Patrick Allington reviews 'From the Outer: Footy like you've never heard it' edited by Alicia Sometimes and Nicole Hayes

Patrick Allington reviews 'From the Outer: Footy like you've never heard it' edited by Alicia Sometimes and Nicole Hayes

From the Outer: Footy like you've never heard it

edited by Alicia Sometimes and Nicole Hayes

Black Inc. $27.99 pb, 256 pp, 9781863958288

'With time,' writes Australian Rules Football goal umpire Chelsea Roffey, 'I wrapped my lady brain around the mathematics of scoring.' Roffey's account of being an élite football official doubles as a sharply funny take on the progress the AFL community has – and hasn't – made in its approach to gender. Employing a sequence of well-aimed one-liners, Roffey gets the sarcasm level just right, a deceptively tricky feat. But she does more than chase laughs, by offering a penetrating personal account of her push into a traditionally male domain; she also makes pertinent and expert observations about the game and its curiosities, including that television commentators 'have a surprising level of influence on the public's critical-thinking ability'.

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Patrick Allington

Patrick Allington

Patrick Allington was the recipient of the inaugural ABR Patrons’ Fellowship, worth $5000. His novel, Figurehead (Black Inc. 2009), was longlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award. His short fiction and book criticism appears in Australian newspapers, magazines, and journals, including regularly in ABR.