Kevin Rabalais

Richard Avedon never considered himself a photographer, much less (the horror!) a fashion photographer, yet in sixty years of peripatetic productivity (1944–2004) he revolutionised that field and reinvented photographic portraiture. His work in the fashion industry – as a photographer and, often, creative director of advertising ...

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'Our parents intimately link us, closeted as we are in our lives, to a thing we’re not, forging a joined separateness and a useful mystery, so that even together with them we are also alone,’ writes Richard Ford early in ‘My Mother, In Memory’, the first of the two memoirs that comprise Between Them, the Pulitzer Prize winner’s bewitching first bo ...

Kevin Rabalais reviews 'Moonglow' by Michael Chabon

Kevin Rabalais
Tuesday, 29 November 2016

‘Tell all the truth but tell it slant,’ wrote Emily Dickinson. In Moonglow, his latest novel, Michael Chabon follows Dickinson’s directive. This shape-shifting novel masquerades at times as a memoir and at others as a biography of the author’s grandmother and, more frequently, of his grandfather. At the centre of this family saga that takes us throu ...

Books of the Year 2016

Sheila Fitzpatrick et al.
Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Originally published in German, Albrecht Dümling’s The Vanished Musicians: Jewish refugees in Australia (Peter Lang), a fascinating compendium of Jewish musicians who found refuge in Australia in the 1930s and 1940s, is now available in Australian Diana K. Weekes’s excellent translation ...

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Kevin Rabalais reviews 'The Abundance' by Annie Dillard

Kevin Rabalais
Monday, 22 August 2016

Read a few of the essays or chapter excerpts in Annie Dillard's The Abundance, and you might find yourself writing a letter to the author. Part of that letter might look like ...

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For many young writers, Julian Wasser's 1968 Time magazine photograph of Joan Didion posed in front of her yellow Corvette remains the epitome of cool ...

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Before his first Brazilian sojourn in 1936, Stefan Zweig – the Viennese author who enjoyed fame as the most widely translated writer in the world between the two world wars – deemed the South American country 'terra incognita in the cultural sense'. Once it had also been unknown in the geographical sense, this 'land that one should hardly call a country ...

Kevin Rabalais reviews 'Deep South' by Paul Theroux

Kevin Rabalais
Thursday, 26 November 2015

The traveller, as V.S. Naipaul describes that role in A Turn in the South (1989), 'is a man defining himself against a foreign background'. Over the past forty years, Paul Theroux has built his career writing books, nearly fifty novels and travelogues, to become an exemplar of that definition. He seeks always to go farther and deeper, often journeying, to b ...

Books of the Year 2015

Robert Adamson et al.
Monday, 23 November 2015

Jennifer Maiden's The Fox Petition: New Poems (Giramondo) conjures foxes 'whose eyes were ghosts with pity' and foxes of language that transform the world's headlines

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Kevin Rabalais reviews 'Scorper' by Rob Magnuson Smith

Kevin Rabalais
Wednesday, 28 October 2015

For the most part, we move among books with ease, passing from one writer's prose to another without having to adjust the frequency of our inner ear. We detect shifts in style and sensibility, sure, but as readers we open ourselves to such a wide harmonic range that, should multiple books arrive on our lap with the authors' names deleted, we could segue from page to ...

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