Sunday, October 24, 2010

Podcast here: Lisa Lang talks about 'Utopian Man,' E.W. Cole and winning the Vogel prize

Utopian Man
By Lisa Lang
Allen and Unwin, 2010

Lisa Lang won the Vogel prize for the manuscript of Utopian Man, a glorious fictionalised account of the life of E.W. Cole, a visionary who is best known today for creating the childhood stalwart Coles Funny Picture Book. In HIS day (1880s Melbourne), Cole had a bookstore that encompassed a full city block, replete with monkeys, a fernery and a tea room. With more than 1 000 000 books and white wicker chairs for reading, this was a unique and before-its-time venture in a Melbourne that was awash with gold dust.
Lang has developed Cole as a person, the reader experiences his fears, worries, manias and family joys and travesties.
Listen to Lisa talk about Cole, her writing life - and the parts she left out of the book.


  1. Hiya Paige-nice to meet you today finally. I have all three Coles Funny Picture books and though a tad on the 'we cant say that these days' ledger-still funny

  2. Hello Steve,
    yes - lovely to meet you - You posted your comment an outrageously long time ago - so Hello and Happy New Year. We loved Coles Funny Picture books to death - and thefictionalised account of his life is good. Well written, great story & historically informative...


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