Weekend Round-Up #30

Lucy Sussex leads off this week's "Saturday Age" with a profile of Karen Joy Fowler, author of the very successful The Jane Austen Book Club and guest of the upcoming Melbourne Writers' Festival. A writer who doesn't appear to be bound by the strictures of genre.

Les Murray was celebrated at the recent Mildura Festival, although the poet was unable to attend due to a bout of ill-health.

Charlotte Wood, whose novel The Submerged Cathedral was shortlisted for this year's Miles Franklin Award, reviews Traumascapes by Maria Tumarkin. The book revisits locations of great suffering such as Bali, Berlin, Manhattan, Moscow, Port Arthur, and Sarajevo, and looks at the way these sites draw us back. It sounds hard enough to read, it must have been very traumatic to write.

Short notices are given to: Child's Play edited by Kate Darina-Smith & June Factor, published to mark the 50th anniversary of American folklorist Dorothy Howard's visit to Australia to study children's games; Lisa Roet: Uncommon Observations by Alexie Glass: "This third book of a series on innovative young Australian artists is distinguished, like its predecessors, by its clarity and jargon-free exploration of the evolution of the artist's ideas and practice"; A Doctor's War by Rowley Richards: "This important book, based on Richard's diaries, recognises the men who did 'nothing', [during WWII] nothing that is, except maintain their integrity and preserve our freedom"; Tread Lightly: A Guide to Travelling Green in Australia by Robin Stewart: "Stewart's ecological concerns extend to means of transport, waste disposal, energy sources, where to stay and the bugbear of any trip, what to pack."

Frances Atkinson's profile of Neil Gaiman in "The Sunday Age" is a pretty good one. This must be something of a record with two such profiles of sf writers over the one weekend.

Jane Sullivan extols the virtues of Andrew McGahan's novel The White Earth, with which I can only concur. I find myself bringing it up quite regularly in book conversations of late. Reports are that it is selling pretty well - Sullivan had to hunt around several city bookshops till she found a copy - but, of course, it could always do better.

I must admit to being a bit blown away still by Sonya Hartnett's Surrender, and the early word on Kate Grenville's latest is pretty good, so some people might find it hard to fit McGahan's novel into their reading schedule. But I would strongly suggest you do so. And why are you only reading one or two Australian novels a year anyway? You are missing out on some damn good stuff.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on July 25, 2005 11:26 AM.

Poem: Dad's Old Book by E. F. Murnane was the previous entry in this blog.

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