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Alternative title: ABR
Issue Details: First known date: 2019... no. 411 May 2019 of Australian Book Review est. 1961 Australian Book Review
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* Contents derived from the 2019 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
Open Letter in Support of Behrouz Boochani, single work correspondence

'Dear Editor,

'We, the undersigned, write this letter as Australian journalists, writers, editors, publishers, and lovers of literature, to call for our colleague and fellow award-winning journalist and author Behrouz Boochani to be allowed to enter Australia.' (Introduction)

(p. 7)
'The Sound of Nothing at All' : Feeling Essays about the Tribulation of Trees, Johanna Leggatt , single work essay

'When Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird wrote The Secret Life of Plants (1975), many critics labelled their attempt to prove a spiritual link between people and plants as mystical gibberish, with a New York Times review chiding the authors for pandering to charlatans and amateur psychics. The review noted that although Tompkins and Bird made a fascinating case for plant sentience ‘suspended in the aspic of their blarney, it all looks equally improbable’. In the ensuing decades, more books have been published on the life of trees and their relationship to humans, some of which have sold well and been enthusiastically received by critics. Peter Wohlleben’s The Hidden Life of Trees: What they feel, how they communicate – discoveries from a secret world (2016) topped bestseller lists and earned him a flattering interview in the profile pages of The New York Times.'  (Introduction)

(p. 9-10)
'Tinted by My Face, Cruciated by by Hyphen', Peter Rose , single work essay

'For more than a decade the world has waited, patiently or disbelievingly, for a second book from Nam Le, author of The Boat (2008), a collection of seven tales that won the young Australian author acclaim throughout the world. Finally, it has arrived. A book-length essay running to about 15,000 words, it may not be what the ravenous world had in mind, but it is seriously interesting – interestingly interesting one might almost say. The volume appears in Black Inc.’s neat little Writers on Writers series, with its owlish photographs of authors and subjects: author on top, subject below. Until now there were four in the series, including Christos Tsiolkas on Patrick White, and Ceridwen Dovey on J.M. Coetzee. (Michelle de Kretser on Shirley Hazzard, due later this year, promises to be a notable pairing.)'  (Introduction)

(p. 12-13)
Painting the Horizoni"Even the waves of the sea, in the distance, have turned to stone.", Kristen Lang , single work poetry (p. 16)
'A Dance with Failure' : The Intellectualism and Viscerality of Alison Croggon, Ben Brooker , single work essay

'When Alison Croggon’s theatre review blog Theatre Notes closed in late 2012 after eight years in existence, its demise was met with a response akin to grief. The first blog of its kind in Australia, and one of the most enduring anywhere, TN became essential reading for anyone interested in Australian performance. Croggon’s often expansive and always erudite critical commentary earned her an international following (and, in 2009, the Geraldine Pascall Prize for Critic of the Year, the first time it went to an online critic).'  (Introduction)

(p. 21-22)
Upsurge, Gillian Appleton , single work review

'People who were university students at a particular time often like to regard those years as exceptional, a perspective which, embellished by nostalgia, memoirs, and media hype, can take on mythic proportions. A case in point is the concurrence of people and talent that led to a high point in student theatre at the University of Sydney during the late 1950s and early 1960s.'  (Introduction)

(p. 23)
Mirage, Alex Cothren , single work review

'Care and compassion, a fair go, freedom, honesty, trustworthiness, respect, and tolerance. These were the nine ‘Australian values’ that former Liberal Opposition Leader Brendan Nelson demanded be taught in schools, especially Islamic schools, across the nation in 2005. How? Partly through the tale of John Simpson and his donkey, Murphy. They clambered selflessly up and down Gallipoli’s Shrapnel Valley with the bodies of Anzacs on their backs like Sisyphus’s boulder, their forty days of toil ended by a sniper’s bullet. Never mind that Simpson’s real surname was Kirkpatrick; that he did the equivalent work of many nameless others; or that Simpson was an illegal Geordie immigrant who had enlisted just for the free ticket back to England. ‘The man with the donkey’ has consistently proven too useful a tool to question for war recruiters and other patriotic tub-thumpers.' (Introduction)

(p. 31)
Taut and Dark-Edged, Brenda Walker , single work review

'In Chris Womersley’s collection of short fiction, A Lovely and Terrible Thing, a man is caught in a fugue moment. Just after unexpectedly discharging a gun into the body of a stranger, he gazes at his reflection in a darkened window pane: ‘I saw someone outside looking in, before realising it was, in fact, my own reflection hovering like a small, sallow moon in the darkness.’ He stands for so many characters in this collection, visible beyond the boundaries of human habitation, forlorn, misinterpreted, and somehow failing, initially at least, to notice the mighty forces of chaos and destruction that lie before him. The mismatch between the shooting and the fey rumination is very funny, and black humour is another characteristic of the stories in A Lovely and Terrible Thing, where sensational events and wry, poised writing establish Womersley as an impressive writer of short fiction. His novels, City of Crows (2017), Cairo (2013), Bereft (2010), and The Low Road (2007), work with crime and the Gothic, with displacement in a geographical and psychic sense.'  (Introduction)

(p. 32)
At the Gorge : Twists and Tropes in Four New Crime Novels, Chris Flynn , single work review

