Weekend Round-Up 2006 #14

Peter Carey's new novel, Theft: A Love Story, gets the treatment all over the place this weekend. In "The Age", literary editor Jason Steger runs a profile of the author - which doesn't seem to be on the website - ahead of his whirlwind Australian tour. Instead we are left with a cut-down phone interview with the author which appears on the website, but not in the printed version of the paper, so far as I can ascertain. Looks like "The Age" has got its wires a little crossed here.

Carey, of course, has to answer the inevitable question in all his interviews now: "What's with the theme of deception running through your books?" He knew he'd get it, and he handles it well.

Best line from Steger's interview: "I suddenly realised there is a thing that is not uncommon among Australian intellectuals or artists to speak in this really - what is looking at a distance from this country - a really interesting and weird mix of the profane, the vulgar, the intellectual, the high minded, all of these things. What it produces if you want to inhabit it is a really rich sort of language. And it's lovely."

The big man is back - and I don't mean Clarence Clemens. Les Murray has a new collection of poems out, The Biplane Houses, which is reviewed by David McCooey. "As is common for a book of poems by Murray, The Biplane Houses contains essayistic poems, narrative poems, poems about things, elegies, and even advice...it shows again that Murray is one of our most important poets because of his ineluctably strange way of saying. His interest (indeed obsession) with the past, with family and with ancestors could be a way of making a home in the world, however strange that world may be."

John Mateer looks at Eye Contact: Photographing Indigenous Australians by Jane Lydon and finds that: "Although the book isn't exactly what its title suggests, being not a broad study of the photographing of indigenous Australians but a focused historical consideration of the use of photography at Coranderrk, the Aboriginal settlement at Healesville that was in operation until 1924, it takes the documenting of the settlement and its people as an example of how photography was used in the colonial project that is Australia. This is insightful. The range of photographs considered is itself wide enough to carry Lydon's argument far beyond a simple historical study of one place."

Short notices are given to: The Lab by Jack Heath, "It might be derivative and lack a certain amount of complexity and sophistication but this book will appeal to its target audience...Is Heath the next Matthew Reilly? Only time will tell."; Animal Nation, "This is a landmark work that forces the reader to radically rethink the political implications of our attitudes to animals."; INXS Story to Story by INXS and Anthony Bozza, which is billed as an "official autobiography."

Did I mention that Peter Carey has a new book out? Probably. In "The Australian" Stephen Romei interviews the author in a wide-ranging gallop through such topics as his latest book, the Booker (which he has won twice and for which he may well be in contention again), the Nobel prize (he thinks Les Murray), J.M. Coetzee, acts of deception, living in New York, his divorce, the Bush administration and his relationship with Australia. "I think I'm writing better now than I've ever written."

This interview is followed by an extract from Chapter 1 of the novel, which is not on the website.

Michael Sharkey reviews Wild Amazement by Michael Wilding, but, for the life of me, I can't work out what the book is about. It's probably all in there somewhere.

Over at "The Sydney Morning Herald" it's Carey interview time again: Susan Wyndham does the business. Wyndham raises the divorce issue and says: "Over the next few days executives from Random House, Carey's publisher, will make urgent warning calls to me and my editor against exposing his personal life. But how can we ignore it?" By not asking about it might be a start. If we know too much about a writer's personal life then we read too much into the text. Maybe an arm's length realtionship is much better for all of us.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on April 3, 2006 3:15 PM.

Poem: The Overflow of Clancy by H.H.C.C. was the previous entry in this blog.

2006 National Biography Award Winner is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Monthly Archives

Powered by Movable Type 4.23-en