Peter Rose

In February 1974, Robert Rose, a twenty-two-year-old Australian Rules footballer and Victorian state cricketer, was involved in a car accident that left him quadriplegic for the remaining twenty-five years of his life. The tragedy received extensive press coverage and struck a chord with many in and beyond the Melbourne sporting community ...

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‘A pox on the GST!’ wrote one of our many new readers last month when filling in her subscription form. ABR has long been famous for its feisty correspondence (never more so than last month). This editor is not about to disagree with our new subscriber. The imposition of GST on books and magazines surely rates as one of the crasser political acts in recent years. Anyone unsure of its effect on literature in this country should ask booksellers and publishers what sort of a year they had in 2000. Readers weren’t unscathed, either.

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In September 2018, NewSouth published a new edition of A Certain Style.

On a chilly evening in 1980, a stylish woman in her early seventies, wheezing slightly from a lifetime’s cigarettes, climbed a staircase just beneath the Harbour Bridge, entered a room full of book editors – young women mostly, university-educated, making their way ...

As recently as May, Frank Kermode, writing in the London Review of Books, had the temerity to say, ‘Some writers really are better than others’. This may come as a surprise to the odd professor of English, it seems. You will recall that Raimond Gaita, our La Trobe University Essayist in the previous issue, cited one vigilant professorial leveller who, having purportedly disposed of the illusion that there are great books, was determined to expose the folly of the notion that there are good ones.

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Now is the season of shortlisted content! In recent weeks, so many awards have been decided – or at least shortlisted – that ABR would need a supplement to list them all. Awards, everyone knows, have their limitations and anomalies, but few people would object to the highlighting of writers’ latest works or the supplementing of their often modest incomes. One first novel that has attracted notice is Arabella Edge’s The Company, based on the Wreck of the Batavia. The author is currently in Africa, picking up the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for the best first novel in South-East Asia and the South Pacific region. The Company has also been shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award (of which I am a judge). On her return, Ms Edge will visit Melbourne to take part in a discussion about the notorious shipwreck and the new Australian opera Batavia. Jointly sponsored by ABR, Opera Australia, and Reader’s Feast, this will take place at the Reader’s Feast Bookstore in Melbourne (see page seven for details). At this public forum, I shall also be introducing Peter Goldsworthy and Richard Mills. It is one of several literary events that ABR is planning with major organisations and institutions.

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Readers will notice major changes in this second issue of ABR for 2001. The cover looks notably different, courtesy of Chong, Text Publishing’s inimitable designer. I was delighted when Chong offered to redesign our cover. Our changed masthead seems sensible, for the magazine is known widely as ABR, after all. Readers can expect more design changes in coming issues.

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Dear B by Jennifer Harrison

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July 1999, no. 212

Since the publication in 1995 of her first collection, Michelangelo’s Prisoners, Jennifer Harrison has continued to impress readers and to broaden her repertoire. Her fourth collection in as many years, the intimately entitled Dear B, consolidates her reputation and demonstrates sufficient difference and intensity to satisfy admirers of this sensitive, likeable poet.

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Children’s Games by Geoffrey Lehmann & The House of Vitriol by Peter Rose

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November 1990, no. 126

How different can two books be? Peter Rose’s first book, The House of Vitriol, is one of the first off the rank for the new Picador poetry series – and a sign of things to come. It is mercurial where Lehmann is mild. Rose’s style is very distinct: gaudy and revved up from the start.

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