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Alternative title: ABR
Issue Details: First known date: 2016... no. 384 September 2016 of Australian Book Review est. 1961 Australian Book Review
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  • Includes the poem 'Indexing Emily' by New Zealand poet, Bill Manhire
  • Contents indexed selectively.


* Contents derived from the 2016 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
The Elusive Moorehead : Channelling the Spirit of the Biographical Quarry, Robin Gerster , single work review
— Review of Our Man Elsewhere : In Search of Alan Moorehead Thornton McCamish , 2016 single work biography ;

'You have to admire the professional writer who describes the chore of churning out the daily ration of words as 'like straining shit through a sock', though this may not have been the quotation for which Alan Moorehead would have chosen to be remembered. At the time he was Australia's most internationally celebrated writer, known for both his apparently effortless prose and the range of his subject matter, from the battlefields of World War II to the great age of European exploration in Africa. He was a cosmopolitan travel addict, the trailblazer of what was to become a golden generation of Australian expatriates (the sock simile was told to a young Robert Hughes at Moorehead's villa at the Tuscan seaside town Porto Ercole). The man of the 'great elsewhere' in Thornton McCamish's bold new biography, Moorehead had rejected the stultifying mediocrity of 'nowhere' (Melbourne) for 'somewhere' (Europe), along the way affecting an English accent that hid his origins. But it seems that he couldn't escape Australia and its idioms after all.' (Introduction)

(p. 11-12)
'Short-Arsed Sex Pixie' : A Clear-Eyed Account of an Artist's Life, Simon Caterson , single work review
— Review of Brett Whiteley : Art, Life and the Other Thing Ashleigh Wilson , 2016 single work biography ;

'Notwithstanding the fact that he died alone in a hotel room following a heroin overdose at the age of fifty-three, Brett Whiteley led what for an Australian artist in particular may be characterised as a fortunate life. As Ashleigh Wilson relates in this excellent biography, Whiteley retained the capacity to astonish, despite his misadventures.' (Introduction)

(p. 13-14)
Through Country, Bernadette Brennan , single work review
— Review of A Companion to the Works of Kim Scott 2016 anthology criticism ;
'In 2004 Kim Scott delivered the prestigious Herbert Blaiklock Memorial Lecture to a predominantly academic audience at the University of Sydney. Provocatively, he began by saying that he did not know much about Australian literature; the literature of this country did not reflect his experiences or his sense of identity. It certainly was not the literature of his country. Scott wanted to question and complicate the categories of Australian and indigenous literature. His concern that indigenous literature was considered to be a lesser version, or subset, of our national literature had seemed to be confirmed when he located his novel Benang: From the heart (1999) in a bookshop under 'Australiana'.' (Introduction)
(p. 19)
Binocular Vision, Michael Winkler , single work review
— Review of Position Doubtful : Mapping Landscapes and Memories Kim Mahood , 2016 single work autobiography ;
'At the bottom of one of Kim Mahood's desert watercolours, she scrawled, 'In the gap between two ways of seeing, the risk is that you see nothing clearly.' A risk for some, but not Mahood. Her work as a visual artist and writer attests to an eye that is unfailing and a lifetime of looking. The subtle gradations and veristic detail of Position Doubtful attest to sustained attentive observation.' (Introduction)
(p. 22)
Layers of Entrapment, Kári Gíslason , single work review
— Review of Farewell to the Father : A Memoir of Love and Madness Tim Elliott , 2016 single work autobiography ;
'One of the claims that is sometimes made for the memoir form is that it gives the author a degree of release from the past. Getting it down on paper can also be about getting it out – perhaps even out of the way. The title of Tim Elliott's memoir, Farewell to the Father, suggests that this may have been the goal here; that Elliott, in telling his story, would be able to farewell a man who, we learn, caused much suffering to both himself and his family. A great strength of this book, though, lies with the less satisfying, but I think more realistic, acceptance that definitive goodbyes of this kind are seldom possible. The past, and the layers of entrapment that may lie there, are much more complex than that.' (Introduction)
(p. 22)
Smartravelleri"Just knowing those colours makes it safer", Tracy Ryan , single work poetry (p. 32)
Balances, Fiona Wright , single work review
— Review of The Easy Way Out Steven Amsterdam , 2016 single work novel ;

