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David English

David English is a Melbourne writer and reviewer.

David English reviews 'Rites of Passage' by William Golding

April 1981, no. 29 01 April 1981
Rites of Passage qualifies for a notice in ABR because, although it is written and published in Britain, it is among other things an account of the adventures of one Edmund Talbot who has taken a passage to Australia sometime during a lull in the wars with France, towards the end of the eighteenth century. That date is only a guess, and indeed the novel invites a lot of guessing. Golding has wri ... (read more)

David English reviews 'Passenger by Thomas Keneally

June 1979, no. 11 27 January 2023
Peter Ward’s stunningly inadequate review of Passenger in the Weekend Australian has at least the virtue that it compels a reply. The first came from Keneally himself, who finished his account of the novel’s favourable reception in other English-speaking countries by saying ‘I just don’t want people to avoid Passenger because of any antipodean twitches. So don’t miss it. Believe me.’ ... (read more)

David English reviews 'Christopher Brennan: A critical biography' by Axel Clark

October 1980, no. 25 09 September 2022
Axel Clark’s is the first full-length biography of Christopher Brennan, and its publication has drawn attention to what was a lamentable deficiency in Australian literary studies. Clark has assembled a veritable goldmine of interesting material, and I found the details of Brennan’s life made compelling reading. In particular, what Clark’s book does for me and other readers of the book I’v ... (read more)

David English reviews 'Never Trust a Government Man: Northern Territory Aboriginal Policy' by Tony Austin and 'The Way We Civilise: Aboriginal Affairs' by Rosalind Kidd

November 1997, no. 196 01 November 1997
Tony Austin and Rosalind Kidd are non­indigenous Australian scholars whose special contribution to the history of black-white relations in this country is to have researched the policy detail, culture, and interpersonal intricacies of the white bureaucracy that dealt with Aboriginal affairs in a large part of northern Australia. As each of them documents over and over again, the white males wh ... (read more)

David English reviews 'Minimum of Two' by Tim Winton

April 1987, no. 89 20 December 2019
A little puce head slipped out, followed by a rush of blood and water. Jerra saw it splash onto the gynaecologist’s white boots. Across Rachel’s chest the little body lay tethered for a moment while smocks and masks pressed hard up against Rachel’s wound. He saw a needle sink in. Someone cut the cord. Blood, grey smears of vernix. The child’s eyes were open. Jerra felt them upon him. From ... (read more)