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Sascha Morrell

Sascha Morrell

Sascha Morrell is a Lecturer in Literary Studies at Monash University and was a Visiting Research Scholar at New York University in Fall 2015. She has published widely on American and Australian literatures and literary modernism, with a special interest in how representations of Australia in US literature and culture evolved in relation to representations of the US South and the Caribbean from the mid-nineteenth century onwards. Her poetry and short fiction have appeared in literary journals and anthologies, including Going Down Swinging, Meanjin, The Mays, and Cordite.

Sascha Morrell reviews ‘Frank Moorhouse: Strange paths’ by Matthew Lamb

April 2024, no. 463 25 March 2024
Frank Moorhouse: Strange paths has no introduction, but Matthew Lamb describes it in his author’s note as ‘the first in a projected two-volume cultural biography of Frank Moorhouse’, covering the long writing apprenticeship of 1938–74 during which Moorhouse ‘br[oke] into the literary establishment, on his own terms’. Lamb does not explain his use of the term ‘cultural biography’ ... (read more)

Sascha Morrell reviews 'Old Babes in the Wood: Stories' by Margaret Atwood

May 2023, no. 453 24 April 2023
Margaret Atwood is fond of repeating the adage that creative writing is ‘10 percent inspiration and 90 percent perspiration’. The same can be said of reading Atwood’s latest story collection, Old Babes in the Wood. When a writer is so venerated, there is a risk of both authorial and editorial complacency. The book’s back cover features this excerpt: ‘My heart is broken, Nell thinks. But ... (read more)

'Joyce Carol Oates: A Body in the Service of Mind: An ever-prolific American polymath' by Sascha Morrell

ABR Arts 11 November 2022
Here is a list of things you won’t see the great American writer Joyce Carol Oates doing in this documentary: looting, detonating a bomb, strangling children, having sex, eating, eating human flesh, sleeping, kissing, cussing, masturbating, masturbating over a corpse, screaming, lobotomising a lover, shedding tears (though she comes close), or being murdered. In case you don’t know, all these ... (read more)

Sascha Morrell reviews 'An Ordinary Ecstasy' by Luke Carman

November 2022, no. 448 25 October 2022
Our high school art teacher would often look at a student’s work and judge it ‘interesting’. Sometimes this was a written comment, accompanied by a lacklustre mark like 14/20, which led us to suspect – perhaps rightly – that ‘interesting’ was a euphemism for ‘inept’. Now I wonder if it occasionally meant: curious, out of the ordinary, sui generis, hard to grade or categorise, or ... (read more)

Sascha Morrell reviews 'The Flight of Birds: A novel in twelve stories' by Joshua Lobb

December 2019, no. 417 25 November 2019
Humans cannot imagine avian perspectives, Joshua Lobb admits, but his stories explore what we might learn from the attempt. Some of Lobb’s strategies are familiar from much recent fiction with ecological themes, such as the use of an educated, intellectually curious narrator-protagonist whose wide reading provides a convenient means of introducing diverse facts and anecdotes about birds into lyr ... (read more)