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Susan Wyndham

Susan Wyndham

Susan Wyndham is the former literary editor of The Sydney Morning Herald. In her career as a journalist she has been editor of Good Weekend magazine, New York correspondent for The Australian and a deputy editor of the Herald. She is the author of Life In His Hands: The true story of a neurosurgeon and a pianist, and has edited and contributed to several other books.

Susan Wyndham reviews 'All Our Shimmering Skies' by Trent Dalton

November 2020, no. 426 22 October 2020
The cover of All Our Shimmering Skies is crammed with surprises. Look closely among the Australian wildflowers and you’ll find black hearts, butterflies, lightning bolts, a shovel, a crocodile, a dingo, a fruit bat, a Japanese fighter plane, and a red rising sun. Trent Dalton has adopted a similar method in writing his second novel, which samples almost every genre you can think of, from war st ... (read more)

Susan Wyndham reviews 'Womerah Lane: Lives and landscapes' by Tom Carment

January–February 2020, no. 418 16 December 2019
Tom Carment the artist, writer, and man makes a perfectly integrated whole. Carment is a compact, casually neat figure who looks through round-lensed glasses and has a calm stillness even when he’s on the move, as he often is. His art and writing are also on a small scale, intimately observant, informal, and warmly appealing. He has exhibited his paintings and drawings for more than four decades ... (read more)

Susan Wyndham reviews 'Shell' by Kristina Olsson

November 2018, no. 406 25 October 2018
The story of the Sydney Opera House is usually told as the heroic tragedy of its Danish architect, Jørn Utzon, who won the design competition for his breathtaking cluster of white sails but resigned before its completion over conflict about practicalities, costs, and government interference. In her exquisite novel Shell, Kristina Olsson comes at the drama obliquely, from the perspective of Sydney ... (read more)

Susan Wyndham reviews 'The Vanity Fair Diaries: 1983–1992' by Tina Brown

January–February 2018, no. 398 19 December 2017
Tina Brown hit the ground partying in New York when she arrived in 1983 to revive the struggling Condé Nast magazine Vanity Fair. But an early diary entry shows the former Tatler editor was still a Londoner with residual Oxford snobbery. Everyone at the party was so famous but unfortunately I had never heard of them. I said to Shirley MacLaine, ‘What do you do?’  She gave me a manic, hosti ... (read more)

Susan Wyndham reviews 'Can You Hear the Sea? My Grandmother’s Story' by Brenda Niall

December 2017, no. 397 24 November 2017
Brenda Niall has touched on aspects of her own life in many of her admired biographies of writers and artists, such as the Boyd family and the Durack sisters, and Melbourne’s Irish Catholic Father Hackett and Archbishop Mannix. Time – and perhaps the deaths of central people – has pulled her focus in close to tell the story of her maternal grandmother, Agnes Gorman, and through her the exten ... (read more)