'The plethora of crime stories is such that, in order to succeed, they must either follow a well-trodden narrative path and do so extremely well, or run with a high concept and hope for the best. Having the word ‘girl’ in the title doesn’t hurt. Readers are familiar with genre tropes, to the point of being high-functioning literary detectives, ready to sniff out lapses in logic and to scream at the page (or at a screen) when a plot goes haywire. Treat aficionados of crime fiction with contempt, and you’re dead in the water.' (Introduction)

(p. 34-35)
Traces, Alice Nelson , single work review

'What does it mean to live in a place but never to fully belong to it? How does our capacity for intimacy alter when we are in exile? How do we forge an identity among haphazard collisions of cultures and histories?'  (Introduction)

(p. 36)
On Oxytocin, Keyvan Allahyari , single work review
— Review of Into the Fire Sonia Orchard , 2019 single work novel ;

'The American writer bell hooks had characterised the 1990s as a period of ‘collusion’ between well-educated white women and the capitalist patriarchy (Where We Stand: Class matters, 2000). The new workplace gave these women greater economic power but curbed their agency in altering the structures of the ruling system. All the while, division of labour at home remained more or less unchanged, with women as the primary contributors. This made them feel, hooks recalls, ‘betrayed both by the conventional sexism … and by the feminism, which insisted work was liberating’ without addressing the dearth of job opportunities for women of less privileged classes.' (Introduction)

(p. 37)
Lightness, Naama Grey-Smith , single work review
— Review of Gravity Is the Thing Jaclyn Moriarty , 2019 single work novel ;

'The first thing one notices about Jaclyn Moriarty’s Gravity Is the Thing is its narrative voice: distinctive, almost stylised. Exclamation marks, emphasised words in italics, a staccato rhythm, and clever comments in parentheses add up to a writing style sometimes deemed quirky. This style is not restricted to the voice of the first-person narrator but rather is a lens through which the work and its characters are cast. It reflects, more broadly, the author’s playful approach to language (as seen, too, in her website and blogs).'  (Introduction)

(p. 38)
Stephen Dedman Reviews 'Driving Into the Sun' by Marcella Polain, Stephen Dedman , single work review
— Review of Driving into the Sun Marcella Polain , 2019 single work novel ;

'In Driving Into the Sun, Marcella Polain – winner of the Anne Elder Award, the Patricia Hackett Prize, and more – has done an excellent job of capturing the inner emotional landscape of a young girl growing up fatherless in Perth’s outer suburbia in the 1960s. She recreates an era of television westerns and Bakelite phones, a time when Perth residents had just learned to worry about unlocked doors and windows, and when you could buy a house and land for $14,000 – if you were a man. If you were a woman with $13,000, as the novel points out, you needed a man to stand guarantor for the rest.'  (Introduction)

(p. 39)
Jacinta Mulders Reviews 'The Shining Wall' by Melissa Ferguson, Jacinta Mulders , single work review
— Review of The Shining Wall Melissa Ferguson , 2019 single work novel ;

'In Melissa Ferguson’s impressive sci-fi début, wealthy, tech-enhanced Homo sapiens cordon themselves off behind a shining wall. In the desert outside their City (‘City 1’), ‘Demi-Citizens’ live in slum conditions, riddled with disease, hunger, and mistrust. Among them is orphaned Alida, who hustles to support her sister, Graycie, by scavenging and occasionally being trafficked inside City 1’s wall, where she is prostituted by the dodgy Freel. The City is serviced by a population of cloned Neanderthals. Considered ‘lesser’, they work as nannies, factory workers, and security officers.'  (Introduction)

(p. 39)
'A Revolutionary Wife' : Colonial Belle Meets Principled Weathercock, Jim Davidson , single work review

'The name of Julia Sorell – the granddaughter of an early governor – never quite died in Tasmania. A faint memory survived of a high-spirited young woman who was the belle of Hobart, a woman who broke hearts and engagements, including one with the current governor’s son. (It was also rumoured – with political intent – that she seduced his father, Sir John Eardley-Wilmot.) An element of scandal arose all the more readily because her own mother had deserted her father for a military man, and had run off with him when he returned to his regiment in India.'  (Introduction)

(p. 40-41)
As Time Goes Byi"Tuesdays Paul comes by. He jogs up the driveway in his striped green shorts", Bella Li , single work poetry (p. 52)
Poet of the Month with Emma Lew, single work interview (p. 53)
Forms in Bone, Judith Bishop , single work review
— Review of Crow College : New and Selected Poems Emma Lew , 2019 selected work poetry ;

'Original voices are always slippery to describe. The familiar weighing mechanisms don’t work very well when the body of work floats a little above the weighing pan, or darts around in it. As in dreams, a disturbing familiarity may envelop the work with an elusive scent. It is no different for poetry than for any other art: the mercurial alloy, or unforeseen offspring, astonish and perturb. They divide opinion. The reception to date of Emma Lew’s poetry, gathered for the first time in her New and Selected Poems, demonstrates this effect.' (Introduction)

(p. 55)
Open Page with Judith Brett, single work interview (p. 60)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Last amended 5 Jun 2019 11:19:02
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