Published 28 March 2009 · Main Posts Radical Melbourne and the ‘Summer Read’ Jeff Sparrow Radical Melbourne, a book my sister Jill and I wrote in 2001, was part of the State Library of Victoria’s Summer Read program, which has now concluded: No 1 I am Melba by Ann Blainey (Black Inc) A gripping account of Dame Nellie Melba’s life, from defying her father and escaping to Paris, to becoming Australia’s first international singing star. No 2 Blood Sunset by Jarad Henry (Allen & Unwin) In this enthralling novel, a middle-aged detective uncovers a shady world of drug dealing and paedophilia linked to a teenager’s death in St Kilda. No 3 Radical Melbourne by Jeff Sparrow & Jill Sparrow (Vulgar) This exploration of Melbourne’s hidden alternative political history reveals the struggles gone by in familiar inner-city streets and buildings. No 4 Addition by Toni Jordan (Text) The engaging story of Grace Vandenburg, who obsessively counts everything in her daily life, until she meets Seamus and numbers can no longer hold her world together. No 5 Beaten by a Blow (Penguin) by Dennis McIntosh The gritty memoir of a young sheep-shearer learning life’s hard lessons in the tough environment of the shearing sheds. It’s great that the SLV devotes so much time to conversations about books. The librarians who worked with us on a walking tour that happened to coincide with the hottest day Melbourne has ever experienced were lovely people. And it’s fantastic that people still get something from RM. On the other hand, the need to tabulate and rank everything is kinda depressing. As Capleton says somewhere, music is a mission, not a competition. So too writing. Jeff Sparrow Jeff Sparrow is a Walkley Award-winning writer, broadcaster and former editor of Overland. More by Jeff Sparrow Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places. If you like this piece, or support Overland’s work in general, please subscribe or donate. Related articles & Essays First published in Overland Issue 228 25 May 202326 May 2023 · Main Posts The ‘Chinese question’ and colonial capitalism in New Gold Mountain Christy Tan SBS’s New Gold Mountain sets out to recover the history of the Gold Rush from the marginalised perspective of Chinese settlers but instead reinforces the erasure of Indigenous sovereignty. Although celebrated for its multilingual script and diverse representation, the mini-TV series ignores how the settlement of Chinese migrants and their recruitment into colonial capitalism consolidates the ongoing displacement of First Nations peoples. First published in Overland Issue 228 15 February 202322 February 2023 · Main Posts Self-translation and bilingual writing as a transnational writer in the age of machine translation Ouyang Yu To cut a long story short, it all boils down to the need to go as far away from oneself as possible before one realizes another need to come back to reclaim what has been lost in the process while tying the knot of the opposite ends and merging them into a new transformation.