Katharine England

Katharine England reviews 'A Dream of Seas' by Lilith Norman and 'The Secret Beach' by Jackie French

May 1995, no. 170 01 May 1995
Katharine England reviews 'A Dream of Seas' by Lilith Norman and 'The Secret Beach' by Jackie French
Lilith Norman’s exquisite novella was first published in 1978 and was an IBBY Honour Book in 1980. Set in a lovingly realised Bondi, the archetypal seaside suburb, the book packs a huge amount into its seventy-eight pages: life, death, love, grief; a question of focus; and, drawn in spare and beautifully controlled strokes, the disparate two worlds that touch at the shoreline. ... (read more)

Katharine England reviews 'Drift' by Brian Castro

July 1994, no. 162 01 July 1994
Katharine England reviews 'Drift' by Brian Castro
You can’t help wondering which came first for Brian Castro – the theme/structure of his new novel or the M. C. Escher woodcut reproduced on its cover. It doesn’t seem possible that such an organic match should be fortuitous, although one of Escher’s soubriquets is ‘the poet of the impossible’, and among writers Castro is a prime candidate to share the title. Now that it has been drawn ... (read more)

Katharine England reviews 'Shark' by Bruce Pascoe

July 1999, no. 212 01 July 1999
Katharine England reviews 'Shark' by Bruce Pascoe
Figuratively speaking Shark reminds me of a pencil-and-paper game: change FOX into SHARK a letter at a time, so that the stepping-stones of words like the one to the other. For Fox is back, back from the independence struggle in West Papua and retired to Australia and the evocatively named coastal town of Tired Sailor, and by the end of the book Fox has become Shark, elegiacally linked by some of ... (read more)

Katharine England reviews 'The Book of Miles' by David Astle

August 1997, no. 193 01 August 1997
Katharine England reviews 'The Book of Miles' by David Astle
Mark Twain did Australian literature a service when he remarked that Australian history ‘does not read like history, but like the most beautiful lies’. It is an observation with which Australians are happy to identify, for it stimulates the imagination, accommodates the larrikin we like to see in ourselves, and has the effect of sanctioning the revision of a past that is not all that we might, ... (read more)