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Tony Hughes-d'Aeth

Tony Hughes-d'Aeth

Tony Hughes-d’Aeth is Professor in English and Cultural Studies at the University of Western Australia. He is the author of Like Nothing on this Earth: A literary history of the wheatbelt (UWA Publishing, 2017) and Paper Nation: The Story of the Picturesque Atlas of Australasia, 1886–1888 (Melbourne University Press, 2001).

Tony Hughes-d’Aeth reviews ‘On Kim Scott: Writers on writers’ by Tony Birch

May 2024, no. 464 22 April 2024
In this latest instalment of Black Inc.’s ‘Writers on Writers’ series, we have the intriguing prospect of Tony Birch reflecting on the work of Kim Scott. While most of the previous twelve books in this series have featured a generational gap, Birch and Scott, both born in 1957, are almost exact contemporaries. This is also the first book in the series in which an Indigenous writer is consi ... (read more)

Tony Hughes-d'Aeth reviews 'Praiseworthy' by Alexis Wright

April 2023, no. 452 28 March 2023
An ochre-coloured haze has gathered permanently over the town of Praiseworthy somewhere in the Gulf country. It is composed of dust, soot, broken butterfly wings, memories, and grief – and it isn’t going anywhere. Meanwhile, on the ground, thousands of feral donkeys are being corralled into the town cemetery by an Indigenous leader called Cause Man Steel. Most call this man Planet because he ... (read more)

Tony Hughes-d'Aeth reviews 'Walking Underwater' by Mark Tredinnick

January-February 2023, no. 450 28 December 2022
Mark Tredinnick’s latest collection of poetry, Walking Underwater, continues his exploration of the relationship between individual experience and the natural world that was visible in volumes such as A Gathered Distance (2020), Blue Wren Cantos (2013), and Fire Diary (2010). Tredinnick is well known for his writing of place, notably his innovative local history-cum-memoir The Blue Plateau (2009 ... (read more)

Tony Hughes-d’Aeth reviews 'The Seasons: Philosophical, literary, and environmental perspectives' edited by Luke Fischer and David Macauley

October 2021, no. 436 23 September 2021
There is something quaint about seasons. They do not seem to trigger the same dread that we now experience when we hear the word ‘climate’. I think this is because seasons remain connected to that time in human history during which the annual variations of climatic conditions were evidence of an underlying stability in the world and of nature’s constancy. The Seasons, a collection of essays ... (read more)

'Thinking in a regional accent: New ways of contemplating Australian writers' by Tony Hughes-d’Aeth

November 2020, no. 426 22 October 2020
Who would have guessed that a rejuvenation of regional difference might be triggered by a plague? Cosmopolitan Melbourne became the epicentre of what Prime Minister Scott Morrison has called the ‘Victorian wave’. Borders, the leitmotif of Australian politics since Tampa, suddenly became internal. My own state of Western Australia was sued for breach of the Australian Constitution for maintaini ... (read more)

Tony Hughes-d’Aeth reviews 'Displaced: A rural life' by John Kinsella

September 2020, no. 424 24 August 2020
John Kinsella tends to be a polarising figure, but his work has won many admirers both in Australia and across the world, and I find myself among these. The main knocks on Kinsella are that he writes too much, that what he does write is sprawling and ungainly, and that he tends to editorialise and evangelise. One might concede all of these criticisms, but then still be faced with what by any estim ... (read more)

Tony Hughes-d’Aeth reviews 'Taboo' by Kim Scott

August 2017, no. 393 25 July 2017
When a new novel from Kim Scott appears, one feels compelled to talk not only about it as a work of fiction by a leading Australian writer, but also about its cultural significance. In this sense a Kim Scott novel is an event, and Taboo does not disappoint. Scott’s novels Benang: From the heart (1999) and That Deadman Dance (2010) each won the Miles Franklin Literary Award and each dealt with a ... (read more)

Tony Hughes-d’Aeth reviews 'The Fiction of Tim Winton: Earthed and sacred' by Lyn McCredden

June-July 2017, no. 392 30 May 2017
Tim Winton is embarrassing to Australian literary critics. It is not that it is impossible to form adequate literary judgements about the nature of his work. It is simply that any judgements one might form seem so totally irrelevant. Winton’s work makes plain a certain disconnect between the interests and imperatives of Australian literary criticism and those of the reading public who buy each o ... (read more)