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Stephen Mansfield

Stephen Mansfield

Stephen Mansfield is the author of a Young Adult novel, Have You Seen Byron Lichen? (2002). He also holds a PhD on representations of patrimony in contemporary Australian autobiography.

Stephen Mansfield reviews 'Stolen: A Letter To My Captor' by Lucy Christopher and 'Mama’s Song' by Ben Beaton

December 2009–January 2010, no. 317 01 December 2009
A certain sub-genre of Young Adult fiction thrives on the psychology of duress – on the useful friction yielded by placing a young heroine in a near-impossible situation and asking the reader: ‘What would you do? How would you cope?’ Two recently released, formidable début novels have utilised this formula, with some impressive results. The first is the disastrously titled Stolen: A Letter ... (read more)

Stephen Mansfield reviews 'Sunshine And Shadow: A Brothers’ Story' by James and Stephen Dack (with Larry Writer)

June 2010, issue no. 322 01 June 2010
Siblings tend to play little part in family memoirs that focus on parents. Most memoirists write as if they are only children. Perhaps this is unsurprising; siblings’ memories of childhood rarely correspond. As Robert Gray observes in his autobiography The Land I Came Through Last (2008), ‘the one in the family who is going to be a writer is always an only child’. It is fascinating, therefo ... (read more)

Stephen Mansfield reviews 'Tollins: Explosive tales for children' by Conn Iggulden

April 2010, no. 320 01 April 2010
The first book I ever properly owned – pored over, slept with, inscribed – was an elaborately illustrated hardback copy of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit. One can imagine the producers of the attractively packaged Tollins: Explosive Tales for Children hoping it might assume similar significance for a contemporary seven-year-old boy. Conn Iggulden’s secret and quirky world of the Tollins invol ... (read more)

Stephen Mansfield reviews 'Alaska' by Sue Saliba and 'Clara in Washington' by Penny Tangey

December 2011–January 2012, no. 337 24 November 2011
Since the publication of Frank Moorhouse’s The Americans, Baby (1972), Australian literature has maintained a tense awareness of its powerful neighbour’s cultural sway over younger generations. Even the ‘Oz as’ Young Adult titles (think of Tim Winton’s Lockie Leonard series) concede, by studious omission, the impact of American cultural hegemony on the teenage imagination in Australia. ... (read more)

Stephen Mansfield reviews 'Crack Hardy' by Stephen Dando-Collins

May 2011, no. 331 21 April 2011
While explorations of Australia at war have never been short on ‘male stories’, the prevalence of the masculine frame may yet increase in coming years as part of the ongoing examination of competing forms of manhood in this country, as evidenced by the upcoming symposium ‘Embattled Men: Masculinity and War’ at the Australian National University. The publicity surrounding the recent awardin ... (read more)