Brian Matthews

Brian Matthews reviews 'A Sea-Chase' by Roger McDonald

Brian Matthews
25 October 2017

As Ratty observed to Mole, ‘There is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.’ In Roger McDonald’s A Sea-Chase, lovers Wes Bannister and Judy Compton would certainly agree, but before they achieve Ratty’s state of nautical transcendence much that does matter has to be dealt with.

... More

Brian Matthews reviews 'A Führer for a Father: The Domestic Face of Colonialism' by Jim Davidson

Brian Matthews
30 August 2017

When some years ago I read Jim Davidson’s outstanding biography, Lyrebird Rising (1994), I was initially concerned by what seemed to be his potentially distorting fascination with the scene-stealing Louise Hanson-Dyer. But I soon discovered I needn’t have worried. Jim Davidson is not the sort of biographer whose obsession with his subject overcomes prop ... More

Brian Matthews reviews 'The Tournament' by John Clarke

Brian Matthews
28 April 2017

Paris has gone crazy.’ There are people everywhere; ‘players and officials have been arriving like migrating birds’. The German team – including Hermann Hesse, Bertolt Brecht, Walt More

Brian Matthews reviews 'Dymphna' by Judith Armstrong

Brian Matthews
24 February 2017

In the summer of 1988 I was part of an Adelaide Writers Week symposium on biography, the stars of which were two justly famous and accomplished biographers – Victoria Glendinning and Andrew Motion.  I described that occasion at the time, like this:

I greatly admired Motion’s panache. As we ascended the podium to begin the se ... More

Varun Ghosh reviews 'Benaud: An appreciation' by Brian Matthews

Varun Ghosh
21 December 2016

For more than half a century, Richie Benaud (1930–2015) graced the game of cricket around the world. A dashing batsman and fierce leg-spinner, Benaud was the first ...

More

Books of the Year 2016

Sheila Fitzpatrick et al.
23 November 2016

Originally published in German, Albrecht Dümling’s The Vanished Musicians: Jewish refugees in Australia More

Brian Matthews reviews 'The Story of Australia’s People: The rise and rise of a New Australia' by Geoffrey Blainey

Brian Matthews
23 November 2016

The seminar, as far as I can remember, took place in what was then the Melbourne Teachers’ College on Grattan Street. The late-afternoon sunlight slanting through ornate ...

More

Brian Matthews reviews 'City Dreamers: The urban imagination in Australia' by Graeme Davison

Brian Matthews
28 October 2016

In The Oxford Companion to Australian History, of which he was a co-editor with John Hirst and Stuart Macintyre, Graeme Davison begins his essay on Geoffrey Blainey by saluting hi More

Brian Matthews reviews 'Growing Wild' by Michael Wilding

Brian Matthews
25 July 2016

Undaunted by Joseph Furphy's autodidactic complexities and indulgences, A.D. Hope proposed in his 1974 collection,  Native Companions, Essays and Comments on ...

More

Brian Matthews reviews 'We Need Silence to Find Out What What We Think: Selected Essays' by Shirley Hazzard

Brian Matthews
26 April 2016

In her speech as the winner of the 2003 National Book Award, Shirley Hazzard said, 'We should do our best by the language. We mustn't torture it; we mustn't diminish it. We have to love it, nurture it, and enjoy it.'

Reading Hazzard, as she is variously represented in this collection, is to encounter a writer who has done her 'best by the language' and, in t ... More

Page 1 of 3