AustLit logo
Louise Swinn Louise Swinn i(A87032 works by)
Gender: Female
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.

Works By

Preview all
1 Giving Voice to Child in Distress Louise Swinn , 2021 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 17 April 2021; (p. 16)

— Review of A Million Things Emily Spurr , 2021 single work novel
1 Faithful Tales of Life Louise Swinn , 2021 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 10 April 2021; (p. 17)

— Review of Friends and Dark Shapes Kavita Bedford , 2021 single work novel ; The Breaking Irma Gold , 2021 single work novel ; Chasing the McCubbin Sandi Scaunich , 2021 single work novel
1 Truth Is Revealed When Two Lives Are Set in Type Louise Swinn , 2021 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 6 March 2021; (p. 14)

— Review of From Where I Fell Susan Johnson , 2021 single work novel
1 Exploring Past to Reveal Present Louise Swinn , 2021 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 27 February 2021; (p. 16)

— Review of Ordinary Matter Laura Elvery , 2020 selected work short story
1 Rebecca Starford The Imitator Louise Swinn , 2021 single work review
— Appears in: The Saturday Paper , 20-26 February 2021;

— Review of The Imitator Rebecca Starford , 2021 single work novel

'A secret agent is like a novelist – watching, constantly, but in a clandestine way so that associates don’t suspect the close observation and dissection of their lives. Similarly, a child sent to boarding school learns to watch and fit in, chameleon-like. It makes perfect sense that the author of a boarding school memoir – the wholly compelling Bad Behaviour – would next turn her attention to espionage. Spy work is absolute crack for novelists.' (Introduction)

1 Alison Gibbs Repentance Louise Swinn , 2021 single work review
— Appears in: The Saturday Paper , 30 January - 5 February 2021;

— Review of Repentance Alison Gibbs , 2021 single work novel

'It’s 1976, and in the small town of Repentance, on the edge of the Great Dividing Range in New South Wales, the new hippies and the old families are about to collide over the issue of logging old-growth forests. Repentance, Alison Gibbs’s debut novel, takes as its focus a few key characters, and the larger drama of the township unravels around the ins and outs of their lives towards a fittingly moving denouement.' (Introduction)

1 Insights and Intrigue Louise Swinn , 2021 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 9 January 2021; (p. 16)

— Review of The Dressmaker's Secret Rosalie Ham , 2020 single work novel
1 Sophie Cunningham (ed.), Fire Flood Plague Louise Swinn , 2020 single work review
— Appears in: The Saturday Paper , 5-11 December 2020;

— Review of Fire, Flood and Plague – Essays about 2020 2020 series - publisher essay

'This lousy year, while the world has been ravaged, Australia’s remoteness has rendered our experience utterly singular. Fire Flood Plague, brainchild of the Copyright Agency, begins with a bleak time line that gives us ample opportunity to digest the pummelling we’ve been meted: “January 14: With fires raging across NSW and temperatures reaching 49ºC, Premier Gladys Berejiklian declares a state of emergency. Air quality in Melbourne is the worst in the world.” For this anthology, Sophie Cunningham curates a coterie of writers who help to shift the political discourse and emphasise just how rapidly it needs to advance.' (Introduction)

1 Dramatic Harvard Reunion Romp Is a Class Act Louise Swinn , 2020 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 14 November 2020; (p. 14)

— Review of Life After Truth Ceridwen Dovey , 2019 single work novel

'If class reunions didn’t exist, writers would have to invent them. Saturated in nostalgia, they positively brim with the potential for havoc.' (Introduction) 

1 Greek Flavour in Sprawling Family Smorgasbord Louise Swinn , 2020 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 31 October 2020; (p. 14)

— Review of Lucky's Andrew Pippos , 2020 single work novel

'In Lucky’s, the debut novel of Sydney writer Andrew Pippos, the story is split between Lucky, the man behind the Lucky’s restaurant franchise, and Emily, jetting in from London in 2002 to write a New Yorker piece on the demise of the chain.' (Introduction)

1 Jacqueline Kent, Vida Louise Swinn , 2020 single work review
— Appears in: The Saturday Paper , 26 September - 2 October 2020;

— Review of Vida : A Woman for Our Time Jacqueline Kent , 2020 single work biography

'Hot on the heels of last year’s memoir, Beyond Words: A Life with Kenneth Cook, journalist and author Jacqueline Kent focuses her gaze on the indefatigable women’s rights campaigner Vida Goldstein. Kent has written biographies of pianist and social activist Hephzibah Menuhin – sister of Yehudi – as well as Australia’s first full-time book editor, Beatrice Davis, and, perhaps most notably, two books analysing the life and work of Julia Gillard. Like Clare Wright, her research highlights the lives of women who have made an impact in small or big, but often forgotten, ways.' (Introduction)

