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Lisa Bennett

Lisa Bennett

Lisa Bennett is a Senior Lecturer in English and Creative Writing at Flinders University.

Lisa Bennett reviews 'Wet Ink, Issue 1: Summer 2005' and 'Wet Ink, Issue 2: Autumn 2006' edited by Phillip Edmonds and Dominique Wilson

August 2006, no. 283 01 August 2006
St Augustine suggests that it is impossible to love something until we know it. Yet desire, he continues, prefigures the amount of love we will have for it once it is known. With an alluring collection of new writing, and the support of a prestigious advisory board, Wet Ink has made its début in the market of print journals, and it clearly intends to woo. ... (read more)

Lisa Bennett reviews 'The Changeling' by Sean Williams

July–August 2008, no. 303 01 July 2008
Chameleons are the ultimate multi-taskers. With distinctive eyes that can rotate and focus separately, these fascinating creatures can spot future trends while winking a fond farewell to past achievements. They can blend in with their surroundings if the mood takes them, or they can adopt a crimson flush to underscore their need to communicate. And when they write, they publish five books across s ... (read more)

Lisa Bennett reviews 'The Forgotten Garden' by Kate Morton

December 2008–January 2009, no. 307 01 December 2008
Bright comedians quickly learn that to explain a joke is to deprive it of its humour. If the gag doesn’t make an audience laugh without a laboured punchline, a good performer will swiftly modify her delivery for greater effect. Perhaps Kate Morton should have kept this advice in mind as she wrote The Forgotten Garden. The narrative view-point changes between each chapter, allowing successive ge ... (read more)

Lisa Bennett reviews 'Many Lifetimes' by Audrey Evans

May 2006, no. 281 01 May 2006
By definition, chiaroscuro is Italian for lightdark; in practice, it is a technique wielded by painters and graphic artists, whereby dynamic applications of highlight and shade are contrasted for dramatic impact. Along with Rembrandt and Caravaggio, Audrey Evans proves herself to be a master of chiaroscuro in her memoir, Many Lifetimes. One can see the hand of the artist as she sketches her t ... (read more)

Lisa Bennett reviews three new novels of self-discovery

May 2023, no. 453 24 April 2023
On the surface, there is little connection between these three début novels. Rijn Collins’s Fed to Red Birds (Simon & Schuster, $32.99 pb, 247 pp) sketches an intimate portrait of migration, beautifully illustrating the migrant’s immersion within and isolation from their adopted land. Elva, a young Australian woman, hopes to remain in Iceland, her absent mother’s home country, despite t ... (read more)

Lisa Bennett reviews 'A History of Dreams' by Jane Rawson

April 2022, no. 441 23 March 2022
Allegories can be divisive. They are inherently deceptive, forever speaking with forked tongues. Animal Farm both is and isn’t a fairy story about talking pigs. Spenser’s Faerie Queene isn’t just an epic poem about the Redcrosse Knight’s chivalric virtues. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe isn’t merely a fantasy about plucky children conquering a malicious ice queen. Some readers enjo ... (read more)

Lisa Bennett reviews 'Smart Ovens for Lonely People' by Elizabeth Tan

June–July 2020, no. 422 26 May 2020
Though its origins are unknown, the earliest sense of the word ‘quirk’ was as a subtle verbal twist or a quibble. Over time, its definition has become more nuanced: a quirk now also refers to a person’s peculiar or idiosyncratic traits, chance occurrences, and sudden, surprise curves appearing on paths or in facial expressions. Quirks can also be accidents, vagaries, witty turns of phrase. ... (read more)

Lisa Bennett reviews 'The Bee and the Orange Tree' by Melissa Ashley

December 2019, no. 417 25 November 2019
In their earliest incarnations, fairy tales are gruesome stories riddled with murder, cannibalism, and mutilation. Written in early seventeenth-century Italy, Giambattista Basile’s Cinderella snaps her stepmother’s neck with the lid of a trunk. This motif reappears in the nineteenth-century German ‘The Juniper Tree’, but this time the stepmother wields the trunk lid, decapitating her husba ... (read more)

Lisa Bennett reviews 'Exhalation' by Ted Chiang

June–July 2019, no. 412 23 May 2019
Mainstream science fiction is a genre that thrives on quantity as much as quality. Such narratives pose the deepest questions; as Douglas Adams once famously put it, these are stories about Life, the Universe, and Everything. Why publish stand-alone space operas when storylines, character arcs, worlds, and revenues can be elaborated across trilogies? Why stop at one time-travel trilogy when fans a ... (read more)
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