What’s it Like to be Chased by a Cassowary? is a diverse collection of entertaining and informative explainer articles from The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, by some of Australia’s finest writers, with illustrations from Sydney Morning Herald creative director Dionne Gain.
It tackles quintessentially Australian topics (where does the term ‘mate’ come from?) as well as questions being grappled with around the world (what will our homes be powered by in the future?).
Ever wondered what happens to us as we die? Or how the Esky became an Aussie cultural icon? Or why we have leap years? Then look no further – and even if you haven’t wondered, you’ll want to find out.
From politics, sport and science to wine, cryptic crosswords and why people post lizards in the mail – each piece explores different aspects of the human condition, revealing our passions and quirks, and the strange and amazing places that curiosity can lead us to.
Inquisitive readers love the explainer columns for their strong and surprising storytelling, deeply researched reporting and inventive illustrations. They have become some of the most popular content articles in their respective publications. Reader requests have inspired explainers about exploring everything from think tanks to tennis racquets, from quantitative easing to why cicadas sing at dusk.
Explainers offer a rich understanding of how and why – rather than just who, what, when and where. Within these pages you will find an absorbing and illuminating selection of some of the most popular explainers, as well as never before published pieces especially written for this book.
There are surprising facts about all aspects of life and information about all kinds of investigations from throughout history and around the world. Prepare to be enlightened, enthralled and educated – you’ll never ponder how to evade that rampaging cassowary again!
Contributing writers: Felicity Lewis (editor), Liam Mannix, Sherryn Groch, Miki Perkins, Anthony Colangelo, Tony Wright, James Massola, Karl Quinn, Shane Wright, Maher Mughrabi, David Astle, Ella Archibald-Binge, Nick O’Malley, Max Allen, Jake Niall, Sophie Aubrey, Simone Fox Koob, Emma Young, Kate Aubusson, Anthony Galloway, Peter Hannam, Melissa Cunningham, John Silvester, Greg Baum, Craig Butt, Mike Foley, Tom Cowie, Michael Bachelard and Laura Chung.
Felicity Lewis is the first national explainer editor for The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald where she works daily with reporters across the newsrooms to deliver smart, nuanced explanations of events in the news and in everyday life.
She has worked in diverse roles in journalism on titles from The Herald Sun to The Independent to theage (melbourne) magazine, and has won several awards, including a Walkley.
Image: What’s it Like to be Chased by a Cassowary? – courtesy of Penguin Books Australia