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Issue Details: First known date: 2018... May 2018 of Sydney Review of Books est. 2013 Sydney Review of Books
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* Contents derived from the 2018 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
What Fills the Silence : The Book of Dirt by Bram Presser, Jerath Head , single work essay

'In David Graeber’s Debt: The First 5,000 Years (2012), the anthropologist and activist asks, ‘How does it become possible to treat people as if they are identical?’ He is reflecting on how a human being can be turned into an object of exchange, a slave—this ‘requires first of all ripping her from her context; that is, tearing her away from that web of relations that makes her the unique conflux of relations that she is’.' (Introduction)

My Father Didn’t Write That : I Did: on A Woman of the Future, Bonny Cassidy , single work essay

'Surfing for new commentary on novelist David Ireland, I come across a blog post by Bill Holloway, truck driver and literary scholar, about Ireland’s 1979 novel, A Woman of the Future:

'I re-read this novel to see how it intersected with my idea of the Independent Woman, but from the perspective of the 2000s, the woman of David Ireland’s future turns out to be not so independent after all, or at least not in any way Miles Franklin or even Kylie Tennant would have understood, but just a compilation of all the author’s wet dreams.' (Introduction)

Labour That Holds Us Together : Common People by Tony Birch, R. D. Wood , single work essay

'I had read criticism of Tony Birch’s short story collection Common People before I read the book itself. I had heard the author speak on national radio, stumbled across reviews and read literary journal articles. What I quickly gleaned from the commentary was that Birch has ‘compassion’ and his common people are ‘resilient’. I read the book and I could not disagree. Some of the stories in Common People are based on Birch’s own personal experiences, but all of them display a striking intimacy with the lingua franca of grit, scrabble, labour. They are stories about mundane and quotidian lives on the margins of Australian society. Other critics asked: what keeps his characters going in the face of hardship? Sometimes it is alcohol, sometimes it is humour, sometimes it is small acts of kindness. All of these things allow Birch’s downtrodden to find ways to live another day. Often the hardship his characters face is structural and the forces they struggle against are greater than themselves. Power is out there. Yet it manifests in particular ways, and oppressing individuals in ways that are specific to their lives.'  (Introduction)

Walter Mason, Fiona Wright (interviewer), single work interview

'Six Degrees from the City is a podcast about writing in Western Sydney, hosted by the writer and critic Fiona Wright. Each episode features a writer based in or hailing from the western suburbs of Sydney, one of the most diverse – as well as most maligned – areas in Australia, and the site of some of our most interesting and challenging literature and conversations. This episode features Walter Mason, a travel writer and scholar.'  (Introduction)

I’m with Stupid : The Lebs by Michael Mohammed Ahmad, James Ley , single work essay

'In November 2016, Michael Mohammed Ahmad published an essay in the Sydney Review of Books titled ‘Lebs and Punchbowl Prison’. The ‘prison’ in question was his alma mater, Punchbowl Boys High School, and the essay was a reflection on his time as a student there in the late 1990s and early 2000s. At the time, the school was not exactly regarded as a hub of academic excellence, a perception that Ahmad does nothing to dispel. His recollections are a litany of educational dysfunction and outrageous misbehaviour, ranging from adolescent hijinks to acts of violence.' (Introduction)

Saying the Unsayable : A Kindness Cup by Thea Astley, Kate Grenville , single work essay

'The first book of Thea Astley’s I read was A Kindness Cup, which was published in 1974. Rereading it in the early 2000s I was awed at how ahead of her time she was. Thirty years beforehand she had known what some of us were only just waking up to: that our own history provides a powerful engine for fiction, and that the voice of fiction can say the unspoken about that history.' (Introduction)

Excavating the Past : Ceridwen Dovey’s Garden of the Fugitives, Sophia Barnes , single work essay

'In the Garden of the Fugitives is Ceridwen Dovey’s second novel, and her third book-length publication. Her debut Blood Kin was published in 2007, followed in 2014 by the short story collection Only the Animals. These three very different works, each with their layers of interwoven stories, voices now in concert, now in conflict, attest to the originality of Dovey’s conceptually complex writing.' (Introduction)

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Last amended 1 Jun 2018 14:06:06
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