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 'The Rules Do Not Apply: A memoir' by Ariel Levy

November 2017, no. 396 26 October 2017
Carol Middleton reviews 'The Rules Do Not Apply: A memoir' by Ariel Levy
In the first chapter of her memoir, The Rules Do Not Apply, Ariel Levy writes, ‘Daring to think that the rules do not apply is the mark of a visionary. It’s also a symptom of narcissism.’ Born in New York during the Reagan era, she is describing the world she grew up in, one in which you were told that you were in control of your life and could achieve anything. In suggesting that this world ... (read more)

Minnie & Liraz (Melbourne Theatre Company)

ABR Arts 19 May 2017
Minnie & Liraz (Melbourne Theatre Company)
With unrelenting cheerfulness, bright orange lights shine on a simple set: a row of straight-backed chairs, a tall flower display, and a painting of an elderly woman, prominently displayed. Are we about to witness a funeral? Indeed we are. Slowly, painfully, the ambulant residents of Autumn Road Retirement Village, Caulfield, edge their way on to the stage. The chairs are now occupied. From the do ... (read more)

Carol Middleton reviews 'All my Januaries' by Barbara Blackman

August 2016, no. 383 25 July 2016
Amid the resurgence of the personal essay, Barbara Blackman's volume is a paragon of the genre. It reminds us how much experience, anecdote, and wisdom can be packed into this small format. All My Januaries has thirty-six pieces, darting from the shortest vignette to more digressive accounts of a barefoot Brisbane childhood, a year living in Paris, and a Sydney Olympic torch run at the age of seve ... (read more)

Carol Middleton reviews 'Enemy: A daughter's story of how her father brought the Vietnam War home' by Ruth Clare

May 2016, no. 381 27 April 2016
Carol Middleton reviews 'Enemy: A daughter's story of how her father brought the Vietnam War home' by Ruth Clare
Growing up with a violent and controlling father who served in the Vietnam War may be a familiar story, but Ruth Clare's memoir takes us deeper, into the mind of the child and her day-to-day reality, where she is constantly primed for her father's next act of cruelty. Resembling a novel in its sensory detail and riveting narrative, Enemy recreates life in Rockhampton, where Clare grew up in the 19 ... (read more)

Carol Middleton reviews 'The Canonbury Tales' by Don Aitkin

April 2016, no. 380 31 March 2016
Boccaccio started an avalanche of storytelling with The Decameron. His one hundred tales, told by ten narrators taking refuge from the Black Death in a villa outside Florence, have inspired a horde of copycats over the ensuing 660 years. Most famous of these is The Canterbury Tales. Although Don Aitkin's title echoes Chaucer's, his collection of stories pays higher tribute to Boccaccio's and share ... (read more)

Carol Middleton reviews 'The Media and the Massacre, Port Arthur 1996-2016' by Sonya Voumard

April 2016, no. 380 30 March 2016
Carol Middleton reviews 'The Media and the Massacre, Port Arthur 1996-2016' by Sonya Voumard
In 2009 Sonya Voumard read about a legal claim brought by Martin Bryant's mother, Carleen, against journalists Robert Wainwright and Paola Totaro, accusing them of using her personal manuscript, letters, and family photos without her permission in their book Born or Bred? Martin Bryant: The Making of a Mass Murderer. Struck by the complex ethics of the case, Voumard found herself, in the words of ... (read more)

Carol Middleton reviews 'In Love and War' by Liz Byrski

January-February 2016, no. 378 22 December 2015
Carol Middleton reviews 'In Love and War' by Liz Byrski
Western Australian novelist and academic Liz Byrski has written a memoir that explores the reality behind a World War II myth: the ground-breaking work done by plastic surgeon Archibald McIndoe to repair the disfigured faces, hands, and lives of fighter pilots and crews. Byrski grew up during the war in East Grinstead, Sussex, near the hospital where McIndoe worked, and was haunted by the sight of ... (read more)

Carol Middleton reviews 'Dear Life' by Karen Hitchcock

June-July 2015, no. 372 29 May 2015
Carol Middleton reviews 'Dear Life' by Karen Hitchcock
In her long-form essay Dear Life, columnist and fiction writer Karen Hitchcock considers how we in Australia treat the elderly and dying. To the task she brings her formidable skills as a writer and her experience at the coalface, working as a staff physician in a Melbourne public hospital. The result is a sensitive, rigorous, and moving account that exposes the prevailing ageism in our medical se ... (read more)

Carol Middleton reviews 'Passing Clouds' by Graeme Leith

May 2015, no. 371 30 April 2015
Carol Middleton reviews 'Passing Clouds' by Graeme Leith
Graeme Leith’s intention in writing this memoir was to pass on his knowledge and experience as chief winemaker of Passing Clouds winery in Victoria. Along the way, he discovered there was a lot more to say about his seventy-three years of life as an adventurer, larrikin, and family man. The result is almost an autobiography, complete with photographs, tracing his hard-working life from the Melbo ... (read more)
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