Jane Sullivan reflects on the 'literary cathedrals' Hilary Mantel has erected in her new collection of short stories, The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher.More
A while ago, I was walking through Melbourne Central station when I was buffeted on all sides. Muscular minders were pushing back a crowd of jostling fans from a red carpet. Everyone was holding iPhones above their heads. They had come to see two Hollywood stars. But Hollywood is different these days. One star was playing a mutant who could grow adamantium claws fro ... More
When did you first write for ABR?
Which critics most impress you?
As a journalist, I have been constantly thrown in the deep end and expected to review everything from books to shows to films to restaurants. I still admire some classic figures ... More
If you’re a bookish type of a certain age, chances are you went through your Iris Murdoch period. You binged on novels such as The Black Prince (1973) and The Sea, The Sea (1978); you immersed yourself in her world of perplexed, agonised souls searching for meaning, falling disastrously in love with absurdly wrong people, consoling themselves with a ... More
This novel comes to us some forty years after it was written. Janet Frame (1924–2004) did not allow it to be published during her lifetime. Very probably she was anxious not to be seen as savaging the hands that had fed her: and it is indeed a gleeful, glorious savaging.... More
My mother-in-law often spoke fondly of the Blitz. I had visions of her as a plucky young woman cycling down the bombed streets of London, going to work as a secretary to the stars of show business, enjoying ridiculously cheap hotel meals, and in the evenings going out on the town with an exciting boyfriend – perhaps a Turkish admiral, perhaps the man she later mar ... More
In his Introduction to The Seaglass Spiral, Finlay Lloyd reveals that an earlier version of this novel won an award for ‘best rejected manuscript’. It is a curiously back-handed compliment for a publisher to pay his author, and it is typical of an Introduction that seems cautious, even diffident, about its product.... More
How can Australians write fiction about Indigenous Australia? It is one of the most contentious literary questions today. There aren’t any rules, but writers – particularly white writers – are driven by a strange mix of passion and caution.... More
Jane Sullivan’s novel, which was runner-up in the 2010 CAL Scribe Fiction Prize for a novel by a writer over thirty-five years of age, blends the powerful theme of ...More