Southerly, Vol. 72, No. 2
Brandl & Schlesinger, $29.95 pb, 208 pp, 9781921556364
The critical essays collected in this current issue of Australia’s oldest literary journal make for frustrating reading. The theme is true crime, with a focus on the relationship between the sensational and the literary. Topics range from Underbelly Razor to the Jerilderie Letter to Schapelle Corby’s autobiography. Fascinating material, no doubt, but most of the contributions fail to engage and feel more like mutilated book chapters or hurriedly swept-together research notes, characterised by erratic analyses and flabby prose.