Mark Peel and Christina Twomey: A History of Australia

Frank Bongiorno
21 March 2012

Transcending obvious sources in a new short history

Frank Bongiorno


A History of Australia
by Mark Peel and Christina Twomey
Palgrave Macmillan, $49.95 pb, 320 pp, 9780230001640


‘The product under consideration is Shist.’ So be ... More

Hilary McPhee (ed.) with Ann Standish: Memoirs of a Young Bastard

John Thompson
21 March 2012

Rampaging in Melbourne

John Thompson


Memoirs of a Young Bastard: The Diaries of Tim Burstall November 1953 to December 1954
edited by Hilary McPhee, with Ann Standish
Miegunyah Press, $59.99 hb, 368 pp, 9780522858143


With Tim Burst ... More

Hypocrisy in global refugee politics

Peter Mares
21 March 2012

‘I’m illegal. So what?’

Peter Mares


Frontier Justice: The Global Refugee Crisis and What to Do About It
by Andy Lamey
University of Queensland Press, $34.95 pb, 416 pp, 9780702239311


Contesting Citizenship: Irregular Migrants an ... More

Sonya Hartnett revisits 'A Difficult Young Man' by Martin Boyd

Sonya Hartnett
27 February 2012

Few writers, it could be argued, have ever cannibalised life for their art as ruthlessly and consistently as did Martin Boyd; and few are born into situations which lend themselves so readily to art. Boyd’s working life – indeed, much of his entire existence – was spent trying to unite the past with the present, the old world with the new, himself with the man ... More

Sanford Schwartz: The Age of Movies

Philippa Hawker
27 February 2012

A sanitised version of a great contrarian

Philippa Hawker


The Age of Movies: Selected Writings of Pauline Kael
edited by Sanford Schwartz
The Library of America, US$40 hb, 852 pp, 9781598531091


Pauline Kael did not shy away from big statements. She ... More

Evelyn Juers reviews two new books on Dickens

Evelyn Juers
26 February 2012

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 thesentimentalist, but then I pick Dickens the tireless walker. And I concede, with Tomalin, that regarding h ... More

Shirley Walker reviews 'Nine Lives'

Shirley Walker
04 May 2011

Susan Sheridan’s Nine Lives, a ‘group biography’, analyses the life stories and literary achievements of nine Australian women writers. The purpose, according to Sheridan, is not only to rediscover the life story of each, but also, by exploring their publishing and aesthetic context, to create a ‘fresh configuration’ of our literary history.

... More