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Issue Details: First known date: 2020... no. 423 August 2020 of Australian Book Review est. 1961 Australian Book Review
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Welcome to the August issue of ABR – an unusually long issue full of reviews, literary news, and creative writing, including the three stories shortlisted in the ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize, to be announced on August 13. Our shortlisted authors are C.J. Garrow, Simone Hollander, and Mykaela Saunders. Happily, the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund – a long-time supporter of ABR – has enabled us to expand our commentary material with a most welcome grant. This month we lead with a major article by historian Georgina Arnott on the legacies of British slavery and their implications for Australia. James Ley laments the federal governments vendetta against the arts, the ABC, and the humanities. And Kieran Pender writes about the legal profession’s #MeToo moment in the wake of the Dyson Heydon revelations.' (Publication introduction)

Contents

* Contents derived from the 2020 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
Coetzee's Paradoxes : A Writer of the In-between State, Paul Giles , single work criticism
'Though it is his second country of citizenship, Australia might be classified as J.M. Coetzee's fourth country of residence. He was born in South Africa and served as an academic at the University of Cape Town from 1972 to 2000; he lived in England between 1962 and 1965, where he studied for an MA thesis on Ford Madox Ford and worked as a computer programmer; and he then spent seven years in the United States, taking his doctorate at the University of Texas and being subsequently appointed a professor at the State University of New York. Since his move from Cape Town to Adelaide in 2002, Coetzee's global literary reputation has risen significantly, helped in large part by the award of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2003.' (Introduction) 
 
(p. 15, 17)
A Grace Notei"Four in the morning. Stumbling back", David Malouf , single work poetry (p. 17)
A Curse on Art, A Curse on Society : Government Contempt for the ABC, The Arts, and the Academy, James Ley , single work column
'It is curious the way certain books can insinuate themselves into your consciousness. I am not necessarily talking about favourite books, or formative ones that evoke a particular time and place, but those stray books that seem to have been acquired almost inadvertently (all bibliophiles possess such volumes, I'm sure), and taken up without any particular expectations, books that have something intriguing about them that keeps drawing you back.' (Introduction)
(p. 22-23)
'Green Shirt Just Visible' : A Restless Marxist and Archaeologist, Jon Piccini , single work review
— Review of The Fatal Lure of Politics : The Life and Thought of Vere Gordon Childe Terry Irving , 2020 single work biography ;
'A young Australian radical, who finds academic success later in life, struggles with an inexorable question: what is the relationship between these two worlds — the activist and the scholar? This question animated the life of Vere Gordon Childe, the Australian Marxist and intellectual whose The Dawn of European Civilization (1925) helped establish modern archaeology, as it has his most recent biographer, activist and labour historian Terry Irving, whose Class Structure in Australian History (1981, with Raewyn Connell) remains a key text.' (Introduction) 
 
(p. 26-27)
An Ocean Devoid of Life, J.R. Burgmann , single work review
— Review of The Last Migration Charlotte McConaghy , 2020 single work novel ;
'Towards the end of his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Overstory, (2018), Richard Powers attempts to articulate why literature, or more precisely the novel, has struggled to encompass climate change: 'To be human is to confuse a satisfying story with a meaningful one, and to mistake life for something huge with two legs. No: life is mobilized on a vastly larger scale, and the world is failing precisely because no novel can make the contest for the world seem as compelling as the struggles between a few lost people.' (Introduction)
 
(p. 30)
Cooee! : A Wry Romantic Comedy, Jane Sullivan , single work review
— Review of Kokomo Victoria Hannan , 2020 single work novel ;
'Kokomo has a startling beginning.'Mina knew in that moment what love is', goes the first sentence. She is looking at Jack's penis, which is compared to a soldier, a ballerina, a lighthouse, and a cooee. It is also the nicest penis she has ever seen.' (Introduction) 
 
(p. 31)
Panic Attack : A Remarkably Assured Debut, Fiona Wright , single work review
— Review of The Fogging Luke Horton , 2020 single work novel ;
Luke Horton's novel The Fogging opens with a panic attack. Tom, the book's protagonist, begins to tremble and sweat when the flight he is on — from Melbourne to Denpasar —hits turbulence. Tom is travelling with his long-term girlfriend, Clara, on a holiday they have organised more out of duty than from any real desire for travel, having booked their flights to use up his mother's Frequent Flyer points.The turbulence wakes Tom's 'ringing nerves' and anxiety starts 'chewing his inside?, making him 'shimmer' and 'pulse'. He panics, or comes close to panicking, a number of times throughout the novel. Horton's handling of this — directly, sensorially, compassionately — is remarkable. Tom's panic attacks are always vivid and bodily, and they always feel true to life. It's rare to see this achieved so well in fiction.' (Introduction) 
 
(p. 33)
One True Note : A Novella Soars, Josephine Taylor , single work review
— Review of Murmurations Carol Lefevre , 2020 single work novella ;
'Carol Lefevre has shown herself adept at exploring connection and alienation in different genres. In The Happiness Glass (2018), the ambiguous zone between fiction and memoir forms a creative space within which Lefevre plumbs the intricacies of motherhood and loss; home and exile. Murmurations is imbued with similar tropes, the slight heft of the book belying its ethical density and the scope of its narrative ambition.' (Introduction)
 
