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y separately published work icon The Summer Exercises single work   novel  
Issue Details: First known date: 2009... 2009 The Summer Exercises
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'A civilian chaplain records whispered confessions and low urgings into a notebook during his summer tenure at Central Street Police Station. His Summer Exercises are habitual - five times a day - his terseness can generate feelings so sharp that sometimes a great notion gets pared clean with a meagre swatch of syllables.

'Constructing this notebook of a sharp observer, author Ross Gibson builds a world: Sydney in 1946 - sordid and bruised after decades of depredations. A war will take your innards out. In The Summer Exercises, Gibson uses approximately 175 carefully selected black and white photographs from the collection of the Justice & Police Museum taken during the years immediately after World War II.

'These photographs, generated by NSW Police in the course of their investigations between 1945-1960, form a visual reference for richly imagined and experimental storytelling to take place. Anchored in the realities of 1940s Sydney police investigative procedure, the work is an artistic re-invention of history as it happened.' (Publisher's blurb)

Notes

  • A novel written in diary form.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Crawley, Inner Perth, Perth, Western Australia,: UWA Publishing , 2009 .
      Extent: 270p.
      Description: illus.
      ISBN: 9781921401206

Works about this Work

The Writerly Art of Celebrating Difference : Reading Ambiguity in Ross Gibson’s The Summer Exercises Wendy Glassby , 2017 single work criticism
— Appears in: TEXT : Journal of Writing and Writing Courses , April vol. 21 no. 1 2017;
'The subject of Ross Gibson’s novel The Summer Exercises (2008) is a past society of which the author allows his readers only glimpses. How might Gibson’s work provide inspiration or direction for the fiction writer concerned with representing the other? In his work, Gibson utilises disparate real and fictional elements to reveal traces of a society no longer accessible: the city of Sydney, Australia, circa 1946. An analysis of the text, as it is understood by a creative writer in search of models for her own project, contends that the manner in which Gibson interweaves the miscellany of his narrative produces a ‘crowded style’, a form that eschews a dominant voice and invites a range of interpretive possibilities. The reader is thus encouraged to defer drawing any definitive conclusion from the text. Gibson’s experimental form and its ability to create a sense of ambiguity in its reading thus provides a stellar example of how one writer’s choices have mobilised imaginative and sensitive possibilities for representing the other.' (Publication abstract)
Somewhere between Fiction and Non-fiction: New Approaches to Writing Crime Histories Anna Haebich , 2015 single work criticism
— Appears in: TEXT Special Issue Website Series , April no. 28 2015;
'This paper explores innovative ways of writing across the borders between fiction and non-fiction in crime histories and examines how crime sources can actively encourage writing that is imaginative, subjective and ambiguous. Drawing on recent historiographic critiques of the archive, the paper argues that the constructedness of archival crime sources and close responsive reading and interpretation of these sources can validate, even demand, of historians the use of nuanced fictive writing practices that eloquently express the complexity of the crimes, the killers, the victims, the societies that created them and the intricacies and truths of the sources that contained them. As well as iconic examples from the literature, the paper examines my own research and writing about two very different murder trials from Perth, Western Australia, one already published, the other a work in progress. The trials of Martha Rendell and Audrey Jacob bookend sixteen years of Perth history from 1909 to 1925 when expectations and representations of women’s gender roles in Perth changed dramatically, producing very different outcomes for the women. The archival sources for each case determine the contrastive structures and styles for developing the resulting works of scholarly crime prose fiction.' (Publication abstract)
How to Write History about Australia That is Ugly Simon Robb , 2009 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Humanities Review , May no. 46 2009;

— Review of The Summer Exercises Ross Gibson , 2009 single work novel
Putting Back the Shadow Marion Campbell , 2009 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , May no. 311 2009; (p. 10)

— Review of The Summer Exercises Ross Gibson , 2009 single work novel
Take Three Ian McFarlane , 2009 single work review
— Appears in: Sunday Canberra Tines , 29 March 2009; (p. 26)

— Review of The Summer Exercises Ross Gibson , 2009 single work novel ; New Australian Stories 2009 anthology short story
Untitled Beau Taylor , 2008 single work review
— Appears in: Bookseller + Publisher Magazine , Summer 2008-2009 vol. 88 no. 5 2008; (p. 48)

— Review of The Summer Exercises Ross Gibson , 2009 single work novel
Darkness Harbours within the Light Delia Falconer , 2009 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 7-8 February 2009; (p. 11)

— Review of The Summer Exercises Ross Gibson , 2009 single work novel
Fiction Cameron Woodhead , 2009 single work review
— Appears in: The Age , 21 February 2009; (p. 24)

— Review of The Summer Exercises Ross Gibson , 2009 single work novel
Review Ian Nichols , 2009 single work review
— Appears in: The West Australian , 28 February 2009; (p. 28)

— Review of The Summer Exercises Ross Gibson , 2009 single work novel
Take Three Ian McFarlane , 2009 single work review
— Appears in: Sunday Canberra Tines , 29 March 2009; (p. 26)

— Review of The Summer Exercises Ross Gibson , 2009 single work novel ; New Australian Stories 2009 anthology short story
'Adorable, Disgusting, Mesmerising...' Beau Taylor , 2008 single work column
— Appears in: Bookseller + Publisher Magazine , Summer 2008-2009 vol. 88 no. 5 2008; (p. 59)
Somewhere between Fiction and Non-fiction: New Approaches to Writing Crime Histories Anna Haebich , 2015 single work criticism
— Appears in: TEXT Special Issue Website Series , April no. 28 2015;
'This paper explores innovative ways of writing across the borders between fiction and non-fiction in crime histories and examines how crime sources can actively encourage writing that is imaginative, subjective and ambiguous. Drawing on recent historiographic critiques of the archive, the paper argues that the constructedness of archival crime sources and close responsive reading and interpretation of these sources can validate, even demand, of historians the use of nuanced fictive writing practices that eloquently express the complexity of the crimes, the killers, the victims, the societies that created them and the intricacies and truths of the sources that contained them. As well as iconic examples from the literature, the paper examines my own research and writing about two very different murder trials from Perth, Western Australia, one already published, the other a work in progress. The trials of Martha Rendell and Audrey Jacob bookend sixteen years of Perth history from 1909 to 1925 when expectations and representations of women’s gender roles in Perth changed dramatically, producing very different outcomes for the women. The archival sources for each case determine the contrastive structures and styles for developing the resulting works of scholarly crime prose fiction.' (Publication abstract)
The Writerly Art of Celebrating Difference : Reading Ambiguity in Ross Gibson’s The Summer Exercises Wendy Glassby , 2017 single work criticism
— Appears in: TEXT : Journal of Writing and Writing Courses , April vol. 21 no. 1 2017;
'The subject of Ross Gibson’s novel The Summer Exercises (2008) is a past society of which the author allows his readers only glimpses. How might Gibson’s work provide inspiration or direction for the fiction writer concerned with representing the other? In his work, Gibson utilises disparate real and fictional elements to reveal traces of a society no longer accessible: the city of Sydney, Australia, circa 1946. An analysis of the text, as it is understood by a creative writer in search of models for her own project, contends that the manner in which Gibson interweaves the miscellany of his narrative produces a ‘crowded style’, a form that eschews a dominant voice and invites a range of interpretive possibilities. The reader is thus encouraged to defer drawing any definitive conclusion from the text. Gibson’s experimental form and its ability to create a sense of ambiguity in its reading thus provides a stellar example of how one writer’s choices have mobilised imaginative and sensitive possibilities for representing the other.' (Publication abstract)
Last amended 15 Feb 2010 11:16:52
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