AustLit logo
y separately published work icon Australian Book Review periodical issue  
Alternative title: Environmental Issue; ABR
Issue Details: First known date: 2019... no. 415 October 2019 of Australian Book Review est. 1961 Australian Book Review
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.

AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'This year, the Australian bushfire season began in winter. A long, dry summer – the warmest on record – lingered into and then beyond autumn. By spring, more than one hundred uncontrolled fires were raging across the eastern seaboard, reaching into ecological regions unfamiliar with flame. It is alarming how routine such record-breaking extremes have become, and how readily, in political statements and news reports, cause is decoupled from effect.' (Billy Griffiths, Editorial introduction)


* Contents derived from the 2019 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
Scar Tissue : Searching for Retribution Camp, Billy Griffiths , single work essay

'At first I can’t make out the inscription, even though I’m searching for it. Smooth new bark has grown into the cuts, bulging around the incision, preserving the words on the trunk. I run my hand across the surface, tracing the grooves, feeling the letters: R-E-T-R-I-B-U-T-I-O-N. And below, in slightly larger hand, ‘CAMP’.'(Introduction)

(p. 14-16)
Australian Dreaming, Kim Scott , single work essay

'Stan Grant’s comment on the prolonged booing of the Australian Rules football star Adam Goodes – featured in Daniel Gordon’s new documentary, The Australian Dream (produced by Grant himself) – has attracted much interest, including more than one million hits on one website:

We heard a sound that was very familiar to us. We heard a howl. We heard a howl of humiliation that echoes across two centuries of dispossession, injustice, suffering, and survival. We heard the howl of the Australian dream and it said to us again, ‘You’re not welcome.’' (Introduction)

(p. 36-37)
The Gap : An Australian Paramedic’s Summer on the Edge by Benjamin Gilmour, Nicholas Bugeja , single work review
— Review of The Gap Benjamin Gilmour , 2019 single work autobiography ;
'Sirens wail. Families cry together. Defibrillators shock bodies into convulsion. These are the sounds and images that veteran paramedic, writer, and filmmaker Benjamin Gilmour animates in his latest book, The Gap. His prose is direct, honest, uncompromising; often unembellished. ‘Death is demystified to us; it’s the business we’re in,’ he writes. At times, we feel like we are sitting in the ambulance with him and his band of partners: John, Jerry, Tracy, Matt, and Donna.' (Introduction)
(p. 39)
An Attenuated Life : Stripping a Quasi-religious Tale Back to Its Essence, James Ley , single work essay

'It is commonly accepted that the modern European novel begins with Don Quixote. Lionel Trilling went so far as to claim that the entire history of the modern novel could be interpreted as variations on themes set out in Cervantes’s great originating work. And the quality that is usually taken to mark Don Quixote as ‘modern’ is its irony. It is a fiction about fiction. The new sensibility it inaugurated begins in a spirit of mockery, ridiculing the obsolete genre of chivalric romance, insisting on the disconnection between reality and fantasy. As a character observes in The Childhood of Jesus (2013), the first novel in J.M. Coetzee’s trilogy about a precocious orphan named David and his accidental guardian, Simón, the innovation of Don Quixote is to view the world through two sets of eyes: where Quixote sees giants, his loyal sidekick, Sancho Panza, sees only windmills.' (Introduction)

(p. 42-43)
Open Page with Trent Dalton, single work interview (p. 44-45)
Kaleidoscope, Alice Nelson , single work review
— Review of Act of Grace Anna Krien , 2019 single work novel ;

'A young Aboriginal girl wears an abaya because she wants to see how it feels to inhabit someone else’s experience, someone else’s history. An exiled Iraqi musician plays a piano in a shopping centre in suburban Melbourne. Native Americans protesting the construction of a pipeline on their traditional lands are shot at with water cannons and rubber bullets. Countries are lost, sacred sites invaded by careless tourists, lines on maps exclude and dispossess, sacrifices and compromises are made, and individual lives are disfigured by historical circumstance.'(Introduction)

(p. 46)
The World Beneath, Chris Flynn , single work review
— Review of Hollow Earth John Kinsella , 2019 single work novel ;
'Astronomer Edmond Halley (also known as Edmund, debate still rages over which spelling he preferred) may be best known for the comet that passes through our solar system once every seventy-five to seventy-six years (next sighting due in 2061, set a reminder in your iCal), but in 1692 he proposed an intriguing theory: that the Earth was hollow.' (Introduction)
(p. 47)
Big Ideas, Fiona Wright , single work review
— Review of The Breeding Season Amanda Niehaus , 2019 single work novel ;

