Literary Studies

Andrea Goldsmith reviews 'Elements of Surprise: Our mental limits and the satisfactions of plot' by Vera Tobin

Andrea Goldsmith
26 July 2018

On the dust jacket of Elements of Surprise is the well-known picture by John Tenniel, illustrator of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865), depicting Alice gazing up More

Richard Walsh reviews 'Do I Make Myself Clear?: Why writing well matters' by Harold Evans

Richard Walsh
26 July 2018

Harold Evans, the celebrated former editor of London’s The Sunday Times and ex-president of Random House USA, is angry. He fulminates against lazy journalism, against the impene More

Jen Webb reviews 'The Drover’s Wives: 99 reinterpretations of Henry Lawson’s Australian Classic' by Ryan O’Neill

Jen Webb
27 June 2018

‘The Drover’s Wife’ was one of the first stories I read when I arrived in Australia. I was living in the bush then, in hard beautiful country, and though my difficulties were First W More

Barnaby Smith reviews 'On Patrick White: Writers on writers' by Christos Tsiolkas

Barnaby Smith
25 June 2018

The Western world was well into the swing of our proverbial digital age when Patrick White passed away at his home on Martin Road in Centennial Park at the age of seventy-eight in 1990. Ye More

Dorothy Driver reviews 'Outsiders: Five women writers who changed the world' by Lyndall Gordon

Dorothy Driver
24 April 2018

In 1787, at a time when literary culture was shifting from private patronage and coterie circulation into a new professionalism, the London publisher, bookseller, and journal editor Joseph More

Paul Genoni reviews 'The Drover's Wife' edited by Frank Moorhouse

Paul Genoni
22 February 2018

In this collection of more than thirty pieces of fiction, journalism, criticism, academic papers, and ephemera (acceptance speeches, parliamentary questions, university course outlines), F More

David McCooey reviews 'David Malouf and the Poetic: His earlier writings' by Yvonne Smith

David McCooey
19 December 2017

Plenty of novelists begin life as poets. Few, though, have managed to maintain their status as poet–novelists quite so impressively as David Malouf. But even Malouf, in his ‘middle per More

Bruce Moore reviews 'That’s the Way It Crumbles: The American conquest of English' by Matthew Engel

Bruce Moore
06 December 2017

Matthew Engel has written for many years in The Guardian and the Financial Times, on topics ranging from politics to sport, and between 1993 and 2007 he produced editions More

Des Cowley reviews 'The Library: A catalogue of wonders' by Stuart Kells

Des Cowley
06 December 2017

In 2002, journalist Guy Rundle published a piece devoted to the little-known visit by Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges to Melbourne in May 1938. During his ten-day stay, Borges spent t More

Nicholas Jose reviews 'A New Literary History of Modern China' edited by David Der-Wei Wang

Nicholas Jose
30 November 2017

In his searching introduction to this immense volume, the editor, Harvard scholar David Der-Wei Wang, refers to the ‘architectonics of temporalities’ by which the project re-maps and r More

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