Biography and Memoirs

David McKee Wright is a curious figure in Australian poetry – and in New Zealand poetry, for that matter. As editor of the Bulletin’s Red Page from 1916 to 1926, he was a well-liked and -respected figure in his own time (1869–1928), but he has seriously faded since. He is thinly represented in a number of anthologies, both here and in New Zealand, and w ...

Colin Nettelbeck on 'The Patagonian Hare: A Memoir'

Colin Nettelbeck
Tuesday, 25 September 2012

As the maker of the nine-and-a-half hour film Shoah (1985), Claude Lanzmann created a work of major and enduring historical importance. Through its electrifyingly tense interviews with victims and perpetrators, it opens an indispensable, if harrowing, dimension to our understanding of Hitler’s Final Solution. A work that unrelentingly has as its subject dea ...

Bernadette Brennan reviews 'Wild Card' by Dorothy Hewett

Bernadette Brennan
Thursday, 30 August 2012

Dorothy Hewett’s Wild Card: An Autobiography 1923–1958 was first published by McPhee Gribble in 1990. Now, a decade after Hewett’s death, UWA Publishing has reissued this extraordinary autobiography in a beautifully packaged, reader-friendly format. Reviewing Wild Card for ABR in October 1990, Chris Wallace-Crabbe drew attention to H ...

It was David Marr who commented that the key character in Gore Vidal’s first memoir, Palimpsest (1995), was not Jimmie Trimble, the boy whom Vidal loved when they were at school and who died, aged eighteen, at the battle for Iwo Jima; nor Vidal’s blind and adored maternal grandfather, Senator Thomas Pryor Gore, whom young Gore would lead onto the floor of the Senate; nor his life partner of half a century, Howard Auster; not even the audacious and polymathic Gore himself. The star of the book was in fact Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis, who was dying when Vidal began to write Palimpsest.

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Newspapers, they say, are in the throes of ‘far-reaching structural change’, a euphemism for ‘extinction’ that arouses complacency in the breasts of the e-literate; fury in those of the technophobes. But one only has to take a slightly longer view to realise that the golden age of newspapers, over which Creighton Burns presided as editor of TheA ...

Here are some of the interesting things you may learn if you read John Sutherland’s Lives of the Novelists:

that James Fenimore Cooper was expelled from Yale for training a donkey to sit in the professor’s chair

that Evelyn Waugh once attempted suicide but was prevented from drowning by a passing shoal o ...

Tony Taylor: Fishing the River of Time

Carol Middleton
Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Modest and Remarkable

Carol Middleton

 

Fishing the River of Time
by Tony Taylor
Text Publishing, $29.95 hb, 224 pp, 9781921922015

 

This is the modest memoir of a remarkable man. At the age of eighty, geologist Tony Taylor travels from Sydney to Vanco ...

If you’re a theatregoer, then somewhere along the line you’re bound to have seen The Government Inspector, Nikolai Gogol’s comedy about a rapacious nobody being mistaken for a government official by the citizens of a nameless provincial backwater. (They too are nobodies, greedy to be somebodies.) You might remember (since it’s a line that will ...

Joel Deane: David McKnight's depiction of Rupert Murdoch

Joel Deane
Monday, 27 February 2012

 It is a thought-provoking photograph. In 1988, during the bicentenary of The Times, Rupert Murdoch and Queen Elizabeth are pictured sitting at a news conference within the inner sanctum of the London broadsheet. Mogul and monarch are at arm’s length – she, straight-backed, legs crossed, hands gathered together above her lap; he, leaning forward an ...

As of writing, Australia has six living ex-prime ministers – not quite a record. Of these, one, of course, is still in parliamentary harness, and may still aspire to the top job. Of the remaining five, all but one have provided us with voluminous accounts of their stewardship ...

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