Brenda Niall

Brenda Niall reviews 'A Steady Storm of Correspondence: Selected Letters of Gwen Harwood 1943–1995' edited by Gregory Kratzmann

Brenda Niall
07 August 2019
From a small island, messages in a bottle floating out to sea. That was Gwen Harwood’s image for the poems she sent out during her e More

Michael Shmith reviews 'The Boyds: A family biography' by Brenda Niall

Michael Shmith
07 June 2019

Biography can be difficult to achieve. There is the balance between too much detail, where one can’t see the wood for the family trees, or not enough, which can be disappointing all roun More

Brenda Niall reviews 'The Great Fire' by Shirley Hazzard

Brenda Niall
05 March 2019

London seen through a haze of smoke and fire in J.M.W. Turner’s famous painting, More

Brenda Niall reviews 'March' by Geraldine Brooks

Brenda Niall
05 March 2019

Spacious and solidly constructed, the classic nineteenth-century novel invites revisiting. Later writers reconfigure its well-known spaces, change the lighting, More

Brenda Niall reviews 'Upstate' by James Wood

Brenda Niall
25 October 2018

Forget the author – it’s the book that matters. That’s sound advice, but there are times when it is hard to follow. James Wood’s Upstate is a testing case. A quietly refle More

Barney Zwartz reviews 'Newman College: A history 1918–2018' by Brenda Niall, Josephine Dunin, and Frances O’Neill

Barney Zwartz
30 August 2018

Drive along College Crescent, the circular avenue that forms Melbourne University’s northern order, and you will see the series of sedate, handsome university colleges that line the edge More

Brenda Niall reviews 'Loving Words: Love letters of Nettie and Vance Palmer 1909–1914' by Deborah Jordan

Brenda Niall
23 August 2018

When Vance Palmer met Nettie Higgins in the summer of 1909 in the sedate setting of the State Library of Victoria, they were both twenty-three years old. Yet even to speak to one another w More

Brenda Niall reviews 'Rosie: Scenes from a vanished life' by Rose Tremain

Brenda Niall
25 July 2018

‘Write about what you don’t know,’ British novelist Rose Tremain advised young authors. That has been her own strategy during a long and star-studded career. It is quite a stretch fr More

Critic of the Month with Brenda Niall

25 May 2018

ABR: What makes a fine critic?

Enthusiasm, eloquence, a distinctive voice, openness to the unexpected, a well-stocked mind, wit, and humour: some or all of these gifts would make the ideal reviewer .. More

Brenda Niall reviews 'The Shepherd’s Hut' by Tim Winton

Brenda Niall
22 February 2018

There are no sheep grazing anywhere near the shepherd’s hut of Tim Winton’s new novel. A few wild goats in the desolate landscape, some broken machinery: that’s all. The narrator, fi More

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