William Yang is one of Australia's best-known and most prolific photographers. In William Yang: Stories of love and death, Helena Grehan and Edward Scheer interrogate the political and aesthetic themes running through this artist's output.
The threesome in Trio is a group of friends who meet in the United Kingdom around 1966. Celia, Marcia, and Mickey bond one ‘pea-souperof a London evening’ and soon move in together. They become extremely close, and socialise in the same (largely theatre-based) circles. Their closeness has its limits; the protagonists draw the line at ‘threefold sex’.< ...
Transnational Literature is an online, open-access journal that is published by Flinders University. The May 2014 edition certainly lives up to the title. This edition provides an overview of literary texts and theories from across the world.
The academic contributions explore a diverse range of topics. These include the work of Marion Halligan, literary representations of Islam and the veil, and the notion of ‘home’ as this is invoked in Shani Mootoo’s novel Cereus Blooms at Night (1996). There is a review essay on a selection of books dedicated to the theme of ‘world literature’, plus the paper delivered by Satendra Nandan at the December 2013 launch of Rosie Scott and Tom Keneally’s edited collection A Country Too Far (the latter is reviewed in this edition). Readers will also find poems, short stories and life narratives.
Crazy Little Heaven provides an account of Mark Heyward’s life in Indonesia. The book offers readers an affectionate insight into this nation and its diverse culture. In 1992, Heyward travelled from Tasmania to East Kalimantan to work as a teacher. He was initially blinded by fantasies of Indonesia as the stomping ground ‘of Joseph Conrad, of the White Rajas of Sarawak … of Tom Harrison, King of the Headhunters’. With time, Heyward gained a more accurate – and more exciting – perspective on his new home. Heyward, travelling around the country by boat, became entranced with Indonesia’s wildlife. He grew accustomed to meals of nasi putih and egg. He also fell in love, and this love played a significant role in his conversion to Islam.
In Circus and Stage, Mimi Colligan revisits the careers of stage performers Rose Edouin and and her husband, George Benjamin William Lewis, who were significant figures in nineteenth-century Australian theatre but are now ‘largely forgotten’.
The title of Jeremy Fisher’s latest tome is deceptive. This reviewer expected a zany children’s book. Actually, How to Tell Your Fatherto Drop Dead is a subdued look at masculinity in Australian history. The text comprises autobiographical fragments and short stories. Fisher recalls growing up in a culture where homosexuality was ‘invisible’. He describes the heady days of the Gay Liberation movement in the 1970s. The author remembers his relationship with his father. The older man is described as an Errol Flynn lookalike who, at the age of sixteen, killed a boar and whose body was (decades later) cremated alongside that animal’s tusks. There is a piece on gay male sadomasochism in Sydney’s western suburbs.
In The Baby Farmers, legal scholar Annie Cossins revisits a bizarre episode in Australian criminal history. Her text focuses on a pair of baby killers who operated in Sydney during the nineteenth century. In October 1892, Sarah and John Makin were arrested after a baby’s corpse was found buried on their farm. An investigation revealed the bodies of twelve more babies, all buried in properties that had been inhabited by the Makins. The couple’s crimes stemmed largely from their poverty. Purchasing babies provided them with an (albeit limited) income. These babies had often been born out of wedlock, and their mothers relinquished them to avoid the stigma surrounding ‘illegitimate’ children.
P hilosophy in the Garden is the latest book from philosopher and social commentator Damon Young. The text contributes to existing studies of the cultural and personal significance held by gardens. Young begins by noting that gardens ‘can console, calm and uplift’, as well as ‘discomfit and provoke’. This range of responses adds to the ‘philosophical value’ of these spaces. Young moves on to discuss several ‘great minds, and the gardens they loved (or loathed)’. These include the authors Leonard Woolf (best known for being Virginia’s husband), Colette, George Orwell, Marcel Proust, and Jean-Paul Sartre.