‘God gave me polio?’ Taken aback by her grandmother’s bland insistence on unquestioning submission to divine will, the six-year-old child in Annah Faulkner’s novel The Beloved has already started questioning the articles of faith and the assumptions of the adults in her world, in that penetrating way some children have. Clearly she is not going to take to religion. Other early certitudes fall away as she gets older: Father Christmas; her parents’ love for each other; her mother’s understanding of her deepest nature.
Gillian Dooley is an Honorary Senior Research Fellow in English at Flinders University, and a Visiting Fellow in the Music Department at Southampton University. Her publications include an edited book of interviews with Iris Murdoch (2003), V.S. Naipaul, Man and Writer (2006), J.M. Coetzee and the Power of Narrative (2010), and journal articles on a range of literary topics including music in the life and work of Jane Austen. In 2005 she co-edited Matthew Flinders’ Private Journal and in 2014 she published an edition of the correspondence between Iris Murdoch and the Australian radical philosopher Brian Medlin. She has been a regular reviewer for ABR since 2002. She is founding editor of the online journals Transnational Literature and Writers in Conversation.
From the New Issue
The Ratline: Love, lies and justice on the trail of a Nazi fugitive by Philippe SandsReviewed by Sheila Fitzpatrick
Lettersby Jenny Hocking, Roger Rees, Elisabeth Holdsworth, Bronwyn Mills, Lindy Warrell et al
Radio Girl: The story of the extraordinary Mrs Mac, pioneering engineer and wartime legend by David DuftyReviewed by Jacqueline Kent