Jay Daniel Thompson

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

Jay Daniel Thompson reviews 'Marlo' by Jay Carmichael and 'My Heart Is a Little Wild Thing' by Nigel Featherstone

August 2022, no. 445 28 July 2022
Jay Daniel Thompson reviews 'Marlo' by Jay Carmichael and 'My Heart Is a Little Wild Thing' by Nigel Featherstone
At first glance, neither Marlo nor My Heart Is a Little Wild Thing seemed particularly appealing. Both focus on queer men pining for love in a homophobic world. Both appeared to recycle what Jay Carmichael (Marlo’s author) calls ‘the tradition of tragedy in queer literature’. Digging deeper, we find that the novels offer nuanced and even uplifting perspectives on gay male experience over the ... (read more)

Jay Daniel Thompson reviews 'Son of Sin' by Omar Sakr

May 2022, no. 442 23 April 2022
Jay Daniel Thompson reviews 'Son of Sin' by Omar Sakr
The first thing readers will notice about Son of Sin is the snake coiled across the front cover, its inky scales contrasting with the hot pink background, at once disquieting and strangely beautiful. This striking image sets the tone for the rest of the novel, which is the prose début for Sydney poet and social commentator Omar Sakr. The text provides a disarmingly frank perspective on sexuality, ... (read more)

Jay Daniel Thompson reviews 'The Tribute' by John Byron

August 2021, no. 434 22 July 2021
Jay Daniel Thompson reviews 'The Tribute' by John Byron
The Tribute begins with a corpse. And not just any corpse. This body is discovered in a Sydney terrace house with its organs removed. One detective describes the crime as ‘butchery’, and that’s an understatement. This murder is the work of Stephen Porter, a deceptively bland chap who uses his bank job to secure the schedules and addresses of victims. These victims are then dissected as ‘tr ... (read more)

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

July 2021, no. 433 22 June 2021
Jay Daniel Thompson reviews 'The Newcomer' by Laura Elizabeth Woollett
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
Jay Daniel Thompson reviews 'Australian Women Pilots: Amazing true stories of women in the air' by Kathy Mexted
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
Jay Daniel Thompson reviews 'Out of Copley Street: A working-class boyhood' by Geoff Goodfellow
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
Jay Thompson reviews 'Kylie Tennant: A life' by Jane Grant
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
Jay Daniel Thompson reviews 'HEAT 19: Trappers Way' edited by Ivor Indyk
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
Jay Daniel Thompson reviews 'By the Balls' by Les Murray
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)
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