Evelyn Juers

Evelyn Juers

Evelyn Juers is co-founder of HEAT magazine and Giramondo Publishing. She has a PhD from the University of Essex (UK) on the Brontës and the practice of biography. As an essayist, and an art and literary critic, she has contributed to a wide range of Australian and international publications. In 2009 her collective biography House of Exile won the Prime Minister’s Literary Award for non-fiction. Her essay ‘Corner of King and Queen: Sketches for the Portrait of a Recluse’ was shortlisted for the Calibre Prize, and went on to become a book, The Recluse (2011).

Evelyn Juers reviews 'Stranger Shores: Essays 1986–1999' by J.M. Coetzee

December 2001–January 2002, no. 237 01 December 2001
Evelyn Juers reviews 'Stranger Shores: Essays 1986–1999' by J.M. Coetzee
J.M. Coetzee’s Stranger Shores is a collection of twenty-nine primarily literary essays dating from 1986 to 1999. It offers an impressive range of subjects, including a reappraisal of T.S. Eliot’s famous quest for the definition of a classic, a tracking down of Daniel Defoe’s game of autobiographical impersonations, and a biographical evaluation of Dostoevsky’s most productive period, his ... (read more)

Evelyn Juers reviews 'The Feel of Steel' by Helen Garner

October 2001, no. 235 01 October 2001
Evelyn Juers reviews 'The Feel of Steel' by Helen Garner
Following True Stories, published in 1996, The Feel of Steel is Helen Garner’s second collection of non-fiction. It comprises thirty-one pieces of varying lengths. Longer narratives such as ‘Regions of Thick-Ribbed Ice’, about a hair-raising trip to Antarctica, and ‘A Spy in the House of Excrement’, about the outcome of a cleanse-and-fast régime at a spa resort in Thailand, stand beside ... (read more)

Evelyn Juers reviews 'Cursed Legacy: The Tragic Life of Klaus Mann' by Frederic Spotts

January–February 2017, no. 388 19 December 2016
Evelyn Juers reviews 'Cursed Legacy: The Tragic Life of Klaus Mann' by Frederic Spotts
In ‘The Art of Biography’, Virginia Woolf insists that this ‘is the most restricted of all the arts’ and that even if many biographies are written, few survive. But somehow, by sifting and compressing and silhouetting, her friend Lytton Strachey – ‘alive and on tiptoe’ amid new ideas of biographical realism – managed to unshackle this truth-bound genre. Ever since Strachey’s Emin ... (read more)

Open letter to Alex Byrne (NSW State Librarian & Chief Executive)

ABR Arts 20 February 2014
Dear Alex, You invited us. We – Geordie Williamson, David Malouf and I, representing over 3000 signatories of the Petition to save the Mitchell Library Reading Room (MLRR) and calling for a public meeting to discuss your plans for change, not to mention all those who have not signed but who support the petition, including many of your staff and the staff of other libraries – We arrived 10 mi ... (read more)

Evelyn Juers reviews 'Charles Dickens: A life' by Claire Tomalin and 'Becoming Dickens: The invention of a novelist' by Robert Douglas-Fairhurst

March 2012, no. 339 01 March 2012
Evelyn Juers reviews 'Charles Dickens: A life' by Claire Tomalin and 'Becoming Dickens: The invention of a novelist' by Robert Douglas-Fairhurst
This is how Claire Tomalin closes her Dickens biography: ‘He left a trail like a meteor, and everyone finds their own version of Charles Dickens’, followed by a long list of types. I consider Dickens the surrealist, or the sentimentalist, but then I pick Dickens the tireless walker. And I concede, with Tomalin, that regarding his life and work, ‘a great many questions hang in the air, u ... (read more)

Evelyn Juers reviews 'Good Living Street: The fortunes of my Viennese family' by Tim Bonyhady

June 2011, no. 332 24 May 2011
Would it be indulgent to invoke Leonard Cohen? It’s just that his song ‘Take This Waltz’, which begins ‘Now in Vienna there are ten pretty women’, brings to mind that city’s fin-de-siècle world. In a liquescent poetic mosaic of shoulders and thighs, lilies, hyacinths, moonshine, and dew, I see the women as if painted by Gustav Klimt – portraitist, libertine – someone who ‘climbs ... (read more)