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Jay Daniel Thompson

Jay Daniel Thompson is a Senior Lecturer in Professional Communication at RMIT University.

Jay Daniel Thompson reviews 'Wimmera' by Mark Brandi

October 2017, no. 395 27 September 2017
The tagline of Wimmera is ‘Small town. Big secret’. Mark Brandi’s first novel does indeed feature a secret (and a grim one, at that), but it also offers a disturbing insight into Australian masculinity. The book opens in the country circa 1989. Ben and Fab are primary school students who, both misfits, while away the hours catching yabbies, playing cricket, and watching The Wonder Years. Fab ... (read more)

Jay Daniel Thompson reviews 'An Isolated Incident' by Emily Maguire

April 2016, no. 380 30 March 2016
Emily Maguire's An Isolated Incident explores the media's fascination with beautiful, murdered women. The novel also interrogates the experiences of those who find themselves involved in murder cases. The novel is set in Strathdee, a fictitious rural Australian town. This 'lovely little' hamlet has been unsettled by the slaying of Bella Michaels, a 'photogenic' young resident. Bella's older siste ... (read more)

Jay Daniel Thompson reviews 'Trio' by Geraldine Wooller

April 2015, no. 370 30 March 2015
The threesome in Trio is a group of friends who meet in the United Kingdom around 1966. Celia, Marcia, and Mickey bond one ‘pea-souperof a London evening’ and soon move in together. They become extremely close, and socialise in the same (largely theatre-based) circles. Their closeness has its limits; the protagonists draw the line at ‘threefold sex’. ... (read more)

Jay Daniel Thompson reviews 'Transnational Literature', vol. 6 no. 2 edited by Gillian Dooley

June–July 2014, no. 362 01 June 2014
Transnational Literature is an online, open-access journal that is published by Flinders University. The May 2014 edition certainly lives up to the title. This edition provides an overview of literary texts and theories from across the world. The academic contributions explore a diverse range of topics. These include the work of Marion Halligan, literary representations of Islam and the veil, and ... (read more)

Jay Daniel Thompson reviews 'Crazy Little Heaven' by Mark Heyward

February 2014, no. 358 19 January 2014
Crazy Little Heaven provides an account of Mark Heyward’s life in Indonesia. The book offers readers an affectionate insight into this nation and its diverse culture. In 1992, Heyward travelled from Tasmania to East Kalimantan to work as a teacher. He was initially blinded by fantasies of Indonesia as the stomping ground ‘of Joseph Conrad, of the White Rajas of Sarawak … of Tom Harrison, Kin ... (read more)

Jay Daniel Thompson reviews 'The Baby Farmers: A Chilling Tale of Missing Babies, Shameful Secrets and Murder in 19th Century Australia' by Annie Cossins

December 2013–January 2014, no. 357 01 December 2013
In The Baby Farmers, legal scholar Annie Cossins revisits a bizarre episode in Australian criminal history. Her text focuses on a pair of baby killers who operated in Sydney during the nineteenth century. In October 1892, Sarah and John Makin were arrested after a baby’s corpse was found buried on their farm. An investigation revealed the bodies of twelve more babies, all buried in properties th ... (read more)

Jay Daniel Thompson reviews 'How to Tell Your Father to Drop Dead' by Jeremy Fisher

December 2013–January 2014, no. 357 01 December 2013
The title of Jeremy Fisher’s latest tome is deceptive. This reviewer expected a zany children’s book. Actually, How to Tell Your Father to Drop Dead is a subdued look at masculinity in Australian history. The text comprises autobiographical fragments and short stories. Fisher recalls growing up in a culture where homosexuality was ‘invisible’. He describes the heady days of the Gay Liberat ... (read more)