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Alternative title: ABR
Issue Details: First known date: 2017... no. 390 April 2017 of Australian Book Review est. 1961 Australian Book Review
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  • Only literary material within AustLit's scope individually indexed. Other material in this issue includes:

    • Elizabeth McMahon on NZ literature
    • Kerryn Goldsworthy reviews 'The Refugees' by Viet Thanh Nguyen
    • Beejay Silcox reviews '4321' by Paul Auster
    • Alan Atkinson reviews 'Scurvy: The disease of discovery' by Jonathan Lamb
    • Deborah Zion reviews 'Time to Die' by Rodney Syme
    • Dennis Altman reviews 'Disposable Leaders: Media and leadership coups from Menzies to Abbott' by Rodney Tiffen
    • Paul Giles reviews 'The Oxford History of the Novel in English: Volume 9: The world novel in English to 1950' edited by Ralph Crane, Jane Stafford, and Mark Williams
    • Mark McKenna reviews 'Illicit Love: Interracial sex and marriage in the United States and Australia' by Ann McGrath
    • Paul Morgan reviews 'Peak: Reinventing middle age' by Patricia Edgar and Don Edgar
    • Michael McGirr reviews 'The Tempest-Tossed Church: Being a Catholic today' by Gerard Windsor
    • Nick Haslam reviews 'A Day in the Life of the Brain: The neuroscience of consciousness from dawn till dusk' by Susan Greenfield
    • Mark Edele reviews 'Stalin and the Scientists: A History of triumph and tragedy 1905–1953' by Simon Ings
    • Christopher Allen reviews 'Imperial Triumph: The Roman world from Hadrian to Constantine' by Michael Kulikowski
    • Patrick McCaughey reviews 'Kenneth Clark: Life, Art and Civilization' by James Stourton
    • Colin Nettelbeck reviews 'Les Parisiennes: How the women of Paris lived, loved, and died in the 1940s' by Anne Sebba
    • John Eldridge reviews 'On Fantasy Island: Britain, Europe and Human Rights' by Conor Gearty


* Contents derived from the 2017 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
'The Copyright of Albert Namatjira', Colin Golvan , single work essay
'You see them driving from Kings Canyon to Alice Springs, the majestic ghost white river gums depicted so faithfully in the paintings of Albert Namatjira. You would think you were looking at a Namatjira painting. And then there is the vista of the craggy hills of the West McDonnell Ranges in their mysterious blue hue – a signature feature of Namatjira’s art.' (Introduction)
Open Page with Ashley Hay, single work interview
Diana Bagnall Reviews 'The Case Against Fragrance' by Kate Grenville, Diana Bagnall , single work essay
'Kate Grenville’s publisher wasn’t keen on her writing a book about fragrance. He would have preferred another novel from the author of Lilian’s Story (1985) and The Secret River (2005). But some stories won’t give an author any peace. This is one of them.' (Introduction)
'Australian Literary Studies' Edited by Julieanne Lamond, Gillian Dooley , single work essay
'Until 2015, Australian Literary Studies was still a printed artefact. It appeared in the mildly erratic pattern endemic to Australian humanities journals, which depend on busy people finding time for the rewarding but often unrewarded task of editing. Nevertheless, despite rising production costs and increasing competition from the online world, it remained impressively extant, with a good number of articles and reviews in each issue. An issue of Australian Literary Studies in 2015 contained about ten articles, probably 100 to 150 pages. The focus of my review then would have been on the content: the editorial choices, the standard of scholarship, the range of topics.' (Introduction)
'Behind the Text : Candid Conversations with Australian Creative Nonfiction Writers' by Sue Joseph, Tali Lavi , single work essay
'What’s in a name? Academic Sue Joseph interviews eleven Australian non-fiction writers, a varied group which includes Paul McGeough, Doris Pilkington Garimara, and Kate Holden. Joseph is on a quest to uncover whether Australian ‘creative non-fiction’ exists here, as it does in other countries, and to understand what the term signifies to her subjects.' (Introduction)
'Old Growth' by John Kinsella, Brenda Walker , single work essay
