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Brenda Walker Brenda Walker i(A20614 works by)
Born: Established: 1957 Grafton, Grafton area, Grafton - Maclean area, Mid North Coast, New South Wales, ;
Gender: Female
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Works By

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1 Hand-to-hand Combat : A New Biography on the Porous and Passionate Life of Gillian Mears Brenda Walker , 2021 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , December no. 438 2021; (p. 16-17)

— Review of Leaping into Waterfalls : The Enigmatic Gillian Mears Bernadette Brennan , 2021 single work biography

'In 2011, Bernadette Brennan convened a symposium on ‘Narrative and Healing’ at the University of Sydney, an opportunity for specialists in medicine and bereavement to meet writers with comparable interests. Helen Garner, for example, spoke about Joe Cinque’s Consolation. The day included an audiovisual piece about death as a kind of homecoming, with reference to the prodigal son, and exquisite photographs, including a picture of an elderly Irishman wheeling a bicycle with a coffin balanced on the seat and handlebars: austere and moving, a vision of austere and careful final transportation. Since 2011, Bernadette Brennan has written two literary biographies: A Writing Life: Helen Garner and her work (2017); and the wonderfully titled Leaping into Waterfalls: The enigmatic Gillian Mears. As with the Symposium, each biography is a genuine enquiry, a gathering of unexpected elements, and an invitation to later conversation. Brennan writes of Leaping into Waterfalls as an extension of a conversation she had with Mears in 2012. The Mears biography is certain to be a talking point for years to come.'(Introduction)

1 ‘Alien of Exceptional Ability’ Recalling Hazel Rowley Ten Years After Her Death Brenda Walker , 2021 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , August no. 434 2021; (p. 15)

— Review of Life as Art : The Biographical Writing of Hazel Rowley Hazel Rowley , 2021 selected work biography

'The biographer Hazel Rowley enjoyed the fact that her green card – permitting her to work in America – classified her as an ‘Alien of exceptional ability’. This is close to perfect: her own biography in a few words. If not exactly an alien, she was usefully and often shrewdly awry in a variety of situations: in the academic world of the 1990s, in tense Parisian literary circles, and in the fraught environment of American race relations. It helped that she was Australian, and a relative outsider. The people she sought information from were less likely to categorise her and more inclined to talk. Her books – the major biographies of Christina Stead (1993) and Richard Wright (2001), Tête-à-tête: Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre (2005), and Franklin and Eleanor: An extraordinary marriage (2010) – are certainly evidence of exceptional ability, as well as obsession and tenacity.' (Introduction)

1 Beyond Platitudes : Contemporary Resonances in Randolph Stow’s Oeuvre Brenda Walker , 2021 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , May no. 431 2021; (p. 46-47)

— Review of Randolph Stow : Critical Essays 2021 anthology criticism

'‘Land isn’t always meant to be grasped any more than art is, or dust,’ writes Michael Farrell in the arresting opening sentence of the first essay of Kate Leah Rendell’s Randolph Stow: Critical essays. Stow’s writing shows just how provisional meaning and territoriality can be, and the statement is a fitting beginning to a new book about his work.' (Introduction)

1 The Music of the Virus : Sadness, Relief and Communal Consolation Brenda Walker , 2020 single work essay
— Appears in: The Guardian Australia , 27 September 2020;

'We have a sense of what it means to live in disturbing times, to live under threat. We should not forget the many people who have known this all their lives.'

1 Nothing to Be Done Brenda Walker , 2020 single work column
— Appears in: The Times Literary Supplement , 21 February 2020; (p. 24-25)
1 'Controlled Hallucinations' Brenda Walker , 2019 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , September no. 414 2019; (p. 31)

— Review of The Returns Philip Salom , 2019 single work novel

'A bookseller, Trevor, sits in his shop in Melbourne making conversation with his customers: an exasperating mixture of confessional, hesitant, deranged, and disruptive members of the public. One man stalks him, armed with an outrageous personal demand; another tries to apologise for assaulting him. The apology is almost as unnerving as the attack. The bookshop is a kind of theatre, with a ceiling mirror reflecting the tops of Trevor’s customer’s heads. Trevor has a seat onstage at ground level, and a seat in the gods. Elizabeth, a book editor, steadies herself against his windows as she begins to faint. His book display is not responsible for this partial loss of consciousness; she has a medical problem and Trevor offers her a cup of tea.' (Introduction)

1 Taut and Dark-Edged Brenda Walker , 2019 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , May no. 411 2019; (p. 32)

'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)

1 The Houses That Are Left behind Brenda Walker , 2018 single work short story
— Appears in: Best Summer Stories 2018; (p. 199-211)
1 Water Worries Brenda Walker , 2018 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , October no. 405 2018; (p. 47)

'‘In time and with water, everything changes,’ according to Leonardo da Vinci, who worked with Machiavelli on a strategic and ultimately doomed attempt to channel the flow of the Arno. Large-scale water management has had some notable successes in parts of Australia, but as poor practices and climate change put river systems under near-terminal stress, we face irreversible and potentially catastrophic ecological failures. Michael Cathcart, in The Water Dreamers (2009), provides an account of this. Attempts to rectify the ecological degradation of our rivers involve expensive and possibly futile federal policies, opportunism, and the potential for suffering in farming communities. Everything may indeed change in time and with water, but changes in water practices in Australia are particularly fraught.'  (Introduction)

1 'Old Growth' by John Kinsella Brenda Walker , 2017 single work essay
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , April no. 390 2017;
'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)
1 Review : The High Places Brenda Walker , 2016 single work review
— Appears in: The Monthly , April no. 121 2016; (p. 56)

— Review of The High Places Fiona McFarlane , 2016 selected work short story
1 Roller Skating Brenda Walker , 2016 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , March no. 379 2016; (p. 59)

— Review of The Simplest Words : A Storyteller's Journey Alex Miller , 2015 selected work short story prose autobiography poetry
1 Review : Second Half First Brenda Walker , 2016 single work review
— Appears in: The Monthly , February no. 119 2016; (p. 55)

— Review of Second Half First Drusilla Modjeska , 2015 single work autobiography
1 Review : The Hate Race Brenda Walker , 2016 single work review
— Appears in: The Monthly , September no. 126 2016; (p. 56)

— Review of The Hate Race : A Memoir Maxine Beneba Clarke , 2016 single work autobiography
1 Review : A Guide to Berlin Brenda Walker , 2015 single work review
— Appears in: The Monthly , September no. 115 2015; (p. 57)

— Review of A Guide to Berlin Gail Jones , 2015 single work novel
1 Mouse Brenda Walker , 2015 single work short story
— Appears in: Review of Australian Fiction , vol. 15 no. 3 2015;
1 Review : Forever Young Brenda Walker , 2015 single work review
— Appears in: The Monthly , July no. 113 2015; (p. 57)

— Review of Forever Young Steven Carroll , 2015 single work novel
1 Brenda Walker Reviews 'Shirley Hazzard' Edited by Brigitta Olubas Brenda Walker , 2015 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , April no. 370 2015;

— Review of Shirley Hazzard : New Critical Essays 2014 anthology criticism
1 Review : Alex Miller : The Ruin of Time Brenda Walker , 2014 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , December no. 367 2014; (p. 50)

— Review of Alex Miller : The Ruin of Time Robert Dixon , 2014 single work criticism
1 Review : The Golden Age Brenda Walker , 2014 single work review
— Appears in: The Monthly , November no. 106 2014; (p. 54)

— Review of The Golden Age Joan London , 2014 single work novel
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