Felicity Plunkett

2017 Books of the Year

Australian Book Review
Sunday, 26 November 2017

To celebrate the best books of 2017 Australian Book Review invited nearly forty contributors to nominate their favourite titles. Contributors include Michelle de Kretser, Susan Wyndham, James Ley, Geordie Williamson, Jane Sullivan, Tom Griffiths, Mark Edele, and Brenda Niall.

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Felicity Plunkett reviews 'Demi-Gods' by Eliza Robertson

Felicity Plunkett
Friday, 24 November 2017

In the preface to Demi-Gods, a boy burns moths with a magnifying glass. A girl – the novel’s narrator, Willa – watches ‘khaki wings’ that seem to be ‘folded from rice paper’. She imagines ‘ten moths circling a candle to form a lantern’, cries later, but does not stop Patrick. The wings ignite ‘like dog-eared pages in a book’ ...

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In his luminous paean to poetry, modestly titled How to Read a Poem, Edward Hirsch writes that ‘poetry is made of metaphor’. This lucid statement is beautiful enough, but as a poet, Hirsch continues, making music, elaborating, forever taking the idea onwards, upwards and outwards, with poetry’s relentless energy: ‘It is a collision,’ he writes, ...

Felicity Plunkett is Critic of the Month

Australian Book Review
Thursday, 30 March 2017

ABR: Which critics most impress you?

Some of Australia’s best writers are also reviewers. I always enjoy the beautifully crafted and perceptive work of Drusilla Modjeska, Mireille Juchau, James Bradley, Lisa Gorton, and Kerryn Goldsworthy, to name just a few. Anwen Crawford is wonderful on music, Kate Kellaway and a.j. carruthers on poetry.

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Books of the Year 2016

Sheila Fitzpatrick et al.
Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Originally published in German, Albrecht Dümling’s The Vanished Musicians: Jewish refugees in Australia (Peter Lang), a fascinating compendium of Jewish musicians who found refuge in Australia in the 1930s and 1940s, is now available in Australian Diana K. Weekes’s excellent translation ...

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'by the river' by Steven Herrick

Felicity Plunkett
Wednesday, 02 November 2016

by the river evokes the textures of a small Australian town in 1962 through lean episodic poems that drift along gently until moments of intensity break their banks. Through a leisurely accumulation of detail – houses on stilts, fruit bats, ...

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For Pasha Ivanov, memory is 'a warped wound, with a welt or bruise that had arrived inexplicably late'. As the son of political dissidents in Moscow during Brezhnev's ...

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Felicity Plunkett reviews 'The Midnight Watch' by David Dyer

Felicity Plunkett
Friday, 22 April 2016

Two headlines, a day apart, evoke the confusion surrounding the fate of the Titanic in April 1912. New York's Evening Sun reported, 'ALL SAVED FROM TITANIC AFTER COLLISION'. Twenty-four hours later, The Boston Daily Globe added: 'TITANIC SINKS, 1500 DIE.' From there, the sinking of the 'unsinkable' Titanic has been the subject of ...

Prismatic and dynamic, Australian Book Review's States of Poetry anthologies are about refraction as well as brilliance, shade and trace as much as what is lit. If anthologies generate disagreement, it is because of an illusion that they set or express the fixed amidst a mobile and vibrant set of practices. The recurring, multifarious nature of States of Po ...

Felicity Plunkett reviews 'M Train' by Patti Smith

Felicity Plunkett
Wednesday, 25 November 2015

The writer is a conductor, opines the 'vaguely handsome, intensely laconic' cowpoke who speaks to Patti Smith as she lingers at 'the frame of a dream'. His words shape Smith's days. 'It's not so easy writing about nothing,' this companion tells her, and she scratches these words over and over onto a wall in her home with a chunk of red chalk.

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