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Ruth Starke

Ruth Starke

Dr Ruth Starke (1946-2022) was a writer, critic and creative writing teacher. She held Academic Status at Flinders University where she was the Editor, Creative Writing, for Transnational Literature. She was a regular and longtime book reviewer for Australian Book Review, Viewpoint, and Radio Adelaide, and a past Chair of the SA Writers Centre. She published more than twenty-five books for young readers.

Ruth Starke reviews 'A Common Loss' by Kirsten Tranter

February 2012, no. 338 20 January 2012
It begins with a car accident. Five friends are returning to college after a night of drinking. The driver, Cameron, hits a deer and overturns the vehicle. When the police and ambulance arrive, Dylan, who has drunk the least, claims to have been at the wheel. The others – Elliot, who narrates the story, Tallis, Brian, and especially Cameron – let him assume responsibility. It is, more or less, ... (read more)

Ruth Starke reviews 'The Best Australian Stories 2011' edited by Cate Kennedy

December 2011–January 2012, no. 337 24 November 2011
The ABC Shop is currently selling online The Best Australian Stories 2010 for $14.99. ‘Ideal for summer reading’ its advertising says, and it surely doesn’t matter which summer. At that price you might get yourself a copy and sling it in your beach bag, unless you suspect it might dampen your holiday mood. More than a few reviewers found the overall tone of the collection bleak and negative: ... (read more)

Ruth Starke reviews eight recent children's books

July–August 2011, no. 333 29 June 2011
Linda and Paul McCartney, so the story goes, became vegetarians the moment they looked up from a delicious meal of roast lamb and saw a flock of lambs gambolling in the field beyond their cottage. Young readers of Pamela Freeman’s Lollylegs (Walker Books, $11.95 pb, 64 pp, 9781921529078) might well have a similar reaction, since the connection in Lollylegs between the meal on the table and the c ... (read more)

Ruth Starke reviews six children's books

December 2010–January 2011, no. 327 08 June 2011
Leigh Hobbs has won thousands of hearts with his most famous creations, Horrible Harriet and Old Tom. Time will tell if Mr Badger, the special events manager in a grand London hotel, will have the same enduring success. As he is thoroughly decent, generous, responsible, and hard-working, it is up to minor characters to provide the necessary nastiness. In Mr Badger and the Big Surprise (Allen & ... (read more)
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