Francesca Sasnaitis

Francesca Sasnaitis takes a tour of 'Melbourne Now'

Francesca Sasnaitis
19 January 2014

‘There’s no time like NOW!’ proclaim the signs.

Inspired by the fond reminiscences of slow tram rides of several Melbourne personalities, whose brief anecdotes are interspersed between the pages of the sumptuous Melbourne Now catalogue (Melbourne Now Limited Edition, National Gallery of Victoria, $100 hb, 280 pp, 978072 ... More

Francesca Sasnaitis reviews 'Holy Bible'

Francesca Sasnaitis
26 August 2013

Vanessa Russell grew up in a traditionalist Christian fellowship, the Christadelphians. She read the Bible from cover to cover every year, enjoyed a childhood filled with group activities, and only left when their oppressive restrictions caused her too much grief.

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Francesca Sasnaitis reviews 'Holy Bible' by Vanessa Russell

Francesca Sasnaitis
08 July 2013

Vanessa Russell grew up in a traditionalist Christian fellowship, the Christadelphians. She read the Bible from cover to cover every year, enjoyed a childhood filled with group activities, and only left when their oppressive restrictions caused her too much grief.

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Francesca Sasnaitis reviews 'Street to Street' by Brian Castro

Francesca Sasnaitis
29 January 2013

At the age of fourteen, Brendan Costa, not Brian Castro, visits a fortune teller. The Witch predicts a fortunate life, though one afflicted by a lack of awareness that may lead to loss of control and possible disaster. Castro is warning the reader to pay attention or lose the plot.

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Francesca Sasnaitis reviews 'Lola Bensky' by Lily Brett

Francesca Sasnaitis
26 September 2012

It is no secret that Lily Brett has mined her past and her family history in her fiction. Her parents, like those of her current alter ego, Lola Bensky, were survivors of the Łódź ghetto and Auschwitz concentration camp; Lola, like the author, was born in a displaced persons’ camp before her family emigrated to Australia. Lola, a chubby baby, was possibly the o ... More

Francesca Sasnaitis reviews the biography: 'Nicole Kidman'

Francesca Sasnaitis
25 September 2012

‘Will the real Nicole Kidman please stand up?’ Many readers will remember that line from the television game show Tell the Truth, in which celebrities were required to guess which of three contestants was the ‘real’ person. Pam Cook tells us that our ‘search for veracity is doomed to failure’ because, in this case, the celebrity’s identity is a ... More

Francesca Sasnaitis reviews 'Sufficient Grace' by Amy Espeseth

Francesca Sasnaitis
28 August 2012

Imagine the book as a repository of memories: to turn the pages is to remember. Fiction, in particular, encourages flipping back and forth through memory’s volume. An author’s life informs her fiction. Memories, personal and second-hand, play a pivotal role in the formation of narrative structures. In a début novel, it is not uncommon for the author to resort to childhood sources for inspi ... More

Francesca Sasnaitis reviews 'Hide Your Fires' edited by Lauren Anderson et al.

Francesca Sasnaitis
28 August 2012

The making of a writer involves more than talent and ambition; perseverance and a thick skin are also prerequisites. The best that can be hoped for from a teaching institution is that potential writers are exposed to new ideas and encouraged to experiment with content and form. The results are seldom perfect, but at least they can prove interesting.

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Francesca Sasnaitis reviews 'The Longing' by Candice Bruce

Francesca Sasnaitis
21 March 2012

The Longing is an ambitious first novel. Set in the Western District of Victoria, with parallel narratives in the mid-nineteenth century and the present day, its principal theme is the occupation of Gunditjmara country by white settlers, and the decimation of Indigenous tribes. Novel writing is, of course, an act of imagination, and writers should be commended for their research, tenac ... More

Francesca Sasnaitis reviews 'Cooking the Books' by Kerry Greenwood

Francesca Sasnaitis
27 February 2012

For many years I have looked forward to the ongoing exploits of Kerry Greenwood’s sassy heroine Phryne Fisher – the marvellous descriptions of period detail and fashion, the historical background of her ripping yarns – and have wilfully ignored occasional anachronisms of language or behaviour.

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