A Pale View of Hills 

Dulwich Hill branch manager, radio personality, and book selling superstar, Morgan Smith tells us how it is.

Light-Rail Extension

 - Wednesday, April 30, 2014
The big news on D'Hill is, of course, the opening of the light-rail extension which terminates at Dulwich Hill station. But there's the rub-Gleebooks at Dulwich Hill is nowhere near it-it's a fifteen minute walk back up the hill. The weekend after the light rail started, I saw interested sojourners alighting at the terminal (near where I live) and wandering lost and bemused to find nothing, if little, there. They could get a very ordinary coffee from the Lebanese takeaway as there is no groovy café, or visit the excellent Hashem's Food Mart for beautiful cheap nuts, coffee beans, chick peas, lentils and great fresh fruit and vegetables (well worth the visit). But that's about it. No. To get to the REAL Dulwich Hill shops and gleebooks, you need to get off at the penultimate stop, Dulwich Grove. Even then you will come out onto a dreary stretch of New Canterbury Road and wonder where everything is. Turn right and walk three blocks to the intersection with Marrickville Road and you will find yourself where the action is. Turn right again and Gleebooks on D'Hill is a block down. Still, during the week following the opening, we had people from far and wide finding us after an enjoyable ride on the rail. 
Our Elmer (the patchwork elephant) event went off extremely well, hosted by the exuberant and charming Liz Allen, known best as the gleebooks Events manager. Liz should have won the prize for most colourful outfit-aqua tights and chartreuse shoes, a patchwork skirt and hot-pink top-that girl doesn't do things by half! So good to see the kiddies having fun.
There has been a big, and well-deserved,  buzz around Foreign Soil, a debut collection of short stories from Melbourne writer, Maxine Beneba Clarke.  The stories centre on the disenfranchised, the lost and lonely as well as the hopeful, moving from Melbourne to Somalia, Villawood to Mississippi, to 1960's Brixton. The stories are heart-wrenching, often confronting but imbued with a deep humanity. The characters are all wonderfully drawn and the writing often luminous. Out this month.
Another completely different book and also out now, is The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair by Swiss writer Joël Dicker. This has been a huge success in Europe and will be everywhere, I imagine. A literary thriller/murder mystery set in America, it concerns Marcus Goldman, a young writer who has achieved fame and success with his first novel but is now badly blocked. His mentor and teacher, also a successful novelist, Harry Quebert, is accused of the murder of a teenage girl some thirty years before, whose body has just been found buried on his property. Marcus sets out to prove Harry innocent, thereby unravelling a tragic love story and the secrets of the small American town in which Harry lives. A novel within a novel, a gripping yarn, a lesson in writing (in the form of advice from Harry to Marcus)-it's got it all. I loved it.
See you at gleebooks on D'hill and later in May at the Sydney Writers' Festival.