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Wendy Were

Wendy Were

Wendy Were is a former Artistic Director of the Sydney Writers’ Festival.

Wendy Were reviews 'Murdering Stepmothers: The execution of Martha Rendell' by Anna Haebich

June 2010, issue no. 322 01 June 2010
Stepmotherly malevolence is enshrined in myth and legend, and sometimes in real life. Anna Haebich’s Murdering Stepmothers takes up the controversial case of Perth woman Martha Rendell, who in 1909 was tried, convicted and hanged for the murder of her fourteen-year-old stepson. It was widely believed that she also murdered her two stepdaughters in the same fashion, slowly poisoning them by swabb ... (read more)

Wendy Were reviews 'Elemental' by Amanda Curtin

September 2013, no. 354 26 August 2013
Amanda Curtin’s second novel, Elemental, tells the story of Margaret (Meggie) Duthie Tulloch. Meggie, an old woman who is dying of leukaemia, writes her life story in a series of notebooks intended to be a twenty-first birthday present to her granddaughter, Laura, who grew up clamouring for tales of ‘Fish Meggie, The Gutting Girl from the Top of the World’. ... (read more)

Wendy Were reviews 'Steeplechase' by Krissy Kneen

May 2013, no. 351 28 April 2013
‘My sister Emily likes ponies and show jumping and arenas.’ Steeplechase, Krissy Kneen’s fourth book, opens innocently enough with this unremarkable announcement of a common girlhood infatuation. Before the first paragraph ends, this innocent observation is tempered by the obviously unwholesome quality that underpins the imaginative equine play of two young sisters. Foreshadowing the intrica ... (read more)

Wendy Were reviews 'My Hundred Lovers' by Susan Johnson

June 2012, no. 342 23 May 2012
Why is the measure of love loss? As I worked my way through the hundred vignettes that comprise My Hundred Lovers, my thoughts kept returning to this first line of a novel by Jeanette Winterson that is similarly preoccupied with the interlinking of the body, love, sex, and death. My Hundred Lovers is the story of a life rendered as a litany of bodily memories. The twin-faced abstractions of desire ... (read more)