Nancy Keesing

Nancy Keesing

Nancy Keesing AM (1923-93) was a Jewish Australian poet, writer, editor and promoter of Australian literature.

Nancy Keesing reviews 'The Journalistic Javelin: an illustrated history of the Bulletin' by Patricia Rolfe

June 1980, no. 21 08 August 2022
Nancy Keesing reviews 'The Journalistic Javelin: an illustrated history of the Bulletin' by Patricia Rolfe
The Bulletin, The Bulletin, The journalistic Javelin, The paper all the humor’s in The paper every rumor’s in The paper to inspire a grin The Bulletin. The Bulletin. (The Bulletin, 28 May 1887) Though I’d been looking forward to this book I had doubts about reviewing it. By definition it must touch on personal loyalties and friendships, and then, too, I had preconceptions about Bu ... (read more)

Nancy Keesing reviews 'Love and the Outer World: Selected poems' by R.G. Hay

May 1985, no. 70 01 May 1985
Nancy Keesing reviews 'Love and the Outer World: Selected poems' by R.G. Hay
It was my good fortune to be born into a family for whom books and paintings had a central place. My parents subscribed to an excellent lending library and were adventurous readers of novels. During the Depression they could not often afford to buy a painting, but they went to art shows and Sunday visits to the Art Gallery of New South Wales were frequent in my childhood. ... (read more)

Nancy Keesing reviews 'Unreliable Memoirs' by Clive James

October 1980, no. 25 01 October 1980
Nancy Keesing reviews 'Unreliable Memoirs' by Clive James
Douglas Stewart has pointed out that James Joyce and Henry Lawson, opposites in art, and living at opposite ends of the earth, once wrote the same story and, each in his own way, made a masterpiece of it. The funeral of Dignam in Ulysses is the same story as Lawson’s ‘The Union Buries Its Dead’. In ‘Dublin and the Bush’ (The Flesh and the Spirit) he persuasively developed this argument. ... (read more)

Nancy Keesing reviews 'One Continuous Picnic: A history of eating in Australia' by Michael Symons

February–March 1983, no. 48 01 February 1983
Nancy Keesing reviews 'One Continuous Picnic: A history of eating in Australia' by Michael Symons
Adam Smith’s economics foresaw that capital would seek new ways to save us kitchen time, to brighten the dinner table and to stop us for a roadside snack, but each time an investment saved a minute here, lifted a moment there, filled a gap in the market, it separated eaters further from the source of food. The ‘middle­man’ slandered agrarian values, insulated us from the seasons, took ... (read more)

Nancy Keesing reviews 'Behind the Lines: One woman's war 1914–18: The Letters of Caroline Ethel Cooper' edited by Decie Denholm

July 1982, no. 42 01 July 1982
Nancy Keesing reviews 'Behind the Lines: One woman's war 1914–18: The Letters of Caroline Ethel Cooper' edited by Decie Denholm
The letters which form the body of this book are well edited and displayed, the biographical notes, although from necessity they are usually brief, are valuable – in these ways Decie Denholm has been a keen and careful editor. More about the letters later. First though, increasingly I find it tiresome and misleading when historians like Decie Denholm use catchphrases like ‘the Victorian mould ... (read more)

Nancy Keesing reviews 'Plumb' by Maurice Gee and 'Approaches' by Garry Disher

May 1982, no. 40 01 May 1982
Nancy Keesing reviews 'Plumb' by Maurice Gee and 'Approaches' by Garry Disher
In a way, two words suffice for Plumb. Read it. It would be fair to add, ‘Make yourself read it.’ The inexorable, old man’s voice of its narrator George Plumb may irritate you, but before long you will respect his unrelenting and unsparing honesty with himself and his memories, and you will realise that everything he says has its place in this splendidly fashioned novel. At the end, he write ... (read more)

Nancy Keesing reviews 'Slipstream' by Roger McDonald

June 1982, no. 41 24 July 2020
Nancy Keesing reviews 'Slipstream' by Roger McDonald
Aviation was a myth still in the making to my generation of Australian children. We cricked our necks watching a patch of sky for Amy Johnson’s arrival and, indeed, whenever an aeroplane engine was heard aloft, as if the watching itself was a necessary act of will, or prayer, to ensure the safety of those magnificent men and women whose photographs showed them always ear-muffed, be-goggled and l ... (read more)

Nancy Keesing reviews 'The Treatment' and 'The Cure' by Peter Kocan

May 1984, no. 60 01 May 1984
Nancy Keesing reviews 'The Treatment' and 'The Cure' by Peter Kocan
I would not lightly mention any writer of fiction in the same breath as John Cheever, who was one of the most remarkable and enjoyable storytellers of our times. I can’t better this short comment which says it all: ‘The Cheever corpus is magical – a mood, a vision, a tingle, all quite unexplainably achieved.’ That is from Newsweek and graces the front cover of The Stories of John Cheever ( ... (read more)

Nancy Keesing reviews 'Shallows' by Tim Winton and 'Goodbye Goldilocks' by Judith Arthy

February–March 1985, no. 68 01 February 1985
Nancy Keesing reviews 'Shallows' by Tim Winton and 'Goodbye Goldilocks' by Judith Arthy
Those who read the gloomy criticisms of modern education by some educationalists might be pardoned for wondering whether any but the most privileged children nowadays can hope to gain mastery of their language or development of their mind and talent. Meanwhile, the talented young blithely make nonsense of crabbed and intolerant age. Paul Zanetti, aged twenty-three, wins the Walkely Award for a pol ... (read more)