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Andrew Purcell

Andrew Purcell has written 253 posts for Andrew Purcell

Life and death in Rio’s ‘pacified’ favelas

April was an especially bloody month: seventeen-year old Gustavo Silva was shot dead on his way to work at a bakery, soldier Bruno de Souza bled to death in his own home after being hit by a stray bullet, and thirteen-year-old Paulo Henriques was killed on route to a friend’s house to play video games.

Peter Carey puts Australia on trial

“The landscape of colonialism is very clear in Australia,” Carey says. “There’s the Aboriginal people, and there’s the successes of those of us who’ve discovered that we’re the benefactors of a genocide, which is not exactly a nice thing to wake up to in the morning.”

Manhattan Beach: Jennifer Egan’s deepest dive

“I did not know for sure that I would be able to write a book,” she told me. “I felt like I was faking it, and that was really unpleasant. There was so much I didn’t know.”

An afternoon with Joyce Carol Oates

“I’m much more politicised than I had been. Immediately all I can do is send out tweets,” she says. “I think novels have to be timeless.”

“Most art is a conversation starter. This is revolution.”

To describe a production as “life-changing” is cliche, but in this case, appropriate. At least one couple got married and had a baby after meeting at the show. Another couple realised they no longer loved each other and got a divorce. “People have changed their genders, people have quit their jobs, and it’s just because we’ve taken the time to hang out with them,” Mac says.

The United States of Heroin

“You’d have a tough time finding somebody in the United States that doesn’t know somebody, or have a friend, or the child of a friend, who’s addicted to heroin,” says Special Agent James Hunt, who runs the Drug Enforcement Agency’s New York bureau. “It’s that rampant and big a problem right now.”

Foetus reborn: becoming JG Thirlwell

Thirlwell often claims that the only instrument he can play is the studio, and that’s true, if the bar is set unreasonably high. The early Foetus albums were made before sampling, sequencing or MIDI, on an eight track, and he played everything, overdubbing drum, piano, guitar and sax parts.

“How come something written forty years ago rings so true?”

Published in the Sydney Morning Herald on June 10, 2017. In April 1968, the assassination of Martin Luther King was followed by a wave of urban riots. Troops were sent in to in Chicago, Baltimore, and Washington D.C. to quell unrest. Two months later, author James Baldwin appeared as a guest on Dick Cavett’s television […]

Trumpcare: a poison pill for a system past cure

The number of people with no health insurance at all – close to fifty million by 2026 if the GOP bill passes – is the tip of the iceberg. Tens of millions more, on all but the most expensive plans, are under-insured, with high deductibles and yawning gaps in their coverage.

The Olympics of corruption: Rio after the Games

Violent crime is surging, the arenas are padlocked and deteriorating, and favelas remain neglected by the state. At best, the Olympics represent a criminal waste of a prosperous decade.

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