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Beejay Silcox

Beejay Silcox is an Australian writer and critic, the Artistic Director of Canberra Writers Festival, and chair of the 2024 Stella Prize. She was also the recipient of ABR’s Fortieth Birthday Fellowship. Her literary criticism and cultural commentary regularly appears in national arts publications, and is increasingly finding an international audience, including in the Times Literary Supplement, The Guardian and The New York Times. Her award-winning short stories have been published at home and abroad, and have been selected for a number of Australian anthologies.

Beejay Silcox reviews '4321' by Paul Auster

April 2017, no. 390 24 March 2017
The American critic Adam Gopnik writes: ‘Nothing is more American than our will to make the enormous do the work of the excellent. We have googly eyes for gargantuan statements.’ Paul Auster’s long-awaited novel, 4321, is a gargantuan statement. At almost 900 pages, the sheer physical heft of it is impossible to ignore. When a novel is as thick as it is tall, size is assumed to be a corollar ... (read more)

Beejay Silcox reviews 'Lincoln in the Bardo' by George Saunders

March 2017, no. 389 22 February 2017
From the outside, America seems defined by its brutal polarities – political, racial, moral, economic, geographic. The Disunited States of America. From the inside, the picture is more complex; American life is not lived at these extremes, but in the murky, transitional spaces between them. George Saunders’s much-anticipated novel Lincoln in the Bardo is set in another murky, transitional spac ... (read more)

'Slut Trouble', a new story by Beejay Silcox

ABR Fiction 04 January 2017
The first girl is taken on the second weekend of the school holidays. Her name is Julie-Anne Marks; she is nineteen, she is beautiful, and she is gone. Everywhere we look Julie-Anne Marks is looking back at us. Just the one photo at first – the one her parents gave the police the night she didn’t come home. Julie-Anne Marks is stuffed into our letterboxes, pinned to every bulletin board, taped ... (read more)

Letter from America

September 2016, no. 384 22 August 2016
Politics is personal in the United States, far more private than it appears from outside. When political allegiance becomes tied to character, revealing one reveals the other. More importantly, if you critique the former, you impugn the latter. As an Australian living in Virginia, one who considers politics a form of sport, I've learned this lesson the hard way. So I had a breezy line ready for wh ... (read more)
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