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Debra Adelaide

Debra Adelaide

Debra Adelaide has published eighteen books, including novels, short fiction, and essays, the most recent of which is The Innocent Reader (2019). Until 2020 she was an associate professor in the creative writing program at the University of Technology Sydney.

Debra Adelaide reviews 'From Where I Fell' by Susan Johnson, 'New Animal' by Ella Baxter, and 'Unsheltered' by Clare Moleta

May 2021, no. 431 26 April 2021
From Where I Fell by Susan Johnson Allen & Unwin, $32.99 pb, 338 pp A new Susan Johnson novel is always a treat, partly because you get the sense that with each one she has set herself a specific creative challenge, and partly because she is such a fine writer. In From Where I Fell, the epistolary novel, popular in the nineteenth century, has been updated, with the entire work in the form of ... (read more)

Debra Adelaide reviews 'Eye of a Rook' by Josephine Taylor, 'Everyday Madness' by Susan Midalia, and 'A Room Called Earth' by Madeleine Ryan

March 2021, no. 429 22 February 2021
Determining connections between books sent as a review bundle is not mandatory, but there is an irresistible tendency to find some common theme. In the case of these three novels, the theme of women’s pain, and hidden pain at that, does not need to be teased out – it leaps out. Since it is unlikely that three different authors would have colluded, the prevalence of this is worth deeper reflect ... (read more)

Debra Adelaide reviews 'In the Time of Foxes' by Jo Lennan

September 2020, no. 424 24 August 2020
Wonderful is not a critical word, but that is where I begin. Now that I have made my peace with foxes, I am full of wonder for them. Doubly receptive to these stories, I am quickly seduced after the first few, in which foxes appear either substantially or marginally. There is much wonderment in these stories, though only one of them is what might strictly be called speculative. Throughout the coll ... (read more)

Debra Adelaide reviews 'A Constant Hum' by Alice Bishop

November 2019, no. 416 24 October 2019
Thanks to the internet, the 24/7 news cycle, and social media, certain books are preceded by their reputations. They arrive freighted with so much publicity hype that reading them with fresh eyes is almost impossible. A Constant Hum is one such book, very much the product of a reputation established well before publication, due to the airing of individual stories in places like Seizure and Meanjin ... (read more)

Debra Adelaide reviews 'Peripheral Vision' by Paddy O'Reilly

August 2015, no. 373 29 July 2015
Just as there are ways of writing short story collections, there are also ways of reading them. I used to be a rummager, picking through collections, seeking out the title piece, dipping in here and there to ascertain the feel of the stories, then reading the book from start to finish. Conscious now of the architecture of collections, of the fact that the author has probably wrestled with the orde ... (read more)
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