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Issue Details: First known date: 2017... November 2017 of Sydney Review of Books est. 2013 Sydney Review of Books
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* Contents derived from the 2017 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
Becoming Fay Zwicky, Ali Smith , single work essay

'In the essay ‘Border Crossings’, included as an opening to The Collected Poems of Fay Zwicky, the poet recounts a memory. The night before she was to start at a new school, her mother sat on the end of her bed and taught her to say the Lord’s Prayer. This would be a rather commonplace recollection except that she and her mother were Jewish, the school she was about to start was the Melbourne Church of England Girls’ Grammar School, her mother’s alma mater, and when Zwicky described this memory to her mother, her mother said that such a thing had never happened.' (Introduction)

‘Beauty Is Now Underfoot Wherever We Take the Trouble to Look’, Anna Couani , single work essay poetry

'With so many local references to Glebe Point, you’d think that Glebe was a peninsula culminating in a point. However, Glebe is like a rounded breast nestled between the peninsula arms of Balmain and Pyrmont, and slightly bulging into the harbour. The Point is a nipple, a pointy constructed thing between Rozelle Bay and Blackwattle Bay and the site of the historic house, Bellevue. Once though, before the invasion, there were abundant wetlands on each side of Glebe, in the Blackwattle Cove Swamp and the Johnson’s Creek Swamp. Called ‘swamps’ rather than ‘wetlands’. Then, Glebe would have been more of a peninsula, surrounded by water on three sides.' (Introduction)

An Embassy for Nowhere, Jennifer Mills , single work essay

'There are three modes in which most stories about Australia’s regional towns can be categorised: horror (‘New to the ‘Yabba?’); affectionate satire (‘Goodbye, Porpoise Spit!’); and that particular nostalgia we cultivate for small-town life, a Wintonesque keening for place and belonging for which there seems to be no cure.' (Introduction)

Time’s Moebius Strip, Eileen Chong , single work review essay

'Lunar Inheritance is Lachlan Brown’s second collection of poetry. His first, Limited Cities, was published in 2012 by Giramondo, and was highly commended in the Mary Gilmore Award 2014 for a first collection of poetry. Brown was born and raised in Macquarie Fields, NSW, and is currently based in Wagga Wagga, NSW, where he works at Charles Stuart University as a Lecturer in English.' (Introduction)

All The World’s A Drain, Jennifer Mae Hamilton , single work biography

'If it is the job of a phenomenologist to describe conscious experience, Bodies of Water: Posthuman Feminist Phenomenology does so in a way that collapses the distinction between one’s psychic life and one’s material situation. Its author, Astrida Neimanis, challenges us to reimagine how individual human bodies — constituted of approximately 70 per cent water — are thoroughly implicated in the planetary hydrocommons.' (Introduction)

Surro, Fiona McGregor , single work essay

'Head south on Elizabeth Street, turn left after Devonshire. Butt Street is more of an alley, with a slight kink at the beginning. Apartments and warehouses loom either side. You are walking towards Clisdell Street in August 1940, and on the left in the gutter is the corpse of Bill Smillie, gambler, gunman, SP standover. Next to his body is a dead cat.' (Introduction)

Neighbourhood Watch, Womerah Lane, Tom Carment , single work essay
What Lay In The Ashes: The Last Days of Jeanne D’Arc by Ali Alizadeh, Leslie Barnes , single work essay review

'In the preface to her historical account of the life and death of Jeanne d’Arc, Larissa Juliet Taylor observes that the sainted virgin warrior ‘has, in the nearly six centuries since her death, become everything to everyone – a Catholic, a proto-Protestant, a right or left wing partisan, anti-Semitic, nationalist, anti-colonialist, and even the face on cheese, chocolates, baked beans, and cosmetics’. From the minds of Shakespeare to André Malraux, Mark Twain to Luc Bresson, tens of thousands of literary, scholarly, dramatic, political, and visual representations of the maid have emerged, each one contributing to the re-imagining of this canonical figure though retellings, re-enactments and revisions. In the opening pages of his novel, The Last Days of Jeanne d’Arc, Ali Alizadeh challenges them all: ‘And how little… anyone… knows about the truth of Jeanne’s life.’ (Introduction)

Fruitful Playgrounds, Jessica Wilkinson , single work essay review

'Three new poetry collections, three Australian women poets: Present by Elizabeth Allen (Vagabond), Domestic Interior by Fiona Wright (Giramondo) and Passage by Kate Middleton (Giramondo). All three women are award-winning authors, and each has won a major prize for their previous volumes: Allen won the 2012 FAW Anne Elder Award for Body Language, Wright won the 2012 Dame Mary Gilmore Award for Knuckled, and Middleton’s Fire Season was awarded the 2009 WA Premier’s Literary Awards for Poetry. All live in Sydney. These are easy things to report, biographical facts. What is perhaps less known is that each of these poets is a generous spirit and supportive presence in the world of poetry and writing in Australia, as editors, associate publishers, event organisers, colleagues, mentors and poetry champions. I have witnessed this generosity not only from afar but first-hand, at readings, launches, and even through unexpected encounters in cafes; it’s the only thing that would make me consider moving to Sydney. So I emphasise this to begin with, because I think it is important to recognise their contributions in this regard too, and to convey the respect that I have for all three authors not only as poets, but as literary community gems.' (Introduction)

Forty Whacks: See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt, Julieanne Lamond , single work review essay

'My daughter is eight years old and has started to ignore us when she is reading. ‘Time to brush your teeth!’ No answer. ‘Can you put your PJs on?’ Nothing. ‘Just to the end of the chapter, OK?’ We give up and close the door. We don’t push her because we know what she has found: an experience that is independent of her family and school, and an absorption that belongs only to her. Soon enough she’ll have plenty such experiences, and will make her own decisions about how large a part we, her family, play in her life. Sarah Schmidt’s See What I Have Done takes an interesting stance on the question of women’s agency. It is about a woman who is, in many ways, terrible and strange, but it positions her within the context of a number of grown women who struggle to have experiences they can call their own, and for whom the family seems inescapable. This in itself is nothing new: a whole genre of contemporary fiction set in the nineteenth century deals with the straightjacket of Victorian gender norms and family structures. Nor is it new to reimagine the case of Lizzie Borden, accused of murdering her father and stepmother with an axe in Massachusetts in 1892.' (Introduction)

Two Lives in the Cross, Bill Harding , John Paramor , single work essay autobiography

My first relationship with the Cross was primal, as primal as you can get: my mother lived in the Cross. I was nine when what seemed like decades of fighting came to an end and she moved out of the family home to live with the man who became her second husband, leaving my father, my sister and me spluttering like beached marlins in Cremorne. (Introduction)

In The Estuary: Felicity Castagna’s No More Boats, Anne Jamison , single work review essay

'In Felicity Castagna’s No More Boats, we are repeatedly reminded that the novel’s locale, Parramatta, marks the shifting aqueous site in Sydney’s Western suburban landscape where ‘saltwater meets fresh’. Historically, this is the place where Australia’s early colonial explorers, travelling up the Parramatta River from Sydney Cove in 1788, could take their boats no further. It is also one of numerous sites of resistance to European invasion by the Aboriginal warrior, Pemulwuy. In Castagna’s hands, this rich and multi-layered history of place is embodied in the topography of the Parramatta River and its intricate estuarine environment, creating a wonderfully nuanced metaphor.' (Introduction)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Last amended 29 Nov 2017 11:48:13