Peter Craven

Peter Craven

Peter Craven is one of Australia's best-known literary and culture critics. He writes regularly for both the Fairfax and Murdoch press about literature, film, television, and theatre.

Peter Craven reviews 'The Boy Behind the Curtain' by Tim Winton

December 2016, no. 387 23 November 2016
Peter Craven reviews 'The Boy Behind the Curtain' by Tim Winton
Everybody thinks they know about Tim Winton: the working-class hero from the West; the whale of a man who’s been writing since he was a boy; the master of one of those big Australian prose styles that is muscular and magnetic and sometimes just a bit too self-delighting; someone who straddles the literary and the popular like a colossus. Whatever you think of The Riders (1994), Dirt Music (2001 ... (read more)

Peter Craven reviews 'The Discreet Hero' by Mario Vargas Llosa translated by Edith Grossman

June-July 2015, no. 372 28 May 2015
Peter Craven reviews 'The Discreet Hero' by Mario Vargas Llosa translated by Edith Grossman
Mario Vargas Llosa is one of the marvels of contemporary fiction. The Peruvian Nobel Prize winner not only bestrides it like a colossus, he is also a law unto himself. It is as if he takes the legacy of a realism that is only in his hands magical (because of the enchantment he creates from it) as a kind of blank cheque with which he can license any expense of narrative in a waste of flaming invent ... (read more)

Reading Australia: 'Lilian's Story' by Kate Grenville

Reading Australia 27 May 2015
Kate Grenville’s Lilian’s Story is one of the great Australian novels of the last thirty years. When it was first published in 1985, it was immediately hailed as a masterpiece. The original cover carried a recommendation by Patrick White, Nobel laureate and the greatest writer of any kind Australia has produced. White said that in Lilian’s Story Kate Grenville had ‘transformed an Australia ... (read more)

Peter Craven reviews 'Happy Valley' by Patrick White (reprint)

September 2012, no. 344 30 August 2012
Happy Valley is the first of Patrick White’s novels and it is a consistently compelling book, as well as the exhilarating performance of a great writer in the making. Everyone knows the legend, rooted in truth: that Patrick White finds his voice as a consequence of the war and after discovering the love of his life in Manoly Lascaris; and that the first in the long line of his masterpieces is Th ... (read more)

Peter Craven reviews 'The Rest on the Flight: Selected poems' by Peter Porter

February 2011, no. 328 04 May 2011
Peter Craven reviews 'The Rest on the Flight: Selected poems' by Peter Porter
It’s the voice, isn’t it, of a master, so unmistakably in command of a music that is inseparable from the personal modesty that is its signature, which belies all grandeur and refuses to take credit for the gift but has it nonetheless in abundance. When Craig Sherborne read the last poem in this Selected Poems, ‘After Schiller’, at the Melbourne memorial service for Peter Porter, it was se ... (read more)
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