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Johanna Leggatt

Johanna Leggatt

Johanna Leggatt is a Melbourne-based writer and journalist. She has a master of arts from the University of Queensland and was a former online health editor on London’s The Daily Telegraph and sub-editor on The Guardian. She has also previously reported on court cases for Australian Associated Press (AAP) and was a news and features journalist on The Sun-Herald in Sydney.

Johanna Leggatt reviews 'Man out of Time' by Stephanie Bishop

September 2018, no. 404 23 August 2018
Stephanie Bishop’s third novel, Man Out of Time, her most mature work to date, echoes Virginia Woolf’s psychological realism and the claustrophobic intensity of Elizabeth Harrower’s The Watch Tower (1966). Indeed, an unkind reviewer might compare Bishop’s latest novel to a subtle iteration of domestic noir, where the great threat is the family unit and its overbearing figurehead, although ... (read more)

Johanna Leggatt reviews 'Waiting for Elijah' by Kate Wild

June-July 2018, no. 402 25 May 2018
In a 2017 essay for the Guardian, author Charlotte Wood spoke about the shame artists often feel when they discover a distinguishing characteristic in their work, something that separates them from their cohort. ‘In the beginning, and for a long time, an artist can be most embarrassed by the very thing – sometimes the only thing – that gives her work life and verve. You’re ashamed of it be ... (read more)

Johanna Leggatt reviews 'The Mother of all Questions: Further feminisms' by Rebecca Solnit

April 2018, no. 400 26 March 2018
So much has been written about male–female power dynamics, Trump’s grotesqueries, the public outing of protected abusers, and the growing chorus of women speaking out about sexual harassment that it’s hard to believe there could be anything new to add. Yet Rebecca Solnit, author of celebrated essays ‘Men Explain Things to Me’ and ‘If I Were a Man’, is skilled at filtering cultural co ... (read more)

Johanna Leggatt reviews 'Whiteley on Trial' by Gabriella Coslovich

November 2017, no. 396 26 October 2017
It was the late Robert Hughes who said that ‘apart from drugs, art is the biggest unregulated market in the world’. Journalist Gabriella Coslovich quotes him in her account of the 2016 Whiteley art fraud trial, repeating the line to one of the accused, art dealer Peter Stanley Gant, as he complains to Coslovich about the ramping of certain artist’s prices, the avaricious nature of the art wo ... (read more)

Johanna Leggatt reviews 'Australia Day' by Melanie Cheng

September 2017, no. 394 25 August 2017
The characters in Melanie Cheng’s collection of short stories are all outsiders or misfits in some way. Some feel conspicuously out of place, such as the Lebanese immigrant Maha, in ‘Toy Town’, who is struggling with suburban Australian life, or the Chinese medical student Stanley, who is visiting the family farm of a friend in the titular story. Stanley freezes when he is asked at dinner to ... (read more)

Johanna Leggatt reviews 'Depends What You Mean By Extremist: Going rogue with Australian deplorables' by John Safran

June-July 2017, no. 392 30 May 2017
David Marr’s Quarterly Essay, The White Queen: One Nation and the politics of race (2017) is a comprehensive and scholarly look at Pauline Hanson’s appeal, and what her revival, tepid as it may be in an international context, says about the way race has been exploited in the bread and circuses of politics. John Safran is equally interested in race, and says he has been following the far right ... (read more)
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