Robert Holden

We should no longer marvel at the way art historians are forever finding yet another woman artist to rescue from undeserved obscurity. With Patricia R. McDonald’s tribute to Barbara Tribe we have the work of this eclectic Australian sculptor finally validated in a handsomely produced monograph.

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With the publication of Rodney Hall’s latest novel, The Grisly Wife, the author has brought to completion a trilogy that first began appearing in 1988. Since this last published novel is actually the middle work of the trilogy and what were formerly two separate novels are now bridged by this newcomer, we are finally given the opportunity to assess if and how the parts relate to the whole.

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I have had a haunted week reviewing the The Oxford Companion to Australian Folklore; haunted by a host of inadequately credited or totally omitted characters and folklore subjects clamouring for their status and value to be recognised. Thus, in that vast penumbra of lost souls, the plaintive cries of characters such as Ginger Meggs, the Magic Pudding, and the Banksia Men, Rolf Harris and Barry Humphries, together with subjects such as Strine, Rhyming Talk, Hanging Rock, Ghosts, and Oral History, have begged for their recognition! And swelling their ranks are those who only got a toehold in the door, so cursory is their mention: Dad and Dave, Joseph Jacobs, Marion Sinclair, Clancy of the Overflow, the Man from Snowy River, et al.

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