1 Luke Horton, The Fogging Louise Swinn , 2020 single work review
— Appears in: The Saturday Paper , 25-31 July 2020;

— Review of The Fogging Luke Horton , 2020 single work novel

'Novels are uniquely placed to depict the interiority of a person, saving from obsolescence a particular entertainment that is unadulterated crack for some. Luke Horton’s debut, The Fogging, is a study in interiors. Academics Tom and Clara have been together on and off, mostly on, for 14 years. In their mid-30s, they still live in an undergraduate mess of unwashed dishes and piled clothes. Their life together has stagnated and their communication is poor. Narrator Tom suffers from anxiety, and Horton articulates with devastating precision the slow burn of Tom’s panic attacks across pages drenched in sweat.' (Introduction)

1 Short but Far from Sweet Louise Swinn , 2020 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 13 June 2020; (p. 19)

— Review of Shirl Wayne Marshall , 2020 selected work short story ; Wild Fearless Chests Mandy Beaumont , 2020 selected work short story ; No Neat Endings : Stories Dominic Carew , 2020 selected work short story
1 Richard Cooke, On Robyn Davidson Louise Swinn , 2020 single work review
— Appears in: The Saturday Paper , 27 June - 3 July 2020;

— Review of Richard Cooke on Robyn Davidson Richard Cooke , 2020 single work essay

'It begins with lightkeeper Esther Nunn, inspired after she is sent Tracks by a friend. Or it begins with author Anna Krien, for whom Robyn Davidson has been a moral compass since, as a child, Krien saw Davidson on the cover of National Geographic. Or it begins with Richard Cooke’s wife, Loulou, similarly smitten. The story really begins long before those moments though, before the 1980 publication of Davidson’s influential Tracks, when journalists travelled to interview “the camel lady” while she was on her now-famous journey. Cooke seeks to understand the appeal of Davidson and, while he keeps his enthusiasm in check, he clearly numbers among those who have been inspired.' (Introduction)

1 The Evolution of Friendship Louise Swinn , 2020 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 16 May 2020; (p. 16)

— Review of The Adversary Ronnie Scott , 2020 single work novel
'The Adversary is the much-anticipated debut novel by Melbourne writer Ronnie Scott, founder of independent literary magazine The Lifted Brow.' 
1 Kimberley Starr, Torched Louise Swinn , 2020 single work review
— Appears in: The Saturday Paper , 16-22 May 2020;

— Review of Torched Kimberley Starr , 2020 single work novel

'With no time to recover from the recent fire season and the next one looming behind this pandemic, Torched, set in a Yarra Valley town devastated by bushfires, indisputably captures the spirit of the times.' (Introduction(

1 Small Bites Bitter, Sweet Louise Swinn , 2020 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 14 March 2020; (p. 20)

— Review of Dental Tourism Mark O'Flynn , 2020 selected work short story

'Over the course of his career, Mark O’Flynn has lived Robert A. Heinlein’s maxim, “specialisation is for insects”: he has written poetry, plays, memoir and novels. There have been stories in Australian literary journals and in esteemed overseas publications such as Ireland’s The Moth.'

1 Pip Williams : The Dictionary of Lost Words Louise Swinn , 2020 single work review
— Appears in: The Saturday Paper , 11-17 April 2020;

— Review of The Dictionary of Lost Words Pip Williams , 2020 single work novel

'At one point early on in this excellent debut novel, The Dictionary of Lost Words, set in Oxford 120 years ago, it appears as though Esme may have to choose between getting married and becoming an editor, a choice that doesn’t seem as outdated as it should. Esme actually has no interest in getting married just then, whereas – like her father – she has a natural predilection for words.'  (Introduction)

1 Anna Goldsworthy : Melting Moments Louise Swinn , 2020 single work review
— Appears in: The Saturday Paper , 29 February - 6 March 2020;

'Ruby grows up in the time of the passive tense – when appearance is everything, when she would do well to heed her elders, and when it is acceptable to assume that men only want one thing from a girl. But her daughter, Eva, coming of age with Whitlam on the horizon and Betty Friedan on her lips, has different ideas. And although Melting Moments is Ruby’s story – it takes us from her youth to her final years – the mother–daughter relationship is crucial to our understanding of the huge arc that our narrator travels through in her 80-plus years. While she is technically of the generation before the baby boomers, some of the sentences Ruby comes out with would be met with the already tired rejoinder “OK boomer!” if it weren’t so apparent why she might feel the way she does, thanks to the careful way that author Anna Goldsworthy has painted her characters into life.' (Introduction)

1 No Grounds for Complacency Louise Swinn , 2019 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 25 November 2019; (p. 15)

— Review of Field of Poppies Carmel Bird , 2019 single work novel

'Carmel Bird has been almost impossibly productive. As well as 11 novels and nine collections of short stories, she has edited seven anthologies, written children’s books and racked up a stack of nonfiction works, including the writing-class ­favourite, Dear Writer. She is fleet of foot and can turn her hand to different styles with ease. It is difficult to find another Australian writer working today who has written so diversely and so constantly. Her work often has a breezy humour that disguises darker issues, and this lightness of touch is particularly refreshing right now.' (Introduction)

X