Stephen Mansfield

Stephen Mansfield reviews 'Whisky Charlie Foxtrot' by Annabel Smith

Stephen Mansfield
Wednesday, 30 January 2013

The greatest hurts you can endure or inflict on another are often in connection with siblings. The expectation of intimacy and potential for damage is obviously amplified when dealing with twins. As the father of two-year-old twin boys, I read this book with some trepidation.

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Since the publication of Frank Moorhouse’s The Americans, Baby (1972), Australian literature has maintained a tense awareness of its powerful neighbour’s cultural sway over younger generations. Even the ‘Oz as’ Young Adult titles (think of Tim Winton’s Lockie Leonard series) concede, by studious omission, the impact of American cultural hegemony on the teenage imagin ...

The way nostalgia works, according to theorists, is that we pine for the era just before our own. This may be why the twenty-something musicians of today mine the sounds of the 1980s. But does this pattern succeed in Young Adult fiction? What does an author gain by setting his or her story in the ‘nostalgia zone’ of potential readers?

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Stephen Mansfield reviews 'Noah's Law' by Randa Abdel-Fattah

Stephen Mansfield
Wednesday, 04 May 2011
The teen detective novel is a rare breed in this post-Famous Five era, now that the catch-cry of popular Young Adult fiction is the familiar and the relatable ... ... (read more)

Stephen Mansfield reviews 'Crack Hardy' by Stephen Dando-Collins

Stephen Mansfield
Thursday, 21 April 2011

While explorations of Australia at war have never been short on ‘male stories’, the prevalence of the masculine frame may yet increase in coming years as part of the ongoing examination of competing forms of manhood in this country, as evidenced by the upcoming symposium ‘Embattled Men: Masculinity and War’ at the Australian National University. The publicit ...