Letters to the Editor

Writing first

Dear Editor,

Rock critic Robert Christgau once argued that ‘writing about music is writing first’. His edict puts paid to all those who have erroneously demanded that music reviewers must be musicians themselves or otherwise musically literate. If you can listen to and appreciate music, then you can write about it.

I was surprised ...

Myth and misrepresentation

Dear Editor,

Lyndon Megarrity’s review of my book, I Am Bound to Be True: The Life and Legacy of Arthur A. Calwell, begins with assertions about Arthur Calwell that appear to be intended to deter the reader from ...

A dilemma

Dear Editor,

Writing about land management issues in Indigenous Australia is replete with sensitivities relating to the complex intersection of ideologies of the environment, development, and Aboriginality. My ...

Obama’s second term

Dear Editor,

After admiring Morag Fraser’s perceptive and insightful review of Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln (February 2013),

Copping it sweet

Dear Editor,

I’ll cop sweet Jane Sullivan’s disaffection with my novel The Seaglass Spiral (December 2012–January 2013) but must defend my publisher, Finlay Lloyd, against her charge of showing ambiguous support for the book in its introduction.

Put simply, in forty years dealing with publishing houses, large and small, Australian and ...


Dear Editor,

Jan McGuinness is right to conclude that wading through two books on Gina Rinehart is not exactly one of life’s pleasures, but her review (November 2012) is a fine assessment of both Rinehart’s world of privilege, profits, and power, and of the qualities of Rinehart’s two biographers (De ...

True grit

Dear Editor,

Melinda Harvey’s piece on Michelle de Kretser’s Questions of Travel (October 2012) is precisely the kind of review that makes a reader like myself write to editors. As the last line makes clear, her review is positive, but her first and penultimate paragraphs betray how much academia must ...

Patrick White in Adelaide

Dear Editor,

In his article on the theatre of Patrick White (May 2012), David Marr implies quite strongly that White had nothing to do with the theatre between John Tasker’s production of Night on Bald Mountain for the Adelaide University Theatre Guild during the 1964 Adelaide Festival and Nei ...


Fairfax Central

Dear Editor,

We, the undersigned, wish to draw to national attention the implication of the upcoming Fairfax consolidation of The Age, Sydney Morning Herald, and the Canberra Times book sections. This has the potential to reduce significantly the content of the three separate sections in terms of both the ...

 Overlooking Max Harris

Dear Editor,

David Marr, in his article about the premières of three of Patrick White’s plays in Adelaide (ABR, May 2012), presents Geoffrey Dutton as the principal player in this story. However, any essay about White’s Adelaide performances should acknowledge the roles of Max Harris and Harry Medlin.