grief is lowered. there is space for air.


The cold from the concrete step seeps through the bum of my jeans and there’s just enough heat from my smoke to keep me out here.


He noticed conversations quietened when he entered the room. They were us. he was them.


She checks their bedroom, and then looking into Daniels room sees him, curved like a question mark on the queen-sized bed they’d bought to accommodate their son’s growing length. He is holding Daniel’s best and fairest trophy.


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