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Issue Details: First known date: 2019... no. 414 September 2019 of Australian Book Review est. 1961 Australian Book Review
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* Contents derived from the 2019 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
Mosaics of Tiny Facts : Early Signs of a Contrarian Historian, Brenda Niall , single work essay

'Unlike an autobiography, which tends to be time-bound and inclusive, the memoir can wander at will in the writer’s past, searching out and shaping an idea of self. Although Geoffrey Blainey’s memoir, Before I Forget, is restricted to the first forty years of his life, its skilfully chosen episodes suggest much more. The memoir shows how Blainey set his own course as a historian and forecasts the brilliant but sometimes unexpected career that he achieved.' (Introduction)

(p. 12)
Open Page with Helen Garner, single work interview (p. 24)
Nomads and Timid Souls : Two New Short-story Collections, Bronwyn Lea , single work essay
— Review of Here Until August : Stories Josephine Rowe , 2019 selected work short story ; This Taste for Silence : Stories Amanda O'Callaghan , 2019 selected work short story ;

'The inciting incident in Josephine Rowe’s short story ‘Glisk’ (winner of the 2016 Jolley Prize) unpacks in an instant. A dog emerges from the scrub and a ute veers into oncoming traffic. A sedan carrying a mother and two kids swerves into the safety barrier, corroded by the salt air, and disappears over a sandstone bluff. Three-quarters of a family are erased. And it all happens ‘in a glisk’, Fynn, the driver of the ute, will say years later.' (Introduction)

(p. 26-27)
The Wheel, James Bradley , single work review

'Andrew McGahan’s final book, The Rich Man’s House, opens with an apology. ‘It’s a finished novel – I wouldn’t be letting it out into the world if it wasn’t – but I can’t deny that my abrupt decline in health has forced the publishers and I to hurry the rewriting and editing process extremely, and that this is not quite the book it would have been had cancer not intervened … for once I can fairly plead – I was really going to fix that!’'  (Introduction)

(p. 29)
Frontiers, Alison Whittaker , single work review
— Review of The Old Lie Claire G. Coleman , 2019 single work novel ;
'In The Old Lie, Claire G. Coleman has given herself a right of reply to her award-winning début novel, Terra Nullius (2017). Here, she strips away some of the racial ambiguity of the human–alien invasion allegory of that novel and leaves in its place a meaty analysis of colonisation and imperialism.' 


(p. 30)
'Controlled Hallucinations', Brenda Walker , single work review
— Review of The Returns Philip Salom , 2019 single work novel ;

'A bookseller, Trevor, sits in his shop in Melbourne making conversation with his customers: an exasperating mixture of confessional, hesitant, deranged, and disruptive members of the public. One man stalks him, armed with an outrageous personal demand; another tries to apologise for assaulting him. The apology is almost as unnerving as the attack. The bookshop is a kind of theatre, with a ceiling mirror reflecting the tops of Trevor’s customer’s heads. Trevor has a seat onstage at ground level, and a seat in the gods. Elizabeth, a book editor, steadies herself against his windows as she begins to faint. His book display is not responsible for this partial loss of consciousness; she has a medical problem and Trevor offers her a cup of tea.' (Introduction)

(p. 31)
The Point-Blank Murder, Sonja Dechian , single work short story (p. 32-37)
Do Not Turn, Naama Grey-Smith , single work review
— Review of Wolfe Island Lucy Treloar , 2019 single work novel ;

'With Wolfe Island, Lucy Treloar joins a growing number of novelists whose fiction is marked by anthropogenic catastrophe. Her latest offering confronts two urgent global crises: the climate emergency, and the plight of refugees. Treloar reveals startling connections between the two through the shared thread of displacement in a work that is more than powerful: it’s transformative.'  (Introduction)

(p. 38)
Out of Sight, Out of Mind, James Halford , single work review
— Review of From Here On, Monsters Elizabeth Bryer , 2019 single work novel ;

'The most charismatic of the many monsters in Elizabeth Bryer’s début novel is the conceptual artist Maddison Worthington, who commands attention with her lipstick of ‘Mephistophelian red’ and her perfume of ‘white woods, musk and heliotrope’. From the solitude of a labyrinthine mansion, Worthington devises headline-grabbing installations, and performances that often incorporate hidden-camera footage of her audiences. Her ideas, though provocative, are largely stolen from her assistants or from little-known artists in developing countries. Worst of all, Worthington has accepted a lucrative – some would say Faustian – commission from the Department of Immigration for a project called ‘Excise Our Hearts’.'  (Introduction)

(p. 39)
A Sense of Belonging, David Whish-Wilson , single work review
— Review of Shepherd Catherine Jinks , 2019 single work novel ;

