May 2019, issue no. 411

Gemma Betros reviews The Existential Englishman: Paris among the artists by Michael Peppiatt

Gemma Betros
22 April 2019

I wanted to like this memoir very much, not least because the inside of the book jacket promises, with some originality, a ‘not-uncritical love letter to Paris’. People (myself included) have a tendency to wax rha More

Astrid Edwards reviews Diving into Glass: A memoir by Caro Llewellyn

Astrid Edwards
26 March 2019

Memoirs of illness are tricky. The raw material is often compelling: dramatic symptoms, embarrassing public moments, and unavoidable relationship pressures. The challenge is to share that More

Susan Sheridan reviews Beyond Words: A year with Kenneth Cook by Jacqueline Kent

Susan Sheridan
22 February 2019

Kenneth Cook (1929-87) was a prolific author best known for his first novel, Wake in Fright (1961), which was based on his experience as a young journalist in Broken Hill in the 1 More

Morag Fraser reviews 'Leeward: A memoir' by Geoffrey Lehmann

Morag Fraser
18 December 2018

The poet James McAuley once told a group of Sydney university students – ‘forcefully’,  as Geoffrey Lehmann recalls – that poets should have a career unconnected with literature. More

Jane Cadzow reviews 'Speaking Up' by Gillian Triggs

Jane Cadzow
25 October 2018

Gillian Triggs is a pearls-and-perfectly-cut-jacket person these days, so it is thrilling to learn that she was dressed head to toe in motorcycle leathers when she had one of the more inst More

Danielle Clode reviews 'Turmoil: Letters from the brink' by Robyn Williams

Danielle Clode
24 September 2018

In 2014, veteran ABC science broadcaster Robyn Williams was diagnosed with bowel cancer. It was, he reports, his third brush with death, following cardiac arrest in 1988 and bladder cancer More

Lucas Thompson reviews 'The Recovering: Intoxication and its aftermath' by Leslie Jamison

Lucas Thompson
31 August 2018

There is an eerie sameness to addiction memoirs, which tend to follow the same basic structure. In the beginning, there is some immense and unassuageable pain, followed by the discovery of More

Ceridwen Spark reviews 'Traumata' by Meera Atkinson

Ceridwen Spark
26 July 2018

At first glance, Traumata seems to provide an exception to the rule not to judge a book by its cover. Featuring photos of the author’s mother, a woman in her forties, alongside More

Dorothy Driver reviews 'Always Another Country: A Memoir of Exile and Home' by Sisonke Msimang

Dorothy Driver
26 July 2018

The name Sisonke Msimang may be familiar because of her reported claim in 2015 that Australia was ‘more racist’ than South Africa was during the apartheid era. What she in fact critici More

Shannon Burns reviews 'The Rapids: Ways of looking at mania' by Sam Twyford-Moore

Shannon Burns
26 July 2018

In The Rapids: Ways of looking at mania, Sam Twyford-Moore takes a personal, exploratory, and speculative approach to the subject of mania. Because the author has been significant More

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