'The travelling troubadour when he’s at home is content to get on with “woodshedding” — Paul Kelly’s word for spending time alone, tinkering with old and new songs, and seeing what comes of them.' (Introduction)
'On May 1, 1980, I was invited to attend a reception held at the Hilton Hotel in Sydney, at which two of Australia’s best-known businessmen made an important announcement to the invited guests. The men, Rupert Murdoch and Robert Stigwood, were Australians who were well known around the world: the “media magnate and [the] entertainment entrepreneur” (as The Sunday Telegraph reported a few days later) used the occasion to announce the formation of a new company, R&R (later known as Associated R&R Films), a joint venture between News Corporation and the Robert Stigwood Organisation; the latter company had been responsible for hit films such as Tommy, Saturday Night Fever and Grease. A total of $10m would be invested in local productions, the first — and, as it turned out, the last — of which would be Gallipoli, directed by Peter Weir, produced by Patricia Lovell and scripted by David Williamson.' (Introduction)
'In a life spanning journalism, the law, business and politics, Malcolm Turnbull has never been known for half measures or to pull his punches. He says what he thinks and does what he wants, and always has.' (Introduction)
'The past month has attracted more attention to older Australians, positive and negative, as those most at risk from the coronavirus. As the editors of these two anthologies note, people, especially women, have usually faded into the background once they reached old age.' (Introduction)
'Suzanne Leal’s new novel, The Deceptions, asks a difficult question. Is it necessary to always tell the truth, or is deceit sometimes the better strategy?'
'‘I measure every grief I meet / With narrow, probing, eyes,’’ Emily Dickinson wrote, ‘‘I wonder if It weighs like Mine / Or has an Easier size.’’ While these opening lines might sound as if Dickinson is describing grief as a form of competition, I think she’s instead alluding to how grief feels so singular, how it’s hard to comprehend others could experience it in quite the same way. These lines of Dickinson’s sprang to mind in March, when my father passed away.' (Introduction)