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Australian Book Review

Advances - May 2009

May 2009, no. 311 01 May 2009
From Beatrice to Julia Jacqueline Kent chooses the most interesting biographical subjects. Her first was Beatrice Davis, doyenne of Australian book editors. A Certain Style: Beatrice Davis, A Literary Life won the National Biography Award in 2002. Next came An Exacting Heart: The Story of Hephzibah Menuhin (2008). Now we read with interest that she is writing the biography of Julia Gillard, the d ... (read more)

Advances - September 2009

September 2009, no. 314 01 September 2009
Marcus Clarke’s cigar Biographies, exhaustively researched, can take years, even decades to write – Jill Roe’s recent life of Miles Franklin is a good example – but few have to wait a century for a publisher. Written in 1906 and sold as a handwritten manuscript to the Mitchell Library in 1926, Cyril (brother of Gerard Manley) Hopkins’s obscure ‘Biographical Notice of the Life & Wo ... (read more)

Letters - September 2001

September 2001, no. 234 01 September 2001
A question of genocide Dear Editor, Defending Inga Clendinnen against my criticisms (ABR, July 2001), John Clendinnen attributes to her a controversial view about the nature of moral judgment. I don’t hold it and, if I were to judge solely by her practice, I would be surprised if she does. Be that as it may: I’ll try to put my points by keeping philosophical assumptions down as much as ... (read more)

Letters - June 2010

June 2010, issue no. 322 01 June 2010
Tragedy and loss Dear Editor, In his otherwise eloquent defence (‘Seeing Truganini’, May 2010) of Benjamin Law’s busts of Truganini and Woureddy as ‘irreducible historical objects’, secular works of art and therefore items that should be available for free discussion and exchange, and also in his sketching of the various shades of guilt accompanying this very complex issue, David Hanse ... (read more)

CYA Books of the Year 2007

December 2007–January 2008, no. 297 01 December 2007
Pam Macintyre Top of my list is Sonya Hartnett’s bitter-sweet story of love and loss, The Ghost’s Child (Viking), for its emotional punch, mixture of realism, fairytale and magic realism, and exquisite prose. Also written with emotional clout is Bill Condon’s witty and frank Daredevils (UQP). Joel and Cat Set the Story Straight (Penguin), by Nick Earls and Rebecca Sparrow, gives sheer pleas ... (read more)

Letters - November 2009

November 2009, no. 316 01 November 2009
Endemic yowling Dear Editor, A footnote for Peter Craven. In 1935, the professor of English at the University of Melbourne, G.H. Cowling, declared that an Australian literature was virtually impossible. This enraged Australian writers everywhere, and provoked P.R. Stephensen’s classic The Foundations of Culture in Australia (1936). It is also the only reason anyone remembers Cowling (‘Yowlin ... (read more)

Advances - June 2010

June 2010, issue no. 322 01 June 2010
Patronage and ABR Private philanthropy has never been more important for the arts, as costs (and expectations) rise, and as traditional sources of funding and revenue become more unpredictable. ABR has had some success in this regard since entering the field two years ago, but June marks a turning point for us, with the formal launch of our philanthropy program in Melbourne, on 2 June. David Malo ... (read more)

Advances - December 2008

December 2008–January 2009, no. 307 01 December 2008
Vale Jacob Rosenberg (1922 – 2008) The presence of octogenarians and even nonagenarians on publishers’ lists is one phenomenon of the age. Sybille Bedford gave us her exotic memoir, Quicksands (2005), in her ninety-fourth year. P.D. James, aged eighty-eight, has just published another novel, The Private Patient. The Melbourne writer Jacob Rosenberg, who died on October 30, was not quite that ... (read more)

Letters to the Editor - October 2005

October 2005, no. 275 01 October 2005
ABR welcomes letters from our readers. Correspondents should note that letters may be edited. Letters and emails must reach us by the middle of the current month, and must include a telephone number for verification.   Books Alive Dear Editor, Jeremy Fisher criticises the 2005 Books Alive campaign (Letters, ABR September 2005) for failing to do things it was not set up to do, and then ack ... (read more)

Best Books of the Year 2008

December 2008–January 2009, no. 307 01 December 2008
Judith Armstrong I want to recommend one book only: The Ferocious Summer: Palmer’s Penguins and the Warming of Australia (Allen & Unwin), by Meredith Hooper, an Australian woman living in Cambridge. This is a lovely book, beautifully written, with deep concern for both science and story. It is a study of the effects of rising temperatures on the small Adélie penguins at Palmer Station on A ... (read more)
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