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Evelyn Juers

Evelyn Juers

Evelyn Juers is co-founder of HEAT magazine and Giramondo Publishing. She has a PhD from the University of Essex (UK) on the Brontës and the practice of biography. As an essayist, and an art and literary critic, she has contributed to a wide range of Australian and international publications. In 2009 her collective biography House of Exile won the Prime Minister’s Literary Award for non-fiction. Her essay ‘Corner of King and Queen: Sketches for the Portrait of a Recluse’ was shortlisted for the Calibre Prize, and went on to become a book, The Recluse (2011).

Evelyn Juers reviews ‘Margaret Michaelis: Love, loss and photography’ by Helen Ennis

September 2005, no. 274 01 September 2005
Margaret, Margarethe, Grete, Gretl, Gretele are all the same person: the biographer Helen Ennis prefaces her book and arouses our curiosity with the note that she has used the names depending on the context. Margaret Michaelis was born Margarethe Gross in 1902, in Dzieditz (Austria, later Poland); when she died in 1985, in Melbourne, she was known as Margaret Sachs. She studied photography at the ... (read more)

La Trobe University Essay 'Thanks for Takin' an Interest' by Evelyn Juers

August 2004, no. 263 01 August 2004
On 30 March 2001 Helen Garner attended a Victims of Crime Rally on the steps of Victoria’s Parliament House. The sun shone on a loose crowd that was forming at the top of Bourke Street. Many of the demonstrators had attached pictures of their murdered loved ones to their T shirts … On their backs people wore the slogan MAKE THE PUNISHMENT FIT THE CRIME. A common poster read LET THE VICTIM HAV ... (read more)

Evelyn Juers reviews 'Lucia's Measure' by Angela Malone

October 2000, no. 225 01 October 2000
While she was writing her novel, Angela Malone pinned a panorama photo of Hill End, the small NSW goldmining town, over the window near her desk. The photo seemed empty of life until Malone took to it with a magnifying glass and – as authors do – playing the giant game, discovered shadowy traces of some of her characters. No wonder, since the town lies on a bed of quartz which common wisdom in ... (read more)

Evelyn Juers reviews 'Stranger Shores: Essays 1986–1999' by J.M. Coetzee

December 2001–January 2002, no. 237 01 December 2001
J.M. Coetzee’s Stranger Shores is a collection of twenty-nine primarily literary essays dating from 1986 to 1999. It offers an impressive range of subjects, including a reappraisal of T.S. Eliot’s famous quest for the definition of a classic, a tracking down of Daniel Defoe’s game of autobiographical impersonations, and a biographical evaluation of Dostoevsky’s most productive period, his ... (read more)

Evelyn Juers reviews 'The Feel of Steel' by Helen Garner

October 2001, no. 235 01 October 2001
Following True Stories, published in 1996, The Feel of Steel is Helen Garner’s second collection of non-fiction. It comprises thirty-one pieces of varying lengths. Longer narratives such as ‘Regions of Thick-Ribbed Ice’, about a hair-raising trip to Antarctica, and ‘A Spy in the House of Excrement’, about the outcome of a cleanse-and-fast régime at a spa resort in Thailand, stand beside ... (read more)

Evelyn Juers reviews 'Cursed Legacy: The Tragic Life of Klaus Mann' by Frederic Spotts

January–February 2017, no. 388 19 December 2016
In ‘The Art of Biography’, Virginia Woolf insists that this ‘is the most restricted of all the arts’ and that even if many biographies are written, few survive. But somehow, by sifting and compressing and silhouetting, her friend Lytton Strachey – ‘alive and on tiptoe’ amid new ideas of biographical realism – managed to unshackle this truth-bound genre. Ever since Strachey’s Emin ... (read more)

Open letter to Alex Byrne (NSW State Librarian & Chief Executive)

ABR Arts 20 February 2014
Dear Alex, You invited us. We – Geordie Williamson, David Malouf and I, representing over 3000 signatories of the Petition to save the Mitchell Library Reading Room (MLRR) and calling for a public meeting to discuss your plans for change, not to mention all those who have not signed but who support the petition, including many of your staff and the staff of other libraries – We arrived 10 mi ... (read more)

Evelyn Juers reviews 'Charles Dickens: A life' by Claire Tomalin and 'Becoming Dickens: The invention of a novelist' by Robert Douglas-Fairhurst

March 2012, no. 339 01 March 2012
This is how Claire Tomalin closes her Dickens biography: ‘He left a trail like a meteor, and everyone finds their own version of Charles Dickens’, followed by a long list of types. I consider Dickens the surrealist, or the sentimentalist, but then I pick Dickens the tireless walker. And I concede, with Tomalin, that regarding his life and work, ‘a great many questions hang in the air, u ... (read more)

Evelyn Juers reviews 'Good Living Street: The fortunes of my Viennese family' by Tim Bonyhady

June 2011, no. 332 24 May 2011
Would it be indulgent to invoke Leonard Cohen? It’s just that his song ‘Take This Waltz’, which begins ‘Now in Vienna there are ten pretty women’, brings to mind that city’s fin-de-siècle world. In a liquescent poetic mosaic of shoulders and thighs, lilies, hyacinths, moonshine, and dew, I see the women as if painted by Gustav Klimt – portraitist, libertine – someone who ‘climbs ... (read more)