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Aviva Tuffield

Aviva Tuffield

Aviva Tuffield is a publisher at University of Queensland Press, and a previous Deputy Editor of Australian Book Review. She has worked in publishing for almost 20 years, mainly as an editor. She was previously a publisher at Black Inc., at Affirm Press, and associate publisher at Scribe Publications, where she was responsible for building an Australian fiction list. She was the co-founder and inaugural executive director of the Stella Prize.

Aviva Tuffield reviews ‘The Wing of Night’ by Brenda Walker

December 2005–January 2006, no. 277 01 December 2005
Perhaps it’s the Zeitgeist, but Brenda Walker is the third Australian woman this year, after Geraldine Brooks in March and Delia Falconer in The Lost Thoughts of Soldiers, to fix her imaginative sights on men’s experiences of war and its aftermath. Walker’s book, however, directs as much attention to the home front and to the women left behind. The Wing of Night opens on Fremantle docks in ... (read more)

Aviva Tuffield reviews ‘At the Typeface: Selections from the newsletter of the Victorian society of editors’ edited by Janet Mackenzie

August 2006, no. 283 01 August 2006
Sit down to read this book: it may give you a severe case of déjà vu. At the Typeface is an anthology of articles originally published in the Victorian Society of Editors’ newsletter between 1970 and early 2001 (since then the newsletters have been appearing online at And, no surprises, the issues that trouble editors today have a long provenance: editors are underpaid and u ... (read more)

Aviva Tuffield reviews 'Beyond the Ladies Lounge: Australia's female publicans' by Clare Wright

December 2003–January 2004, no. 257 01 December 2003
Clare Wright’s Beyond the Ladies Lounge, a history of Australia’s female publicans, has been engulfed in a haze of marketing. Rarely has a thesis-turned-book attracted so much publicity. This book has been brilliantly promoted and has excited media attention. Female publicans: it’s a great subject. Wright turns the spotlight on Australian pub culture and discovers women not just serving beh ... (read more)

Aviva Tuffield reviews 'Home' by Larissa Behrendt

August 2004, no. 263 01 August 2004
A few years ago, it seemed that anyone with a personal or family story to tell – even first-time authors – wrote a memoir rather than distilling those experiences into fiction. Think of Kate Shayler’s The Long Way Home (2001) or Sonia Orchard’s Something More Wonderful (2003). Many claimed this was because, at a moment when Australian memoir was resurgent, publishers were not supporting fi ... (read more)

Aviva Tuffield reviews 'The Travel Writer' by Simone Lazaroo

December 2006–January 2007, no. 287 01 December 2006
Anyone who has read Simone Lazaroo’s novel The Australian Fiancé (2000) will find many echoes in her latest work, The Travel Writer. That earlier book follows a young Eurasian woman, who had been kept by the Japanese as a comfort woman during the war, while she is being courted by a wealthy Australian. He lures her back to Broome with the promise of marriage, but the relationship collapses unde ... (read more)

Aviva Tuffield reviews 'The Long Way Home' by Kate Shayler

April 2001, no. 229 01 April 2001
Despite attempts, revived in recent weeks, to discredit the term ‘stolen generations’, what cannot be denied in the semantics of that debate are the excruciatingly painful experiences of the children involved. While the meanings of such terms as ‘removed’ and ‘abandoned’ are complicated in a racist culture by indigenous peoples’ disenfranchisement, poverty and illiteracy, the devasta ... (read more)

Aviva Tuffield reviews 'Meanjin: Under Construction' edited by Stephanie Holt, 'HEAT: Fire & shadow' edited by Ivor Indyk, 'Overland 162' edited by Ian Syson, and 'Southerly: Judith Wright & A.D. Hope' edited by David Brooks

July 2001, no. 232 01 July 2001
I would now like to begin with a plea for small literary magazines. I now have a vested interest in their survival (well, one, in particular), but then, I always thought I did. Little magazines are essential to the vitality of Australian literary and political culture. They play an important role in nurturing new poets, critics, storytellers, and reviewers. In the current book-publishing climate, ... (read more)

Aviva Tuffield reviews 'Whatever the Gods do: A memoir ' by Patti Miller

May 2003, no. 251 01 May 2003
In a number of guises, the question ‘why’ reverberated throughout my reading of Whatever the Gods Do: A Memoir. This book opens with Patti Miller describing her sadness at the departure of ten-year-old Theo, who is leaving for Melbourne to live with his father. We soon discover that the author has been Theo’s substitute mother for the past seven years since the tragic death of Dina, his birt ... (read more)

Aviva Tuffield reviews 'The Truth about My Fathers' by Gaby Naher, 'I’m Hungry, Daddy' by Cliff Nichols, and 'The Bean Patch' by Shirley Painter

December 2002-January 2003, no. 247 01 December 2002
These three memoirs share central focus on fathers: Gaby Naher’s is a meditation on fatherhood, Shirley Painter’s is about surviving an abusive one, while Cliff Nichols’s relates his life as an alcoholic and unreliable parent. They are also all part of the current flood of life-writing appearing from Australian publishing houses. Drusilla Modjeska, writing recently about the failings of cont ... (read more)