He is one of the most recognised figures in American literary history: poet, patriot and faithful advocate of democracy. He has adherents around the globe. But in his time, critics denounced Walt Whitman as a "lunatic raving in pitiable delirium". They pronounced his signature book of poetry, Leaves Of Grass, "slimy", "vile", and "beastly". One reviewer wished to see him whipped in public; another suggested he commit suicide.
Jennifer Byrne Presents is a series of individual treats for lovers of books and writing. A panel of leading authors and expert celebrity guests join Jennifer for investigations into some of the most popular reading genres: they reveal the conventions, controversies, and titles that have helped shaped the literary landscape. In this episode, Jennifer talks to #1 New York Times bestselling author and National Book Award finalist, Christopher Hitchens - one of the most admired and controversial public intellectuals of our time.
A program hosted by book lover and ABC arts personality Jennifer Byrne. An integral part of the book world, it features regular panellists and guests from the world of literature, entertainment, sport or politics.
Pamela Travers was the creator of the universally loved fictional character, Mary Poppins. Yet the whimsical fantasies of the sugar and spice nanny bore no resemblance to Travers' real life childhood. Her mother was suicidal and needy; her father, an alcoholic rogue who died when she was seven. Pamela's imagination was her only refuge, a means of survival. And so, after virtually raising her two younger sisters she set about rewriting her life and the characters who populated it. Reinvention became a theme for PL Travers. She spent her life seeking out astrologers in California, Buddhists in Japan, was a lifelong devotee to a Russian spiritualist, and even lived for a short time with Navajo Indians in New Mexico.