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Marion Halligan

Carolyn Tétaz reviews 'The Point' by Marion Halligan

April 2003, no. 250 01 April 2003
Marion Halligan’s latest novel should be a success. It is a continuation and concentration of themes, characters, and settings that have consistently engaged her in a considerable body of work. The Point is full of Halligan favourites: food, art, love, literature, hubris, Canberra, Séverac, and the Spensers. It is a novel with currency, exploring the IT industry, the business of food, and the p ... (read more)

Marion Halligan reviews 'Maria's War' by Amy Witting

October 1998, no. 205 01 October 1998
Ever since I heard Amy Witting speak at the recent Melbourne Festival, I have been thinking about her name, which is a chosen not a given name and therefore may be considered for its meanings. It occurred to me that there may be conscious artistry in her name as in her work. Amy: that must mean love. And Witting will be knowledge, awareness. The two an expression of the novelist’s desire. Her ne ... (read more)

'Look me in the eye and say that' by Marion Halligan

December 1992, no. 147 01 December 1992
Book reviewing. I’ve done quite a lot of it. I regard it as my trade and a profession, one to be proud of, with principles and rules and responsibilities, to be practised ethically and with generosity. And not gloomily, nor theoretically, for I write for readers, not scholars. It’s an odd trade, when you come to think of it, telling people what books they should read, or buy, which ones work, ... (read more)

Marion Halligan reviews 'Between the Fish and the Mudcake' by Andrew Riemer

September 1999, no. 214 01 September 1999
I was tempted to do a wicked thing when writing about Between the Fish and the Mud Cake: to take its subjects and describe my experiences with them. So I would tell you all about my lunch with Georges Perec at the French Embassy in Canberra. What he said, and I said, and the ambassador said, and what I made of it all. The book mentions touring with Carmel Bird; I could describe my friendship with ... (read more)

Marion Halligan reviews 'Flawless Jade' by Barbara Hanrahan

November 1989, no. 116 01 November 1989
Barbara Hanrahan has made her own the ostensibly artless narrative of simple women. Monologue might be a better word than narrative; the idea of a speaking voice is important. ‘I was born in a war, I grew up in a war, and there was war all along’ is how this one begins. It’s the Japanese War in China, the country is occupied, food is short, rice must be queued for. ‘And if the queue didn ... (read more)

Marion Halligan reviews 'Cloudstreet' by Tim Winton

April 1991, no. 129 01 April 1991
What do you do when you wake up in the morning and feel the shifty shadow of God lurking? You stay in bed, and hope that it’ll pass you by, that’s what. Sam Pickles doesn’t. He goes to work and loses his fingers in a winch: when he takes his glove off, they ‘fell to the deck and danced like half a pound of live prawns’. The Lamb family, on the other hand, believed in God rather than luc ... (read more)