Ruth Starke

Ruth Starke reviews 'Cat & Fiddle' by Lesley Jørgensen

Ruth Starke
26 March 2013

Oh please, not another novel that draws from Pride and Prejudice! That was my first thought when I read the media release that came with Cat & Fiddle. Last year I had been underwhelmed by both P.D. James’s Death Comes to Pemberley and Jennifer P ... More

Ruth Starke's essay: 'Media Don'

Ruth Starke
26 February 2013

It is a hot gusty day in the summer of 1958, the sort of day that melts the tar on the road and brings the red dust down from the north. In the inner-city Adelaide suburb of Norwood, Mario Feleppa, twenty-eight and not long arrived in Australia, is fed up. Not with the heat – he is used to heat back in Italy – but with horses. Specifically, the horses that ... More

Ruth Starke reviews 'The Children of the King' by Sonya Hartnett, 'The Tunnels of Tarcoola' by Jennifer Walsh, 'Red' by Libby Gleeson: 'Mystery at Riddle Gully' and Jen Banyard

Ruth Starke
22 May 2012

Cecily Lockwood’s heart ‘bounced like a trout’. An arresting simile on the first page of a novel is always a good sign, but will this piscatorial comparison mean anything to young readers? No matter, back to those footsteps climbing the dark stairs to twelve-year-old Cecily’s room, where she is quailing under the bed. She pictures her older brother Jeremy in the next room, his ... More

Ruth Starke reviews 'Inside Creative Writing'

Ruth Starke
21 March 2012

Graeme Harper is a big name in the academic field of creative writing. He was the first in Australia to be awarded a doctorate in creative writing (UTS, 1993) and followed that with a PhD from the University of East Anglia; he has held professorships in creative writing in the United Kingdom, Australia, and the United States. He edits journals and writes textbooks o ... More

Ruth Starke reviews 'A Common Loss' by Kirsten Tranter

Ruth Starke
20 January 2012

It begins with a car accident. Five friends are returning to college after a night of drinking. The driver, Cameron, hits a deer and overturns the vehicle. When the police and ambulance arrive, Dylan, who has drunk the least, claims to have been at the wheel. The others – Elliot, who narrates the story, Tallis, Brian, and especially Cameron – let him assume responsibility. It is, more or le ... More

Ruth Starke reviews 'The Best Australian Stories 2011' edited by Cate Kennedy

Ruth Starke
24 November 2011

The ABC Shop is currently selling online The Best Australian Stories 2010 for $14.99. ‘Ideal for summer reading’ its advertising says, and it surely doesn’t matter which summer. At that price you might get yourself a copy and sling it in your beach bag, unless you suspect it might dampen your holiday mood. More than a few reviewers found the overall tone of the collection bleak a ... More

Ruth Starke reviews eight recent children's books

Ruth Starke
29 June 2011

Linda and Paul McCartney, so the story goes, became vegetarians the moment they looked up from a delicious meal of roast lamb and saw a flock of lambs gambolling in the field beyond their cottage. Young readers of Pamela Freeman’s Lollylegs (Walker Books, $11.95 pb, 64 pp, 9781921529078) might well have a similar reaction, since the connection in Lollylegs between the meal o ... More

Ruth Starke reviews six children's books

Ruth Starke
08 June 2011

Leigh Hobbs has won thousands of hearts with his most famous creations, Horrible Harriet and Old Tom. Time will tell if Mr Badger, the special events manager in a grand London hotel, will have the same enduring success. As he is thoroughly decent, generous, responsible, and hard-working, it is up to minor characters to provide the necessary nastiness. In Mr Badg ... More

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