Literary Studies

Shannon Burns reviews 'Edge of Irony: Modernism in the Shadow of the Habsburg Empire' by Marjorie Perloff

Shannon Burns

In her introduction to Edge of Irony, Marjorie Perloff claims that in order to ‘understand Modernism ... we have to read, more closely than we have, the deeply ironic war litera More

Paul Kildea reviews 'The Novel of the Century: The extraordinary adventure of Les Misérables' by David Bellos

Paul Kildea

Visiting the actor Simon Gleeson in 2014 a few months after he was cast as Jean Valjean in a new production of Les Misérables, I was startled by the bulked-up friend who met me f More

Colin Nettelbeck reviews 'The Némirovsky Question: The life, death and legacy of a Jewish writer in 20th century France' by Susan Rubin Suleiman

Colin Nettelbeck

When Irène Némirovsky’s Suite Française appeared in 2004, it was a huge success, in France and throughout the English-speaking world as well ...

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Jan McGuinness reviews 'A Writing Life: Helen Garner and her work' by Bernadette Brennan

Jan McGuinness

Who is the I in Helen Garner’s work? This is the question Bernadette Brennan probes by canvassing more than forty years of Garner’s writing and her seventy-four-year existence More

Tali Lavi review 'Behind the Text: Candid conversations with Australian creative nonfiction writers' by Sue Joseph

Tali Lavi

What’s in a name? Academic Sue Joseph interviews eleven Australian non-fiction writers, a varied group which includes Paul McGeough, Doris Pilkington Garimara, and Kate Holden. Joseph is on a quest to uncover whether Australian ‘creative non-fiction’ exists here, as it does in other countries, and to understand what the term signifies to her subjects.

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Gillian Dooley reviews 'Australian Literary Studies' edited by Julieanne Lamond

Gillian Dooley

Until 2015, Australian Literary Studies was still a printed artefact. It appeared in the mildly erratic pattern endemic to Australian humanities journals, which depend on busy people finding time for the rewarding but often unrewarded task of editing. Nevertheless, despite rising production costs and increasing competition from the online world, it remained ... More

Paul Giles reviews 'The Oxford History of the Novel in English: Volume 9: The world novel in English to 1950' edited by Ralph Crane, Jane Stafford, and Mark Williams

Paul Giles

The latest instalment in the Oxford History of the Novel in English is notable for having one of its editors based in Australia and the other two in New Zealand. As these editors admit in their introduction, this volume is ‘something of a hybrid when set alongside the other eleven volumes that make up the series’, since it is organised partly by historical date, ... More

Elizabeth McMahon reviews 'A History of New Zealand Literature' edited by Mark Williams

Elizabeth McMahon

A History of New Zealand Literature is a rewarding collection replete with the pleasure of new information that is both strange and strangely familiar. I commend it for both its intrinsic interest and, for Australian readers in particular, as one means of redressing Australia and New Zealand’s mutual ignorance of each other’s literary histories and cult ... More

Gabriel García Ochoa reviews 'The Man Who Invented Fiction: How Cervantes ushered in the modern world' by William Egginton

Gabriel García Ochoa

The four-hundredth anniversary of Miguel de Cervantes’s death serves as a good reminder of the influence and importance of his oeuvre, and perhaps too of our strange obsession with ...More

Jen Webb reviews 'Release the Bats: Writing your way out of it' by DBC Pierre and 'The Writer’s Room: Conversations about writing' by Charlotte Wood

Jen Webb

Writers have, it seems, an insatiable appetite for reading about writing; and such advice comes in various forms. There are books that promise to teach their readers how to write in any ...

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