Kerryn Goldsworthy

Kerryn Goldsworthy

Kerryn Goldsworthy won the 2013 Pascall Prize for cultural criticism, and the 2017 Horne Prize for her essay ‘The Limit of the World’. A former Editor of ABR (1986–87), she is one of Australia’s most prolific and respected literary critics. Her publications include several anthologies, a critical study of Helen Garner, and her book Adelaide, which was shortlisted for a Victorian Premier’s Literary Award. In November 2012 she was named as the inaugural ABR Ian Potter Foundation Fellow. Her Fellowship article on reviewing, ‘Everyone’s a Critic’, appeared in the May 2013 issue of ABR.

Kerryn Goldsworthy reviews 'The Golden Age' by Joan London

September 2014, no. 364 01 September 2014
Kerryn Goldsworthy reviews 'The Golden Age' by Joan London
When the polio epidemics at the hinge of the twentieth century were catching hundreds of Australian children and adults in their web of pathogens, a pub in suburban Perth called ‘The Golden Age’ was converted – with its name unchanged – into a convalescent home for children who were recovering from polio but still unready to go back into the world. Joan London has used this fact as the sta ... (read more)

Kerryn Goldsworthy reviews 'MaddAddam' by Margaret Atwood

October 2013, no. 355 25 September 2013
Kerryn Goldsworthy reviews 'MaddAddam' by Margaret Atwood
Any sequel, much less the final book of a trilogy, intensifies the dilemma presented to a reviewer who does not wish simply to provide a plot summary, but for whom it’s impossible to say anything coherent about the book without giving some idea of what happens in it. For any reader who might not have read or can’t clearly remember the first two books in this trilogy, Oryx and Crake (2003) and ... (read more)

Kerryn Goldsworthy reviews 'Big Brother' by Lionel Shriver

June 2013, no. 352 26 May 2013
Kerryn Goldsworthy reviews 'Big Brother' by Lionel Shriver
The novel for which Lionel Shriver is best known, We Need to Talk about Kevin (2003), generated endless discussion across the spectrum of readers, from buzzing suburban home-based reading groups to the pages of the Guardian and the New York Times. Much of this discussion circled around the question of the first-person narrator and mother, Eva Khatchadourian, and her relationships with her uncompre ... (read more)

ABR Ian Potter Foundation Fellowship: 'Everyone’s a Critic' by Kerryn Goldsworthy

May 2013, no. 351 24 April 2013
‘We place on paper without hesitation a tissue of flatteries, to which in society we could not give utterance, for our lives, without either blushing or laughing outright,’ wrote Edgar Allan Poe in 1846. His title was ‘The Literati of New York City’; his topic was the discrepancy, as he saw it, between the critics’ private opinions of books and the polite reviews of them that appeared in ... (read more)

Kerryn Goldsworthy reviews 'The Watch Tower' by Elizabeth Harrower

October 2012, no. 345 27 September 2012
Kerryn Goldsworthy reviews 'The Watch Tower' by Elizabeth Harrower
‘Too many vampires,’ wrote Patrick White. The year was 1980; the document was a letter to Shirley Hazzard; the subject was their friend and fellow novelist Elizabeth Harrower, who had published nothing but a handful of uncollected short stories since 1966. ‘Elizabeth keeps her principles,’ he wrote. ‘Whether she is also writing, I have given up asking in case I get the wrong answer. Too ... (read more)

Kerryn Goldsworthy reviews 'Cold Light' by Frank Moorhouse

November 2011, no. 336 25 October 2011
Kerryn Goldsworthy reviews 'Cold Light' by Frank Moorhouse
Admirers of the first two volumes in Frank Moorhouse’s ‘Edith Trilogy’, Grand Days (1993) and Dark Palace (2000), will remember the gripping and heartbreaking scene at the end of Dark Palace in which Edith Campbell Berry, her British husband, Ambrose, and several of their senior colleagues are humiliatingly informed, in the cruellest possible way, that after two decades of hard work for the ... (read more)