‘Blood has a freshness of tone and determined vigour that are frequently lacking in the work of many male Australian writers.’
Chris Flynn reviewed Blood (University of Queensland Press) in December 2011–January 2012.
‘Carroll has established himself as one of Australia’s finest contemporary novelists. Despite accolades and awards, his oeuvre remains less revered than it deserves to be. Perhaps his most mesmerising skill is his capacity to depict the worlds within his characters’ heads.’
Patrick Allington reviewed Spirit of Progress (Fourth Estate) in September 2011.
‘Descriptions of Dawe’s work that focus on his mastery of Australian speech registers and his sympathy with suburban folk often, unconsciously, sell him short. He can be a very sophisticated poet.’
Martin Duwell reviewed Slo-mo Tsunami and Other Poems (Puncher & Wattmann) in December 2011–January 2012.
‘Funder’s observations of the gradual assertion of the Nazis’ grip on Germany ring uncannily true ...’
Jo Case reviewed All That I Am (Hamish Hamilton) in October 2011.
‘This bold book, with its lucid prose and vivid illustrations, will be discussed for years to come. It is not original in the narrow sense of the word, but it takes an important idea to new heights because of the author’s persistence and skill.’
Geoffrey Blainey reviewed The Biggest Estate on Earth: How Aborigines Made Australia (Allen & Unwin) in November 2011.
‘... this act of re-entering the past is an important one. Grenville’s extraordinary trilogy is a major achievement in Australian literature.’
Sophie Cunningham reviewed Sarah Thornhill (Text Publishing) in October 2011.
‘Still, even with its northern myopia, this is a book with a wise core, written by someone who has learned that the responsibility of power brings both constraint and motivation and that reaching out to the other side has human, as well as strategic, benefits.’
Bruce Grant reviewed On China (Allen Lane) in September 2011.
Geoffrey Lehmann and Robert Gray
Australian Poetry since 1788 is a compelling book and a quite exemplary anthology. Australians have been kept – or have kept themselves – to themselves for too long.’
Michael Hofmann reviewed Australian Poetry since 1788 (UNSW Press) in December 2011–January 2012.
‘Despite its formidable length, this is a real page-turner. McKenna compels admiration not just for the depth of his research and the unassuming grace of his prose, but also the skill with which he constructs his narrative.’
Norman Etherington reviewed An Eye for Eternity: The Life of Manning Clark (Miegunyah Press) in December 2011–January 2012.
‘The Cook is made of the world, made of menus and daydreams and lust. From this material, so commonplace and so frequently given the most everyday treatment imaginable, Wayne Macauley has written a great book.’
Adam Rivett reviewed The Cook (Text Publishing) in October 2011.
‘It is the vengeful thread that hides behind the notion of “crusading” that Manne reveals in his Quarterly Essay, and I hope that the paper takes account of the criticisms he makes.’
Robert Phiddian reviewed Bad News: Rupert Murdoch’s Australian and the Shaping of the Nation (Black Inc.) in November 2011.
‘Foal’s Bread is a grand, bittersweet romantic saga, at once laconic and mystical, tragic and optimistic ... How marvellous to hear her unique voice again.’
Gillian Dooley reviewed Foal’s Bread (Allen & Unwin) in November 2011.
‘All of Alex Miller’s wisdom and experience – of art, of women and what drives them, of writing, of men and their ambitions – and every mirage and undulation of the Australian landscape are here, transmuted into rare and radiant fiction. An indispensable novel.’
Morag Fraser reviewed Autumn Laing (Allen & Unwin) in October 2011.
‘In the imagination of Australian readers, Edith Campbell Berry may come to stand for her country and her century in the same way that Richard Mahony did.’
Kerryn Goldsworthy reviewed Cold Light (Vintage) – the last volume in the ‘Edith Trilogy’ – in November 2011.
‘Nixon was an important agent of change in policing methods, and hopes that her actions on Black Saturday will not overshadow the achievements of the rest of her career. She adds, “Perhaps this is a vain hope.”’
Elisabeth Holdsworth reviewed Fair Cop (Victory Books) in September 2011.
‘It is difficult to think of another poet who has more consistently and resolutely fashioned beauty from flat, broken English ... Ryan’s astonishing body of work, now newly and selectively gathered in a single volume, is both tonic and rebuke.’
James Harms reviewed New and Selected Poems (Giramondo) in December 2011–January 2012.
‘At its best, Zable’s writing reminds me of W.G. Sebald’s – enigmatic, self-aware, exploratory. In his hands, storytelling paradoxically becomes a salve for the unhealable wounds it describes, memory brings home the shock of loss – but is also the only way of reaching the dead – and music is a trace that both recalls exile and undoes it.’
José Borghino reviewed Violin Lessons (Text Publishing) in September 2011.