'One of the few advantages a contemporary writer of historical fiction has derives from working in a context with laxer censorship laws. Representations of sexuality and violence once proscribed can be incorporated to better approach the social conditions of the period. With regard to narratives about Australia’s convict history, Marcus Clarke’s For the Term of His Natural Life was written after transportation had ceased to the eastern Australian colonies, while farther west Fenian convict John Boyle O’Reilly’s Moondyne was published after he had escaped from Western Australia and found sanctuary in the United States.'  (Introduction)

(p. 40)
Miracle Windows, Raaza Jamshed , single work short story

'The call of a bansuri rising to her window from the street below awakens Mehr. It is a crooked call; the initial notes, delicate and malleable, make all the right turns inside the hollow of a bamboo reed, but soon miss the swivel that all sounds must make to morph into melodies. The magic that happens between a human mouth and a hollow reed reaches her when she’s still half asleep. A raag paws at the cobwebs of her mind, dyes it in bursts of ochre and green, before a breath at one end of the bansuri attempts a pitch too high; too soon the notes crash against one another, the sound screeches out through the other end of the reed. Mehr jolts awake. Some amateur is fiddling with an instrument down the road. Mehr begins the day with a premonition of missing a turn, an inexplicable sense of possibilities leading to dead walls.'  (Introduction)

(p. 41-45)
Pano, Crusader Hillis , single work review
— Review of The Pillars Peter Polites , 2019 single work novel ;

'The 2019 federal election result confirmed that housing prices, upward mobility, tax cuts, and limited immigration are powerful motivators for Australian voters. Peter Polites’s second novel, The Pillars, with its themes of social and material advancement in Sydney’s western suburbs, captures this spirit of the time perfectly. Pano, the main character, studies people – those better off, more favoured, those who thrive and make it look easy – and wants a better life for himself. Tertiary educated and an avid observer, Pano has studied the habits, codes, dress, and attitudes that will disguise his second-generation Greek migrant status. He knows how to read a room and knows the room is always reading him, right down to his choice of labels, how he grooms himself and his vocabulary.'  (Introduction)

(p. 46)
Rubble Boy, Morgan Nunan , single work short story (p. 48-50)
Night Flighti"As my plane drops down in turbulence", Sarah Holland-Batt , single work poetry (p. 53)
Pharmakon, Rachel Robertson , single work review
— Review of Hearing Maud : A Journey for a Voice Jessica White , 2019 single work biography non-fiction ;

'Hearing Maud begins and ends with the notion that the narrator’s life has been defined by a pharmakon, an ancient Greek term denoting something that is both poison and cure. This subtle and more complex version of the ‘gift or loss’ dilemma common in disability memoirs avoids oppositional thinking and embraces instead paradox and nuance. This is typical of Jessica White’s remarkable work of creative non-fiction, which is a sophisticated hybrid of memoir, biography, and critical disability studies.'  (Introduction)

(p. 54)
The Whiskey Tragedy, Ben Smith , single work review
— Review of The Night Dragon Matthew Condon , 2019 single work biography ;

'In 2013, Matthew Condon published Three Crooked Kings, the first in his true crime series delving into the murky, sordid, and often brutal world of police corruption in Queensland. That year, he wrote in Australian Book Review that, after finishing his trilogy, he planned to ‘swan dive into the infinitely more comfortable genre of fiction’.'  (Introduction)

(p. 55)
Advantages of Stopoversi"Writing a line, as if from bed, on a lovely, handmade", Michael Farrell , single work poetry (p. 63)
Golden Shield, Tim Byrne , single work review
— Review of Golden Shield Anchuli Felicia King , 2019 single work drama ;

'The great Spanish novelist Javier Marías includes a scene in A Heart So White (1992) where a translator deliberately mistranslates a conversation between two characters who obviously stand in for Margaret Thatcher and Felipe González. He does this to send a coded message to the other translator in the room, his future wife. It is an extraordinary set piece, a serio-comic exposé of the translator’s power but also of its limits. An individual, Marías seems to say, can manipulate communication between authoritarian states for private gain, but ultimately can’t safeguard against that authority.' (Introduction)

(p. 66-67)
My Dearworthy Darling, Tali Lavi , single work review
— Review of My Dearworthy Darling Alison Croggon , 2019 single work drama ;

'In the beginning there is the sound of deep breathing and heartbeat. Woman, the electric Jennifer Vuletic, lies writhing on a rock, splayed as if for sacrifice. Is she in a state of anguish or ecstasy? My Dearworthy Darling ushers us into a space fraught with uncertainty, the kind where questions beget more questions. Fortunately, we are in the deft hands of THE RABBLE, a feminist theatre collective that rejects theatre as a comfortable form of entertainment. The play is an amalgam of the ‘holy theatre’ that Peter Brook wrote of in his ground-breaking work The Empty Space (1968) and the deconstructing feminist gaze of Caryl Churchill.'  (Introduction)

(p. 67-68)
Becoming Electra, Jane Montgomery Griffiths , single work column (p. 71)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Last amended 5 Sep 2019 07:45:59
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