Australian Book Review

Books of the Year 2016

Sheila Fitzpatrick et al.
Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Originally published in German, Albrecht Dümling’s The Vanished Musicians: Jewish refugees in Australia (Peter Lang), a fascinating compendium of Jewish musicians who found refuge in Australia in the 1930s and 1940s, is now available in Australian Diana K. Weekes’s excellent translation ...

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Melanie Joosten begins the introduction to A Long Time Coming, her book of essays about ageing, by quoting Simone de Beauvoir: 'let us recognise ourselves ...

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'With time,' writes Australian Rules Football goal umpire Chelsea Roffey, 'I wrapped my lady brain around the mathematics of scoring.' Roffey's account of ...

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Patrick Allington reviews 'Hope Farm' by Peggy Frew

Patrick Allington
Friday, 18 December 2015

'I try to imagine going back': so begins a story about a woman remembering her childhood even when it seems she would just as soon forget it. Hope Farm is Melbourne writer and musician Peggy Frew's second novel. Her terrific début, House of Sticks (2011), was about, among other things, contemporary parenthood and the rhythm of conventional and unc ...

Books of the Year 2015

Robert Adamson et al.
Monday, 23 November 2015

Jennifer Maiden's The Fox Petition: New Poems (Giramondo) conjures foxes 'whose eyes were ghosts with pity' and foxes of language that transform the world's headlines

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Patrick Allington reviews 'That Deadman Dance' by Kim Scott

Patrick Allington
Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Kim Scott noted in 2001 that the biographical notes accompanying his first two novels (True Country, 1993, and Benang: From the Heart, 1999) changed ...

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Reading Australia: 'That Deadman Dance' by Kim Scott

Patrick Allington
Wednesday, 27 May 2015

The shortlist for the 2011 Miles Franklin Literary Award, which included Kim Scott’s That Deadman Dance, was controversial because it consisted of only three novels, all w ...

Last month in Melbourne, a group of book reviewers and literary editors took part in a conference organised by Monash University’s Centre for the Book. There were more than thirty short papers, or ‘provocations’, as they were styled. Our Editor lamented the low or non-payment of some reviewers (especially youn ...

Patrick Allington reviews 'The Writing Life' by David Malouf

Patrick Allington
Thursday, 26 February 2015

In appraising the poet Peter Porter, David Malouf writes that ‘the world we inhabit is a vast museum – call it History, or Art, or the History of Art. For Porter, the exhibits were still alive and active.’ So it is with Malouf himself: his world includes Ancient Greece, the Roman Empire, the awful and bloody twentieth century, a Brisba ...

Patrick Allington reviews Peter Carey's 'Amnesia'

Patrick Allington
Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Peter Carey’s new novel, Amnesia, is an odd-shaped – but not misshaped – tale about power and, more particularly, resistance to power. When the veteran leftist journalist Felix Moore writes the story of Gaby Baillieux, a young Australian cyber-activist, he finds himself, like Gaby, a fugitive. As if by magic, Gaby has unlocked Australian and US prison d ...

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