Non Fiction

Gay Bilson reviews 'The Art of the Restaurateur'

Gay Bilson
Monday, 25 March 2013
‘Hello, my name is Tony. I’m your waiter, and I’ll be dining with you tonight.’

One subspecies of cartoon in the New Yorker addresses the balance of power between diners and waiters. The caption above, from a cartoon by P.C. Vey, accompanies a drawing of a bemused couple holding menus, and looking at a waiter who is s ...

Robin Prior on 'The Making of the First World War'

Robin Prior
Monday, 25 March 2013

The first thing to be said about this book is that no one associated with it seemed to know what to call it or how to describe its contents. The essays which make up the book are not in any sense about the ‘making’ of World War I. They do not describe either elements that ‘made’ World War I in the sense of causing it, or elements that caused World War ...

First, I will bore you with some Chris Wallace-Crabbe statistics. Born in 1934, he has thirty-three ‘new’ poems in his New and Selected Poems, which is an average of about seven poems a year since his last volume, Telling a Hawk from a Handsaw (2008). That is a lot of poems for the second half ...

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It is ten years since the invasion of Iraq by the United States and the few countries willing to join it. Happening to be in Washington in February, and recalling worldwide protests in 2003, I was struck by what seems to be American amnesia about the war and its consequences. At least in Australia groups are exploring ways to prevent such catastrophic expediti ...

Gillian Terzis on Al Gore's 'The Future'

Gillian Terzis
Monday, 25 March 2013

Confronting the void that awaits any failed US presidential nominee is a tough gig. Short shrift is given to those who have come so far, only to fall short at the last hurdle. Take Bob Dole, who became a shill for Viagra in the late 1990s after losing to Bill Clinton. God knows what the future holds for Mitt Romney. But there are also success stories. Jimmy Ca ...

Mike Ladd reviews '1953' by Geoff Page

Mike Ladd
Friday, 08 March 2013

Geoff Page’s 1953 is set in the town of Eurandangee, which, we learn, is about 650 kilometres north-west of Sydney ...

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Jay Daniel Thompson reviews 'Speaking Secrets' by Sue Joseph

Jay Daniel Thompson
Friday, 08 March 2013

In Speaking Secrets, academic and journalist Sue Joseph looks at what happens when sex becomes ‘public property’, and interviews a range of Australians who have had often traumatic sex and sexuality-related experiences aired to a wide audience through the media. Some of her interviewees are well known, others are not. Several discuss their experienc ...

I have beliefs about what you believe. I also have beliefs about what I myself believe. The big difference between the two cases is how I come by these beliefs. By and large, my beliefs about what you believe come from observations of your behaviour (understood in a wide sense, which includes the environment in which your behaviour is located). Here are ...

Patrick McCaughey reviews 'Cézanne: A Life'

Patrick McCaughey
Friday, 08 March 2013

The lives of artists have formed a staple of art history from Vasari in the sixteenth century to Alex Danchev in the twenty-first. Current styles of art history may frown on biographies of artists. They smack too much of the hero artist and side-step the social construction of art. Yet the genre shows no sign of wilting. In our time we have such masterly works ...

Gig Ryan reviews 'Lime Green Chair'

Gig Ryan
Thursday, 07 March 2013

Lime Green Chair, which is Chris Andrews’s second book, won in manuscript form the Anthony Hecht 2011 Poetry Prize. Andrews is also a prize-winning translator from the Spanish of Roberto Bolaño, César Aira, and others. Lime Green Chair translates and transforms everyday moments into auguries of time disappearing. Each of these mo ...

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