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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

March 2009, no. 309

The Art of Australia, Volume 1: Exploration to Federation by John McDonald

If the back-flap biography did not proclaim John McDonald as ‘Australia’s premier arts commentator’, if the author himself did not describe The Art of Australia in the preface as ‘a massive work of synthesis intended to bring together the most recent scholarship’, and if it were not being puffed in advertisements as ‘destined to take its place as the definitive work on Australian art’, one might be inclined to take this book on its merits.

From the Archive

October 2008, no. 305

Deception by Michael Meehan

Deception is an historical novel that adds to the emergent school of literary fiction concerned with dramatising historical investigation. As with any subgenre, certain conventions abide. The protagonist tends to be male, dour, a bit of a loner. His quest is usually sparked by a relic of some kind: a cache of letters, a photograph. Ultimately, history is shown to impinge on the present; the musty conundrums surrounding the relic are resolved; the protagonist may experience a vague epiphany.

From the Archive

October 1983, no. 55

Teacher Learning edited by Gwyneth Dow & Melbourne Studies in Education 1982 edited by Stephen Murray-Smith

Gwyneth Dow has edited a collection of essays that forms a relevant and coherent whole. The authors seek to salvage what they see as ‘the good things’ in education reform of the late sixties and early seventies, reform that had weaknesses which were the result of ‘faulty thinking, poor social analysis, romantic psychological theories, slip-shod pedagogy’. The contributors to this book are Rory Barnes, Gwyneth Dow, Rod Foster, Noel P. Gough, Bill Hannan, and Doug White. Gwyneth Dow points out they do not all share the same ideological positions, but they are clearly in fundamental agreement about curriculum reform, a more democratic approach to teaching and to the running of schools, and a more socially aware view of teaching and teacher education.