Carmel Bird

Gregory Day reviews 'Field of Poppies' by Carmel Bird

Gregory Day
Wednesday, 23 October 2019

When Claude Monet lived in Argenteuil in the 1870s, he famously worked in a studio-boat on the Seine. He painted the river, he painted bridges over the river, he painted snow, the sky, his children and his wife, and, famously, a field of red poppies with a large country house in the background. Argenteuil is to Paris roughly what Heidelberg and Templestowe are to Melbourne. Once a riparian haven for plein air painters interested in capturing the transient optics of natural phenomena, it is now a suburban interface with a diminishing habitat for anything but humans.

Actually, Heidelberg and Templestowe are in good shape when compared to Monet’s old river haunt. When he was living in Argenteuil, the population was fewer than 10,000 people, most of whom were asparagus farmers, vintners, fishermen, and craftspeople. Now the suburb is home to more than 100,000, many of whom are commuters making the train trip into Paris every day to work. The only shimmering light of interest would probably come from their phones.

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Susan Midalia reviews 'My Hearts Are Your Hearts' by Carmel Bird

Susan Midalia
Wednesday, 30 September 2015

In one of the reflective essays that complement her new collection of stories, My Hearts Are Your Hearts, Carmel Bird likens short story writing to the art of the conjuror who takes ‘coloured silk handkerchiefs, pull[s] them all in to make a ball, and then, with a flourish, open[s] them up as a full-blown rose’. This charming me ...

Rachel Robertson: Reaching One Thousand

Carmel Bird
Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Dancing on his own

Carmel Bird

 

Reaching One Thousand: A Story of Love, Motherhood and Autism
by Rachel Robertson
Black Inc., $29.95 pb, 240 pp, 9781836955553

 

At some stage in every workshop on the art of memoir somebody raises the question of ethic ...

Carmel Bird reviews 'Thought Crimes' by Tim Richards

Carmel Bird
Tuesday, 23 August 2011

A book’s epigraph doesn’t often feel like a direct personal statement to the reader, but the one in Thought Crimes, drawn from Ionesco, is just that: ‘You got stuck in the mud of life. You felt warm and cosy. (Sharply) Now you’re going to freeze.’ Imagine the world as a jigsaw from which the author has removed some pieces, substituting them with his own pieces – but wh ...

Stories of the impact of European discovery, exploration, invasion, and settlement on Australia are naturally a source of fascination to novelists. The microcosm of the island of Tasmania, with its cruel yet beautiful landscape and its unforgiving weather, offers these stories with a special kind of eerie horror. Against this setting, the stories emerge both in concert and in counterpoint, desc ...

Carmel Bird reviews 'Little People' by Jane Sullivan

Carmel Bird
Thursday, 24 March 2011

Jane Sullivan’s novel, which was runner-up in the 2010 CAL Scribe Fiction Prize for a novel by a writer over thirty-five years of age, blends the powerful theme of ...

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Carmel Bird reviews 'A Darker Music' by Maris Morton

Carmel Bird
Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Maris Morton’s novel is the winner of the Scribe CAL Fiction Prize for 2010...

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