Alison Broinowski

Alison Broinowski reviews 'The Violent American Century: War and Terror since World War II' by John W. Dower

Alison Broinowski
26 July 2017

A week after the Manchester Arena bombing, it emerged in the British media that MI5 had been warned about some of the terrorists but had apparently done nothing. M16, moreover, had reporte More

Letters to the Editor - May 2017

Australian Book Review
28 April 2017

Scurvy

Dear Editor,
All authors are perhaps oversensitive to reviews of their books, but I have never been tempted to quarrel with a reviewer until now. Alan Atkinson’s review of Scurvy: The disease of discovery (April 2017) contains a ... More

Alison Broinowski reviews 'Subtle Moments: Scenes on a life’s journey' by Bruce Grant

Alison Broinowski
28 March 2017

Opposite a handsome portrait of him by Louis Kahan, Bruce Grant introduces his memoir of a ‘life’s journey’ by proposing that it is also a biography of Australia, and promising to revisit that on the last page. There, he summarises the plots of ‘Love in the Asian Century’, his recent trilogy of e-books, in which affairs between older men and younger women, ... More

Alison Broinowski reviews 'The Wild Goose' by Mori Õgai

Alison Broinowski
25 November 2014

Elegantly evoking Japan with cream paper and ink-painted foliage on the cover and inside pages, this slim paperback from the small Braidwood publisher Finlay Lloyd is headed by the single, bold character for ‘wild goose’ (karikarigane). The events recounted in Mori Õgai’s novella occur in Tokyo in the late nineteenth century, in the area north of Kanda ... More

Alison Broinowski reviews Haruki Murakami's new novel

Alison Broinowski
23 September 2014

Alison Broinowski reflects on Haruki Murakami’s writing style and reviews his latest novel.

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Alison Broinowski reviews 'The Yellow Papers'

Alison Broinowski
23 July 2014

The three parts of Dominique Wilson’s story are linked together by racial prejudice, of Australians towards Asians, and of Chinese, Koreans, and Japanese towards Westerners. She picks up this well-worn thread in pre-Federation Australia and weaves it in and out of the narrative, tying it off when China is in the throes of the Cultural Revolution. During the twenti ... More

Alison Broinowski reviews 'The Storyteller and his Three Daughters'

Alison Broinowski
31 October 2013

For centuries, Japan has magnetised the West’s imagination, evoking both fear and fascination. In the late nineteenth century, when most writers and readers in Europe, North America, and Australia had yet to see this ‘young’, newly accessible country for themselves, literary fantasies on the Madam Butterfly theme became a craze. Then, after Japan invaded ... More

Alison Broinowski reviews 'Lightning'

Alison Broinowski
27 June 2013

Few first novelists are as assured and articulate as Felicity Volk. She has designed an elemental structure for her story: wind, fire, earth, and water each have a section. Her time frame goes centuries deep, naming ancestors who, in the style of Genesis, begat and begat seven generations, until they reach Persia, an Australian with Arab, European, and British ... More

Alison Broinowski reviews 'Desert Passions'

Alison Broinowski
28 April 2013

I once fell out with an intelligent, well-read woman who refused to believe me when I said I had never read a Mills & Boon book. I should perhaps have admitted that the job I had as a student, proofreading stacks of popular novels for an Adelaide publisher, put me off them for life. Now I am grateful to Hsu-Ming Teo for educating me so thoroughly on romantic fic ... More

Alison Broinowski reviews 'The Untold History of the United States'

Alison Broinowski
25 March 2013

It is ten years since the invasion of Iraq by the United States and the few countries willing to join it. Happening to be in Washington in February, and recalling worldwide protests in 2003, I was struck by what seems to be American amnesia about the war and its consequences. At least in Australia groups are exploring ways to prevent such catastrophic expediti ... More

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