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Elisabeth Holdsworth

Elisabeth Holdsworth

Elisabeth Holdsworth won the inaugural Calibre Essay Prize in 2007 for her essay ‘An Die Nachgeborenen: For Those Who Come After’. She was born in the Netherlands and migrated to Australia with her parents in 1959. Educated in Melbourne, she had a long career in the Department of Defence. Her most recent novel is Those Who Come After (Picador, 2011). Her ABR Raft Fellowship essay ‘If This Is a Jew’ was published in November 2017.

2007 Calibre Prize (Winner): 'An die Nachgeborenen: For those who come after' by Elisabeth Holdsworth

February 2007, no. 288 01 February 2007
‘Welcome to the Netherlands!’ the sign says in Dutch and English. The Schipol customs official inspects my Australian passport. ‘Nederlands geboren,’ he sniffs. ‘Zo je komt terug.’ So you’ve come back, he adds, in a tone suggesting that I might have left something behind minutes ago, rather than decades. ‘Skippy!’ He stamps my passport viciously. I consider a withering retort, bu ... (read more)

Elisabeth Holdsworth reviews 'For the Patriarch' by Angelo Loukakis

October 2011, no. 335 27 September 2011
For the Patriarch first appeared in 1981 and was much lauded, winning a New South Wales Premier’s Literary Award. The work is an important landmark in migrant writing. Angelo Loukakis, although born in Australia, identifies with the first generation of post-World War II migrants who are under-represented in our literature. Their children and grandchildren are the ones who have engaged with the c ... (read more)

Elisabeth Holdsworth reviews 'Fair Cop' by Christine Nixon and Jo Chandler

September 2011, no. 334 23 August 2011
Christine Nixon belongs to the postwar generation of women who were not content to be passed over in favour of men when they entered the workforce, and who refused to accept the notion of a glass ceiling. Germaine Greer changed all our lives; empowered us as second-wave feminists. Nixon rose to the top in two of the most masculine organisations in Australia, the New South Wales and Victorian polic ... (read more)

Elisabeth Holdsworth reviews 'All Day Long the Noise of Battle' by Gerard Windsor

June 2011, no. 332 24 May 2011
The title of this new book on the Vietnam War comes from the final verse cycle of Tennyson’s Idylls of the King (1869). As Arthur lies dying, he reflects ‘that we / Shall never more ... Delight our souls with talk of knightly deeds’. This Arthurian borrowing for the title of a book about an obscure battle fought by Australians in Vietnam during the 1968 Tet Offensive is not overweening. That ... (read more)
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