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Alternative title: ABR
Issue Details: First known date: 2018... no. 406 November 2018 of Australian Book Review est. 1961 Australian Book Review
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* Contents derived from the 2018 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
'Nothing Without Demand : A Remarkable History of Women's Progress in Australia, Maggie MacKellar , single work essay

'When Clare Wright’s new history, You Daughters of Freedom: The Australians who won the vote and inspired the world, landed in my mailbox, I opened it with some trepidation. It was big, a fact I now realise I should have expected but nevertheless a somewhat disheartening one – arriving as it did at the beginning of our lambing season on the farm. It sat on the kitchen table, slightly out of place beside tractor catalogues, long-term rainfall predictions (depressing), and pamphlets advertising ram sales.' (Introduction)

(p. 16-17)
Knowing Gillian Triggs : The Memoirs of a Formidable and Polarising Lawyer, Jane Cadzow , single work essay

'Gillian Triggs is a pearls-and-perfectly-cut-jacket person these days, so it is thrilling to learn that she was dressed head to toe in motorcycle leathers when she had one of the more instructive experiences of her life. It was 1972, and Triggs, the future president of the Australian Human Rights Commission, was in the United States working as a legal adviser at the Dallas Police Department. She and a colleague took a motorbike trip through rural Wisconsin, twenty-six-year-old Triggs riding pillion as they sped through forests and open countryside. When they pulled into a backblocks petrol station, the attendant took one look at them and refused to fill their tank. ‘I remember vividly the shock of realising that we were not welcome and, worse, we could not refuel,’ Triggs writes in Speaking Up. She adds that her colleague was less surprised. ‘He was a black American.’' (Introduction)

(p. 19-20)
J. M., Felicity Plunkett , single work review

'‘We think back through our mothers,’ writes Virginia Woolf (twice) in A Room of One’s Own. At first, she seems to be suggesting that women artists can only derive inspiration from women who precede them: ‘It is useless to go to the great men writers for help … the weight, the pace, the stride of a man’s mind are too unlike her own.’' (Introduction)

(p. 27)
The Art of Pain : Writing in the Age of Trauma, Beejay Silcox , single work criticism

'Inspirational Memoirs, Painful Lives, Real Lives – these were the polite terms, the labels you might find on bookshop shelves, but the term that stuck was Misery Literature.' (Introduction)

(p. 29-34)
The Audacious Bite of Decision' : Hydra's Cast of Characters, Brian Matthews , single work essay

'In August 1964, Charmian Clift returned to Australia from the Greek island of Hydra after nearly fourteen years abroad. As Paul Genoni and Tanya Dalziell portray her return – a description based, as always in this book, on solid or at least reasonably persuasive evidence – she ‘was leaving her beloved Hydra forever, with the pain of her departure sharpened by the sting of humiliation and exile’. By the time the return voyage had begun, she later recalled, ‘the audacious bite of decision has long since been blunted … The freshness of the adventure has worn off and uncertainty, alas, is practically all that remains.’' (Introduction)

(p. 35-36)
Taking Sides, Susan Wyndham , single work review

'The story of the Sydney Opera House is usually told as the heroic tragedy of its Danish architect, Jørn Utzon, who won the design competition for his breathtaking cluster of white sails but resigned before its completion over conflict about practicalities, costs, and government interference. In her exquisite novel Shell, Kristina Olsson comes at the drama obliquely, from the perspective of Sydney’s working people.' (Introduction)

(p. 38)
Long Shadows, Alice Nelson , single work review

'Half a century ago, the Palestinian writer Edward Said described the state of exile as ‘the unhealable rift forced between a human being and a native place, between the self and its true home’. Its essential sadness, he believed, was not surmountable. The crippling sorrows of exile and estrangement, and the disfiguring legacies of intergenerational trauma, pervade Katherine Johnson’s powerful new novel. At its heart, it is also a poignant exploration of our stumbling efforts to seek solace in the world and the ways in which we attempt to overcome dislocation.' (Introduction)

(p. 40)
Sightlines and Warlines : Three Poets at the Height of Their Powers, David McCooey , single work review

'Sarah Day's debut collection, A Hunger to Be Less Serious (1987), married lightness of touch with depth of insight. In Towards Light & Other Poems (Puncher & Wattmann, $25 pb, 108 pp, 9781925780024), Day continues this project in poems concerned with light, a thing presented as both transformative and transformable. In ‘Reservoir’, for instance, the glass of a porthole can bend light with ‘its oblique know-how’.' (Introduction)

(p. 47-48)
Coming True, Geoff Page , single work review

'For admirers of Clive James’s poetry written since he became terminally ill in 2011 (and this reviewer is certainly one), The River in the Sky will pose something of a quandary. In collections like Sentenced to Life (2015) and Injury Time (2017), the poems were generally tough, vulnerable, well-turned and, given the circumstances, stoic. The River in the Sky has some of these qualities but is very different in nature and in its cumulative impact. Comprising scores of unnumbered verse paragraphs in various line lengths (iambic dimeter through to iambic pentameter), The River in the Sky is a kind of phantasmagoria presenting many key moments and visual episodes in James’s long, peripatetic life.' (Introduction)

(p. 48-49)
Recitali"Watching others love", Judith Bishop , single work poetry (p. 50)
Ripples, David Whish-Wilson , single work review

'Just one thing can shape your whole life’ is one line in a novel of four hundred and fifty pages, but it is telling in its application toward the characters of this brilliant début novel. Set on the Hawkesbury River in 1806, the cast of characters is large and yet we find each of them living with the consequences of an earlier choice or misdemeanour that ripples beyond the singular life and into the nascent river community.' (Introduction)

(p. 53)
Open Page with Gideon Haigh, single work interview (p. 54)

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