Mid-Week Reviews #2

Once you start looking closing at the book reviews in Australian newspapers and magazines it rapidly becomes obvious that the same small number of books get similar coverage across a range of publications. So it comes as no surpise that this week "The Bulletin" reviews both March by Geraldine Brooks, and Farewell My Ovaries by Wendy Harmer.

In her review of March, Mandy Sayer works on the thread of Literary "borrowings": the novel uses characters from Louisa May Alcott's Little Women. And this is a useful track on which to run such a review as it probably gives the general reader something easier to hang on to than intricate details of various American Civil War battles.

She writes:

      "March is also peppered with well-known historical figures from the 19th-
      century intellectual Concord set: we see a young Henry Thoreau making pencils
      and Ralph Waldo Emerson arguing at a dinner party. Brooks' handling of
      19th-century American diction and syntax is superb, particularly when it comes
      to the rhythms and argot of southern blacks (no small feat, considering she is

      "Not all literary borrowings succeed in 'standing on their own' as well as subtly
      interacting with the original text. March achieves this and much, much more.
      It is a powerful, radiant novel with more sudden twists than a hurricane. It
      certainly blew me away."

Fiona Giles opines: "Farewell My Ovaries explodes exuberant sexual fireworks in the face of that Victorian dowager princess, lonely old age. It should also send the Brazilian waxing industry through the roof." I somehow doubt it.

The new issue of "Australian Book Review" is out and guess what, these two books are again featured. No, that's a bit churlish. I have the highest respect for this magazine as it covers as much of the Australian publishing scene as it possibly can. I'm just lamenting the lack of Australian fiction to review I guess. On the other hand, this low number does allow a general reader to keep up, almost.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on April 6, 2005 10:18 AM.

2005 Australian Children's Book Of Year Awards Shortlists was the previous entry in this blog.

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