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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

September 1997, no. 194

Bluebeard in Drag by Tracy Ryan

In Tracy Ryan’s poems there are no safe houses, the walls of domesticity keep falling in and she is the clear-eyed tightrope walker negotiating a perilous foothold. Her lines zigzag across the page:

From the Archive

December 2012–January 2013, no. 347

Patrick White to the Rescue

With the centenary of Patrick White’s birth being celebrated this year, it seems appropriate to highlight the great legacy that White left Australian writers in the form of the Patrick White Literary Award. On 16 November, the 2012 Award was presented to novelist, short story writer, and essayist Amanda Lohrey, the thirty-ninth winner since the Award was first presented, to Christina Stead, in 1974.

From the Archive

May 2006, no. 281

Behind the News: A Biography of Peter Russo edited by Prue Torney-Parlicki

Many older readers of ABR would remember Peter Russo – whether fondly or otherwise – for his newspaper columns (principally in the Melbourne Argus) from 1941, and for his ABC radio broadcasts, which continued until his death in 1985. As for younger readers: picture a journalist–commentator (his career defied easy description) who was as controversial in his day as any of our present ‘shock jocks’, but who actually knew what he was talking about. Leading politicians approached Russo not to curry favour with his audience but to understand matters within his areas of expertise: Asia and international affairs. Such expertise – including fluency in eight languages – made it difficult to ignore his contributions to public discourse which, as Prue Torney-Parlicki’s biography makes clear, were substantial. Until this biography (the first comprehensive study of the subject to be published), Russo risked being remembered not for what he said or did but, rather, for what others said about him.