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Joy Hooton

Joy Hooton is co-author of The Australian Companion to
Australian Literature

Joy Hooton reviews ‘The Child Is Wise: Stories of childhood’ edited by Janet Blagg

November 2005, no. 276 01 November 2005
The accounts of childhood in this anthology date from the 1920s to the 1960s. Most deal with experiences in Western Australia, although three are written by migrant women and are partly anchored in Europe. Two are extracted from the autobiographies of well-known writers, Dorothy Hewett and Victor Serventy, two are taken from self-published memoirs, and one, by Alice Bilari Smith is taken from her ... (read more)

Joy Hooton reviews ‘The Facing Island: A Personal History’ by Jan Bassett

October 2002, no. 245 01 October 2002
The facing island in Jan Bassett’s memoir is Phillip Island, where her maternal grandparents had a dairy farm and where it seems she was most emotionally at home. Summer holidays there as a child in the 1960s, in the midst of her grandmother’s extended family and surrounded by familiar tokens of past decades reaching as far back as the early 1900s, undoubtedly sparked her lifelong commitment t ... (read more)

Joy Hooton reviews 'A Tuesday Thing' by Kate Shayler and 'God's Callgirl' by Carla van Raay

August 2004, no. 263 01 August 2004
Accounts of past child abuse and the inability or unwillingness of those in positions of authority to confront its reality are amongst the hottest of topics in today’s media. Generally, the story is about the perpetrators and their punishments, or about the impact of disclosures on church leaders forced to retire because of their negligent or political mishandling of cases brought to their atten ... (read more)

Joy Hooton reviews 'The Diaries of Miles Franklin' edited by Paul Brunton

May 2004, no. 261 01 May 2004
The publication of Miles Franklin’s diaries, written during her years in Australia from 1932 until her death in 1954, must be one of the year’s major literary events. events. Franklin, who frequently lamented her relative neglect in the contemporary literary culture of the 1930s and 1940s, has become steadily more and more visible since the 1970s, when international feminism discovered My Bril ... (read more)

Joy Hooton reviews 'Belonging' by Renée Goossens

May 2003, no. 251 01 May 2003
Renée Goossens, born in 1940, is the youngest daughter of the composer and conductor Sir Eugene Goossens. Married three times, he had three daughters with Dorothy Millar, and two more with his second wife, and Renée’s mother, Janet Lewis. His third marriage, to Marjorie Foulkrod, was childless. It is characteristic of this memoir that Renée Goossens remarks early in the narrative that she nev ... (read more)

Joy Hooton reviews 'A Wealth of Women' by Alison Alexander, 'Eating the Underworld' by Doris Brett and 'Roundabout at Bangalow' by Shirley Walker

November 2001, no. 236 01 November 2001
Shirley Walker’s autobiography, Roundabout at Bangalow, is a remarkably rich book and a significant addition to the distinctive group of life stories that continue to fascinate Australian readers. It seems that at least once a year a striking memoir appears that strangely alters our relationship with the national past. These books are more than books. They are transforming cultural events. Inser ... (read more)

Joy Hooton reviews 'Point of Departure' by Pamela Hardy and 'A Patchwork Life' by Eva Marks

March 2004, no. 259 25 October 2022
Eva Marks was nine years old and living in Vienna when Kristallnacht forced her family to leave Austria. Although her parents separated early, there was no shortage of money during her first nine years. Her mother ran a successful business manufacturing exquisite accessories for fashionable women, which involved occasional travel. At these times, Eva was left in the care of her grandmother and her ... (read more)

Joy Hooton reviews 'The Thirteenth Night: A mother’s story of the life and death of her son' by Jan McNess, and 'Something More Wonderful' by Sonia Orchard

April 2003, no. 250 11 October 2022
On the night of 13 September 1993, flight lieutenants Jeremy McNess and Mark Cairns-Cowan were killed when their F-111 crashed at Guyra, in northern NSW. Written by Jeremy’s mother, The Thirteenth Night dwells on the complex fatality of that night, which permanently changed several life stories in an instant. For his mother, who had coped with his exceptionally difficult childhood, winning throu ... (read more)

Joy Hooton reviews 'The Bibliography of Australian Literature A–E', edited by John Arnold and John Hay

December 2001–January 2002, no. 237 26 August 2022
This publication (BAL) represents the first section of a general bibliography, which the general editors describe as one of the major projects of the Bibliography of Australia Project (BALP) of the National Key Centre for Australian Studies at Monash University. It includes, as a lengthy appendix, Kerry White’s bibliography of Australian Children’s Books 1989–2000 A–E. ... (read more)