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Gerard Windsor

Gerard Windsor

Gerard Windsor’s most recent book is The Tempest-Tossed Church: Being a Catholic today. He has published twelve books: fiction, memoirs, comic verse, essays, a non-fiction account of an Australian infantry company in Vietnam, and an extended essay on the Camino to Santiago de Compostela. He has long reviewed for the Fairfax and New Limited newspapers.  

Gerard Windsor reviews 'On Every Tide: The making and remaking of the Irish world' by Sean Connolly

May 2023, no. 453 26 April 2023
In the poem ‘September 1913’, W.B. Yeats lamented the mean condition of his nation. It was not what the heroes had fought and died for – nor, in an idiosyncratically Yeatsian turn of logic, what they fled the country for. ‘Was it for this the wild geese spread / The grey wing upon every tide?’ Sean Connolly adopts the phrase for his account of two and a half centuries of emigration from ... (read more)

Gerard Windsor reviews 'James Duhig' by T.P. Boland

February–March 1987, no. 88 01 February 1987
Subtle-tasting experience, dating back more than ten years, has made me suspicious of ideologues who take pen to comment on Their Own. Whether they’re, say, reviewing the fiction or writing the history of Their Own, the continuing good of the Cause tends to be a primary consideration. So my sceptical heart sank when I heard that the biography of James Duhig, Catholic Archbishop in Brisbane from ... (read more)

Gerard Windsor reviews 'He.' by Murray Bail

March 2021, no. 429 22 February 2021
In 2005, Murray Bail published Notebooks: 1970–2003. ‘With some corrections’, the contents were transcriptions of entries Bail made in notebooks during that period. Now, in 2021, dozens of these entries – observations, quotations, reflections, scenes – recur in his new book, He. It’s to be assumed that this book, too, is a series of carefully selected transcriptions from the same, and ... (read more)

Gerard Windsor reviews 'Zooing' by Peter Goldsworthy and 'Going Home' by Archie Weller

November 1985, no. 76 01 November 1985
A reviewer’s prejudices are rarely so obvious to him as are mine in the case of these two books. I have an instinct of sympathy with Peter Goldsworthy. Our first books of stories received a joint review from John Tranter in the Sydney Morning Herald. The venerable poet was, let us say, splendidly discouraging: Windsor’s and Goldsworthy’s joint faults made them ‘like so many hundreds of for ... (read more)

Gerard Windsor reviews 'The Virtual Republic: Australia’s culture wars of the 1990s' by McKenzie Wark

November 1997, no. 196 01 November 1997
‘Ken Wark,’ says Linda Jaivin on this jacket, ‘makes postmodernism sexy.’ First cabbages, now postmodernism! Where can she take us from here? The trouble is I don’t believe her. Now that’s too easy a write-off. I’m not instinctually warm to The Virtual Republic, and I think Linda Jaivin’s line is a more than normally meretricious blurb, but Wark’s enterprise is essentially a requ ... (read more)

'Reviewing Space in the Press' by Gerard Windsor

June 1998, no. 201 24 April 2020
I grew up with The Sydney Morning Herald. In spite of enforced years in Melbourne and Canberra and sojourns overseas, I still regard it as my paper. So my business being writing and Sydney my town, it’s a matter of identity that The Herald’s reviews are the primary ones for me. But my tribal instincts are faltering. The problem is The Herald’s book coverage. My quarrel isn’t with the choic ... (read more)

Gerard Windsor reviews 'Collected Stories' by Louis Nowra

March 2020, no. 419 24 February 2020
Collected Stories is a misleading title for Louis Nowra’s new publication. It’s nothing as uniform as that. Apart from poetry, is there any genre in which Nowra has not made his mark? He’s a playwright, screenwriter, novelist, memoirist, local historian, essayist, reviewer, feature journalist – and the author of one enduring Australian gem in Così (1992), in all its multiple forms. Yet he ... (read more)

Gerard Windsor reviews 'The Plains' by Gerald Murnane

February–March 1983, no. 48 30 January 2020
The Plains is a book for the critic, not the mere reviewer. It is a strange creature, to be approached with care. Several omens made me cautious. My review copy reached me three months after the date of posting. It was not in mint condition. In fact, the advanced state of spinal curvature is but a bagatelle to the numerous textual annotations and underlinings. There are apparently some gremlins i ... (read more)

Gerard Windsor reviews 'Maestro' by Peter Goldsworthy

November 1989, no. 116 01 November 1989
The current literary enterprise of this country is greatly indebted to Peter Goldsworthy. Yet his name is not one of those that trip off the reflex tongues of journalists, and not only journalists. He has only recently started to appear in the anthologies. He is granted all of two lines in Ken Gelder and Paul Salzman’s jerky traverse of our recent fiction. Yet his accomplishment in a diversity o ... (read more)

Gerard Windsor reviews 'The Great World' by David Malouf

April 1990, no. 119 01 April 1990
Initial appearances notwithstanding, The Great World is not a grand, epic title. It is a phrase of the wide-eyed naïf, gaping at the wondrous, which is anything beyond his experience, especially any tawdry, flashy concoction. In fact, David Malouf’s primary ‘great world’ is an entertainment park of that name in Singapore where a contingent of prisoners of war are quartered early in 1942. Th ... (read more)
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