Pages from old site (3)


26 October 2011 Written by Amy Baillieu
Published in Pages from old site

Tony Birch

Blood has a freshness of tone and determined vigour that are frequently lacking in the work of many male Australian writers.’


Chris Flynn reviewed Blood (University of Queensland Press) in December 2011–January 2012.



Steven Carroll

‘Carroll has established himself as one of Australia’s finest contemporary novelists. Despite accolades and awards, his oeuvre remains less revered than it deserves to be. Perhaps his most mesmerising skill is his capacity to depict the worlds within his characters’ heads.’

Patrick Allington reviewed Spirit of Progress (Fourth Estate) in September 2011.


Bruce Dawe

‘Descriptions of Dawe’s work that focus on his mastery of Australian speech registers and his sympathy with suburban folk often, unconsciously, sell him short. He can be a very sophisticated poet.’

Martin Duwell reviewed Slo-mo Tsunami and Other Poems (Puncher & Wattmann) in December 2011–January 2012.


Anna Funder

‘Funder’s observations of the gradual assertion of the Nazis’ grip on Germany ring uncannily true ...’

Jo Case reviewed All That I Am (Hamish Hamilton) in October 2011.




Bill Gammage

‘This bold book, with its lucid prose and vivid illustrations, will be discussed for years to come. It is not original in the narrow sense of the word, but it takes an important idea to new heights because of the author’s persistence and skill.’

Geoffrey Blainey reviewed The Biggest Estate on Earth: How Aborigines Made Australia (Allen & Unwin) in November 2011.


Kate Grenville

‘... this act of re-entering the past is an important one. Grenville’s extraordinary trilogy is a major achievement in Australian literature.’

Sophie Cunningham reviewed Sarah Thornhill (Text Publishing) in October 2011.


Henry Kissinger

‘Still, even with its northern myopia, this is a book with a wise core, written by someone who has learned that the responsibility of power brings both constraint and motivation and that reaching out to the other side has human, as well as strategic, benefits.’

Bruce Grant reviewed On China (Allen Lane) in September 2011.


Geoffrey Lehmann and Robert Gray

Australian Poetry since 1788 is a compelling book and a quite exemplary anthology. Australians have been kept – or have kept themselves – to themselves for too long.’

Michael Hofmann reviewed Australian Poetry since 1788 (UNSW Press) in December 2011–January 2012.


Mark McKenna

‘Despite its formidable length, this is a real page-turner. McKenna compels admiration not just for the depth of his research and the unassuming grace of his prose, but also the skill with which he constructs his narrative.’

Norman Etherington reviewed An Eye for Eternity: The Life of Manning Clark (Miegunyah Press) in December 2011–January 2012.


Wayne Macauley

The Cook is made of the world, made of menus and daydreams and lust. From this material, so commonplace and so frequently given the most everyday treatment imaginable, Wayne Macauley has written a great book.’

Adam Rivett reviewed The Cook (Text Publishing) in October 2011.


Robert Manne

‘It is the vengeful thread that hides behind the notion of “crusading” that Manne reveals in his Quarterly Essay, and I hope that the paper takes account of the criticisms he makes.’

Robert Phiddian reviewed Bad News: Rupert Murdoch’s Australian and the Shaping of the Nation (Black Inc.) in November 2011.


Gillian Mears

Foal’s Bread is a grand, bittersweet romantic saga, at once laconic and mystical, tragic and optimistic ... How marvellous to hear her unique voice again.’

Gillian Dooley reviewed Foal’s Bread (Allen & Unwin) in November 2011.


Alex Miller

‘All of Alex Miller’s wisdom and experience – of art, of women and what drives them, of writing, of men and their ambitions – and every mirage and undulation of the Australian landscape are here, transmuted into rare and radiant fiction. An indispensable novel.’

Morag Fraser reviewed Autumn Laing (Allen & Unwin) in October 2011.


Frank Moorhouse

‘In the imagination of Australian readers, Edith Campbell Berry may come to stand for her country and her century in the same way that Richard Mahony did.’

Kerryn Goldsworthy reviewed Cold Light (Vintage) – the last volume in the ‘Edith Trilogy’ – in November 2011.


Christine Nixon

‘Nixon was an important agent of change in policing methods, and hopes that her actions on Black Saturday will not overshadow the achievements of the rest of her career. She adds, “Perhaps this is a vain hope.”’

Elisabeth Holdsworth reviewed Fair Cop (Victory Books) in September 2011.


