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Francesca Sasnaitis

Francesca Sasnaitis has returned to Melbourne after seven years in Perth and completing a PhD in Creative Writing at the University of Western Australia.

Francesca Sasnaitis reviews 'A Madras Miasma' by Brian Stoddart

March 2015, no. 369 02 March 2015
Brian Stoddart is a scholar and expert in the history of modern India, with sixteen works of non-fiction to his credit. His first novel, A Madras Miasma, is set soon after World War I. The body of an Englishwoman is found with her head buried in the rancid mud of the Buckingham Canal, behind Chepak Palace. Superintendent Christian Jolyon Brenton Le Fanu, head of the recently formed Madras City Cri ... (read more)

Francesca Sasnaitis reviews 'Springtime: A ghost story' by Michelle de Kretser

January-February 2015, no. 368 01 January 2015
Anyone who has lived in Sydney’s inner west will recognise the terrain of Springtime: gardens redolent of mystery and decay, shabbiness, unexpected vistas, and streets that Michelle de Kretser describes as running ‘everywhere like something spilled’. Frances has moved to Sydney with Charlie, who has left his wife and son Luke behind in Melbourne. Luke’s occasional visits fuel Frances’s ... (read more)

Francesca Sasnaitis reviews 'Australian Love Stories', edited by Cate Kennedy

November 2014, no. 366 29 October 2014
You are perfect for this story. I will never meet you.’ We are invited into Australian Love Stories and into Bruce Pascoe’s erotic reverie with this line from ‘Dawn’. The reader is embraced, as the luxuriating eye of Pascoe’s narrator embraces the recumbent body of the woman beside him. His gaze is illicit, touch forbidden. We are privileged voyeurs, given temporary access to hidden thou ... (read more)

Francesca Sasnaitis reviews 'Murder in the Telephone Exchange' by June Wright

June–July 2014, no. 362 01 June 2014
Who killed Sarah Compton? She was a ‘prying old busybody’, but surely that isn’t an adequate motive for murder? When her grisly corpse is found on the restroom floor of the Melbourne Telephone Exchange, there is no lack of suspects. Could Gerda MacIntyre, the girl with the ‘tragic eyes’, be capable of such a heinous crime? What is silly, pretty Gloria Patterson hiding? Is the attractive ... (read more)

Francesca Sasnaitis reviews 'Cicada' by Moira McKinnon

April 2014, no. 360 27 March 2014
Moira McKinnon practised as a community doctor in Halls Creek, in the Kimberley, where her first novel Cicada is also set. She was joint winner of the 2011 Calibre Prize for her essay ‘Who Killed Matilda?’, the story of an Aboriginal woman whose audacity and traditional knowledge prompted McKinnon to question the efficacy of Western medicine and philosophy. ... (read more)

Melbourne Now

February 2014, no. 358 19 January 2014
‘There’s no time like NOW!’ proclaim the signs. Inspired by the fond reminiscences of slow tram rides of several Melbourne personalities, whose brief anecdotes are interspersed between the pages of the sumptuous Melbourne Now catalogue (Melbourne Now Limited Edition, National Gallery of Victoria, $100 hb, 280 pp, 9780724103768), I am travelling into the exhibition by tram. Through the recta ... (read more)

Francesca Sasnaitis reviews 'Lola Bensky' by Lily Brett

October 2012, no. 345 26 September 2012
It is no secret that Lily Brett has mined her past and her family history in her fiction. Her parents, like those of her current alter ego, Lola Bensky, were survivors of the Łódź ghetto and Auschwitz concentration camp; Lola, like the author, was born in a displaced persons’ camp before her family emigrated to Australia. Lola, a chubby baby, was possibly the only plump person in a camp whose ... (read more)
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