David Marr is not on the list of Australian living treasures, but perhaps he should be. Among our best journalists, he stands out as someone who has consistently challenged the powerful, at his best with forensic skill and deep research. Like other journalist–authors such as Anne Summers and George Megalogenis ...... (read more)
Simon Leys is the pen name of the distinguished academic Pierre Ryckmans, who came to notice, first as a sinologist, then as a critic and author. The essays in this collection, composed over more than three decades during which Ryckmans held appointments at the Australian National University and the University of Sydney, cover a wide range of subjects ...... (read more)
With the recent focus on new anthologies in the Australian poetry community firmly placed on UNSW Press’s Australian Poetry Since 1788 (edited by Geoffrey Lehmann and Robert Gray) and the publication of two anthologies dedicated to the work of younger poets (UQP’s Thirty Australian Poets and ...... (read more)
On 7 November, Paul Keating appeared on ABC TV’s 7.30 to promote his new book of speeches, After Words. Keating’s response to Leigh Sales’s first question about political leadership was instructive:... (read more)
The ABC Shop is currently selling online The Best Australian Stories 2010 for $14.99. ‘Ideal for summer reading’ its advertising says, and it surely doesn’t matter which summer. At that price you might get yourself a copy and sling it in your beach bag, unless you suspect it might dampen your holiday mood. More than a few reviewers found the overall tone of the collection bleak a ...
On the day that I finished reading Into the Woods, I opened the newspaper to a report that Gunns was withdrawing from native forest logging to base its future business entirely on plantation-grown timber. Given that Gunns controls almost eighty-five per cent of the wood products traded in Tasmania, this has raised hopes of an end to the decades-old forest w ...
The title of this book might, to an innocent observer, suggest a triumphalist history, an impression that could be reinforced by the preface, which argues that the setting up of a squatters’ camp on the banks of the Yarra in 1835 ‘had a significance far beyond the baptism of a great city’, and concludes with the ...... (read more)
Chris Flynn reviews 'The Best Australian Stories 2010' edited by Cate Kennedy and 'New Australian Stories 2' edited by Aviva Tuffield
Amore appropriate moniker for this year’s Black Inc. collection might be ‘Bleak Australian Stories 2010’. Either the editor’s taste runs to the morose or Australian writers need to venture outside and enjoy the sunshine a little more...... (read more)
Joel Deane reviews 'Trivial Pursuit (Quarterly Essay 40)' by George Megalogenis and 'The Party Thieves' by Barrie Cassidy
Political writers are much like their sports-writing cousins. Most simply tell it as they see it, recounting the highs and lows of the game, the winners and losers, the statistics and scoreline. Some – courtesy of a flair for language, a well-stocked contacts book, or the perspective that comes from being a former player or a veteran observer ...... (read more)