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Rosemary Sorensen

Rosemary Sorensen
Rosemary Sorensen is a journalist, formerly books editor of the Brisbane Courier-Mail, and arts writer at The Australian. She is currently director of Bendigo Writers Festival.

An interview with Bruce Beaver

June 1994, no. 161 01 June 1994
When I visited Bruce and Brenda Beaver in their Manly flat it was a sparkling day. The water of the Harbour was glittering, and the pines on the foreshore were stirring only slightly in the breeze. But, however soothing the weather, I was nervous. For me, Bruce Beaver is huge, a poet of the first order, and his extraordinarily difficult life, the periods of debilitating sickness and the various al ... (read more)

'Canberra Literary Centre of Australia' compiled by Rosemary Sorensen

February–March 1991, no. 128 01 February 1991
In his Canberra 1913–1950 Jim Gibbney summarises the indecisions which accompanied the establishment of a site for Canberra around the turn of the century. When finally, in De­cember 1908, Yass-Canberra was decreed the Seat of Government, it brought to a close nearly two decades of hesitation – at least Australia knew where the Federal Capital was to be situated, if not what kind of city i ... (read more)

'Editorial' by Rosemary Sorensen

October 1994, no. 165 01 October 1994
You, certainly, understand what it’s like when you know for sure, and in your heart of hearts, that there is something rotten in the State of Denmark, but every time you put up your hand to point to the rottenness it is ignored, slapped down, or obfuscated. Lying, back-stabbing, shoving one’s own snout in the trough ahead of the mob, manoeuvring to get ahead, and destroying anything that might ... (read more)

Rosemary Sorensen reviews 'The Name of the Mother: Writing illegitimacy' by Marie Maclean

October 1994, no. 165 01 October 1994
For some time now literary criticism has been fascinated by the role of naming, and the inscription of the name, in relation to the identity of the self. There are rich pickings to be had from examining autobiography for the way the writer reveals and hides behind the words with which a life is described. And in this era of autobiographical and biographical tumescence, it is most important that th ... (read more)

'Editorial' by Rosemary Sorensen - September 1992

September 1992, no. 144 01 September 1992
I don’t know how all the jumping, throwing, sweating and grimacing went, but that opening ceremony for the Olympic Games in Barcelona was hallucinogenic. I’ve never seen so many men in leather-look congregating under lights! And wasn’t that rippling sea effect fantastic? Who’d imagine you could do so much with the new synthetics. How wonderful for the Barcelonians to have snaps for their f ... (read more)

Rosemary Sorensen reviews 'The Butcher Boy' by Patrick McCabe

September 1992, no. 144 01 September 1992
When, the opening pages of The Butcher Boy, it becomes clear that the narrator is an uneducated toughie whose sorry history is going to be the subject of the book, the reader’s danger flags are likely to be unfurled. To sustain such a voice without losing credibility is a tricky task. But the first chapter establishes that voice with exceptional skill, and this success continues through almost t ... (read more)

Rosemary Sorensen reviews 'The Best Australian Stories 2007' by Robert Drewe

December 2007–January 2008, no. 297 01 December 2007
What can we make of the fact that, of the forty-seven stories selected by Robert Drewe for this year’s The Best Australian Stories collection, thirty-three are written in the first person? The influence of Creative Writing classes has to figure in any stab at an answer. It would be interesting to do the rounds of the universities to discover whether the teachers of such courses actively encourag ... (read more)

Rosemary Sorensen reviews 'Ghosts' by John Banville

May 1993, no. 150 01 May 1993
People who have read John Banville’s Book of Evidence tend to pale and take on a manic look when they’re told that there is a new Banville out. When they learn that it’s linked with that earlier book, almost a sequel, their ears pinken, their lips tremble, and, most disturbingly, their fingers begin to twitch. At this stage, the holder of an advance proof backs away, calmly, as smoothly as p ... (read more)

Rosemary Sorensen reviews 'Boat' by Ania Walwicz

November 1989, no. 116 12 December 2019
The kind of writing that is to be found in Ania Walwicz’s collection Boat is the kind that angers many people. Eschewing punctuation as benevolent and therefore inferior signposts to meaning, Walwicz’s prose is uncompromisingly difficult. Plot is virtually absent. Syntax defies convention. The ugly, both visually and verbally, is preferred to the beautiful. Her tradition is that of Dadaism an ... (read more)
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