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Sara Savage

Sara Savage

Sara Savage is a writer, editor, broadcaster and producer based in Melbourne. Her work frequently covers art, design, architecture, and urbanism.

Sara Savage reviews 'Urban Choreography: Central Melbourne 1985–' edited by Kim Dovey, Rob Adams, and Ronald Jones

October 2018, no. 405 24 September 2018
In her influential 1961 text The Death and Life of Great American Cities, American-Canadian urban activist Jane Jacobs famously characterised the complex order of a successful city as ‘an intricate ballet’. The ‘dance’ of a thriving city sidewalk, says Jacobs, bucks trends of uniformity and repetition in favour of improvisation, movement, and change. It should come as no surprise, then, t ... (read more)

Sara Savage reviews 'What Goes Up: The Right and Wrongs to the City' by Michael Sorkin

August 2018, no. 403 27 July 2018
Early in What Goes Up,  Michael Sorkin shares an anecdote from the final collection by fellow architecture critic, the late Ada Louise Huxtable. ‘Just what polemical position do you write from, Madame?’ asks a French journalist of Huxtable, who, to Sorkin’s discomfort, fails to produce ‘an appropriate polemic’, instead responding that she prefers to write ‘from crisis to crisis’. T ... (read more)

Sara Savage reviews 'The Permanent Resident' by Roanna Gonsalves

April 2017, no. 390 30 March 2017
There is a moment in ‘The Skit’ – the second in a collection of sixteen short stories by Indian-Australian author Roanna Gonsalves – when the writer protagonist, upon reading her work to a group of her peers (‘the Bombay gang’, as she describes them, ‘still on student visas, still drinking out of second-hand glasses from Vinnies, and eating off melamine plates while waiting and waiti ... (read more)

Sara Savage reviews 'The Near and the Far: New stories from the Asia-Pacific region' edited by David Carlin and Francesca Rendle-Short

November 2016, no. 386 24 October 2016
At the 2016 Melbourne Writers Festival, Maxine Beneba Clarke received a standing ovation for her opening address in which she pushed for greater diversity in literature. ‘Something powerful stirred,’ she said of reading the few books with diverse characters available to her as a teenager, from Sally Morgan to Judy Blume. ‘These were stories about difference and sameness, about home and unbel ... (read more)

Sara Savage reviews 'Union' edited by Alvin Pang and Ravi Shankar

March 2016, no. 379 25 February 2016
In 2015 it was virtually impossible to set foot in Singapore without being exposed to the government-led 'SG50' campaign commemorating the island nation's fiftieth year of independence. All over the country the 'little red dot' logo appeared on everything from double-decker buses and A380s to festive Chinese moon cakes and special-edition Tiger Beer bottles. In reality, of course, Singaporean iden ... (read more)

Sara Savage reviews 'The Train to Paris' by Sebastian Hampson

April 2014, no. 360 28 March 2014
Lawrence Williams is a twenty-year-old New Zealander about to commence studying art history at the Sorbonne. Stranded at a deserted train station in the French town of Hendaye after a less-than-perfect holiday in Madrid with his girlfriend, he is suddenly arrested by the sight of a woman twice his age who saunters past him in a white leopard-print dress. A few pages later, the unlikely pair are ha ... (read more)

Sara Savage reviews 'Yours Truly: Cathartic Confessions, Passionate Declarations and Vivid Recollections from Women of Letters', edited by Marieke Hardy and Michaela McGuire

February 2014, no. 358 19 January 2014
The popularity of letter-writing has been in decline for years, and recent proposals to privatise Australia Post may accelerate this trend. In an age when an email reaches its recipient in mere micro-seconds, the impassioned letters between Miller and Nin, Stieglitz and O’Keeffe, or Queen Victoria’s estimated 3000 letters to her daughter ‘Vicky’ can seem like relics of a bygone time. It is ... (read more)

Sara Savage reviews 'Banana Girl: A Memoir' by Michele Lee

December 2013–January 2014, no. 357 01 December 2013
Writing a memoir at the age of thirty may seem like an exercise in self-indulgence: what wisdom could one possibly impart amid the universal tumultuousness of the Saturn Return? Seemingly aware of the predicament, the author of Banana Girl doesn’t pretend to deliver any answers, her memoir instead giving a more immediate snapshot into the life of a twenty-something; specifically, the life of Mic ... (read more)

Red, Like Our Room Used to Feel

ABR Arts 11 October 2013
‘Nothing is not giving messages,’ reads a postcard wedged between the keys of a typewriter on a cluttered bedside table. As well as a nod to Edwin Morgan, the postcard is just one item in an abundance of ephemera lining a small makeshift bedroom in the basement of the North Melbourne Town Hall. This is the setting for American-born, Edinburgh-based poet Ryan Van Winkle’s one-on-one poetry pe ... (read more)