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Marian Eldridge

Here it is, nearly Christmas, and as usual, the list of Books I Have Read is running into the hundreds, and I have that end-of-year mad, fleeting illusion that also afflicts exam-fevered students … that somehow it All Adds Up.

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Usher by Matthew Condon

September 1991, no. 134

The usher of the book’s title is T. Nelson Downs, long-time resident of Burleigh Heads. (The T. Doesn’t stand for anything; it was a parental whim.) He’s one of those wonderful, original, exasperating people full of impossible ideas (such as marketing gigantic ice sculptures for public occasions using skilled tradesmen brought out especially from Florence).

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Lilian’s Story by Kate Grenville & Bearded Ladies by Kate Grenville

November 1985, no. 76

What a pleasure to be reviewing Kate Grenville’s collection of stories and her novel!

First, Bearded Ladies: The stories are a delight. Ranging with ease over four continents, they portray women in a variety of relationships – girls brought face-to-face with a sexual world, women coping with men, without men, women learning to be. The writing is witty, satirical, compassionate, clear as a rock pool and as full of treasures.

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