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Camilla Nelson

During the early 1980s, in a series of attacks on the Family Court in Sydney, a judge was shot dead outside his home, while bombs killed another judge’s wife and injured a third judge and his children as they slept. The man behind these and other attacks, Leonard Warwick, was involved in a custody dispute with his ex-wife over the care of their young daughter, but it would be thirty-five years before the crimes were solved and he was convicted of three murders and the bombings. Media commentators, meanwhile, wondered what had driven the culprit to such violence. Elizabeth Evatt, the court’s then chief justice, described the media’s response: ‘They said, “The Court has been bombed, what’s wrong with the Court?”’

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Dangerous Ideas about Mothers edited by Camilla Nelson and Rachel Robertson

December 2018, no. 407

An essay at the heart of this collection, ‘Against Motherhood Memoirs’ by Maria Tumarkin, is not as insistent as its title suggests. Tumarkin, interested in ‘fissures and de-fusion’, troubles the awkward spots in her analysis. While reading Maggie Nelson’s The Argonauts (2015) – which places ‘motherhood and queerness side by side’ with ...

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