I grew up in Newcastle. Well close enough. Much easier to say Newcastle, so people know where you mean. When I grew up the boys all went off to work at Comm Steel and BHP, major industries that don't exist anymore. Newcastle has been the inspiration for a number of songs. The Newcastle Song. We all grew up knowing "Don't you ever let a chance go by."
Newcastle famously rioted when a pub shut.
So you can imagine my surprise when I was catching up on a recent SMH article, and saw this written bold and large:
Newcastle is now ranked as one of the world's top five hipster cities
What? Really? Hipsters? Can a deconstructed vegemite toast really be the basis of all this acclaim?
I didn't have much of a problem with the second half of the sentence
and is welcoming a growing literary scene.
Sure. That bit is easy. I've loved attending the Newcastle Writers Festival three times over the past few years, and I'm aware of more and more writers and poets calling Newcastle home. The hipster claim appears to be old news. And I'd still agree that "you’ll see more hipsters in the first ten meters of Crown Street, Surry Hills than you will in a week in Newcastle".
One of the interesting things that the article did was include a list of Newcastle Novels, and even though the lists have been light on here for a while, I knew I couldn't let this chance go by...
Lover's Knots: A Hundred Year Novel - Marion Halligan 1992
Southern Steel - Dymphna Cusack 1953
The Last Thread - Michael Sala 2012
The Long Prospect - Elizabeth Harrower 1958
The Restorer - Michael Sala 2017
Sadly I haven't read any of these books. There's always so much reading to be done.