Authors paddle like mad to write the latest literary wave

The Syndey Morning Herald has posted a timely article on Australian surf writing which dovetails perfectly with the piece I wrote yesterday on surf culture and Australian spirituality.

I couldn't resist and have here reproduced the article by Malcolm Knox in full.

Moving from her "green room" inside a wave to the writers' green room of a literary festival, Nike Bourke yesterday joined a wave of new Australian surfing writing.

At the Byron Bay writers' festival the Brisbane author launched her second novel, The True Green Of Hope, a book that found its inspiration in a peculiar effect of light known as the "green ray".

Described by Jules Verne in his book Le Rayon Vert as the colour that green would be in paradise, the effect is produced by sunlight in sea water when certain conditions of latitude, weather and humidity coincide with a sunset or sunrise.

Verne wrote: "Happiness will be the portion of those who behold this spectacle."

Bourke, now 36 and a creative writing teacher, searched for the green ray and saw it while surfing at sunset in Western Australia several years ago. A kind of happiness followed, in the form of the conception and execution of her novel.

The recent trend of surfing literature includes a biography of the Australian great Michael Peterson, an anthology of surf writing published last year and another coming out this year, an autobiography of Mark Occhilupo on its way, various how-to books and the Victorian writer Fiona Capp's Kibble Award-winning memoir That Oceanic Feeling.

Byron Bay's eight-year-old festival is drawing large crowds this weekend, with featured authors including Robert Drewe (launching his novel Grace), Kate Grenville, Matthew Reilly, Delia Falconer, Christos Tsiolkas and the actor/writer William McInnes.

An epiquany in aqua waters … could a reasonance between surf culture and Australian spirituality not be more obvious than this?

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