Anthology

Of all the books published in the United States last year, only three per cent were of foreign origin. This year is hardly likely to be any different. So it is something of a wonder that this considerable and imaginative collection of modern Australian poetry was produced in the unlikely setting of the University of Louisiana. Professors Jack Heflin and William Ryan ...

Anne-Marie Priest finds much to enjoy in LRB's new anthology of life writing (Hilary Mantel, Andrew O'Hagan et al.), but wonders about the elastic definition of what constitutes a memoir. ... (read more)

This collection of strange and spooky stories was perfect reading for that lazy week between Christmas and New Year, providing a dark antidote to the forced cheeriness of the season. The book was inspired partly by The Twilight Zone and similar television shows. Contributors to the anthology were invited to write about the fantastical, uncanny, absurd, or, as ...

The Sleepers Almanac No. 8 edited by Zoe Dattner and Louise Swinn

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April 2013, no. 350

The latest Sleepers Almanac opens with a surreal encounter between a suave cane toad, presented as an amphibian Jiminy Cricket, and the guilt-wracked mother of a drug addict (‘Happy Monday’), and ends with the elaborate imaginings of a woman trying to distract herself from the reason why she is sitting in a hospital waiting room (‘How to Talk to a Fire ...

The 2013 Voiceless Anthology edited by J.M. Coetzee et al.

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March 2013, no. 349

‘Death has a dual character,’ Zadie Smith writes in her novel The Autograph Man (2002); ‘it seems to be everywhere and nowhere at the same time’. Popular culture is currently awash with cookery programs and diet fads, yet the lives of animals, and the industries that deal in their deaths, have never been more absent from city life. It seems reas ...

A Point of View is a weekly BBC Radio series in which invited speakers deliver ten-minute talks about ‘anything that has captured their imagination’ that week. Clive James contributed from 2007 to the end of 2009. This book is a collection of his talks. It is fascinating to read, both because of the immense range of subjects he covered and because it gives you some insights into the author himself.

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The making of a writer involves more than talent and ambition; perseverance and a thick skin are also prerequisites. The best that can be hoped for from a teaching institution is that potential writers are exposed to new ideas and encouraged to experiment with content and form. The results are seldom perfect, but at least they can prove interesting.

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Jay Daniel Thompson

 

fourW twenty-two
edited by David Gilbey
fourWpress, $25 pb, 174 pp, 9780958675987

 

 

f ourW twenty-two is an initiative of the Booranga Writers’ Centre in Wagga Wagga. This current edition features short stories and ...

Grand illusion

Jane Goodall

 

AS I WAS SAYING: A COLLECTION OF MUSINGS
by Robert Dessaix
Vintage, $27.95 pb, 224 pp, 9781742753072

 

‘I’m sitting in my tower, cogitating.’ Well, Dessaix admits, it’s not a real tower, though he likes to think of ...

War is one of the great paradoxes of Australia. Why should a people occupying a continent so far from the world’s trouble spots have spent so much of their history dying in often distant wars? It is one of the questions that drew me to the study of Australian history. I am little the wiser after reading this collection of Australian war writing. This is partly bec ...