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Peter Rose

Peter Rose

In 2001 Peter Rose became the Editor of Australian Book Review. Previously he was a publisher at Oxford University Press throughout the 1990s. He has published several books of poetry, a family memoir, Rose Boys, and two novels, the most recent being Roddy Parr (Fourth Estate, 2010). He edited the 2007 and 2008 editions of The Best Australian Poems (Black Inc.). His newest book of poems is Rag (Gazebo Books, 2023). Peter Rose’s long experience in publishing and the literary world complements the magazine’s history of central involvement in Australian letters.

Peter Rose reviews ‘Great Music Makers’ by Louis Kahan (intro. Michael Shmith)

March 2006, no. 279 01 March 2006
ABR readers may be more familiar with Louis Kahan’s illustrations for Clem Christesen’s Meanjin or with his portrait of Patrick White (which won the Archibald Prize in 1965) than with his sketches of musicians, but this stylish book from Macmillan Art Publishing reveals not just the fluidity of Kahan’s style but also his passion for music and music-makers. And what a range of artists he coul ... (read more)

Peter Rose reviews ‘Things I Didn’t Know: A Memoir’ by Robert Hughes and ‘North Face of Soho: Unreliable Memoirs, Volume IV’ by Clive James

December 2006–January 2007, no. 287 01 December 2006
In the early 1980s, Clive James met William Shawn – at the Algonquin, of course. Shawn, the long-time editor of the New Yorker, invited James to become the magazine’s television critic. James, though awed by the offer, quickly said no, perhaps the first time this had happened to Shawn since World War II, he speculates in North Face of Soho, the fourth volume of his Unreliable Memoirs. Had Jame ... (read more)

Peter Rose reviews ‘The Oxford Book of American Poetry’ by David Lehman

December 2006–January 2007, no. 287 01 December 2006
Thirty years have passed since Richard Ellmann’s magisterial New Oxford Book of American Verse: a hard act to follow. Now David Lehman – poet and founder of the Best American Poetry series – has produced a successor. It is even longer than the Ellmann, and similarly generous in its individual choices. There is no stinting here, no mark of the tyranny of permissions that blights so many antho ... (read more)

Peter Rose reviews 'His Illegal Self' by Peter Carey

March 2008, no. 299 01 March 2008
It is hard to become excited about Peter Carey’s new novel, and that is a hard notion to entertain. We are used to being tested, and vastly entertained, by Carey. For a quarter of a century he has written distinctive and highly original fiction, including two or three books (notably True History of the Kelly Gang [2000] for this writer) that triumphantly fulfilled the novel’s enduring claim on ... (read more)

Peter Rose reviews 'An Exacting Heart: The story of Hephzibah Menuhin' by Jacqueline Kent

April 2008, no. 300 01 April 2008
In early 1980, Yehudi and Hephzibah Menuhin undertook yet another concert tour. One of their last concerts together was in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. There was a dismal yellow standard lamp for light and a revolving stage so that all the patrons could get value for money. The master of ceremonies introduced them as ‘Ham-erica’s own ... Yoohoo and Heffi Menhoon’. These exceptional siblings h ... (read more)

Peter Rose reviews ‘Art & Life’ by Philip Jones

May 2004, no. 261 01 May 2004
Book covers are just expensive hints, and the jacket adorning Philip Jones’s memoir of Heide and beyond is suitably suggestive. Jones may not be especially literary, but he looms at us – first youthful, now in his early seventies – as a kind of antipodean Auden: languid, floppy-tied and with searching eyes. That direct, if hooded, gaze introduces us to a soi-disant minor figure in our cultur ... (read more)

Peter Rose reviews ‘Shadow of Doubt: My Father and Myself’ by Richard Freadman

December 2003–January 2004, no. 257 01 December 2003
Richard Freadman’s first work intended for a non-academic readership is, in his own words, ‘the Son’s Book of the Father’ and thus belongs to a venerable genre. Freadman, whose contribution to our understanding of autobiography has been acute, is well qualified to draw on this tradition in portraying his own father and analysing their relationship. Along the way, he discusses memoirists su ... (read more)

Peter Rose reviews 'Crème de la Phlegm' edited by Angela Bennie

September 2006, no. 284 01 September 2006
As with all forms of Australian cultural activity, it would be easy to inflate local critical endeavour (its novelty, its scintillations, its martial tendencies) and to forget that the history of acerbity is longer than that of our peppy federation. Hundreds of years before Hal Porter carved up Patrick White, critics were pillorying artists with a deftness and wit that can surprise modern readers. ... (read more)

'Juan Diego Flórez in Recital: The Peruvian tenor’s Melbourne début' Peter Rose

ABR Arts 06 November 2023
Juan Diego Flórez, now fifty, rose to prominence in his early twenties. His first La Scala success, in 1996, was promptly followed by débuts at Covent Garden (1997), the Vienna State Opera (1999), and the Metropolitan Opera (2002), houses where he still performs regularly. His major roles have included Count Almaviva and Nemorino. Alfredo Germont, in La Traviata, is a new addition; he was singin ... (read more)