'or a novel about death – assisted dying, more specifically – The Easy Way Out is incredibly funny. Steven Amsterdam has a wry sense of humour, which is always at work throughout the book, and his sardonic narrator, Evan, is perfectly pitched to offset the darkness of, and the discomfort around, the novel's subject matter.' (Introduction)

(p. 47)
Well-Travelled Tales, Kerryn Goldsworthy , single work review
— Review of After the Carnage Tara June Winch , 2016 selected work short story ;

'Tara June Winch's first and only other book to date, a series of linked stories called Swallow the Air, was written while she was pregnant with her daughter Lila and published in 2006 when she was not yet twenty-three. It was shortlisted in its category for the Queensland Premier's Literary Awards and for The Age Book of the Year, and it won the Victorian Premier's Literary Award for Indigenous Writing, the Dobbie Award for a first book by a woman writer, the NSW Premier's Literary Award in the UTS Award for New Writing category, and the Sydney Morning Herald's Best Young Australian Novelists Award. Since then, Winch has published stories and articles in Vogue and McSweeney's as well as numerous major Australian publications, and has worked with Wole Soyinka after winning the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Award' (Introduction)

(p. 49)
Mixed Roots, Shannon Burns , single work review
— Review of Dying in the First Person Nike Sulway , 2016 single work novel ;
'During boyhood, Samuel and his twin brother, Morgan, invent and in a sense inhabit a world and language called 'Nahum'. Years later – after a family tragedy and long separation – Morgan is a celebrated novelist, while Samuel makes a living translating his brother's fiction from Nahum into English.' (Introduction)
(p. 51)
Going the Distance, Anthony Lynch , single work review
— Review of Wisdom Tree : Five Novellas Nick Earls , 2016 series - author novella ;

In the final novella of Nick Earls's quintet The Wisdom Tree, a benign security guard, Wanda, misquotes Tolstoy: 'No family is perfect. But each family isn't perfect in its own way.' Crossing between continents, each of these intersecting novellas reveals characters who variously express love for the institution of family and opportunistically exploit it. Compromised ambition flourishes throughout. Narrators find themselves support acts to the aspirations of others. Success, with its brief euphorias, might or might not come, but compromise has its own rewards.' (Introduction)

(p. 52)
Thuy On Reviews 'The Paper House' by Anna Spargo-Ryan, Thuy On , single work review
— Review of The Paper House Anna Spargo-Ryan , 2016 single work novel ;
(p. 55)
Wanderer, John Arnold , single work review
— Review of The Vagabond Papers : Sketches of Melbourne Life, in Light and Shade Vagabond , 1876-1878 selected work prose biography ;
'In March 2016 the Royal Historical Society of Victoria hosted a function to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of Michael Cannon's The Land Boomers, first issued in 1966 and several times since. The various speakers paid tribute to Cannon's work as a freelance historian and editor whose many books provided fresh and accessible insights into nineteenth-century Australian life.' (Introduction)
(p. 64)
This Old Man and That Old Woman, Patrick Allington , single work review
— Review of A Long Time Coming : Essays on Old Age Melanie Joosten , 2016 selected work essay ;
'Melanie Joosten begins the introduction to A Long Time Coming, her book of essays about ageing, by quoting Simone de Beauvoir: 'let us recognise ourselves in this old man or in that old woman'. In doing so, Joosten makes a plea for heightened empathy towards older people, but she goes on to make it clear that empathy without action – without changed perceptions, changed behaviour – is insufficient. As such, A Long Time Coming is a challenging as well as eminently readable book.' (Introduction)
(p. 65)
Piri Eddy Reviews 'The Sound' by Sarah Drummond, Piri Eddy , single work review
— Review of The Sound : A Novel Sarah Drummond , 2016 single work novel ;
(p. 68)
'The Grains of Now', Dennis Haskell , single work review
— Review of Dawn the Proof Tony Page , 2016 selected work poetry ; Headwaters Anthony Lawrence , 2016 selected work poetry ; Gods and Uncles Geoff Page , 2015 selected work poetry ;
(p. 68-69)
Poet of the Month with Geoff Page, single work interview (p. 70)
Rachel Fuller Reviews 'The Worst Woman in Sydney : The Life and Crimes of Kate Leigh' by Leigh Straw, Rachel Fuller , single work review
— Review of The Worst Woman in Sydney : The Life and Crimes of Kate Leigh Leigh Straw , 2016 single work biography ;
(p. 71)
Open Page with Fiona Wright, single work interview (p. 72)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Last amended 4 Jun 2018 10:01:03
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