Weekend Round-Up #2

"The Saturday Age" appears to have its book review pages pretty much back in shape after the holidays, although not all of "The AgeReview" section is included on the newspaper website. The major piece is the first prize winner in "The Age" short-story competition, "All Fathers the Father" by Emmett Stinson. The Best Australian Poetry 2004, edited by Anthony Lawrence from the University of Queensland Press, and The Best Australian Poems 2004 edited by Les Murray from Black Inc, are reviewed by David McCooey. He finds the state of Australian poetry to be rather healthy at present. He doesn't list the cross-overs between the two volumes but does state that they have been compiled from two very different premises. He concludes the review by stating:

Things can never be said completely, as these poems so bountifully show. This is our gain, as these poems also show, and there is enough excellent work within these volumes to fill many hours of weird unemployment.
Christopher Bantick reviews Fossicking for Old Books by Anthony Marshall from Bread Street Press. Marshall runs Alice's bookshop in Rathdowne Street, North Carlton, which is not a bookshop I'm familiar with, given that I live in the inner Eastern suburbs of Melbourne rather than the inner North. But it looks like I will have to pay a visit in the not too distant future. I happened to be in Jack Bradstreet's bookshop in Hawthorn yesterday and this review was mentioned along with the fact that Marshall used to work closely with Bradstreet for a number of years. It's obvious, then, that Marshall has the pedigree and temperament required to make a good book-seller, as Bantick points out:
North Carlton's demographic has changed since the early Italian migrants but Marshall notes, with delight, that now his customers come from Turkey, Cambodia, Somalia and elsewhere. He finds joy in their names and meeting their requests. Maybe this says something about Marshall apart from the books.
Gideon Haigh is one of the best cricket writers anywhere and his latest collection of works, Game for Anything: Writings on Cricket is reviewed by Nathan Hollier:
Haigh is determined that cricket should be understood as an important part of people's lives and culture, not simply as a product to be consumed. This helps to explain his insistence that cricket writing should be as serious and cerebral, as entertaining and well crafted as the best writing of the arts and sciences: "For the most part, cricket writing remains firmly in the cliche factory, a wholly owned subsidiary of the sporting-industrial complex."
Other Australian books reviewed or mentioned but not included on the website: The Literary Lunch by Geoffrey Dean from Roaring 40s press; Wild Figments by Michael Leunig from Penguin; Beds are Burning by Mark Dodshon from Viking, the history of Midnight Oil, one of the world's greatest rock'n'roll bands IMNSHO; Heat 8 edited by Ivor Indyk from Giramondo Publishing; and Quarterly Essay 16: Breach of Trust by Raimond Gaita, which I reviewed here on January 3 - scroll down to see the entry.

"The Australian"'s website doesn't appear to have a specific Book section, nor a Search facility, so finding any literary references is pretty difficult, if not impossible. In any event, Peter Coleman reviews Steadfast Knight: A Life of Sir Hal Colebatch by Hal Colebatch (the son) from Fremantle Arts Centre. "Colebatch's father...lived through two world wars. He also became one of the great West Australians (premier, senator, agent-general) - to be mentioned in the same breath as, say, John Curtin or Paul Hasluck." Exalted company indeed. It's a pity that the Fremantle Arts Centre Press doesn't have its website up-to-date. Given the small publicity budgets involved with publishers such as this, I'd have thought having details of current books in print would be the first order of business. Luckily enough they seem to publish first-class books (but just give me something to link to):

Colebatch was in his late 70s when his son Hal was born. It was his ambition to live long enough for the boy to be able to remember him. This moving biography shows how well he succeeded.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on January 9, 2005 12:37 PM.

Combined Reviews: Drown Them in the Sea by Nicholas Angel was the previous entry in this blog.

Reviews of Australian Books #2 is the next entry in this blog.

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