PERSONAL BEST 2 book cover   Personal Best 2
Stories and Statements by Australian Writers
Garry Disher

Dustjacket synopsis:
"Why do writers write? How do they craft their stories? What do they value in their own work?

"When the first Personal best volume appeared in 1989, it broke new ground - here were thirty outstanding short stories chosen and introduced by the writers themselves.

"The response was immediate and enthusiastic. The Sunday herald called it 'a brillaint collection'. The Australian Book Review said the authors' notes were 'full of intimate detail, hard thinking, quirky humour and incisive criticism'.

"Personal Best 2 offers the same rewards: brilliant stories and absorbing insights into the writing process."

The Mango Tree by Janette Turner Hospital
The Blue Man by Rod Jones
A Catullan Affair by Gwen Kelly
Like the Tail of a Comet by Jane Hyde
Transparencies by Damien Broderick
Jean by Inez Baranay
The Reps by Barry Dickens
The Stillborn by Vasso Kalamaras
Collector by Peter Cowan
According to Mrs Maloney by Judy Duffy
Living with De Stoops by Laurie Clancy
High Water in Venice by Michele Nayman
In Chinese by Nicholas Jose
Primavera by Marian Eldridge
Thylacine by Bruce Pascoe
At Five in the Afternoon by Rosemary Creswell
The Figure Wizard by Geoffrey Dean
Old Photo Negatives by Brian Dibble
On Holidays by Antigone Kefala
North of the Moonlight Sonata by Kerryn Goldsworthy
The ABC of Airs and Graces by Kris Hemensley
Five Gazeboes by Marion Campbell
At the Picasso Exhibition by Brian Matthews
The Ego in Arcadia by Marion Halligan
soft by Ania Walwicz
Beneath the Hanging Tree by John Hanrahan
Firemen's Helmets by John Shapcott
Morning Glory by John Morrison
Miss Piper and Everyman by Amy Witting
'Box On!' by Peter Corris

Each story in the collection is accompanied by an Author's Note.

First Paragraph from the Introduction

As with Personal Best (1989), the thirty writers represented in Personal Best II were invited to choose a work of short fiction which they had written, and comment upon it. Here are thirty favoured stories together with thirty narratives that tell, in another voice, the story behind the chosen one.

When compiling the two volumes I was aware that anthologies, by their nature, frustrate our desire to read more of the work of contibutors we find to be interesting or challenging. For that reason, I invited short fiction from writers whose novels and short story collections are readily available. But where the first volume consists mainly of established writers, Personal Best II gives greater emphasis to merging writers and those who have been overlooked. Certainly some of Australia's best known writers are represented here - Janette Turner Hospital, John Morrison, Peter Corris - but other contributors will not be so familiar.

Inez Baranay, Jane Hyde, Kerryn Goldsworthy, Judy Duffy, Brian Dibble, Brian Matthews and John Hanrahan have only recently had their first books of fiction published. Ania Walwicz's Writing was, until its republication in 1989, a difficult-to-obtain small-press title. Walwicz, Antigone Kefala, Kris Hemensley, Damien Broderick and Vasso Kalamaras are not usually represented in mainstream anthologies. Amy Witting has been unfairly neglected for many years. John Hanrahan is better known as a critic and reviewer, Thomas Shapeott as a poet, Bruce Pascoe as a publisher and editor, and Damien Broderick as a writer and anthologist of science fiction. But, as Personal Best II shows, each writer has made a significant contribution to Australian short fiction.

From the Imprint paperback edition, 1991.

This page and its contents are copyright © 2002 by Perry Middlemiss, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

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Last modified: January 13, 2002.