William Heyward

William Heyward

William Heyward is a writer and bookseller living in Melbourne.

William Heyward reviews 'The Garden of Eros: The story of the Paris expatriates and the post-war literary scene' by John Calder

March 2014, no. 359 28 February 2014
William Heyward reviews 'The Garden of Eros: The story of the Paris expatriates and the post-war literary scene' by John Calder
Great publishers seem to be scarcer than great writers, possibly because people grow up dreaming of being the next Hunter S. Thompson or Simone de Beauvoir rather than Sonny Mehta or Beatriz de Moura. Writers probably need publishers, but publishers definitely need writers. Such a fact has never seemed more tangible to me than as I read The Garden of Eros, John Calder’s account of the major lite ... (read more)

William Heyward reviews 'The Drinker' by Hans Fallada, translated by Charlotte Lloyd and A.L. Lloyd

June 2013, no. 352 27 May 2013
William Heyward reviews 'The Drinker' by Hans Fallada, translated by Charlotte Lloyd and A.L. Lloyd
The Drinker, by Hans Fallada – first published in Germany in 1950, translated by Charlotte and A.L. Lloyd into English in 1952, unearthed for an Anglophone audience in 2009 by Melville House, and now published by Scribe – is the story of Erwin Sommer, who drinks himself, almost unaccountably, to death. It counts for everything, of course, to know that the novel was written in 1944 in a Nazi in ... (read more)

William Heyward reviews 'The Rest is Weight' by Jennifer Mills and 'Tarcutta Wake' by Josephine Rowe

November 2012, no. 346 25 October 2012
William Heyward reviews 'The Rest is Weight' by Jennifer Mills and 'Tarcutta Wake' by Josephine Rowe
 The Rest is Weight, by Jennifer Mills, is a restless collection of short stories. Its settings include Russia, remote parts of Australia, Mexico, and China. The stories are densely packed; there are no ‘snapshots’ or ‘sketches’, only well-made narratives populated by plausible, complicated characters. Nor is there any decorative writing; no showy turns of phrase, only tough, efficien ... (read more)

William Heyward reviews 'Wildlife' by Eliot Weinberger

June 2012, no. 342 24 May 2012
William Heyward reviews 'Wildlife' by Eliot Weinberger
As is often the case with brilliant writers, an Eliot Weinberger sentence cannot be mistaken for that of anyone else. There is his insistence upon concrete details: ‘It was recorded in the 12th century, in the Collected Stories of Anomalies, that Chang T’ien-hsi dreamed that a green dog with a long body came from the south and tried to bite him.’ Even when entering the realm of the absurd, h ... (read more)

William Heyward reviews 'There Stands My House: A memoir' by Hans Keilson

April 2012, no. 340 01 April 2012
William Heyward reviews 'There Stands My House: A memoir' by Hans Keilson
For the unacquainted reader, a few facts about Hans Keilson, author of There Stands My House: A Memoir. A German Jew, Keilson fled the Nazis for the Netherlands in 1936. After the war he wrote and published two novels, Comedy in a Minor Key (1947) and The Death of the Adversary (1959), both of which were unread for decades but which have now been rediscovered and received as masterpieces in the An ... (read more)

William Heyward reviews 'Riding the Trains in Japan: Travels in the sacred and supermodern East' by Patrick Holland

March 2012, no. 339 01 March 2012
William Heyward reviews 'Riding the Trains in Japan: Travels in the sacred and supermodern East' by Patrick Holland
Patrick Holland makes his plans clear in the first sentence of Riding the Trains in Japan (his fourth book and first work of non-fiction): ‘I arrived in Kyoto in the middle of the national holiday called O-Bon, the Japanese All Souls, when Buddhists believe departed spirits may return to earth and when ancestors and the elderly are honoured.’ His subjects and themes have been identified: himse ... (read more)

William Heyward reviews 'Meanjin, Vol. 70, No. 4' edited by Sally Heath

February 2012, no. 338 21 January 2012
William Heyward reviews 'Meanjin, Vol. 70, No. 4' edited by Sally Heath
The current issue of Meanjin is a forthright one. In her editorial, Sally Heath singles out the contributions of Marcia Langton and Darren Siwes, and with good reason: their work typifies the issue. Siwes has given the journal its cover, and his choice of image – a coin depicting an Indigenous head of state in the year 2041 – makes its point. The cornerstone of the issue is, however, ‘Readin ... (read more)

William Heyward reviews 'New Impressions of Africa' by Raymond Roussel, translated by Mark Ford

July–August 2011, no. 333 29 June 2011
William Heyward reviews 'New Impressions of Africa' by Raymond Roussel, translated by Mark Ford
Like all of his earlier books, Raymond Roussel’s final work, New Impressions of Africa, published in 1932, was printed at his personal expense, and only after he was satisfied that the poem was as good as possible. He claimed that each line took fifteen hours to compose. Roussel wanted his work to have enduring importance, and wrote a book entitled How I Wrote Certain of My Books to help readers ... (read more)