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John Hanrahan

John Hanrahan was a freelance writer and critic.

John Hanrahan reviews 'The Comfort of Men' by Dennis Altman

February–March 1993, no. 148 01 February 1993
Where women lead, men generally have the sense to follow. Eventually. Feminist fiction, lesbian fiction have developed ahead of gay fiction in Australia. This is one of the many ideas acknowledged or explored in Dennis Altman’s welcome addition to literature about homosexual relationships. Central to the novel are the various ways in which the personal explodes in to the political. The time is ... (read more)

'Abbreviations' by John Hanrahan

February–March 1986, no. 78 01 February 1986
Melbourne has Moomba and Melbourne Cup week. Sydney and Perth have cultural festivals. And so, pre-eminently, does Adelaide. Even from the backblocks of Melbourne, Adelaide Writers’ Week stirs up a real thrill. In this issue, Andrew Taylor has written an informative and extremely interesting account of the experiences of Writers’ Week, to which he has contributed so much over the years. Writer ... (read more)

John Hanrahan reviews 'My Blue-checker Corker and Me' by Paul Radley

November 1982, no. 46 01 November 1982
My Blue-Checker Corker and Me probably has enough strengths to make one forget, eventually, most of its irritating features. Paul Radley’s story of ‘a small mellow world’ is unashamedly emotional. and Radley is clearly fascinated with the possibilities of language. This is the story of a twelve-year-old boy and his relationship with his grandfather, his mates and his pigeons. Not surprising ... (read more)

'Abbreviations' by John Hanrahan

April 1986, no. 79 01 April 1986
Now we are in the season of missed and mellow fruitfulness. The mellow fruitfulness belongs to the winners of literary awards and literary grants. The missed are those who are eternally short listed but never ascend the throne. Of course, some books shortlisted never have a chance of winning. They are put there for encouragement, minor recognition, sometimes tokenism. Of course, being shortlisted ... (read more)

John Hanrahan reviews 'The Oxford Companion to Australian Literature' edited by William H. Wilde, Joy Hooton, and Barry Andrews

December 1985–January 1986, no. 77 01 December 1985
This is a splendid book, by far the most important of the recent OUP contributions to the study of Australian literature. Everything that you ever wanted to know about Australian Literature. Comprehensive (amazingly), consistently lively, up to date, as far as I can judge, accurate. I have played the usual reviewers’ game for a book like this – trying to find what has been left out. In my vie ... (read more)

John Hanrahan reviews 'Portable Australian Authors: Joseph Furphy' edited by John Barnes

June 1982, no. 41 01 June 1982
‘“No good dad,” he used to remark hopelessly, “people’ll say that you were dragged up.”’ In this way, Furphy records his son’s response to Such is Life. Furphy, in his own review of his own novel expressed a different view. ‘There is interest, if not relevancy in every sentence ... beyond all other Australian writers. Tom Collins is a master of idiom ... Originality is a characte ... (read more)

'Abbreviations' by John Hanrahan

December 1985–January 1986, no. 77 01 December 1985
My first contact with Arthur Phillips was through a note signed A.A.P., attached to a short story that an editor couldn’t find space for. The note pointed out that the story lacked reality, e.g. a child was allowed to sit in a hotel bar. When I finally got to meet A.A. Phillips, it was over a drink. The pleasure at meeting was enhanced by a child at the next table. I ribbed Arthur about this, te ... (read more)

John Hanrahan reviews 'Madness' by Morris Lurie

July 1991, no. 132 01 July 1991
We meet Tannenbaum in his ‘cosy Anne Frankish semi-hidden nook’. These writerly Jewish recluses have very little else in common; Tannenbaum is separated from his wife and two children. His friend/lover Anise is trying to drink her way out of a nervous breakdown. For further solace he resorts to ‘horizontal unravelling’ or ‘psychiatric horizontality’. Tannenbaum also may or may not hav ... (read more)

John Hanrahan reviews 'Heroin Annie' by Peter Corris

May 1984, no. 60 01 May 1984
This is The Great Tradition. Spade, Marlowe, Archer, Spenser. Peter Corris has relocated it, given it another place and another name and done it all with verve and flair. In ten adventures, Cliff Hardy lurches around Sydney in the rusty armour of his Falcon (except on one occasion when he goes to his spiritual home, California). While Corris does not achieve as much in the short stories as he does ... (read more)

John Hanrahan reviews 'White Stag of Exile' by Thomas Shapcott

April 1984, no. 59 01 April 1984
Thomas Shapcott uses as a basis for his novel the fascinating life story of Karoly Pulszky, who left Hungary as the disgraced Director of the National Gallery of Art and who committed suicide after two months in Queensland. Pulszky, a forceful and flamboyant man, followed in the footsteps of his distinguished father in building up Hungary’s art collection. He was married to Emilia Markus, ‘The ... (read more)
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