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Barry Divola: Nineteen Seventysomething

It’s Nineteen Seventysomething and the world is changing fast — or is it? The news has yet to reach the small town where Charlie sits around listening to The Best of Bread on vinyl and pondering which singer to lose his virginity to. It’s not Cat Stevens or Carol King, by the way. It’s Neil […]
By Hilary Simmons
December 07, 2010
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By Hilary Simmons
December 07, 2010
  shares

It's Nineteen Seventysomething and the world is changing fast — or is it? The news has yet to reach the small town where Charlie sits around listening to The Best of Bread on vinyl and pondering which singer to lose his virginity to. It's not Cat Stevens or Carol King, by the way. It's Neil Young.

It's fairly safe to assume that Barry Divola's short stories are at least semi-autobiographical, not least because he's a music critic. Divola started writing for the free music press in the mid-80s and is known for his sharp, sardonic writing style. Chances are you've read his work in Rolling Stone, the music section in Who, or in the Sydney Magazine. He also features regularly in The Sydney Morning Herald and The Herald Sun, and is delighted by writing that is forthright and personally inspired.

Divola has published three non-fiction books and thrice won the Banjo Patterson award for his short stories. In Nineteen Seventysomething, Divola depicts the fumbly awkwardness of adolescence so sharply it's slightly unsettling. A cleverly rendered time capsule, the book captures a period of resistance, turmoil and change through innocent, unblinking eyes. Divola will be signing copies and serving up astute social insights at Surry Hills Library this Thursday from 12 – 1pm. Ride your old Dragstar down and whistle a Neil Young song for him.

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