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ABR Arts

Book of the Week

On Kim Scott: Writers on writers
Literary Studies

On Kim Scott: Writers on writers by Tony Birch

In this latest instalment of Black Inc.’s ‘Writers on Writers’ series, we have the intriguing prospect of Tony Birch reflecting on the work of Kim Scott. While most of the previous twelve books in this series have featured a generational gap, Birch and Scott, both born in 1957, are almost exact contemporaries. This is also the first book in the series in which an Indigenous writer is considering the work of another Indigenous writer. It will not be giving too much away to say that Birch’s assessment of Scott’s oeuvre is based in admiration. There is no sting in the tail or smiling twist of the knife.




From the Archive

December 2007–January 2008, no. 297

Rohypnol by Andrew Hutchinson

Andrew Hutchinson’s Rohypnol, which won the 2006 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Best Unpublished Manuscript, follows a self-professed adolescent ‘monster’ as he dabbles in drugs, crime and violence while peddling ‘The New Punk’ philosophy. The pharmaceutical drug of the title is used by the narrator and his ‘rape squad’ to sedate and assault women.

From the Archive

July–August 2012, no. 343

Napoleon: Revolution to Empire by Ted Gott

Napoleon came to power as First Consul in 1799 after a coup d’état, having recently returned from invading Egypt, his defeat there by the British spin-doctored into a victory back in Paris. Five years later he had himself made emperor, crowning himself in Notre Dame surrounded with panoply reminiscent of the ancien régime and inspired by fantasies of Roman Antiquity. Bonaparte’s armies occupied much of Western Europe, overthrowing governments, installing his brothers and brothers-in-law as kings, and imposing French laws and taxation. Napoleon’s wars killed three million soldiers, with the death rate on the Russian campaign – mostly of starvation, cold, and exhaustion – among the highest in modern military history. The emperor pillaged the art collections of conquered Europe to create his Musée Napoléon. In 1802 he reversed a decree of the revolutionary government in order to re-establish slavery in the French colonies. The famous Napoleonic Code of laws made women second-class citizens; a woman’s husband, for instance, had legal control of her property. The emperor unceremoniously dumped Joséphine to take a wife who could bear a child and, he dreamed, secure his dynasty. Napoleon’s opponents were imprisoned or driven into exile.

From the Archive

December 2002-January 2003, no. 247

Letters to the Editor

Not half as nice

Dear Editor,

Nothing jolts a writer like finding that her book has been read in serious discord with her intentions and produced the last effect she’d have wanted. Heather Neilson (ABR, October 2002) thinks I’m ‘preaching’ and condemning to outer darkness those who don’t agree with me. This is disquieting, but also salutary.