Cassandra Atherton

Cassandra Atherton interviews Ben Ball

Cassandra Atherton
26 August 2014

Ben Ball was born in Melbourne in 1970. He grew up in London, New York, and Sydney, and went to school in all of these places. He completed an Arts/Law degree, in Australia, ‘more or less entirely to create the pleasing symmetry B. Ball, BA, LLB’. In the United Kingdom he undertook an M.Phil in C ... More

Cassandra Atherton on 'Westerly, vol. 59, no. 1'

Cassandra Atherton
25 August 2014

Voices of the dispossessed appropriate the narratives in the current issue of Westerly. The fiction in this issue is the strongest section, largely due to the originality and diversity of the writing. M.T. O’Byrne’s magic-realist short story, ‘The Day Before Christmas Island’, introduces the voice of the refugee. Reminiscent of Life of Pi (2001 ... More

Cassandra Atherton on Rose Lucas's 'Even in the Dark'

Cassandra Atherton
28 November 2013

William Carlos Williams once famously stated, ‘No ideas but in things’, about his poetic method. Rose Lucas, in her first poetry collection, Even in the Dark, takes up the imagist movement’s poetic style but ‘makes it new’ in her examination of the role of the poet in both the local environment and abroad. Her observant and mimetic style shimm ... More

Cassandra Atherton on 'Island: issue 132'

Cassandra Atherton
27 June 2013

The Kantian epigraph to this issue of Island points to an exploration of the island as ‘the land of truth’, with the ocean around it as ‘the native home of illusion’. In this way, the translation of experience, both real and imagined, is navigated in clever and topical ways. The emphasis on ‘island’ as a micro-metonym for Tasmania demonstrat ... More

Cassandra Atherton on 'Antipodes'

Cassandra Atherton
27 May 2013

A polyphony of voices in Antipodes offers readers a textured view of literature from Australia and New Zealand. Contributors to this biannual journal are Australianists from all over the world. This globalisation is perhaps best evidenced by the inclusion of critics from Portugal, Slovenia, Lebanon, and Austria, writing incisively about Gail Jones, Indigenous ... More

'P.R.B.', a new poem by Cassandra Atherton

Cassandra Atherton
28 April 2013

I wish I had been painted by Millais. Maybe not as Ophelia in a tepid bath.
Perhaps as Lady Macbeth. Or Titania. Or Portia. Not Brutus’s Portia. Portia from
The Merchant of Venice. I used to make More

Cassandra Atherton reviews 'Hotel Hyperion' by Lisa Gorton

Cassandra Atherton
27 April 2013

The camera ottica in the epigraph to Hotel Hyperion alludes to Lisa Gorton’s artful play with shifting perspectives in this luminescent collection of poetry. The reader is invited More

Cassandra Atherton on 'Australian Poetry Journal, Volume 2, Issue 2'

Cassandra Atherton
26 March 2013

Australian Poetry Journal, the flagship publication of Australian Poetry, contains a veritable who’s who of Australian poets. However, this doesn’t mean that the journal is part of the poetry gangland to which some other contemporary Australian journals belong. This is a testament to editor, Bronwyn Lea, who must disappoint many poets – possibly even po ... More

Cassandra Atherton reviews 'The Best Australian Stories 2012' edited by Sonya Hartnett

Cassandra Atherton
29 January 2013

Sonya Hartnett’s début as editor of The Best Australian Stories is marked by a series of fictions about dysfunctional families, eccentrics, and misfits. The homeless, lonely, disenfranchised, intellectually disabled, sick, afflicted, even the dead, are featured alongside the privileged, rich, and famous in a macabre mardi gras. Readers familiar with Hartne ... More

Cassandra Atherton reviews 'The Conversation' by David Brooks

Cassandra Atherton
26 October 2012

The epigraph from Plato’s Phaedrus cleverly introduces the Socratic dialogue on which David Brooks’s new novel turns. This makes for a brilliant foray into the contradictions at the heart of the truths that both characters are seeking in The Conversation. This question-and-answer exchange is presented as a kind of Scheherazadian dégustation of nar ... More

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