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'How to approach a biography subject who is a national icon, whose work is canonical? Since his death, Henry Lawson has been a bone of contention for various biographers. The most recent interesting approaches have been to consider other aspects of the story, as with Brian Matthews’s Louisa (1987), about Lawson’s gifted and formidable mother. In two new books, Lawson is considered as part of a dual biography.' (Introduction)
'On the morning of August 4, 1892, Bridget Sullivan, maid to the wealthy Borden family of Fall River, Massachusetts, was summoned by Lizzie, at 22 the younger of the two Borden daughters. “Come quick! Father’s dead,” she cried. “Somebody came in and killed him.” On reaching the sitting room she discovered Lizzie’s father, Andrew Borden, slumped on a sofa, his head shattered by close to a dozen blows to his face with a hatchet, one of which had split his eyeball. He was still bleeding.' (Introduction)
'Jessica Friedmann’s broken figure hovers over a choppy sea on the striking cover of Things That Helped. And right from the opening essay, the reader is plunged into the depths of Friedmann’s despair. This deeply affective debut book chronicles the birth of her first son and the postnatal depression that nearly sent her under.' (Introduction)
'When I edited Black Inc’s Best Australian Poems in the immediate wake of 9/11 I was struck by how much our poets were alive to the impact of world-shattering events and how capable they were of finding a voice for the bewilderment of a terrible time. And no poet is more darkly informed than Jennifer Maiden. She can dramatise how political insights and intimations can twist and turn in a mind, and she can reconfigure worlds of feeling and reference into a poetic speech that is nimble, ornery, but in every way her own.' (Introduction)