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Veronica Brady

Veronica Brady (1929-2015) was an Australian religious sister, writer, and academic. She was an authority on Patrick White and also wrote a biography of Judith Wright (South of My Days,1998). Her criticism was published widely in Australian magazines and newspapers and her books included The Future People: Christianity, modern culture and the future (1971), The Mystics (1974), A Crucible of Prophets: Australians and the question of God (1981), Playing Catholic: Essays on four Catholic plays (1991), Polyphonies of the Self (1993), and Caught in the Draught: Contemporary Australian Culture and Society (1994).

Veronica Brady reviews 'An Extravagant Talent' by Martin Mahon, 'Stigmata' by Bill Reed and 'A Bridge Over the Yarra' by Tom Luscombe

March 1981, no. 28 01 March 1981
The slump, it seems, has hit at last, the slump occasioned by the competition of television, films and the theatre have felt it for some time, but here it is being registered in literature. In its own way each of these three books represents an attempt to capture the popular imagination. An Extravagant Talent can be compared to the blockbuster film using the novelistic equivalent of the wide scr ... (read more)

Veronica Brady reviews 'A Voice from the Country' by Louisa Atkinson, 'The Bluegum Smokes a Long Cigar' by John Anderson, 'V Hunter Valley Poets' edited by Norman Talbot, and 'Sometimes Gladness: Collected Poems 1954–1978' by Bruce Dawe

June 1979, no. 11 08 August 2022
It is usually true to say that poetry is difficult and criticism easy. In the present case, I am not sure that this is quite so true. What can any critic sensibly say about the present batch of books which range from Bruce Dawe’s Collected Poems 1954–1978, Sometimes Gladness, to reprints of minor colonial verse and includes the gentle nature mysticism of John Anderson’s The Blue Gum Smokes a ... (read more)

'Patrick White and literary criticism' by Veronica Brady

June 1990, no. 121 10 December 2020
What we know and how we think and feel are socially and thus historically conditioned. But it can also be geographically conditioned. ‘Australia’, as Mrs Golson remarks in The Twyborn Affair, ‘may not be for everyone ... For some it is their fate, however.’ Our subject is Patrick White and criticism of his work in Australia and my argument is that ours is a culture in general, and a litera ... (read more)

Veronica Brady reviews 'Billy Two-Toes’ Rainbow' by Hugh Atkinson, 'The Same Old Story' by James Legasse, 'Force and Defiance' by Gedaliah Shaiak, and 'Pacific Highway' by Michael Wilding

September 1982, no. 44 01 September 1982
‘Even when there’s simultaneity,’ as one of Michael Wilding’s characters says, there’s still linearity that needs to be found, and linearity is difficult to find in this group of books. So, it is better, as Wilding’s book also suggests, to let the books perform and then see the pattern they make. Pacific Highway, in fact, is a kind of haiku novel, which coheres into a single expressiv ... (read more)

Veronica Brady reviews 'How Are We To Live? Ethics in an age of self-interest' by Peter Singer

November 1993, no. 156 01 November 1993
For over a decade, Peter Singer has been one of those public intellectuals we are supposed by some not to have. In the past, however, the problem with him has been that his thinking has often been about matters not seen to concern the public at large, animal liberation, for example. But events have hurried us all forward. Even a few years ago it was possible for mottoes like ‘greed is good’ or ... (read more)

Veronica Brady reviews 'Towards Asmara' by Thomas Keneally

December 1989–January 1990, no. 117 01 December 1989
Tom Keneally used to be a fashionable writer, but not anymore, at least not with the critics, though readers continue to read him. Critical concern today is with aesthetics rather than ethics, theory rather than practice. Towards Asmara is therefore not likely to get a great deal of serious attention. This is a pity because it raises some weighty issues, and the loss is the critics’! ... (read more)

Veronica Brady reviews 'Moonlite' by David Foster

August 1981, no. 33 01 August 1981
I’ve always had a terror of one day having to explain a joke. And now it’s happened. Moonlite is one of the jokiest books since Such Is Life which in its turn reminds us of the even jokier Tristram Shandy and behind that no less than Rabelais himself. The best way to talk about Moonlite, then, is perhaps to say that it is bouncing, bewildering, wilful and – very occasionally – boring, just ... (read more)

Veronica Brady reviews 'The Sitters' by Alex Miller

May 1995, no. 170 01 May 1995
Intimacy, someone has said, is ultimately unintelligible. Yet this novel suggests that intimacy, to the self and to others, may well be all we have. Miller’s three previous novels move in a similar direction. But in them there was a good deal still of the world of the likeness, of the external world as it seems to be. The Sitters, however, is about drawing a portrait of an ‘art of misrepresent ... (read more)