Weekend Round-Up #26

Everyone says that short stories don't sell, that no-one wants them, yet thousands are written in Australia each year, and lots of collections are published, viz Black Juice by Margo Lanagan that I've just started. So, this week, "The Age" kicks off with a review of two collections: The Essential Bird by Carmel Bird, and Vincenzo's Garden by John Clanchy.

Sara Douglass has been writing those big fantasy series for a number of years now and is in the midst of a major four-book sequence of which Darkwitch Rising: The Tory Game, Book III is the third, naturally enough. Jeff Glorfeld reviews the book this week and concludes: "The second book struggled to engage, but this one has no such problem, moving smartly out of the starting blocks. Newcomers to the series are in an enviable position: by the time they finish book three, the final volume shouldn't be far away."

Short notices are given to: Australian Literary Studies Vol. 22 No.1 edited by Leigh Dale: German-Australian literary themes are examined, including the German reception of Les Murray's Fredy Neptune and "Michael Ackland's account of Henry Handel Richardson's final year at Leipzig Conservatorium"; Still Waving by Laurene Kelly: whose "commendable aim here is to portray an abused young teenager who is nonetheless able to derive pleasure from life, particularly positive relationships with friends and family"; Shirtfront: A Short and Amazing History of Aussie Rules by Paula Hunt: "this breezy history is a cert for tough nuts who thnk that reading is for sissies...just about right, I would say, for the upper primary/junior secondary market"; The Literary Larrikin: A Critical Biography of T.A.G. Hungerford by Michael Crouch: "...this biography is better at portraying the life and times of an often contradictory man, tolerant and intolerant, stubborn and generous, than in inspiring the reader to seek out Hungerford's work"; and Walk On by Brenda Hodge: who "has clearly written her story in a bid to help other peole who have come from shattered families; to tell them not to feel shame but to seek help and support and the prospect of healing".

Kate Grenville is best known for her Orange Prize winning novel The Idea of Perfection, which was published in 1999, so any new novel of hers is worthy of special attention. Her latest, The Secret River, is reviewed in "The Weekend Australian" this week by Stella Clarke, who describes the book as "a fabulous historical fiction, a rich and challenging re-imagining of familiar territory in the mould of Carey's Jack Maggs, his True History of the Kelly Gang, or Rose Tremain's The Colour".

Peter Beattie has been Premier of Queensland since 1998, and yet, at 52, considers himself too old to join Federal politics as he feels the lead time for Federal Labor may be just too long - which is politician speak for "I don't want to say anything definitive". Political commentator Ross Fitzgerald looks at Beattie's latest book, Peter Beattie: Making a Difference, which the politician has written in conjunction with Angelo Loukakis, and he generally likes what he reads.

Detective novelist Peter Corris looks at The Eccentric Mr Wienholt by Rosamond Siemon, and while he finds the writing "evocative" he didn't like the racist subject that much.

Robert Hughes is back in Barcelona with his new memoir Barcelona the Great Enchantress which is reviewed by Patrica Anderson, who finds that Hughes "inserts himself into the narrative like a sixpence in a Christmas pudding."

Short notices are given to: Deep Waters by Andiee Paviour who has "an uncanny eye for human excess and frailty"; What Happened to Joseph? by T.A.G. Hungerford, which "celebrates the West Australian author's 60 years at the keyboard, working at novels, plays, stories, poems and articles"; and How Hedley Hopkins Did a Dare... by Paul Jennings: "a personal and atmospheric book".

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on June 27, 2005 3:58 PM.

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