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Anna Goldsworthy

Anna Goldsworthy is an Australian classical pianist and writer. Her writing has appeared in publications such as Best Australian Essays 2007, 2008, and 2009, The Monthly, The Australian, Australian Book Review and The Australian Literary Review. Her musical memoir, Piano Lessons, was released in Australia by Black Inc. in October 2009, and won 'Newcomer of the Year' at the 2010 Australian Book Industry Awards.

Anna Goldsworthy reviews ‘Delta’ by Kerrie Davies

June–July 2005, no. 272 01 June 2005
Kerrie Davies’s Delta is touted as ‘the first ever biography on Delta Goodrem’. This is not entirely surprising, given that the singer–songwriter is only twenty years old. But Davies makes no secret of the mythical terms in which she views her subject: ‘[Delta] has raged against failure and exulted in the euphoria of success. Delta has felt the power of youth and the fear of death. And s ... (read more)

Anna Goldsworthy reviews ‘Farewell My Ovaries’ by Wendy Harmer

April 2005, no. 270 01 April 2005
Where are the great menopause novels? In The Change (1991), Germaine Greer described menopause as the ‘undescribed experience’, but then noted that it had in fact been described extensively, mostly ‘by men for the eyes of other men’. Wendy Harmer’s Farewell My Ovaries is written by a woman for the eyes of other women, but it does not really aspire to greatness. It is unashamedly ‘chick ... (read more)

Anna Goldsworthy reviews 'The Penguin Book of Etiquette: The complete Australian guide to modern manners' by Marion von Adlerstein

August 2002, no. 243 01 August 2002
Smugness is an occupational hazard for the writer on etiquette. The exquisite Miss Manners, in Miss Manners’ Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behaviour, describes the ‘wicked joy’ of her trade: ‘There is that pleasant bubble in the throat, the suppressed giggle at another’s ignorance; the flush of generosity accompanying the resolve to set the poor soul straight; that fever of human kindn ... (read more)

Anna Goldsworthy reviews 'Unpolished Gem' by Alice Pung

November 2006, no. 286 01 November 2006
In Alice Pung’s memoir of her childhood, Unpolished Gem, her young self is drawn into a conflict between her mother and grandmother, both Chinese-Cambodian refugees. The child becomes a double agent, informing each about the other, until her mother accuses her of ‘word-spreading’ and threatens suicide. The child frets over her breakfast: ‘I always spread my jam on toast all the way to the ... (read more)

Anna Goldsworthy reviews 'The Student Chronicles' by Alice Garner

October 2006, no. 285 01 October 2006
Despite its rather grandiose title, Alice Garner’s The Student Chronicles is a friendly, unpretentious book. It is a coming-of-age story, set mostly in libraries – an anti-Monkey Grip, or a love letter to geekdom. The only sex happens behind closed doors; the real romance is with the library. ‘I loved the Baillieu Library so much I wrote a really bad poem about it,’ Garner confesses, with ... (read more)

Anna Goldsworthy reviews 'Sybil’s Cave' by Catherine Padmore and 'The Submerged Cathedral' by Charlotte Wood

May 2004, no. 261 01 May 2004
Several years ago, I was privy to a breakfast conversation with one of our venerable literary critics, in which he lamented the proliferation of novels in Australia by young women. Of particular concern, he announced, was the tendency of said young women to construct ‘itsy-bitsy sentences from itsy-bitsy words’. And he smiled around the table warmly, secure in venerable male polysyllabic verbo ... (read more)

Anna Goldsworthy reviews 'How to Make Gravy' by Paul Kelly

February 2011, no. 328 01 February 2011
In his ‘mongrel memoir’, How to Make Gravy, singer–songwriter Paul Kelly describes the ‘pretendies’ that can ambush a musician on stage: ‘One minute you’re putting a song over to the crowd, totally inside what you’re doing, everything meshing, then suddenly you’re adrift, floating above yourself and wondering what on earth you’re doing there.’ ... (read more)