(p. 34)
The Weight of Giftedness : An Explicit Debut, Astrid Edwards , single work review
— Review of A Lonely Girl Is a Dangerous Thing Jessie Tu , 2020 single work novel ;
'What a title, and what a debut novel. Jessie Tu brings us Jena Lin, a twenty-two-year-old Asian Australian sex addict who was once a violin prodigy feted around the world. She is a character to remember. The reader knows this from the beginning, and the compelling narrative tension is driven by the slow revelation of an event that occurred seven years before the novel begins.' (Introduction)
(p. 35)
Muraging's Story : A Thought-Provoking Historical Novel, Jessica Urwin , single work review
— Review of Benevolence Julie Janson , 2020 single work novel ;
'You not waibala, you not blackfella. You in between. So Granny Wiring tells Muraging, the protagonist in Julie Janson's latest thought-provoking novel, Benevolence. While this is not Janson's first foray into historical fiction — The Light Horse Ghost was published in 2018 — it is a tale close to her heart. While Benevolence is based on the oral histories of Darug elders and the archival snippets of her own great-great-grand-mother, Janson's characters evoke notions of belonging and benevolence in early settler Australia. Primarily set on Darug country between 1813 and 1842, Benevolence draws attention to the survival and adaptation of Aboriginal communities in the face of the destruction wrought by colonialism.' (Introduction) 
 
(p. 35)
Egg Timer, C. J. Garrow , single work short story (p. 36-40)
River Story, Mykaela Saunders , single work short story (p. 45-49)
'Some First-rate Sport' : A Metaphorical Colonial Conquest, Danielle Clode , single work review
— Review of The Colonial Kangaroo Hunt Ken Gelder , Rachael Weaver , 2020 multi chapter work criticism ;
'As generations of Australian tourists have found, the kangaroo is a far more recognisable symbol of nationality than our generic colonial flag. Both emblematic and problematic, this group of animals has long occupied a significant and ambiguous space in the Australian psyche. Small wonder, then, that Ken Gelder and Rachael Weaver have found such rich material through which to explore our colonial history in The Colonial Kangaroo Hunt.' (Introduction)
(p. 53)
Crowded Outi"The world presses in,", Peter Boyle , single work poetry (p. 58)
Names, Names, Names! : Experimental Mini-biographies, Michael Farrell , single work review
— Review of Shorter Lives John Scott , 2020 selected work poetry ;
'John A. Scott's Shorter Lives is written at an intersection between experimental fiction, biography, and poetry. It inherits aspects of earlier works, such as preoccupations with sex and France. As the title indicates, it narrates mini-biographies of famous writers — Arthur Rimbaud, Virginia Stephen (Woolf), Andre Breton, and Mina Loy — and one painter — Pablo Picasso —with interludes devoted to the lesser-known poet Charles Cros and the art dealer Ambroise Vollard. The narratives are largely distilled from more conventional prose sources. Scott gives himself poetic licence to fictionalise, and anachronise: Paul Cezanne's collection of twentieth-century American paintings, for example.' (Introduction) 
(p. 59)
'Loss of Breath Is the Legacy' : Not so Much an Anthology as a Reckoning, Declan Fry , single work review
— Review of Fire Front : First Nations Poetry and Power Today 2020 anthology poetry essay ;
''The constant loss of breath is the legacy.' So wrote poet Ali Cobby Eckermann in 2015 for the anthology The Intervention. The eponymous Intervention of 2007 in the Northern Territory was, in the long history of this continent, the first time that the federal government had deployed the army against its own citizenry. As I write this review, in the United States police are using tear gas, traditionally reserved for warfare, against those protesting the worth of black life, while the president flirts with the idea of calling in the military.' (Introduction)
 
(p. 60)
Omnivorous and Fractal : Three New Poetry Collections, James Jiang , single work review
— Review of Mount Sumptuous Aidan Coleman , 2020 selected work poetry ; Navigable Ink Jennifer Mackenzie , 2020 selected work poetry ; A Happening in Hades S. K. Kelen , 2020 selected work poetry ;
(p. 61-62)
Geography of Desire : Not Quite a Memoir, Sarah Walker , single work review
— Review of Sky Swimming Sylvia Martin , 2020 single work autobiography ;
'Queer memoir is particularly given to formal play, to unpacking and upsetting the conventions of genre in order to question women's roles as both narrator and subject. Maggie Nelson's The Argonauts (2015) mixes scholarship and bodily transformation. Carmen Maria Machado's In The Dream House (2019) unpacks the nature of narrative itself to reflect on an abusive relationship. Into this field comes Sky Swimming, Sylvia Martin's 'memoir that is not quite a memoir, more a series of reflections in which I act as a biographer of my own life'. For Martin, the critical distance of the biographer enables her to consider the resonances that exist between her own experiences. ' (Introduction)
 
(p. 66)
Island Redivivus : An Invigorating Collision of Perspectives, Rayne Allinson , single work review
— Review of Island no. 159 2020 periodical issue ;
(p. 67)
Disparities and Delights : Meanjin's Winter Issue, Elizabeth Bryer , single work review
— Review of Meanjin vol. 79 no. 2 June 2020 periodical issue ;
(p. 67)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Last amended 31 Jul 2020 06:24:44
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