Non Fiction

When I was commissioned to write this review, I assumed that this book would be a conventional political biography. I looked forward to reading about Dunstan’s career as premier of South Australia (1967–68 and 1970–79), as his record of achievements showed that our states and territories have the potential to be powerful players in social and cultural reform. ...

Sheila Fitzpatrick reviews Biff Ward's 'In My Mother's Hands'

Sheila Fitzpatrick
Tuesday, 22 July 2014

For anyone who has ever complained about a difficult mother, or written a memoir about one, this is a humbling book. How trivial, by comparison, our complaints seem. The subtitle promises (or threatens) a disturbing memoir, and so it is. I found it difficult to get out of my head days after reading it.

Biff (born Elizabeth in 1942) Ward was the second child ...

Joel Deane reviews 'Jacks and Jokers'

Joel Deane
Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Matthew Condon is fast becoming the George R.R. Martin of Australian true crime. Like the Game of Thrones author, Condon is part-way through the delivery of a saga of epic proportions. However, whereas some fantasy fiction fans doubt that Martin will ever conclude his A Song of Ice and Fire series, everyone knows how the story of corruption in Joh Bjel ...

Putin and the kleptocrats

Nicholas Hordern
Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Nick Hordern – long-time journalist and political staffer – reviews two books on Russia’s controversial leader, Vladimir Putin.

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My Brother Jack at fifty

Kevin Rabalais
Monday, 21 July 2014

Fifty years after the publication of George Johnston’s My Brother Jack, Kevin Rabalais revisits this famous study of family, the Depression, and World War II.

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Piketty-land

Mark Triffitt
Monday, 21 July 2014
Mark Triffitt reviews Thomas Piketty’s influential Capital in the Twenty-First Century. Our reviewer will take part in an ABR/University of Melbourne public forum on Piketty on 19 August. ... (read more)

Peter Kenneally: 'Cordite Poetry Review'

Peter Kenneally
Wednesday, 28 May 2014

The latest edition of this exclusively online poetry journal has no theme, but Cordite’s managing editor, Kent MacCarter, makes a virtue of its lack of subject. He builds the edition around a chapbook he has collated that is called ‘Spoon bending’, arguing a ...

Jay Daniel Thompson: 'Transnational Literature'

Jay Daniel Thompson
Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Transnational Literature is an online, open-access journal that is published by Flinders University. The May 2014 edition certainly lives up to the title. This edition provides an overview of literary texts and theories from across the world.

The academic contributions e ...

Des Cowley: 'Australian Poetry Journal'

Des Cowley
Wednesday, 28 May 2014

My first encounter with concrete poetry came via Apollinaire’s Calligrammes (1918), specifically his eye-catching poem ‘Il Pleut’. With its gently cascading words falling down the page, it was immediately clear that the typographic arrangement of the poem was of far greater import than its semantic content.

Although the term was not coined until ...

Gay Bilson reviews 'The Bloomsbury Cookbook'

Gay Bilson
Wednesday, 28 May 2014

In the first volume of Virginia Woolf’s diary (1915–19), an entry in June 1919 mentions England’s possibly ruined strawberry crop. ‘This is a serious matter for us as we have just bought 60 lbs. of sugar, & had arranged a great jam making. Strawberries are 2/ a lb. at this moment. Asparagus 6d & 7d, & yesterday at Ray’s I ate my first green pea ...

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