Biography and Memoirs

Ceridwen Spark reviews 'The Book of Thistles' by Noëlle Janaczewska

Ceridwen Spark
24 November 2017

Every Saturday around Australia, the suburbs hum with the sound of lawnmowers. While cutting grass, the mowers simultaneously decapitate the milk thistles (also known as sow thistles) that More

Kevin Foster reviews 'The First Casualty' by Peter Greste

Kevin Foster
24 November 2017

It’s a provocative title. Forty-two years ago, Phillip Knightley’s The First Casualty: From the Crimea to Vietnam: The war correspondent as hero, propagandist, and myth-maker  More

Christopher Menz reviews 'Rayner Hoff: The life of a sculptor' by Deborah Beck

Christopher Menz
26 October 2017

Rayner Hoff, the most significant sculptor to work in Australia between the wars, is most admired for his sculptures in the Anzac war memorials in Sydney and Adelaide. His work was in the More

Michael Shmith reviews 'Ernest Newman: A critical biography' by Paul Watt

Michael Shmith
26 October 2017

Recently, the chief classical music critic of The New York Times, Anthony Tommasini, adroitly summarised the nebulous perils of his job: ‘Music, especially purely instrumental m More

Johanna Leggatt reviews 'Whiteley on Trial' by Gabriella Coslovich

Johanna Leggatt
26 October 2017

It was the late Robert Hughes who said that ‘apart from drugs, art is the biggest unregulated market in the world’. Journalist Gabriella Coslovich quotes him in her account of the 2016 More

John Rickard reviews 'The Enigmatic Mr Deakin' by Judith Brett

John Rickard
23 August 2017

There has been an argument going on in the Liberal Party about the nature of the Menzies heritage – was Robert Menzies, the founder of the modern party, a liberal or a conservative? Notably absent from this discussion has been the national figure who was the first leader of a united anti-Labor party and who also happens to have been a father of Federation, Alfred ... More

Simon Caterson reviews 'The Fabulous Flying Mrs Miller: An Australian’s true story of adventure, danger, romance and murder' by Carol Baxter

Simon Caterson
30 April 2017

Among the glittering generation of pioneering aviators and aviatrixes of the 1920s and 1930s, Jessie ‘Chubbie’ Miller stands out as remarkably adventurous. Carol Baxter’s highly readable biography provides an engaging portrait of a young suburban housewife who decided, quite literally, to make her own way in the world. As Baxter acknowledges, for a biographer ... More

Varun Ghosh reviews 'Born to Run' by Bruce Springsteen

Varun Ghosh
28 February 2017

‘I come from a boardwalk town where almost everything is tinged with a bit of fraud. So am I.’ Thus begins the captivating autobiography of Bruce Springsteen. No treacly guitar man’s reminiscence, Born to Run grapples with the trickier paradoxes of family, love, mental illness, and musical success. At turns confessional and unapologetic, sentimental a ... More

Susan Lever reviews 'Ink in Her Veins: The troubled life of Aileen Palmer' by Sylvia Martin

Susan Lever
23 May 2016

In her new biography, Sylvia Martin tells us that Aileen Palmer wanted to be remembered as a poet. Until now, she has been best known as the elder daughter of Vance ...

More

Gillian Dooley reviews 'The Long Run' by Catriona Menzies-Pike

Gillian Dooley
30 March 2016

When I heard that there was a new book out on why women run, I assumed I would be reading about women fleeing domestic horrors rather than running marathons. Such a reaction might make Catriona Menzies-Pike sigh with frustration, and the cultural myopia which gave rise to my unthinking assumption is one of the reasons she wrote this book. 'I'd read a lot of books ab ... More

Page 5 of 24