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What does it take to be a successful writer in Australia? Alan Gould draws on his experience of more than forty years as a published poet and novelist to explore the ways in which poems and novels are written and read. No Australian has a better understanding of the writer’s craft and, in the clear, original style that is his hallmark, Gould shares his successes and failures as a writer, his knowledge of Australian literary culture, and the motivations and reflections that underlie the writing life. He also assesses the work of some of his contemporaries—from Rosemary Dobson and Alex Miller to Philip Hodgins and Sonya Hartnett.