Weekend Round-Up #46

The late Frank Hardy is the focus of some attention in "The Age" this weekend, with an excerpt on Saturday from Frank Hardy: Politics, Literature, Life by Jenny Hocking and a review of the book on Sunday. This follows on from Jason Steger's profile of Hocking the previous week. As you can tell, Hardy still packs a punch nearly 12 years after his death.

Commemorating the 30th anniversary of what many considered a political coup d'etat (the 11th November 1975 dismissal of the Whitlam Federal Labor Government by the then Governor-General John Kerr) are three books that are reviewed in the paper but which are not on the website: The Truth of the Matter by Gough Whitlam, The Dismissal edited by Sybil Nolan, and The Great Crash. It was interesting in the week leading up to the anniversary to hear ex-Prime Minister Paul Keating say that he had suggested that Whitlam should just have placed Kerr under house-arrest, and then just carried on. I'm actually not sure that would have helped in the slightest.

Alex Miller's new novel Prochownik's Dream is reviewed in the Saturday "Age" by James Ley. If you're quick you can get to listen to a podcast of Miller being interviewed by Ramona Kaval on the ABC's Books and Writing program. This is from the 13th November program and I notice there is a transcript of the interview also available. While Ley can see the qualities in the book he is ultimately unmoved by the characters and the drama:

Prochownik's Dream makes a concerted effort to shed some light on the complicated psychological processes that are at work in the artist as he attempts to transform the raw materials of life into art. It is, nevertheless, rather disappointing.

Artists ask to be indulged in order to create; in a sense, they are also asking to be indulged when they make their work public and invite us to consider their creation. This attention is willingly granted, but in return we might reasonably hope for something a little more compelling than Prochownik's Dream.

Christopher Bantick is impressed with John Marsden's latest young adult novel, Incurable: The Ellie Chronicles. This continues the story of Ellie from Marsden's big-selling "Tomorrow When the War Began" series.

Marsden is a master storyteller. He is capable of writing with both versatility and considerable emotional range. Ellie Linton is feisty, fair and honest....

Above all, Marsden respects his young audience. In Tomorrow When the War Began Ellie writes: "Recording what we've done, in words, on paper, it's got to be our way of telling ourselves that we mean something, that we matter."

Agnes Nieuwenhuizen is profiled in "The Age" this week as she approaches retirement from her position as manager of the Melbourne-based Australian Centre for Youth Literature in Melbourne. A formidable presence she has done great work setting up the Centre and ensuring its continuity after her departure.

Not much else floating around this weekend, so that'll have to do.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on November 21, 2005 1:57 PM.

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