Lisa Bennett

Lisa Bennett

Lisa Bennett is a Senior Lecturer in English and Creative Writing at Flinders University.

Lisa Bennett reviews 'A History of Dreams' by Jane Rawson

April 2022, no. 441 23 March 2022
Lisa Bennett reviews 'A History of Dreams' by Jane Rawson
Allegories can be divisive. They are inherently deceptive, forever speaking with forked tongues. Animal Farm both is and isn’t a fairy story about talking pigs. Spenser’s Faerie Queene isn’t just an epic poem about the Redcrosse Knight’s chivalric virtues. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe isn’t merely a fantasy about plucky children conquering a malicious ice queen. Some readers enjo ... (read more)

Lisa Bennett reviews 'Smart Ovens for Lonely People' by Elizabeth Tan

June–July 2020, no. 422 26 May 2020
Lisa Bennett reviews 'Smart Ovens for Lonely People' by Elizabeth Tan
Though its origins are unknown, the earliest sense of the word ‘quirk’ was as a subtle verbal twist or a quibble. Over time, its definition has become more nuanced: a quirk now also refers to a person’s peculiar or idiosyncratic traits, chance occurrences, and sudden, surprise curves appearing on paths or in facial expressions. Quirks can also be accidents, vagaries, witty turns of phrase. ... (read more)

Lisa Bennett reviews 'The Bee and the Orange Tree' by Melissa Ashley

December 2019, no. 417 25 November 2019
Lisa Bennett reviews 'The Bee and the Orange Tree' by Melissa Ashley
In their earliest incarnations, fairy tales are gruesome stories riddled with murder, cannibalism, and mutilation. Written in early seventeenth-century Italy, Giambattista Basile’s Cinderella snaps her stepmother’s neck with the lid of a trunk. This motif reappears in the nineteenth-century German ‘The Juniper Tree’, but this time the stepmother wields the trunk lid, decapitating her husba ... (read more)

Lisa Bennett reviews 'Exhalation' by Ted Chiang

June–July 2019, no. 412 23 May 2019
Lisa Bennett reviews 'Exhalation' by Ted Chiang
Mainstream science fiction is a genre that thrives on quantity as much as quality. Such narratives pose the deepest questions; as Douglas Adams once famously put it, these are stories about Life, the Universe, and Everything. Why publish stand-alone space operas when storylines, character arcs, worlds, and revenues can be elaborated across trilogies? Why stop at one time-travel trilogy when fans a ... (read more)

Lisa Bennett reviews 'Apple and Knife' by Intan Paramaditha, translated by Stephen J. Epstein

May 2018, no. 401 26 April 2018
Lisa Bennett reviews 'Apple and Knife' by Intan Paramaditha, translated by Stephen J. Epstein
There is an observation in the titular story of Indonesian writer Intan Paramaditha’s first collection to be published in English, which can be read as the thematic spine of the book: ‘Sometimes it seemed like there was nothing new to talk about. It was the same old story, repeated over and over, all stitched together.’  This notion can be applied quite literally to the first piece in the ... (read more)

Lisa Bennett reviews 'The Art of Navigation' by Rose Michael

January–February 2018, no. 398 21 December 2017
Lisa Bennett reviews 'The Art of Navigation' by Rose Michael
Conceptually, The Art of Navigation is as intriguing as it is ambitious. The narrative is part near-future time travel, part historical drama, part nostalgic Australian Gothic – and all slipstream fiction. The novel braids, unbraids, and rebraids three main threads of time and place: suburban Melbourne in 1987; the royal courts of Elizabeth I and Rudolph II in 1587; and the outskirts of a new, n ... (read more)