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Sarah Kanowski

Sarah Kanowski

Sarah Kanowski is a writer, editor, and broadcaster. She is the new editor of Island magazine, the literary quarterly based in Tasmania and addressed to readers and writers across the world. Sarah has worked extensively at ABC Radio National, primarily on the Late Night Live, Saturday Extra, and Encounter programs. She holds a Masters of Philosophy in English Studies from Oxford University. Having begun life as a Queenslander, with time spent in Latin America, she wonders how much further south fate will carry her.

Sarah Kanowski reviews ‘Making ‘Black Harvest’: Warfare, filmmaking and living dangerously in the highlands of Papua New Guinea’ by Bob Connolly

November 2005, no. 276 01 November 2005
Bob Connolly and Robin Anderson – partners in life and work – made three documentaries in the Papua New Guinea Highlands: First Contact (1983), Joe Leahy’s Neighbours (1989) and Black Harvest (1992). These films have won several awards which is fitting, given that each exemplifies what is possible in the medium of observational filmmaking, where the drama evolving from real situations outdoe ... (read more)

Sarah Kanowski reviews 'Other Colours: Essays and a Story' by Orhan Pamuk and translated by Maureen Freely

April 2008, no. 300 01 April 2008
Media discussion of the 2006 Nobel Prize winner, Orhan Pamuk, tends to focus on his political persecution at the hands of the Turkish state. Pamuk concedes that history has forced him to don a ‘political persona’, one that journalists and literary festival audiences are keen to encounter. Yet Pamuk’s new collection of essays, Other Colours: Essays and a Story, reveals where politics (or poli ... (read more)

Sarah Kanowski reviews 'In Two Minds: Tales of a psychotherapist' by Paul Valent

November 2009, no. 316 01 November 2009
‘I am interested to know all about you: who you are, how your life developed, from the time your mother was pregnant with you, till today. Are you willing to tell me?’ This request, made by Paul Valent to one of his first patients, is as seductive as it is impossible. The great realist writers of the nineteenth century approached their characters with the same voracious desire to know everythi ... (read more)

Sarah Kanowski reviews 'Mr Isherwood Changes Trains: Christopher Isherwood and the Search for the 'Home Self'' by Victor Marsh

July–August 2010, no. 323 10 July 2010
Living in Berlin during the rise of the Nazis, Christopher Isherwood wrote the stories that first brought him fame and later became the basis for the musical Cabaret. This was the period that Isherwood mined for his ground-breaking memoir, Christopher and His Kind (1976). Less well known is the life the writer lived in California from 1939 until his death in 1986, or the subject which preoccupied ... (read more)

Sarah Kanowski reviews 'Velocity' by Mindy Sayer

June–July 2005, no. 272 01 June 2005
The picaresque adventures of an eager young woman tap-dancing through the streets of New York and New Orleans to the rhythms of her boozy, freewheeling jazz-drummer father – it’s not surprising that Mandy Sayer’s first memoir, Dreamtime Alice, was widely embraced by reviewers and readers on its publication in 1998. Busking in the United States was Sayer’s attempt to graduate from being a l ... (read more)

Sarah Kanowski reviews 'Tripping Over Feathers: Scenes in the life of Joy Janaka Wiradjuri Williams' by Peter Read

February 2010, no. 318 11 October 2022
Some stories are very familiar to us, as a society, stories whose ugly truths we seem to have accepted, may even have, belatedly, apologised for, but the story of Joy Janaka Wiradjuri Williams, as told by Peter Read, reveals how much White Australia still has to learn about the complexity of our national past and the tragedy of its continuing legacy. Eileen Williams, three weeks after her birth in ... (read more)

Sarah Kanowski reviews 'The Singing' by Stephanie Bishop and 'The Patron Saint Of Eels' by Gregory Day

August 2005, no. 273 01 August 2005
The Singing is the inaugural publication in the Varuna Firsts series, a collaboration between the Varuna Writers’ House and Brandl & Schlesinger. Both should be applauded for bringing a distinctive new voice into Australian writing; not to mention the honour due to the prodigious talent of Stephanie Bishop herself. Bishop has written a haunting novel with a seemingly simple story: love gone ... (read more)

Sarah Kanowski reviews 'The Cambridge Companion to English Novelists' edited by Adrian Poole and 'The Cambridge Companion to the Twentieth-Century English Novel' edited by Robert L. Caserio

April 2011, no. 330 25 March 2011
While spying in Scotland in 1706, Daniel Defoe wrote a letter to the queen’s secretary of state explaining his technique: ‘I Talk to Everybody in Their Own Way.’ In his energetic and instructive introduction to The Cambridge Companion to English Novelists, Adrian Poole takes Defoe’s declaration as a neat summation of the novelist’s method. It was following the success of Robinson Crusoe ... (read more)