'The Breeding Season is a novel that grapples with big ideas: the connections between death; grief, mortality and the bodily experience of them; how the male gaze preconditions how women (and female animals) are portrayed and described in science and art. It is an ambitious book, and the ideas that drive it are one of its main pleasures, even if they sometimes overburden the narrative.'(Introduction)

(p. 50)
Explosions and Digressions, Nicole Abadee , single work review
— Review of Bruny Heather Rose , 2019 single work novel ;

'Tasmanian writer Heather Rose’s fifth adult novel, Bruny, about a joint venture between the Chinese, Australian, and Tasmanian governments, is well timed, given current concerns about the covert infiltration of the Chinese Communist Party into Australia’s universities and given Federal MP Andrew Hastie’s recent warning that Australia should approach its relations with China with care, lest its sovereignty be diminished. Rose’s last novel, The Museum of Modern Love, which in 2017 won the Stella Prize and the Christina Stead Prize, is set in New York. In Bruny, Rose returns to Tasmania where her earlier novels are set. Part political thriller, part family saga, part love letter to Tasmania, this is her most ambitious novel to date. Bruny covers a multitude of issues, including family loyalty, betrayal, corruption, environmental protection, and the rise of China.'(Introduction)

(p. 51)
Fate, Francesca Sasnaitis , single work review
— Review of Fortune Lenny Bartulin , 2019 single work novel ;

'Fortune begins with Napoleon’s triumphant entry into Berlin on 27 October 1806. Does it matter whether the popular image of the emperor astride a magnificent white stallion is an embellishment? ‘Time sullies every truth,’ Lenny Bartulin tells us. History is as much a fiction as this tale of derring-do and dire misfortune heaped on innocent and wicked alike. Coincidence, improbable and highly amusing, propels the narrative in a series of fast-moving, often farcical vignettes that recall Rabelais’s Gargantua and Pantagruel (1532), Voltaire’s Candide (1759), and Joseph Furphy’s classic Australian yarn Such Is Life (1903).'(Introduction)

(p. 52)
Hailstone Villanellei"Hailstones in misshapen formation pound on roof corrugations,", John Kinsella , single work poetry (p. 52)
Don the Divider : An Elegant Biography of the Maverick Politician, Christina Slade , single work review
— Review of Don Dunstan Angela Woollacott , 2019 single work biography ;
'Don Dunstan tended to divide those around him, even his parents. His father, Viv, moved from Adelaide to become a company man in Fiji. Peter Kearsley, a contemporary of Don’s who later became chief justice of Fiji, said Viv was ‘a fair dinkum sort of chap’, ‘the sort who would have been an office bearer in a bowling club’. His mother, according to Kearsley, was ‘genteel … deliberately countering stereotypes of what Australians were like. She would not even let Don play rugger.’ She disapproved of his friendship with neighbouring children – the part-Fijian Bill Sorby and the young K.B. Singh. Dunstan himself traced his awareness of racism to his childhood.' 


(p. 62)
Hons and Revs : The Need for Community and Connection, Jacqueline Kent , single work review
— Review of A Lot with a Little Tim Costello , 2019 single work autobiography ;

'This autobiography by Tim Costello – Baptist minister, lawyer, anti-casino activist, CEO of World Vision Australia for thirteen years – is a clear and straightforward account of his life, free of obvious literary artifice. What Costello has tried to do, he says, is to understand and explain how his memories and experiences, especially of childhood and family life, have made him develop as an adult, often in ways that have become apparent only with maturity.' (Introduction)

(p. 63-64)
Dinggedichte, David McCooey , single work review
— Review of Empirical Lisa Gorton , 2019 selected work poetry ;
'In her latest collection of poems, Empirical, Lisa Gorton demonstrates – definitively and elegantly – how large, apparently simple creative decisions (employing catalogues or lists; quoting from the archive; engaging in ekphrasis or description) can produce compelling and complex poetic forms.' (Introduction)
(p. 65)
Poet of the Month with Lisa Gorton, single work interview (p. 66)
[Review] Australian Realness, Sarah Walker , single work review
— Review of Australian Realness Zoey Dawson , 2019 single work drama ;

'Australians love a bogan in pop culture. Kath & Kim broke ratings records; The Castle regularly tops lists of favourite local films. This sense of affection for the working class becomes more complex off-screen, when Aussie battlers become ‘cashed-up bogans’ and turn Queensland into a Liberal state; when they start threatening middle-class values; and especially when they gain capital and political power. Australian Realness uses the bogan stereotype as a tool to shatter the middle-class drama as both a cultural and theatrical narrative.'(Introduction)

(p. 70)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Last amended 1 Oct 2019 10:12:56
    Powered by Trove