'John Kinsella’s short stories are the closest thing Australians have to Ron Rash’s tales of washed-out rural America, where weakened and solitary men stand guard over their sad patch of compromised integrity in a world of inescapable poverty, trailer homes, uninsured sickness, and amphetamine wastage. Poe’s adventure stories and internally collapsing characters lightly haunt the short fiction of Rash and Kinsella. Like Rash, Kinsella can write acute and unforgettable stories about threatened masculinity. Kinsella’s latest collection, Old Growth, closely follows his 2016 work Crow’s Breath in subject and design. Although he is best known as a fine poet, these stories add considerably to his stature as a prose writer.' (Introduction)
Shipi"The abandoned ship was there one morning – a new broken headland –", Paul Hetherington , single work poetry
'Subtle Moments : Scenes on a Life’s Journey' by Bruce Grant, Alison Broinowski , single work essay
'Opposite a handsome portrait of him by Louis Kahan, Bruce Grant introduces his memoir of a ‘life’s journey’ by proposing that it is also a biography of Australia, and promising to revisit that on the last page. There, he summarises the plots of ‘Love in the Asian Century’, his recent trilogy of e-books, in which affairs between older men and younger women, Australian and Asian, start with enthusiasm, but are doomed to fail. The metaphor for the relationship between Australia and Asia is overt.' (Introduction)
The Political Is Personal : A 20th Century Memoir by Judith Buckrich, Suzy Freeman-Greene , single work essay
'It is rare to read a memoir as joyfully insouciant about sex as Judith Buckrich’s The Political Is Personal. She describes the delicious state of discovering it, at seventeen, as ‘a sex haze’. At nineteen, she has an intense, dark-eyed boyfriend but is also sleeping with Morry, whose chief merit is his staying power in bed. ‘Once, to prove the point, he read a book while fucking me,’ she writes. ‘Somehow we both found this hilarious.’ A year later, when she is engaged to Charles, her friend David climbs into bed with them, ‘wearing a new pair of red flannel pyjamas that left a red stain forever on our sheets.’ (Introduction)
'After' by Nikki Gemmell, Gillian Dooley , single work essay
'In 2015, Nikki Gemmell’s mother, Elayn, took an overdose of painkillers. Gemmell’s new book, After, chronicles the difficult process of confronting her mother’s death and resolving the anguish it brought to her and her children. It is also an impassioned appeal for changes in Australia’s laws on the right to die.' (Introduction)
'Valiant For Truth: The Life of Chester Wilmot, War Correspondent' by Neil McDonald with Peter Brune, Kevin Foster , single work essay
'Chester Wilmot was blessed with the professional reporter’s principal virtues, talent, self-confidence, resilience, and luck. While his skills as a broadcaster took him to the various fronts of World War II, it was luck, as much as planning, that put him in Tobruk, Greece, and on the Kokoda Track at the precise moments to witness Australia’s armed forces in their first critical tests of the war. Yet if luck played its part in gifting him proximity to the action, it was his artistry, his ability to inform and enthral his listeners, to bring them to the ‘tip of the spear’, that transformed his accounts of, respectively, a siege, a rout, and a fighting withdrawal into epic adventures of the nation at war. When, at General Thomas Blamey’s insistence, Wilmot was stripped of his accreditation and sent home from New Guinea in November 1943, he turned this personal and professional crisis into a triumph, resurrecting his career in London where he reported on the fighting in Europe for the BBC’s nightly War Report.' (Introduction)
'Hamilton Hume : Our Greatest Explorer' by Robert Macklin, Katy Gerner , single work essay
'robert Macklin is a great admirer of Hamilton Hume (1797–1873). He paints a vivid, scholarly picture of one of Australia’s lesser-known ‘currency’ explorers: a man who spent his youth hiking in the bush, with his brother and an Aboriginal guide, as often as his mother would allow. Hume was a successful farmer, able bushman and an expert on Aboriginal customs and languages. It was these skills that led to Hume’s being invited on expeditions to find arable land. These journeys were successful: land and water were found, and Hume’s teams returned alive and without the bloodshed which occurred in later expeditions, where the leaders lacked Hume’s linguistic skills and cultural understanding.' (Introduction)
