Essays and Commentary

Cassandra Atherton interviews Ben Ball

Cassandra Atherton
26 August 2014

Ben Ball was born in Melbourne in 1970. He grew up in London, New York, and Sydney, and went to school in all of these places. He completed an Arts/Law degree, in Australia, ‘more or less entirely to create the pleasing symmetry B. Ball, BA, LLB’. In the United Kingdom he undertook an M.Phil in C ... More

Mary Cunnane on pitching and cupcakes

Mary Cunnane
26 August 2014

One afternoon some three decades or more ago in a stuffy conference room at W.W. Norton & Company, the New York publishing firm where I then worked, the semi-annual sales conference was underway. Assembled were the national sales reps and the marketing team, members of the editorial board, the publicity director and senior publicists, and our president and chair ... More

Maria Takolander on what makes a story compelling

Maria Takolander
26 August 2014

What makes a story compelling? When I was an undergraduate student at Deakin University, I was fortunate enough to be instructed in fiction writing by Gerald Murnane. His key criterion for the worth of a story was its capacity to mark his memory with an enduring image. Over time he used to cull books from his shelves that failed to impress him in this way.

G ... More

My Brother Jack at fifty

Kevin Rabalais
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.

More

Amanda Laugesen on the ‘super-dictionary’

Amanda Laugesen
28 May 2014

In a 2011 lecture, David Crystal, a leading authority on the English language, spoke about the possibility of a ‘super-dictionary’ of English – a dictionary that would include every word in global English. Such a dictionary was, he acknowledged, a ‘crazy, stupid idea’, but an idea that seemed somehow possible in the electronic age, where the constraints of print no longer apply.

... More

Bill Gammage on notions of country

Bill Gammage
27 May 2014

In Australia, thinking ‘landscape’, ‘country’, and ‘place’ virtually interchangeable is the hallmark of a migrant society. This is obvious because of the skeleton at our feast, the contrast between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal ways of seeing land. Both can agree that ‘there’s no place like home’, because ‘place’ here means ‘a place’, a par ... More

Sheila Fitzpatrick on history vs memoir

Sheila Fitzpatrick
27 May 2014

In Iris Murdoch’s novel, The Sandcastle (1957), a young artist called Rain Carter is commissioned to paint a retired schoolmaster, Demoyte, an eccentric with an offbeat sense of h More

James Der Derian reviews 'The Snowden Files' by Luke Harding and 'No Place to Hide' by Glenn Greenwald

James Der Derian
26 May 2014
1984 is back. George Orwell’s nightmare vision of governmental surveillance, secrecy, and deception clearly resonates with the revelations first leaked to the Guardian by former National Security Agen More

Amanda Laugesen on Slang and the Australian Soldier

Amanda Laugesen
27 March 2014

The relationship between the world of soldiers and the world of civilians has long been a topic of interest to historians and other scholars of war. Joan Beaumont’s significant new book Broken Nation: Australians in the Great War (reviewed in ABR, February 2014) emphasises the importance of considering the war front and home front side by side, and a ... More

2014 Calibre Prize (Winner): Unearthing the Past

Christine Piper
25 March 2014

Christine Piper is the winner of the 2014 Calibre Prize for an Outstanding Essay, worth $5,000. In this powerful essay, she writes about Japanese biological weapons and wartime experiments on living human beings.

More
Page 9 of 14