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Alternative title: ABR
Issue Details: First known date: 2017... no. 395 October 2017 of Australian Book Review est. 1961 Australian Book Review
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Few advanced, wealthy, secular societies have found this issue so fraught. Soon, happily, this matter will be behind us, and government and citizens will be able to get on on with the important issues confronting this society, especially climate change, the urgency of which is attested to by several contributors to our Environment issue.' (From Editorial)


  • Only literary material within AustLit's scope individually indexed. Other material in this issue includes: 

    'Why should you care about the Russian Revolution?' by Mark Edele

    'Adani and the Galilee Basin' by Susan Reid

    Tim Flannery reviews 'Call of the Reed Warbler: A new agriculture – a new earth' by Charles Massy  

    Roger McDonald reviews 'The Songs of Trees: Stories from nature’s great connectors' by David George Haskell

    Kate Griffiths reviews 'Sunlight and Seaweed: An argument for how to feed, power, and clean up the world' by Tim Flannery 

    'Among Trees' by Philip Jones

    Lauren Rickards reviews 'Defiant Earth: The fate of the humans in the Anthropocene' by Clive Hamilton

    Peter Christoff reviews 'Burn Out: The endgame for fossil fuels' by Dieter Helm

    Matthew Nikolai Chrulew reviews 'Zoo Ethics: The challenges of compassionate conservation' by Jenny Gray 

    Richard Noske reviews 'The Australian Bird Guide' by Peter Menkhorst, Danny Rogers, Rohan Clarke, Jeff Davies, Peter Marsack, and Kim Franklin

    Nicole Abadee reviews 'Home Fire' by Kamila Shamsie

    Simon Caterson reviews 'A Legacy of Spies' by John le Carré

    Mridula Nath Chakraborty reviews 'Inglorious Empire: What the British did to India' by Shashi Tharoor


* Contents derived from the 2017 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
Pell's Trajectory : Australia's Most Polarising Religious Leader, Barney Zwartz , single work review
— Review of Cardinal : The Rise and Fall of George Pell Louise Milligan , 2017 single work biography ;

'George Pell is the most polarising religious leader Australia has had in recent decades, certainly since Daniel Mannix – perhaps since Samuel Marsden. For most of his career he has been loathed or adored for his sternly inflexible defence of a Catholic orthodoxy predating the second Vatican Council, his robust and sometimes courageous interaction with opponents inside and outside the church, his relentless determination to crush dissent and doubt, often felt as bullying by those responsible to him, and his fierce ambition.' (Introduction)

(p. 16-17)
'Pastures Where There Was Red Dust' : Caustic Playfulness in Michelle de Krester's New Novel, Beejay Silcox , single work review
— Review of The Life to Come Michelle De Kretser , 2017 single work novel ;

'Humans are narrative creatures. We tell stories to make sense of ourselves, but our stories – be they historical, political, fictional, or personal – shape us as much as we shape them. In the service of narrative expediency, we often sacrifice nuance. We turn chance to prophecy, and accidents into choices. We justify and excuse ourselves. We anoint heroes and villains. As novelist Michelle de Kretser warns, it is ‘frighteningly easy’ to turn the people around us into characters and to forget that: ‘The only life in which you play a leading role is your own.’ De Kretser’s new novel, The Life to Come, cleverly exposes the perils of narrative egocentrism by refusing to create a centre. Rather, she splits the book into five distinct sections that overlay rather than interconnect, and in which human complexity is privileged over narrative simplicity.' (Introduction)

(p. 18-19)
Attention, Pleasei"Having comprehensively disposed of that chestnut,", Peter Rose , single work poetry (p. 19)
To Love and Be Loved, Shannon Burns , single work essay
— Review of The Last Days of Jeanne d'Arc Ali Alizadeh , 2017 single work novel ;

'The many gaps in the verifiable history of Jeanne d’Arc’s early years in rural France, as well as her improbable rise to prominence and martyrdom, have left room for a considerable amount of speculation and projection over the centuries. There is no shortage of fictional or historical accounts of her life, or ways of characterising the Maid’s struggle, but with The Last Days of Jeanne d’Arc Ali Alizadeh breathes fresh life into a story that has been retold and re-contextualised over and again.' (Introduction)

(p. 21)
The New Maps Keep a Weather Eyei"Bold shades of autumn leaf – or blazing embers’ light,", Judith Bishop , single work poetry (p. 27)
[Review] Rain Birds, Gretchen Shirm , single work column
— Review of Rain Birds Harriet McKnight , 2017 single work novel ;

'In Harriet McKnight’s début novel, a story about early onset dementia is offset by a second conservation-focused narrative involving the glossy black cockatoo. This braided structure immediately creates anticipation about where and how the two stories will meet.' (Introduction)

(p. 31)
[Review] Wimmera, Jay Daniel Thompson , single work column
— Review of Wimmera Mark Brandi , 2017 single work novel ;

'The tagline of Wimmera is ‘Small town. Big secret’. Mark Brandi’s first novel does indeed feature a secret (and a grim one, at that), but it also offers a disturbing insight into Australian masculinity. The book opens in the country circa 1989. Ben and Fab are primary school students who, both misfits, while away the hours catching yabbies, playing cricket, and watching The Wonder Years. Fab’s father is abusive, but they find solace in their friendship. Then Ronnie Bellamy appears in their lives. Ronnie is a ‘tall, muscular’ man who works in the nearby mines. He charms the boys with his friendly demeanour and stash of porn magazines, but he has ulterior motives. Fast-forward to 2006: Fab remains in his childhood town, working menial jobs and drinking excessively. He seems reluctant to confront his past, though a gruesome discovery forces him to do just that.' (Introduction)

(p. 33)
A Survey of Environmental Writing, single work column

A selection of Australian writers discuss books about the environment that they have read.

(p. 42-43)
Ambassadors from Another Time, Stephen Orr , single work essay

'First, I need to visit Dean Nicolle’s eucalypt arboretum. Four hundred rows of trees, four specimens of each species of EucalyptusCorymbia, and Angophora (the eucalypts) nestled together, sharing pollen and landscape, dropping limbs in the grass. Each group of trees is a result of the previous year’s fieldwork. The year 2000 was big: Nicolle this keeper of the keys to the eucalypts spent six months in Western Australia collecting seed.' (Introduction)

(p. 52- 60)
World of Texts, Ilana Snyder , single work essay
— Review of Required Reading : Literature in Australian Schools since 1945 2017 anthology criticism ;

'At the heart of Required Reading is a database called ALIAS (Analysis of Literature in Australian Schools). It includes all the reading material prescribed for senior secondary English and Literature courses in most of the states from 1945 to 2005. Like all electronic databases, ALIAS comprises a structured collection of items to view, navigate, and search. To make meaning from these items they need to be framed in narrative terms. This is precisely what the chapters in this book achieve in the most interesting ways.' (Introduction)

(p. 62)
Old Knowledge, Simple Magic, David Whish-Wilson , single work review
— Review of City of Crows Chris Womersley , 2017 single work novel ;

'Every Chris Womersley novel represents a significant departure from the last. Following his award-winning and magnificently dark début, The Low Road (2007), and his Miles Franklin shortlisted Bereft (2010), and Cairo (2013), City of Crows is his first novel set entirely outside Australia. An acutely crafted historical fiction, it is set in France in 1673 during the reign of Louis XIV.' (Introduction)

(p. 63)
Open Page with Josephine Wilson, single work interview (p. 72)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Last amended 4 Jun 2018 09:57:29
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