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Jay Daniel Thompson

Jay Daniel Thompson is a Senior Lecturer in Professional Communication at RMIT University.

Jay Daniel Thompson reviews 'The Newcomer' by Laura Elizabeth Woollett

July 2021, no. 433 22 June 2021
The title character of Laura Elizabeth Woollett’s second novel, The Newcomer, is Paulina Novak, who has arrived on Fairfolk Island after leaving a finance career in Sydney. If she is wanting to make a new start, then she’s mistaken; Paulina’s life seems perpetually sullied by alcoholism, an eating disorder, and a tendency to fall for callous men. Acquaintances say that her head is ‘messy ... (read more)

Jay Daniel Thompson reviews 'Australian Women Pilots: Amazing true stories of women in the air' by Kathy Mexted

December 2020, no. 427 26 November 2020
Kathy Mexted was a teenager when the possibility of becoming a pilot entered her head. The year was 1978, and she was airborne in a plane commanded by her father. The latter turned to his daughter and remarked: ‘If you’d like to learn to fly, I’ll pay for it.’ Nonetheless, it would take twelve years for the author to seriously pursue her piloting ambitions. This delay was due to several fa ... (read more)

Jay Daniel Thompson reviews 'Out of Copley Street: A working-class boyhood' by Geoff Goodfellow

December 2020, no. 427 25 November 2020
Geoff Goodfellow is best known as a poet. Out of Copley Street, his first non-verse publication, chronicles his working-class coming of age in Adelaide’s inner-northern suburbs during the 1950s and 1960s. The book is structured as a series of vignettes from Goodfellow’s childhood and young manhood. Many of the stories are about the author as a prepubescent lad with a fondness for cigarettes a ... (read more)

Jay Thompson reviews 'Kylie Tennant: A life' by Jane Grant

October 2006, no. 285 01 October 2006
In a 1985 interview, Kylie Tennant was quoted as saying: ‘I … don’t know how people get on who haven’t been raised in a battling Australian family.’ Jane Grant expands upon this image of Tennant as a quintessential ‘Aussie battler’ in her biography of the acclaimed novelist. Kylie Tennant: A life is relatively brief, yet it provides a remarkable insight into the pressures (societal a ... (read more)

Jay Daniel Thompson reviews 'HEAT 19: Trappers Way' edited by Ivor Indyk

June 2009, no. 312 01 June 2009
The key theme of HEAT 19 is death. In 224 pages, a collection of Australian writers and academics pay homage to the departed in a range of essays, poems and short stories. The journal opens with Judith Beveridge’s moving and personal tribute to the poet Dorothy Porter. According to Beveridge, ‘Dot’ (as she was known to her friends) was a ‘consummate professional and her public performances ... (read more)

Jay Daniel Thompson reviews 'By the Balls' by Les Murray

October 2006, no. 285 01 October 2006
IBy the Balls opens in the 1950s, when young Laszlo Urge and his family were forced to leave Stalinist Hungary and head to Australia. Laszlo was shocked to find his new country to be a ‘dry and colourless’ place where soccer (which he refers to as ‘football’) was unpopular. However, this situation was to change. In the following decades, Laszlo became ‘Les Murray’, a popular television ... (read more)

Jay Daniel Thompson reviews 'Sweetness and Light' by Liam Pieper

May 2020, no. 421 27 April 2020
Connor is a thirty-something Australian who bides his time grifting in India. His targets are Western female tourists, whom he describes as ‘talent’, and whom he seduces and fleeces. Connor seems to be escaping something, most likely the upbringing in which his masculinity and personal safety were constantly called into question. Sasha is an American tourist with an equally bleak back-story. ... (read more)

Jay Daniel Thompson reviews 'The Lebs' by Michael Mohammed Ahmad

March 2018, no. 399 22 February 2018
Bani Adam wants to be a ‘chivalrous poet’ or a great writer. These aspirations make the Lebanese-Australian teenager feel like an outsider at the testosterone-fuelled, anti-intellectual high school that he attends. Until he finishes school, Bani bides his time with a group of mostly Muslim and Lebanese young men. ‘The Lebs’, as they refer to themselves, while away the hours discussing reli ... (read more)