Serge Liberman is that unfashionable thing, a committed writer. Not committed to a party-line, of course, but to a literature of engagement with humanity. A parable that seems to illustrate his view of the artist’s role is provided by a story entitled ‘The Poet Walks Along High Street’. The poet, Gabriel Singer, walks along a street pointed towards ‘Erehwon Creek’, peopled by allegorical ... (read more)
Paul Salzman taught English for many years at La Trobe University.
In ‘Partying on Parquet’, the story from Vernacular Dreams chosen by Don Anderson for inclusion in Transgressions, the hapless Steve attempts to hold a party for his HSC tutor Penny. The party is split into two small groups: Penny and her ‘uni friends’ Jan and Greg, and Marina and Pavlos, ‘dumb ethnics like himself whom he had met at Greek dancing class’. Naturally everything goes wron ... (read more)
Peter Cowan’s new novel The Color of the Sky is an elliptical, even enigmatic, narrative. Although specifically labelled a ‘novel’, it is a novella in its concision pf narrative explanation; as well as in its length. The layers of event and reminiscence are multifarious enough to fill out a hefty tome but are compressed in such a way that they become almost cryptic messages requiring conside ... (read more)
October 1989, no. 115 • 01 October 1989
This is, above all else, a timely novel. In an afterword describing the Beijing massacre, Nicholas Jose explains that he wrote Avenue of Eternal Peace in 1987. The novel ends with the growing push for democracy, with crowds milling in Tiananmen Square, and with a sense that change might be possible, if precarious. The afterword details the end of such hopes. Jose’s novel therefore has a strange ... (read more)
July 1987, no. 92 • 01 July 1987
In her interview with Candida Baker for Yacker 2, Jessica Anderson expresses her dissatisfaction with the covers of a number of her books, citing in particular the glum face on the paperback of The Impersonators and the representation of The Commandant as, in Baker’s words, ‘a Regency romance’. Anderson, who began as a commercial artist, stresses that ‘Design and presentation ... really ma ... (read more)