Non Fiction

The recent publication of Willa Cather’s letters caused a stir in the United States. The American author, surprisingly underrated here, had explicitly and repeatedly said she did not want her letters made public. Some believe her wishes should be respected; others say the demands of history are greater than those of a long-dead individual.

This, of c ...

Bradley Manning is famous for being the US soldier who supplied WikiLeaks with its ‘choicest material’. In The Passion of Bradley Manning, Chase Madar argues that Manning is a national hero who has been wrongfully punished for his actions ...

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Jay Daniel Thompson reviews 'Reluctant Rescuers' by Tony Kevin

Jay Daniel Thompson
Sunday, 28 April 2013

In Reluctant Rescuers, Tony Kevin addresses the rescue at sea of boat people who have entered Australian waters. He aims to provide a ‘fact-based analysis of a shadowy’ – and deeply controversial – ‘area of public policy’. Kevin begins by correcting the myth that ‘people smugglers’ are the ‘main culprits when people die at sea’ ...

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Andrew Fuhrmann: 'Southerly, Vol. 72, No. 2'

Andrew Fuhrmann
Sunday, 28 April 2013

The critical essays collected in this current issue of Australia’s oldest literary journal make for frustrating reading. The theme is true crime, with a focus on the relationship between the sensational and the literary. Topics range from Underbelly Razor to the Jerilderie Letter to Schapelle Corby’s autobiography. Fascinating material, no doubt, but most ...

Anthony Lynch: 'Westerly Vol. 57, No. 2'

Anthony Lynch
Sunday, 28 April 2013

‘Tell me about it: you can trust me. I’m a writer.’ This ‘cautionary joke’ – one of few in this sober volume – cited in an essay by Frank Moorhouse, could be an epigraph for the latest Westerly. Editors Bird and Hughes-d’Aeth asked a selection of writers to share their thoughts on the ethics of writing. The ensuing essays include depictions of ...

Michael Fleming reviews 'New Vampire Cinema' by Ken Gelder

Michael Fleming
Sunday, 28 April 2013

The myth of the vampire entered into European literature as a Byronic hero of the Romantic era. This attractive but evil character appears to have shifted from peasant folklore into the written culture at the same time that Lady Caroline Lamb described Byron as ‘mad, bad and dangerous to know’. That would be a perfect description for the classical vampire. Altho ...

Alison Broinowski reviews 'Desert Passions'

Alison Broinowski
Sunday, 28 April 2013

I once fell out with an intelligent, well-read woman who refused to believe me when I said I had never read a Mills & Boon book. I should perhaps have admitted that the job I had as a student, proofreading stacks of popular novels for an Adelaide publisher, put me off them for life. Now I am grateful to Hsu-Ming Teo for educating me so thoroughly on romantic fic ...

Peter Kenneally reviews 'Confessional Box'

Peter Kenneally
Sunday, 28 April 2013

It’s simple. A young woman, her love for her partner slipping away, looks at their suburb, and him, and their relationship, and writes bronze-clad poetry about it. Then she takes to the bush, describing its towns and picking at its history with the same clear eye she uses to examine her lost love. She combines a photographic exactness with a resounding turn of phr ...

Janna Thompson reviews 'European Aesthetics'

Janna Thompson
Sunday, 28 April 2013

It is possible to imagine a culture that treats art merely as decoration, but to inheritors of the European tradition this idea of art’s function is demeaning. We expect great art to express or reflect the spiritual and philosophical preoccupations of our cultural heritage. No system-building philosopher in modern European history would have failed to incorporate ...

On 13 May 1958 a French military junta seized power in Algiers. Choreographed by Jacques Soustelle, the French governor-general of Algeria, in a deliberate plan to bring down the French government, the putsch led to the return to power of Charles de Gaulle, the collapse of the Fourth Republic, and, after four more years of anguish and prolific bloodshed, the end of ...

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