Gig Ryan

‘It is difficult to think of another poet who has more consistently and resolutely fashioned beauty from flat, broken English ... Ryan’s astonishing body of work, now newly and selectively gathered in a single volume, is both tonic and rebuke.’

James Harms reviewed New and Selected Poems (Giramondo) in December 2011–January 2012.


Arnold Zable

‘At its best, Zable’s writing reminds me of W.G. Sebald’s – enigmatic, self-aware, exploratory. In his hands, storytelling paradoxically becomes a salve for the unhealable wounds it describes, memory brings home the shock of loss – but is also the only way of reaching the dead – and music is a trace that both recalls exile and undoes it.’

José Borghino reviewed Violin Lessons (Text Publishing) in September 2011.

Fiftieth anniversary prints

03 February 2011 Written by Amy Baillieu
Published in Pages from old site




W.H. Chong
In the Library (David Malouf)
2011 Melbourne
hand-coloured linocut 20.0 x 25.0 cm
edition of 20



W.H. Chong
Kate Grenville
2011 Melbourne
two-colour linocut 20.0 x 25.0 cm
edition of 15



W.H. Chong
‘The Most Dangerous Man in the World’
(Julian Assange, WikiLeaks)
2011 Melbourne
linocut on Arches paper
25.0 x 20.0 cm (image), 38. 0 x 28.0 cm
edition of 25
W.H. Chong
A fringe of leaves, Patrick White
2011 Melbourne
linocut on Arches paper, hand-coloured
25.0 x 20.0 cm (image), 38. 0 x 28.0 cm
edition of 30


W.H. Chong
Dorothy (Dorothy Hewett)
2011 Melbourne
copper plate etching
20.0 cm x 25.0 cm (plate)
edition of 20

Purchase one of Chong’s cover portraits and support ABR

Australian Book Review – to celebrate its fiftieth year – is offering a series of portrait prints of distinguished writers and cultural figures by the noted Australian artist-designer W.H. Chong. Throughout 2011, several ABR covers featured a superb original print – the perfect adornment for a personal library, and a fine gift for an admirer of the individual subjects. The series began in February, with Paul Kelly (now SOLD OUT), and continued with Dorothy Hewett, Patrick White, Julian Assange, and Kate Grenville, and David Malouf.

Each portrait is available exclusively from ABR. The unframed prints – presented in a limited edition – are signed, numbered and individually hand-coloured by Chong.

Each print is priced at $150 for ABR subscribers – $195 for non-subscribers. Postage and handling is an additional $15.

Place your order soon – these editions will sell out fast! Orders can also be placed for the complete set. To order, call (03) 9699 8822, or complete the order form (see link below).



(Credit Card/PayPal)












W.H. Chong and ABR

ABR readers are very familiar with Chong’s work. He has designed more than 600 book covers (many featuring his own artwork) over the last twenty years. He was the designer of ABR’s covers from 2001 to 2008. He also writes a highly popular culture blog for Crikey: Culture Mulcher.

Chong – a Patron and long-time supporter of the magazine – has generously waived any income from the series. Any profits will go to ABR to assist it in its publishing and programs.

In recent years Chong has turned to portrait drawing. In 2010 he chronicled the first year of the Wheeler Centre for Books, Ideas and Writing. You can see the drawings at



Online archive

24 March 2010 Written by Amy Baillieu
Published in Pages from old site

November 2011, No. 336

Rodney Hall: SilenceJames Ley


October 2011, No. 335

Alex Miller: Autumn LaingMorag Fraser


September 2011, No. 334

Robert Hughes's flawed history of Rome – Peter Stothard


July–August 2011, No. 333

Coping with a resurgent China – Hugh White


June 2011, No. 332

'What is Australia, anyway?' – Patrick Allington


May 2011, No. 331

Copyright and the Internet – Colin Golvan


April 2011, No. 330

The cant about free speech – Terry Lane

Jane Sullivan: Little PeopleCarmel Bird


March 2011, No. 329

Tony Judt’s nimble mind – Bruce Grant

February 2011, No. 328

James Bradley (ed.): The Penguin Book of the OceanGregory Kratzmann


December 2010–January 2011, No. 327

Guthrie vs Murdoch – Jan McGuinness
A new biography of Barry Humphries – Ian Britain

Strangers in the know – Geordie Williamson

Graham Oppy et al. (eds): A Companion to Philosophy in Australia and New ZealandAdrian Walsh


