Madeleine: A Life of Madeleine St John
Text Publishing, $32.99 pb, 280 pp, 9781921922848
My Swedish neighbour is rebuilding. From my back garden I overheard her Australian builder loudly introducing her to a tradesman named Hans. ‘Now, we’re for it,’ he chortled. ‘It’ll be talk, talk, talk, no stopping you now.’ As I hung out the washing, I reflected that the Australian nervousness around ‘Continentals’ that Madeleine St John details so deliciously in her novel about 1950s Sydney, The Women in Black (1993), still resonates in the twenty-first century.