Felicity Plunkett : Critic of the Month, single work interview
Paul Hetherington : Poet of the Month, single work interview
'From the Wreck' by Jane Rawson, Fiona Wright , single work essay
'From the Wreck is a deeply ecological novel. It isn’t quite cli-fi – that new genre of fiction concerned with dramatising the effects of our changing climate on people and the world – rather, it is underpinned by an awareness of the connectedness of creatures: animal, human, and otherworldly alike, and narrated in parts by a creature who has fled another planet, ruined by invaders who ‘built machines, giant, and chemical plants’ and poisoned the oceanic habitat of this character and her kind.' (Introduction)
'The Restorer' by Michael Sala, Blanche Clark , single work essay
'Domestic violence is an everyday reality for tens of thousands of women in Australia. Recent horrors and public campaigns have raised awareness of this social scourge. Journalists have written extensively on the subject, yet it is novelists, as Michael Sala shows in The Restorer, that can give us a more acute view of the emotional complexities that bind couples and keep women in threatening domestic situations.' (Introduction)
'The Permanent Resident' by Roanna Gonsalves, Sara Savage , single work essay
'There is a moment in ‘The Skit’ – the second in a collection of sixteen short stories by Indian-Australian author Roanna Gonsalves – when the writer protagonist, upon reading her work to a group of her peers (‘the Bombay gang’, as she describes them, ‘still on student visas, still drinking out of second-hand glasses from Vinnies, and eating off melamine plates while waiting and waiting for their applications for permanent residency to be processed’), is met with the incorrect assumption that her writing is autobiographical. This early on in The Permanent Resident – Gonsalves’s début book, though by no means her first reflection on migrant identities in Australia – it feels like a surreptitious wink from the author, whose voice hums sotto voce beneath a chorus of characters seldom represented (at least not so intricately) in twenty-first century Australian literature.' (Introduction)
The Trapeze Act by Libby Angel, Anna MacDonald , single work essay
'An epigraph from Mary Ruefle’s Madness, Rack, and Honey: Collected lectures (2012) sets the tone of Libby Angel’s novel, The Trapeze Act ‘what is the moment but a fragment of greater time?’ This book is composed of fragments, which, taken together, capture the desire for a complete understanding of history and the impossibility of satisfying that desire.' (Introduction)
'The Change Trilogy : The Silent Invasion' by James Bradley, Benjamin Chandler , single work essay
'The Silent Invasion, James Bradley’s first Young Adult novel and the first in a trilogy, begins in generic post-apocalyptic fashion. Humanity crowds into restricted safe zones, hiding from an intergalactic plague that infects living matter with the mysterious Change. Adolescent protagonist Callie’s younger sister Gracie is infected; to prevent her demise at the hands of Quarantine, Callie flees with her sister to the Zone, an area beyond Quarantine’s control in Australia’s far north that is overrun with Changed flora and fauna.' (Introduction)
'The Fremantle Press Anthology of Western Australian Poetry' by John Kinsella and Tracy Ryan (eds), Geoff Page , single work essay
'The need for this book is self-evident in a way that a similarly historical anthology for New South Wales or Victorian poetry would not be. From many perspectives, Perth is one of the most remote cities in the world and there is no doubt that the state’s uniqueness is captured in this extensive, though tightly edited, selection. Despite its comparable treatment of Aboriginal people, Western Australia’s nineteenth-century history (with its brief experience of convictism and its relatively late gold rush in the 1890s) is different from that of the eastern colonies, about which Western Australians continue to feel a mild, justified paranoia.' (Introduction)

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