'The Oily Ratbag and the Recycled Waratah: Early Years of ABR' by Kerryn Goldsworthy

This is issue no. 250, and the twenty-fifth consecutive year, of Australian Book Review. Issue No. 1 appeared in 1978, edited by John McLaren and published by the National Book Council. Since then the journal has survived and thrived, through changes of editor (though not very often) and of editorial policy (though not very much); through changes of appearance, ownership, sponsorship and affiliation.

However, that ‘250’ effaces a whole earlier chapter in the history of ABR. When Issue No. 1 appeared in June 1978, the magazine was not being started: it was being revived. The original incarnation was published out of Adelaide for twelve years, edited in the first instance by Max Harris, Geoffrey Dutton and Rosemary Wighton. Dutton dropped out along the way, but Harris and Wighton continued to edit the journal until its final issue at the end of 1973. The first issue of the original Australian Book Review – Vol. 1, No. 1 – was published in November 1961.

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Published in April 2003, no. 250
Kerryn Goldsworthy

Kerryn Goldsworthy

Kerryn Goldsworthy won the 2013 Pascall Prize for cultural criticism, and the 2017 Horne Prize for her essay ‘The Limit of the World’. A former Editor of ABR (1986–87), she is one of Australia’s most prolific and respected literary critics. Her publications include several anthologies, a critical study of Helen Garner, and her book Adelaide, which was shortlisted for a Victorian Premier’s Literary Award. In November 2012 she was named as the inaugural ABR Ian Potter Foundation Fellow. Her Fellowship article on reviewing, ‘Everyone’s a Critic’, appeared in the May 2013 issue of ABR.

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