Published: 1 August 2019
ISBN ePUB: 978-1-925384-69-7
Also available as an ebook from Kobo, Apple, and Amazon Kindle
Jane Sullivan is a Melbourne-based writer specialising in literary journalism. She has worked for The Age as a reporter, feature writer and editor. Jane won the inaugural Australian Human Rights Award for journalism.
She has previously published two novels, The White Star (Penguin Australia) and Little People (Scribe Publications), which was shortlisted for the Encore Award for a second novel.
Jane currently writes ‘Turning Pages’, a Saturday column on books and writing, for The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, and contributes to occasional features, essays and interviews in numerous publications, including Australian Book Review.
Growing up with books
What was it exactly? Wonder, rapture, delight, surprised recognition, laughter – but also darker feelings that made my heart beat fast and my stomach turn over, and sometimes a frantic urge to close the book before whatever it was sucked me in and destroyed me. But always, I read on.
In Storytime, author and literary journalist Jane Sullivan takes us from Wonderland to Narnia; is enchanted by Winnie-the-Pooh and the Magic Pudding, amazed by Enid Blyton and frightened by the Tales of Terror. Then there is the one book Jane truly hated – Little Women. Why had she despised Jo March, a seemingly perfect role model for a young, aspiring writer?
This intimate, intense and emotional adventure is a surprising and sometimes disturbing journey of self-discovery. As Jane relives old joys and faces old fears, she finds that the books were not what she thought they were, and she was not the child she thought she was.
Interwoven with experiences from prominent Australian writers, including Melina Marchetta and Trent Dalton, about their favourite childhood stories, Storytime is a bibliomemoir that lures us deep into the literary world. Through Jane’s explorations we understand how it is that the enchantment of books we read as children can shape the people we are today. Because we didn’t just want to read them – we needed to read them.
Praise for Storytime
'A poignant meditation, and an enthralling, comprehensive analysis of literature’s meaning to the author as both child and adult.’
‘A revealing, insightful and entirely addictive read.’
‘This lovely, gently nostalgic voyage will be celebrated by bookworms everywhere, of all ages. Storytime encourages all of us to look back at our childhood selves, and our first reading obsessions, with a little more compassion and wonder.’
‘For book nerds and trivia fans everywhere, this book is heaven, rich with perspicacity and humour.’
BOOKS + PUBLISHING
‘Storytime unfolds, before the reader’s delighted eyes; Jane Sullivan’s extended meditative exploration of her search for the realm of gold in the books she read as a child. This is such a rich, intimate and revealing memoir. Some of the books discussed were ‘‘un-put-downable’’. Storytime falls into the same category.’
‘As with all good books, it shall grace my home library (in the extensive ‘books on books’ shelves) and be consulted and devoured time and again.’
‘An enjoyable read.’
Listen to Jane Sullivan and Chris Ilsley on Perth Tonight here