November 2010, No. 326

Changes at the National Gallery of Australia – Christopher Menz

Millennial slippage: Honouring the paradox and majesty of art – Bill Henson

Lloyd Jones: Hand Me Down WorldJo Case

Roger McDonald: When Colts RanPeter Pierce

Anna Krien: Into the WoodsPeter Mares


October 2010, No.325

Kim Scott’s new novel That Deadman DancePatrick Allington

The woman behind Mary Poppins – Lisa Gorton

Having it both ways – James Ley


September 2010, No. 324

The assassination of Kevin Rudd – Neal Blewett

Mythologising Hawke – Bruce Grant

Remembering Jessica Anderson – Susan Sheridan

Devil in the detail – Kate Holden

Chris Womersley: BereftCarmel Bird

Winds of War – Ruth Starke


July–August 2010, No. 323

The travails of Bill Clinton – Morag Fraser

The Balibo Five – Jill Jolliffe

Furore in Israel – Jonathan Pearlman

Vodka fumes – Kate Holden


June 2010, No. 322

Littoral Truth: Peter Porter (1929–2010) – Peter Steele

Man of paper, mind of steel – Michael Shmith

Letters to an Unknown Friend – Robert Dessaix

Tattooed lady – Jo Case

Here’s trouble – Gay Bilson


May 2010, No. 321

Vindicating Malcolm Fraser – Neal Blewett

Fighting on the beaches – Robin Prior

Joel Deane: The Norseman's SongChris Flynn


April 2010, No. 320

Once and Australian – Brigitta Olubas

ABR Poetry Prize Shortlist – Ynes Sanz et al.

Some kind of ghost – Kate Holden

The last king of Poland, the glass king of France – David McCooey

The young Robert Hughes – Daniel Vuillermin


March 2010, No. 319

Prickles of disquiet – Murray Waldren

The trials of Helpmann – Lee Christofis

Pagan charm – Gillian Dooley

Everyman Cosgrove – Patrick Allington

The hypnotic J.D. Salinger – Jane Goodall


February 2010, No. 318

Announcing the ABR Favourite Australian Novels

Tongues of fire - Gregory Kratzmann

Chancing our arm - Anthony Elliott

The latest laureate - Ian Gibbins

Cornucopia of death - Dianne Dempsey

Andrew Markus, James Jupp and Peter McDonald: Australia's Immigration RevolutionPeter Mares


December 2009–January 2010, No. 317

Clive James and limelight - Peter Craven

Thomas Keneally: Australians - Ann Standish

Peter Carey: Parrot and Olivier in America - Murray Waldren

Judith Beveridge: Storm and Honey - Lisa Gorton


November 2009, No. 316

Climatic quarrels - Rosaleen Love

David Foster's new novel - James Ley

Alex Miller's Lovesong - Judith Armstrong

Les Murray: Killing the Black Dog - Chris Wallace-Crabbe


October 2009, No. 315

Gerald Murnane's Barley Patch - David Musgrave

Brenda Niall on a spirited Jesuit - Morag Fraser

Dorothy Porter's posthumous collection - Gig Ryan

Denis Dutton: The Art Instinct - Helen McDonald


September 2009, No. 314

'Vanishing Wunderkind': The great oeuvre of the enigmatic Stow – Tony Hassall

'Obscuring the Heritage': The Macquarie Anthology – Peter Craven

'Guerrilla Raid on Sincerity': J.M. Coetzee's new 'novel' – James Ley

'Crashing Through': Seismic times for Gough Whitlam – Jenny Hocking

Tom Keneally's new novel – Patrick Allington

Cate Kennedy's debut novel The World BeneathJo Case


July–August 2009, No. 313

Bitter Fruit: Ruth Park's Trilogy of Want and Human Spirit – Shirley Walker


May 2009, No. 311

'The very edge of things': David Malouf's RansomPeter Rose


November 2008, No. 306

'None but the Brave': The Costello MemoirsNeal Blewett

David Marr: The Henson CasePeter Rose


October 2008, No. 305

'Missing From My Own Life' – Elisabeth Holdsworth


July–August 2007, No. 329

ABR/La Trobe University Annual Lecture: 'The Ups, the Downs: My Life as a Biographer' – Hazel Rowley


April 2007, No. 290

'Death Dance' – David Hansen


December 2004–January 2005, No. 267

The Sound and the Fury: Uneasy Times for Hacks and Critics - Peter Rose


April 2003

The Inaugural National Biography Award Annual Lecture – Peter Rose


June–July 2002, No. 242

'Keating the Fascinator': Don Watson's Recollections of a Bleeding Heart Neal Blewett


August 2001, No. 233

'Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath: A Bystander's Recollections' – Peter Porter