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Peter Rose

Peter Rose

In 2001 Peter Rose became the Editor of Australian Book Review. Previously he was a publisher at Oxford University Press throughout the 1990s. He has published several books of poetry, a family memoir, Rose Boys, and two novels, the most recent being Roddy Parr (Fourth Estate, 2010). He edited the 2007 and 2008 editions of The Best Australian Poems (Black Inc.). His newest book of poems is Rag (Gazebo Books, 2023). Peter Rose’s long experience in publishing and the literary world complements the magazine’s history of central involvement in Australian letters.

‘A self, a Me, whom I race against’: Alfred Kazin and Robert Dessaix

From the Editor’s Desk 07 March 2012
One of the things we try to do at ABR is to note each month a sample, however small, of some of the best publishing from overseas – especially works that are unlikely to be reviewed extensively, or at all, in this country (beyond the learned journals, if they bother with them). Many significant titles that pop up in TLS, Harper’s, LRB and NYRB go unreviewed in Australia – largely because sto ... (read more)

Advice for new reviewers

From the Editor’s Desk 29 February 2012
  From time to time I’m asked what I look for in our reviewers – apart from wit, fleetness, and excellent grammar, that is. Well might a prospective reviewer ask, because the craft of reviewing is not one that is often discussed, or taught, or analysed. You’re on your own: a one-person, low-income cottage industry, a hostage to your telephone and computer, as I have written elsewhere. ... (read more)

Editor's Diary 2011

February 2012, no. 338 13 February 2012
by Peter Rose January 6 Such high standards the American magazines maintain, with their enviable resources. Fine valedictory article in the New Yorker by Joyce Carol Oates on the death of her husband of four decades. Slightly uneasy, though, to realise that Oates, in her forensic way, was gathering data for such an article while he was failing. But the magazines can still terrify. Harper’s In ... (read more)

'Grade', a new poem by Peter Rose

February 2012, no. 338 19 January 2012
Late afternoon. Another forty degree day. Sick of ecological talk I decide to meet it, take my book into the park, not sure how far I’ll go with Against Nature. Rare grass crackles beneath my feet. This is not turf but a shell oval, yet die-hards play in their filthy whites. Only clouds billow, lyric. Dog after dog sniffs my rug, preferring the plastic hats ringing the oval – odoriferous bo ... (read more)

The Eye of the Storm

October 2011, no. 335 27 September 2011
So Patrick White’s most flamboyant novel (with the possible exception of The Twyborn Affair) has been brought to the cinema, after the usual longueurs and fiscal frights. Director Fred Schepisi and his scriptwriter, Judy Morris, have tamed the long and somewhat unwieldy beast that won White the Nobel Prize in 1973. Lovers of the novel will miss certain scenes, but there is a coherence to the scr ... (read more)

Peter Rose reviews 'Sempre Susan' by Sigrid Nunez and 'Swimming in a Sea of Death' by David Rieff

September 2011, no. 334 23 August 2011
In her short memoir of Susan Sontag, novelist Sigrid Nunez claims that she did not read the obituaries and commentaries after her death in 2004, and that she was never much interested in what other people said about Sontag. If it’s true, she is indeed a rara avis. Susan Sontag, in death as in life, generates enormous interest and a growing literature, one that promises to burgeon and diversify b ... (read more)

Peter Rose on the peculiar charms of E.M. Forster

December 2010–January 2011, no. 327 30 November 2010
It is a hundred years since the publication of Howards End (one of only five novels by E.M. Forster to be published during his lifetime), and longer still, or so it seems, since Lytton Strachey, his fellow Apostle, entranced the Bloomsburys in the drawing room at 46 Gordon Square by daring to utter the word ‘semen’. Virginia Woolf dated modernity from that instant, such was its iconoclasm in ... (read more)