Bernadette Brennan

2017 Books of the Year

Australian Book Review
24 November 2017

To celebrate the best books of 2017 Australian Book Review invited nearly forty contributors to nominate their favourite titles. Contributors include Michelle de Kretser, Susan Wy More

Bernadette Brennan reviews 'Draw Your Weapons' by Sarah Sentilles

Bernadette Brennan
23 July 2017

Sarah Sentilles’s Draw Your Weapons is one of the most erudite, original, and thought-provoking books I have ever read. A philosophical and moral meditation on pain, torture, an More

Bernadette Brennan reviews 'The Last Garden' by Eva Hornung

Bernadette Brennan
29 May 2017

The epigraph to the first chapter of Eva Hornung’s The Last Garden speaks of Nebelung, a time of great prosperity, joy, and hope for new life. Over the page, Hornung shatters any sense of well-being with an extraordinary opening sentence: ‘On a mild Nebelung’s afternoon, Matthias Orion, having lived as an exclamation mark in the Wahrheit settlement an ... More

Jan McGuinness reviews 'A Writing Life: Helen Garner and her work' by Bernadette Brennan

Jan McGuinness
27 April 2017

Who is the I in Helen Garner’s work? This is the question Bernadette Brennan probes by canvassing more than forty years of Garner’s writing and her seventy-four-year existence More

Bernadette Brennan reviews 'A Companion to the Works of Kim Scott' edited by Belinda Wheeler

Bernadette Brennan
22 August 2016

In 2004 Kim Scott delivered the prestigious Herbert Blaiklock Memorial Lecture to a predominantly academic audience at the University of Sydney. Provocatively, he began ...

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Bernadette Brennan reviews 'A Few Days in the Country and Other Stories' by Elizabeth Harrower

Bernadette Brennan
25 November 2015

It is gratifying to witness the renewal of interest in Elizabeth Harrower's fiction. Last year, ...

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Bernadette Brennan reviews 'Second Half First' by Drusilla Modjeska

Bernadette Brennan
26 October 2015

Twenty-five years ago, Drusilla Modjeska's Poppy reimagined boldly the possibilities for Australian memoir. Modjeska recounts in her new memoir, Second Half First, how in her inaugural appearance at a writers' festival she was on a panel discussing autobiography with two established British writers, Victoria Glendinning and Andrew Motion. Poppy ... More

The missing novels: our critics nominate some overlooked classics

Debra Adelaide et al.
24 August 2015

Early success is no guarantee of a book’s continued availability or circulation. Some major and/or once-fashionable authors recede from public consciousness, and in some cases go out of print. We invited some writers and critics to identity novelists who they feel should be better known.

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Bernadette Brennan reviews 'One Life' by Kate Grenville

Bernadette Brennan
26 March 2015

Kate Grenville’s mother, Nance Gee (née Russell), was an extraordinarily resourceful, resilient, and interesting woman. Born in 1912 to ill-matched, working-class parents and surviving a childhood lacking in stability and opportunity, she went on to become an inspirational mother, businesswoman, and teacher. Some years after her death in 2002, Grenville began sor ... More

Bernadette Brennan on 'The Children's Bach' by Helen Garner for Reading Australia

Bernadette Brennan
24 March 2015

‘For our house is our corner of our world … If we look at it intimately, the humblest dwelling has beauty.’

Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space (1958)

Houses, and their domestic spaces of intimacy and negotiation, sit at the core of Hel ... More

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