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Jane Goodall

Jane Goodall

Jane Goodall is a freelance writer and adjunct professor with the Writing and Society Research Group, University of Western Sydney. Her work has appeared recently in Griffith Review, Inside Story, and The Conversation. She won the Calibre Prize in 2009.

Jane Goodall reviews ‘Dark Writing: Geography, performance, design’ by Paul Carter

October 2009, no. 315 01 October 2009
The design of this book is something of a mystery, not least because it presents as a critique of design, seeking to recuperate something that has been lost through ‘the graphic orthodoxies of cartography and architectural drawing’. This lost cultural component, the ‘dark writing’ of Carter’s title, is variously evoked as mythological, participatory, creative and recreative, as a body, a ... (read more)

Jane Goodall reviews 'Reframing Darwin: Evolution and art in Australia' edited by Jeanette Hoorn

November 2009, no. 316 01 November 2009
‘The Darwin industry’, now a term with Wikipedia status, refers to the accelerating production of books on Charles Darwin and Darwinian evolution in the last half century. Like any cultural enterprise engaged in mass production and distribution, this industry has its targeted consumers: those who are educated, environmentally concerned, scientifically curious, intelligently sceptical and avers ... (read more)

Jane Goodall reviews 'Source: Nature’s healing role in art and writing' by Janine Burke

February 2010, no. 318 07 October 2022
Don’t be put off by the subtitle. This is not a work driven by some New Age personification of Nature. If you’re looking for a gloss on the one-word title, you might focus instead on the inspired austerity of the cover photograph: Autumn Moon, the High Sierra from Glacier Point, by Ansel Adams. Then again, the book contains no mention of Ansel Adams, or of Glacier Point. During the course of t ... (read more)

Jane Goodall reviews 'Boy He Cry' by Roger Averill

July-August 2009, no. 313 01 July 2009
‘Boy he Cry’ or ‘Gwama’idou’ is the name of a boat owned by one of the inhabitants on Nuakata, the Melanesian Island that is the setting for Roger Averill’s odyssey. The boat is a canoe, hand-carved and painted yellow, with a bright plastic sail, so there is something incongruous about its poignant caption, which, as Averill learns, refers to a local expression: when a boy is hungry an ... (read more)

Jane Goodall on 'The hypnotic voice of J.D. Salinger'

March 2010, no. 319 01 March 2010
Holden Caulfield is a garrulous bore. Seymour Glass is a phoney. Franny and Zooey are spoiled brats. And J.D. Salinger is a media tart. All these things are partly true. To take the last first: there is surely a ring of truth about Imre Salusinzsky’s recent spoof obituary in which Jay Leno and David Letterman are quoted expressing their sadness at the loss of a favourite regular guest who was al ... (read more)

Jane Goodall reviews 'Patterns of Creativity: Investigations into the sources and methods of creativity' by Kevin Brophy

October 2010, no. 325 01 October 2010
In his conclusion to this book, Kevin Brophy states a key principle of creative composition: ‘to be responsive to what happens, what is thrown into the mind, what one comes upon.’ This is at once a statement of advice for an artist at work, and a theoretical proposition. Through the course of the ten essays that make up the volume, Brophy develops a hypothesis about the kinds of brain functio ... (read more)

2009 Calibre Prize (Winner): 'Footprints'

April 2009, no. 310 01 April 2009
Fingerprints have associations of guilt, but the footprint traditionally speaks of innocence. Think of Good King Wenceslas and his pageboy, crossing the moonlit snow to deliver food and fuel to the poor: Mark my footsteps, good my page,Tread thou in them boldlyThou shalt find the winter’s rageFreeze thy blood less coldly. Legend has it that the saint went barefoot on these nocturnal journeys. ... (read more)

Jane Goodall reviews 'The Lake's Apprentice' by Annamaria Weldon

November 2014, no. 366 01 November 2014
Samuel Johnson had some advice for aspiring writers. ‘Read over your compositions,’ he said, ‘and where ever you meet with a passage which you think is particularly fine, strike it out.’ One imagines the impact of this recommendation on an eighteenth-century student of literature, clutching a page of overblown rhetorical flourishes and faux erudition. Our crimes of vanity in writing are ve ... (read more)

Jane Goodall reviews 'Tree Palace' by Craig Sherborne

April 2014, no. 360 26 March 2014
Craig Sherborne’s previous books include two memoirs, Hoi Polloi (2005) and Muck (2007), and an autobiographical novel, The Amateur Science of Love (2011). His second novel, Tree Palace, is an excursion outside the confines of the first-person narrative. First-person narrative does not of course always imply confinement, but in Sherborne’s case the mining of his own life experience has an inte ... (read more)

Jane Goodall reviews 'Tales from the Political Trenches' by Maxine McKew

December 2012–January 2013, no. 347 28 November 2012
By its title, Tales from the Political Trenches promises reportage from the front line, eyewitness accounts of what really happens in the hidden zones of the political battlefield. The tales told here follow a rollercoaster sequence of political events: the meteoric rise of Kevin Rudd, Maxine McKew’s triumph over John Howard in the seat of Bennelong in the 2007 election, the plotting of malconte ... (read more)
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