by Peter Rose January 6 Such high standards the American magazines maintain, with their enviable resources. Fine valedictory article in the New Yorker by Joyce Carol Oates on the death of her husband of four decades. Slightly uneasy, though, to realise that Oates, in her forensic way, was gathering data for such an article while he was failing. But the magazines can still terrify. Harper’s In ... (read more)
Peter Rose is the Editor and CEO of Australian Book Review. His books include a family memoir, Rose Boys (2001), which won the National Biography Award in 2003. He has published two novels and six poetry collections, most recently The Subject of Feeling (UWA Publishing, 2015).
Late afternoon. Another forty degree day. Sick of ecological talk I decide to meet it, take my book into the park, not sure how far I’ll go with Against Nature. Rare grass crackles beneath my feet. This is not turf but a shell oval, yet die-hards play in their filthy whites. Only clouds billow, lyric. Dog after dog sniffs my rug, preferring the plastic hats ringing the oval – odoriferous bo ... (read more)
So Patrick White’s most flamboyant novel (with the possible exception of The Twyborn Affair) has been brought to the cinema, after the usual longueurs and fiscal frights. Director Fred Schepisi and his scriptwriter, Judy Morris, have tamed the long and somewhat unwieldy beast that won White the Nobel Prize in 1973. Lovers of the novel will miss certain scenes, but there is a coherence to the scr ... (read more)
September 2011, no. 334 • 23 August 2011
In her short memoir of Susan Sontag, novelist Sigrid Nunez claims that she did not read the obituaries and commentaries after her death in 2004, and that she was never much interested in what other people said about Sontag. If it’s true, she is indeed a rara avis. Susan Sontag, in death as in life, generates enormous interest and a growing literature, one that promises to burgeon and diversify b ... (read more)
December 2010–January 2011, no. 327 • 30 November 2010
It is a hundred years since the publication of Howards End (one of only five novels by E.M. Forster to be published during his lifetime), and longer still, or so it seems, since Lytton Strachey, his fellow Apostle, entranced the Bloomsburys in the drawing room at 46 Gordon Square by daring to utter the word ‘semen’. Virginia Woolf dated modernity from that instant, such was its iconoclasm in E ... (read more)