Biography and Memoirs

Neal Blewett reviews 'Recollections of a Bleeding Heart: A portrait of Paul Keating PM' by Don Watson

Neal Blewett
05 March 2019

What is it about Paul Keating that so fascinated his retainers? Six years ago, John Edwards wrote a mass More

Gemma Betros reviews The Years by Annie Ernaux, translated by Alison L. Strayer

Gemma Betros
22 February 2019

The word indicible appears frequently in the work of French author Annie Ernaux. In English, it means ‘inexpressible’ or ‘unspeakable’. Yet saying the unsayable – or rat More

Rémy Davison reviews A Certain Idea of France: The life of Charles de Gaulle by Julian Jackson

Rémy Davison
22 February 2019

There is a scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail outside a castle, brimming with French men-at-arms, who taunt King Arthur and his knights remorselessly, while the Britons are More

Paul Kildea reviews Fryderyk Chopin: A life and times by Alan Walker

Paul Kildea
22 February 2019

The author and critic Richard Ellmann died in May 1987, a handful of months before the publication of his biography of Oscar Wilde. Twenty years in the making, the book instantly establish More

Sheridan Palmer reviews The Boy from Brunswick: Leonard French, A biography by Reg MacDonald

Sheridan Palmer
22 February 2019

Old friendships and close collaborations between author and subject can be either a blessing or a curse in biography – a tightrope between discretionary tact and open fire. Both call for intimate but balanced subjec More

Susan Sheridan reviews Beyond Words: A year with Kenneth Cook by Jacqueline Kent

Susan Sheridan
22 February 2019

Kenneth Cook (1929-87) was a prolific author best known for his first novel, Wake in Fright (1961), which was based on his experience as a young journalist in Broken Hill in the 1 More

Peter Rose reviews 'A Certain Style: Beatrice Davis: A Literary Life' by Jacqueline Kent

Peter Rose
31 August 2018

In September 2018, NewSouth published a new edition of A Certain Style.

On a chilly evening in 1980, a stylish woman in her early seventies, wheezing slightly from a lifetime’s cigarettes, climbed a staircase just beneath the Harbour Bridge, entered a room full of book editors – young women mostly, university-educated, making their way ... More

Lucas Thompson reviews 'The Recovering: Intoxication and its aftermath' by Leslie Jamison

Lucas Thompson
31 August 2018

There is an eerie sameness to addiction memoirs, which tend to follow the same basic structure. In the beginning, there is some immense and unassuageable pain, followed by the discovery of More

Gabriel García Ochoa reviews 'The Surreal Life of Leonora Carrington' by Joanna Moorhead

Gabriel García Ochoa
30 April 2018

There appears to be a major problem with the story of Leonora Carrington’s life (1917–2011): it hasn’t been told enough. This may be because, as in the case of Frida Kahlo and Diego More

Lyndon Megarrity reviews 'The Boy from Baradine' by Craig Emerson

Lyndon Megarrity
26 March 2018

The Boy from Baradine is one of the latest Australian political memoirs to hit the shelves. Craig Emerson, a prominent minister in the Rudd and Gillard governments between 2007 an More

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