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October 2020, no. 425

October 2020, no. 425

Welcome to the October issue! Our commentary material continues to grow. This month we have four major features on issues of great moment: race and the US presidential election; the pandemic and political freedom; and Twitter and cancel culture. Michael L. Ondaatje reflects on Trump’s failed courtship of black voters. Timothy J. Lynch reviews three scathing books about Trump and finds them equally wanting in terms of any explanations for Trump’s political predominance. Journalist Johanna Leggatt laments the threat posed by Twitter to the work, freedom, and reputations of journalists and writers. Finally, Paul Muldoon – in our cover piece – looks at the relationship between freedom and security and the complexities of the Victorian government’s response to the pandemic. We also review new novels by Ali Smith, Gail Jones and Steven Conte. Jane Sullivan considers Alex Miller’s memoir of Max. And Richard Fidler is our Open Page subject!

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Full Contents

Literary Studies

The Mystery of Charles Dickens by A.N. Wilson


Tilt by Kate Lilley

Change Machine by Jaya Savige

Belated recognition of Australian prose poetry

by Paul Hetherington and Cassandra Atherton
Environmental Studies

Body Count by Paddy Manning & Fire by Stephen J. Pyne


Max by Alex Miller


The Happiest Man on Earth by Eddie Jaku


Vida: A woman for our time by Jacqueline Kent

Short Stories

Broken Rules and Other Stories by Barry Lee Thompson


Piranesi by Susanna Clarke


The Posthumous Memoirs of Brás Cubas by Machado de Assis, translated by Flora Thomson-DeVeaux


Bluebird by Malcolm Knox


Trio by William Boyd


The Ministry for the Future by Kim Stanley Robinson


The Tolstoy Estate by Steven Conte


Our Shadows by Gail Jones

Australian History

Dunera Lives, Volume II by Ken Inglis et al.


Summer by Ali Smith


News from ABR


Letters to the Editor

by Kyle Wilson, Lindy Warrell, David Malone, Al MacDonald, Roger Rees