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Danielle Clode

Danielle Clode

Danielle Clode is an author and associate professor in creative writing at Flinders University whose first book, Continents of Curiosities, was inspired by the natural history collections of Museums Victoria. Her book Voyages to the South Seas won the Victorian Premier’s Award for Non-fiction in 2007. In 2014 she was the ABR Dahl Trust Fellow and her article ‘Seeing the Wood for the Trees’ appeared in the November 2014 issue of ABR. Her latest book is Koala: A life in trees (2022). 

Danielle Clode reviews 'Tales from the Inner City' by Shaun Tan

January-February 2019, no. 408 31 December 2018
It is hard to think of a more distinctive and idiosyncratic author than Western Australian Shaun Tan. Winner of the prestigious Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award for children’s literature, Tan’s work has also been recognised by numerous awards in speculative fiction, illustration, and children’s books, including an Academy Award in 2011 (for the animated short adaptation of The Lost Thing). By ... (read more)

Danielle Clode reviews 'Turmoil: Letters from the brink' by Robyn Williams

October 2018, no. 405 24 September 2018
In 2014, veteran ABC science broadcaster Robyn Williams was diagnosed with bowel cancer. It was, he reports, his third brush with death, following cardiac arrest in 1988 and bladder cancer in 1991. His description of the experience, including surgical reduction of his gut and rectum and subsequent debilitating chemotherapy, is brief but graphic. He has survived, but the experience, as he puts it, ... (read more)

Danielle Clode reviews 'Adventures of a Young Naturalist: The Zoo Quest expeditions' by David Attenborough

January–February 2018, no. 398 19 December 2017
David Attenborough turned ninety last year. In a short animation celebrating his birthday, two Aardman penguins muse on their first meeting with the famous naturalist. ‘There’s something just about him,’ says the first penguin. ‘I don’t know why you wouldn’t love David Attenborough,’ declares the second. Indeed, it is hard to find anyone who does not admire Attenborough. Over the dec ... (read more)

Danielle Clode reviews 'Charles Darwin: Victorian Mythmaker' by A.N. Wilson

December 2017, no. 397 24 November 2017
Millions of words have been printed by and about Charles Darwin. There are hundreds of biographies, the dozens of books he wrote (including his own autobiography), as well as various pamphlets, essays, correspondence, diaries, manuscript notes, and other ephemera. Fascinating though the man and his work is, it must be hard to come up with anything new to say about him. Perhaps this is why A.N. Wi ... (read more)

Danielle Clode reviews 'Wild Man From Borneo: A cultural history of the Orangutan' by Robert Cribb, Helen Gilbert, and Helen Tiffen

June-July 2017, no. 392 30 May 2017
What does it mean to be human – nearly human, not-quite-human, or even inhuman? Such questions have preoccupied writers and researchers for centuries, from Charles Darwin and Mary Shelley to the uncanny valley of robotics, AI, and a trans-human future. In Wild Man from Borneo, Robert Cribb, Helen Gilbert, and Helen Tiffen explore this question through the prism of our relationship with one of ou ... (read more)

Danielle Clode reviews 'Atomic Thunder: The Maralinga story' by Elizabeth Tynan

March 2017, no. 389 23 February 2017
Maralinga is a name familiar to most Australians as the site of British nuclear testing in the 1950s. Less familiar are the earlier tests at the Monte Bello Islands off Western Australia and Emu Field in South Australia. All have left a toxic legacy in our history. Elizabeth Tynan’s finely researched book on the history of Maralinga and its precursors brings to light a remarkable period of Aust ... (read more)

Danielle Clode reviews 'Crusoe’s Island: A rich and curious history of pirates, castaways and madness' by Andrew Lambert

December 2016, no. 387 28 November 2016
The story of Robinson Crusoe, penned by Daniel Defoe in 1719, is one those remarkable books that created a new genre. The ‘Robinsonade’ or castaway story became one of the most popular forms of adventure novel, inspiring a host of famous ‘imitators’: Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Ebb-Tide (1894), R.M. Ballantyne’s The Coral Island (1858), and Jules Verne’s Mysterious Island (1874). De ... (read more)

Danielle Clode reviews 'Georgiana Molloy: The mind that shines' by Bernice Barry

June–July 2016, no. 382 24 May 2016
By the end of the eighteenth-century, botany was one of the few sciences regarded as suitable for women. Carolus Linnaeus had infamously declared that his system of botanical taxonomy was so simple that even 'women themselves' could understand it. Botanical collection, identification, and cultivation extended the traditionally feminine occupations of flower arranging, gardening, and herbal lore, a ... (read more)

Danielle Clode reviews 'The Best Australian Science Writing 2015' edited by Bianca Nogrady

January-February 2016, no. 378 18 December 2015
In 2010, writing in Westerly, Carmel Lawrence despaired about the lack of science writing in the collection of 'best non-fiction' of the year that she had been asked to review. It wasn't, she concluded, for want of material. Science writing had undergone a huge resurgence in popularity at the turn of the twenty-first century. With no major anthologies of Australian science writing, nor a regular p ... (read more)

Danielle Clode reviews 'Cave' by Ralph Crane and Lisa Fletcher

October 2015, no. 375 28 September 2015
What is it about caves? An irresistibly enchanting hidey-hole to any small child and yet the birthplace of our deepest fears. Dragons, narguns, goblins, and gorgons are all born of caves, and yet who can go past an opening in the rock without peeking in? We cannot resist exploring this underworld of darkness which seems to provide safety from the perils outside, while at the same time exposing our ... (read more)
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