Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 325: Australian writers, 1975–2000 edited by Selina Samuels

by
May 2007, no. 291

Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 325: Australian writers, 1975–2000 edited by Selina Samuels

Thomson Gale, $330 hb, 386 pp

Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 325: Australian writers, 1975–2000 edited by Selina Samuels

by
May 2007, no. 291

This volume is the fourth and last dealing with Australian writing in this American series of reference books. All four volumes have been edited by Selina Samuels; the editor and contributors are Australian. Fifty-seven writers who produced their first major work after 1975 are included.

What is literary biography? According to the DLB advisory board, it is ‘career biographies, tracing the development of the author’s canon and the evolution of his reputation’. This definition is only adhered to marginally in this volume, as it has been in all the Australian volumes. Some entries demonstrate the influence of the life on the work. Others interweave biographical details throughout the text. A third group scatters brief biographical data, as if the author is making a gesture only to the concept of literary biography. The latter approach reaches its nadir in Margaret Bradstock’s entry on the poet Judith Beveridge, where the commonplace follows the commonplace, all signifying nothing. The banalities of our lives are forever with us, but it is simply otiose to put them into print.

Paul Brunton reviews 'Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 325: Australian writers, 1975–2000' edited by Selina Samuels

Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 325: Australian writers, 1975–2000

edited by Selina Samuels

Thomson Gale, $330 hb, 386 pp

From the New Issue

You May Also Like

Leave a comment

If you are an ABR subscriber, you will need to sign in to post a comment.

If you have forgotten your sign in details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to ABR Comments. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.