Jay Daniel Thompson

Jay Daniel Thompson lectures in the Media and Communications program at the University of Melbourne.

Jay Daniel Thompson reviews 'The Baby Farmers: A Chilling Tale of Missing Babies, Shameful Secrets and Murder in 19th Century Australia' by Annie Cossins

December 2013–January 2014, no. 357 01 December 2013
Jay Daniel Thompson reviews 'The Baby Farmers: A Chilling Tale of Missing Babies, Shameful Secrets and Murder in 19th Century Australia' by Annie Cossins
In The Baby Farmers, legal scholar Annie Cossins revisits a bizarre episode in Australian criminal history. Her text focuses on a pair of baby killers who operated in Sydney during the nineteenth century. In October 1892, Sarah and John Makin were arrested after a baby’s corpse was found buried on their farm. An investigation revealed the bodies of twelve more babies, all buried in properties th ... (read more)

Jay Daniel Thompson reviews 'How to Tell Your Father to Drop Dead' by Jeremy Fisher

December 2013–January 2014, no. 357 01 December 2013
Jay Daniel Thompson reviews 'How to Tell Your Father to Drop Dead' by Jeremy Fisher
The title of Jeremy Fisher’s latest tome is deceptive. This reviewer expected a zany children’s book. Actually, How to Tell Your Father to Drop Dead is a subdued look at masculinity in Australian history. The text comprises autobiographical fragments and short stories. Fisher recalls growing up in a culture where homosexuality was ‘invisible’. He describes the heady days of the Gay Liberat ... (read more)

Dark Horse

October 2013, no. 355 27 September 2013
Dark Horse
D ark Horse is the latest book from Victorian author Honey Brown. The novel tells of lust and lies between two strangers who come together in an appropriately secluded rural location. Sarah Barnard has recently left an unhappy marriage, and is spending the Christmas period camping with her horse, Tansy. Sarah’s solitude is interrupted by the arrival of a man who calls himself Heath. Sarah is im ... (read more)

Philosophy in the Garden

September 2013, no. 354 27 August 2013
Philosophy in the Garden
P hilosophy in the Garden is the latest book from philosopher and social commentator Damon Young. The text contributes to existing studies of the cultural and personal significance held by gardens. Young begins by noting that gardens ‘can console, calm and uplift’, as well as ‘discomfit and provoke’. This range of responses adds to the ‘philosophical value’ of these spaces. Young move ... (read more)

Jay Daniel Thompson reviews 'Transactions' by Ali Alizadeh

July–August 2013, no. 353 27 June 2013
Jay Daniel Thompson reviews 'Transactions' by Ali Alizadeh
Transactions opens with a scene of duplicity and murder. In the following pages, Ali Alizadeh plunges readers into a ‘whirlpool of greed and apathy’. The collection revolves around an assortment of men and women from different parts of the world. We encounter Anna Heinesen, a Danish charity founder who is revealed to be a sex trafficker and religious zealot; Samia, a rich and racist Emirati st ... (read more)

Jay Daniel Thompson reviews 'The Year It All Fell Down' by Bob Ellis

July–August 2013, no. 353 27 June 2013
Jay Daniel Thompson reviews 'The Year It All Fell Down' by Bob Ellis
In The Year It All Fell Down, journalist Bob Ellis revisits 2011, a year that, as the title suggests, produced social and political change on a global scale. The text provides a month-by-month account of this dramatic time. Ellis covers the Queensland floods and the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. He describes the US-sanctioned execution of Osama bin Laden and the mass killings perpetrated by Ande ... (read more)

Helen Sage: A Flower Between the Cracks

June 2013, no. 352 27 May 2013
Helen Sage: A Flower Between the Cracks
A Flower Between the Cracks, South Australian writer Helen Sage’s first book, chronicles her experience of caring for a disabled child over a period of several years. Sage’s busy but comfortable life was changed irrevocably when her daughter, Jayne, was involved in a horrific car accident. Prior to this, Jayne had been a psychology honours student who loved ‘rock, blues, playing the piano’ ... (read more)

Jay Daniel Thompson reviews 'Reluctant Rescuers: An exploration of the Australian Border Protection system’s safety record in detecting and intercepting asylum-seeker boats, 1998–2011' by Tony Kevin

May 2013, no. 351 28 April 2013
Jay Daniel Thompson reviews 'Reluctant Rescuers: An exploration of the Australian Border Protection system’s safety record in detecting and intercepting asylum-seeker boats, 1998–2011' by Tony Kevin
In Reluctant Rescuers, Tony Kevin addresses the rescue at sea of boat people who have entered Australian waters. He aims to provide a ‘fact-based analysis of a shadowy’ – and deeply controversial – ‘area of public policy’. Kevin begins by correcting the myth that ‘people smugglers’ are the ‘main culprits when people die at sea’. He investigates the border protection systems tha ... (read more)

Jay Daniel Thompson reviews 'Speaking Secrets' by Sue Joseph

March 2013, no. 349 08 March 2013
Jay Daniel Thompson reviews 'Speaking Secrets' by Sue Joseph
In Speaking Secrets, academic and journalist Sue Joseph looks at what happens when sex becomes ‘public property’, and interviews a range of Australians who have had often traumatic sex and sexuality-related experiences aired to a wide audience through the media. Some of her interviewees are well known, others are not. Several discuss their experience of sexual abuse, either as a victim or as t ... (read more)
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