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Carol Middleton

Carol Middleton is a journalist, arts critic and author, based in Melbourne. Her short story awards include second place in The Age competition 2010. Her fiction and nonfiction have been published in the anthologies Melbourne Subjective, Ink3 and Vine Leaves Literary Journal. She is working on a memoir in essays.

Carol Middleton reviews 'Pennsylvania Avenue' (MTC)

December 2014, no. 367 01 December 2014
Pennsylvania Avenue is billed by the Melbourne Theatre Company as a world première, with the expectation that singer Bernadette Robinson’s new one-woman show will travel the world, like her previous one, Songs for Nobodies (MTC, 2010). In that show, Robinson inhabited several ‘nobodies’ and the famous singers they encounter. When, in November 2012, I interviewed Robinson in the run-up to th ... (read more)

Carol Middleton reviews 'Nest' by Inga Simpson

October 2014, no. 365 01 October 2014
Inga Simpson’s second novel is set in the lush subtropical hinterland of Australia’s east coast. Jen, a reclusive artist, goes back to where she grew up and where her father was a timber-cutter, to find peace among the birds and trees. But mysteries and disappearances trouble her idyllic life. Like her artist protagonist, Simpson has acute powers of observation and an ability to capture natur ... (read more)

Carol Middleton reviews 'The Return' by Silvia Kwon

August 2014, no. 363 01 August 2014
Silvia Kwon’s début novel explores the legacy of war on an Australian family, seen mainly through the eyes of the wife of a returned soldier. The prologue comprises a vivid and disturbing flashback to Burma in 1944, where Merna’s husband Frank spent time ‘on the line’. Although narrated in the third person, this is Merna’s story, told from the point of view of a wife torn between the c ... (read more)

Carol Middleton reviews 'The Lost Child' by Suzanne McCourt

April 2014, no. 360 27 March 2014
This début novel by Melbourne writer Suzanne McCourt is a coming-of-age story set in the wild coastal landscape of the Coorong in the 1950s. Writing from the point of view of a child, McCourt captures the heightened sensibility of her narrator, Sylvie, to portray a family in devastating close-up and a natural world teeming with smells and sounds and sights. ... (read more)

Carol Middleton reviews 'Floodline' by Kathryn Heyman

November 2013, no. 356 31 October 2013
Floodline is the fifth novel by Kathryn Heyman, course director at Allen & Unwin’s Faber Academy. Set in an unspecified area of the United States, it follows a proselytising family, which is on a mission to save the godless inhabitants of Horneville on the eve of their annual gay mardi gras, Hornefest, when the city is devastated by floods. ... (read more)

Carol Middleton reviews 'Letters to the End of Love' by Yvette Walker

June 2013, no. 352 27 May 2013
Yvette Walker’s remarkable début novel is told in a series of letters that cross time and continents, tracing the intimate lives of three couples, one straight, one lesbian, one gay. Starting in 1969 in an artist’s studio in Cork, where a Russian painter and his Irish novelist wife exchange love letters, it moves to 2011 and a lesbian bookseller in Western Australia and her estranged girlfrie ... (read more)

Carol Middleton reviews 'Mary Bennet' by Jennifer Paynter

June 2012, no. 342 23 May 2012
This début novel by Sydney playwright Jennifer Paynter is a skilful retelling of Pride and Prejudice, narrated by Mary Bennet, the forgotten middle sister. Mary’s character is true to Austen’s original conception. She is bookish, plain, and unloved, although romance soon appears on the horizon in this version of events. ... (read more)

Carol Middleton reviews 'Fishing the River of Time' by Tony Taylor

April 2012, no. 340 01 April 2012
This is the modest memoir of a remarkable man. At the age of eighty, geologist Tony Taylor travels from Sydney to Vancouver Island to meet his eight-year-old grandson Ned and take him fishing on the Cowichan River. Half a lifetime earlier, in 1968, Taylor had spent a formative two years in that wilderness. He is eager now to give his grandson the same education. ... (read more)
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