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Issue Details: First known date: 2015... vol. 27 no. 1 / 2 2015 of Australian Women's Book Review est. 1989 Australian Women’s Book Review
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This issue of AWBR, contains nine long-form reviews of recent books by Australian women writers. The focus of Carole Ferrier's editorial essay is on the potential destructive effects of new technologies - such as drones - on animals and the environment. The cover image for this issue - The Tree-of-Life Sends its Energy Underground - is an evocative painting by visual artist Kathryn Brimblecombe-Fox. She provides a detailed explanation of her inspiration of this piece from her 'Dronescapes' series.


  • Only literary material by Australian authors and within AustLits scope individually indexed. Other material in this issue includes:

    • The Goddess, the Icon and the Breaking of the Stereotype a review of Sanjunkta Dasgupta's collection of poetry Lakshmi Unbound by Susri Bhattacharya
    • Challenging the Dominance of Male Sport a review of Sarah Shephard's Kicking Off: How Women in Sport Are Changing the Game, reviewed by Braham Dabscheck


* Contents derived from the 2015-2016 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
Editorial, Carole Ferrier , single work essay

Kathryn Brimblecombe-Fox’s painting, on this cover of the AWBR, from her “Dronescapes” series, encourages meditation upon the application of technological advances, specifically within the history of warfare. It depicts militarised drones— machines that deliver weapons. Their deployment for targeted attacks in remotely controlled strikes has developed and increased over time since the second Gulf War. During the presidency of Barack Obama, counter-insurgency airborne drone measures in undeclared battlefields purported to minimise civilian casualties. However, these strikes have given rise to urgent questions about the identification of terrorists, since any male close to a target can fall into the category of “terrorist,” whereas a female or a child in the vicinity is less likely to be categorised in this way. Other justifications for this style of drone warfare are that they can prevent planned attacks on local populations, and save the lives of American warfighters or others from the “free world” who may have their “boots on the ground” near the target or “kill zone.” The remote nature of drone operation also removes pilots from possible harm or death, thus minimising American citizenry concerns about sending troops to fight and die in distant wars.' (Introduction)

(p. 4-8)
The Conspiracy of Beauty in Greece, Jena Woodhouse , single work essay
'Seeing and Believing, Gillian Bouras’s sixth book drawing on her experiences and observations of life in general, and life in rural Greece in particular, offers fresh pleasures and perspectives both to her first-time readers and her long-time admirers. That it succeeds in doing so is due to the quality of her writing, which has never been better, and her perspicacity and capacity for reflection, which have never been more compelling.' (Introduction)
(p. 9-13)
Drawing Back the Curtains of SFF History, Anita Harris Satkunananthan , single work essay
'I was sixteen years old when I first read “The Women Men Don’t See” by James Tiptree Jr. in 1991. I was a teenager in a small agricultural town in Malaysia who saved her lunch money every week to buy Science Fiction and Fantasy (SFF) books, when she wasn’t borrowing them from the library. The collection I bought had three women in it who were to influence the way I thought about the world, and about my own writing. Ursula K. Le Guin’s “Winter’s King,” and Joanna Russ’s “When It Changed” haunted me when I read the tales for different reasons. “The Women Men Don’t See” was another quietly feminist work of science fiction. So much of “The Women Men Don’t See” resonated with a quiet anger, bristling through the typeface with recollections of multiple elisions. In my twenties, I finally learned that Tiptree was in fact Alice Sheldon, and that she had written for many years under this pseudonym because of the freedom it had given her. I preface this review with my anecdote for three reasons. First, many of the letters in Letters to Tiptree resonated with my own personal experience of my “start” in SFF. Second, in my reading of this collection, I asked myself several intersectional questions in relation to gender, class, and race privilege. For instance, I speak of the heritage of the SFF community and fandom, but am painfully aware that access to this heritage is not easily attained by most. There is also the problematic centring of SFF works in North America, which tends to work towards eliding the work 14 done in other cultures, in different languages. For instance, in Malaysia, the classical hikayats have SFnal elements that predate much of Occidental science fiction by centuries. Third, as a newly professional SFF author writing from the margins of those intersectional categories, reading these letters packed a visceral and emotional punch for me which is deeply pertinent to my discussion of the collection.' (Introduction)
(p. 14-19)
The Biography of a Wife, Christina Ealing-Godbold , single work essay
'Dymphna Clark has come to the attention of the biographer, Judith Armstrong, and the nation, through her role as the wife of Australia’s best known historian, Manning Clark. Usually, this is not a basis for notoriety or indeed, sufficient attraction to persuade an author to undertake a feminist biography. The biography charts the changes in persona of the young woman throughout her studies and her marriage. The author gives her reason for undertaking this “biography of a wife” as perceiving the need to expose Dymphna Clark as a brilliant linguist and translator in her own right, rather than as she was known – as an academic’s wife and a mother of six children.' (Introduction)
(p. 25-29)
An Experience of Migration, Gillian Bouras , single work essay
'This book, with its brilliantly-designed cover, had an immediate appeal for me, for I also left my native land for the other side of the world, although my move from Australia to Greece in 1980 was a very different one from that made by Charlotte and Henry, the novel’s protagonists, from Cambridge to Perth in the 1960s. Bishop says that her writing was inspired by the migration experiences of her grandparents, and indeed the twentieth century was one of mass migration, as the twenty-first is also proving to be.' (Introduction)
(p. 30-33)
In the Best Interests of the Child, Sue Bond , single work essay
'On 21 March 2013, the then Prime Minister Julia Gillard made the National Apology for Forced Adoptions at Parliament House in Canberra. It was a comprehensive statement to the mothers, fathers, and children who were affected by the policies and practices of decades past, when women who were pregnant outside of marriage were sometimes “encouraged,” shamed, cajoled, or blackmailed by social workers, medical staff, religious people or other authorities into signing away their baby or babies. Couples who were unable to have their children “naturally” because of infertility received these babies and brought them up as if they were their own. Some told their children they had been adopted and some did not; the advice varied according to the time and place and institution. The mothers were often told to “get on with their lives” as if no baby had been born to them.' (Introduction)
(p. 34-39)
Songs of Compulsion, Lesley Synge , single work essay
'On this short story collection’s release in August 2016, Woollett confessed to interviewer Lou Heinrich of Guardian Australia (30 August 2016) that women in “messed up” relationships and women whose partners were “evil guys” fascinated her. ' (Introduction)
(p. 40-45)
Pioneer of Conservation, Marilla North , single work essay
'With “conservation” now becoming a key political issue, especially with manoeuvres such as increased rather than restricted off-shore oil drilling, and Gautam Adani’s proposed massive coal mine in Queensland, conservation groups previously seen as focusing upon threatened species are now, in the face of daily warnings, becoming much more assertive about the destruction of earth’s environment that will produce the collapse of the world as we know it—and deploying as many means as necessary, including legal action, to hold it back.' (Introduction)
(p. 50-58)
Airborn Weaponised Drones and the Tree-of-Life, Kathryn Brimblecombe-Fox , single work essay
'In my painting, The Tree-of-Life Sends Its Energy Underground, the tree, representing all life, is vulnerable to attack. It stands alone in a tumultuous landscape. Weaponised remotely piloted Reaper drones circle above it. Are these drones readying for attack? Their Hellfire and guided missiles certainly seem aimed and ready. Or are the drones loitering so their sophisticated surveillance systems can gather more information – before attacking? The turbulent sky is swept up in the intrigue, yet light on the horizon signals hope, the dawning of a new day.' (Introduction)
(p. 59-64)

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Last amended 1 Jun 2017 08:11:22