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Letters - March 2002

March 2002, no. 239

Letters - March 2002

March 2002, no. 239

ABR welcomes concise and pertinent letters. Correspondents should note that letters may be edited. They must reach us by the 15th of the current month. Emailed letters must include a telephone number for verification. 

Peter Craven responds to Hilary McPhee

Dear Editor,

As someone whose business it is to dish out criticism of books when required, I am not in the habit of replying to criticism. Recently, a journalist has suggested that I be put out to pasture as the editor of The Best Australian Essays annual I brought into being, and an academic has disputed my right to introduce the Quarterly Essays I commission. These are not, to my mind, happy or wise suggestions, but one can’t complain – they come with the territory. I edit the major collections of fiction and non-fiction that appear in this country. I also edit a series of more or less political pamphlets that have received their fair share of attention. On top of that, I have published a great deal of literary criticism in the press over the last however many years, some of it, by necessity, scathing. I am bound to have displeased and wearied all sorts of splendid people over that time. 

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