Weekend Round-Up 2006 #23

The Age
The big review this week is of two first novels, a rare event indeed: Juliette Hughes looks at Swallow the Air by Tara June Winch and at Careless by Deborah Robertson. Pity the review isn't on the website, though, knowing how eratic these things are I suspect it might be worthwhile checking back in a day or so.

As has been noted before on this weblog, Winch's manuscript for this book won the David Unaipon Award for Indigenous Writers in 2004. Hughes believes that she has a "voice that will be heard more and more as she grows into the extraordinary talent that has produced Swallow the Air".

"Careless, by Deborah Robertson, is, paradoxically enough written with great care. Each plot part is assiduously interwoven with another: themes of grief, loss, responsibility and betrayal recur as characters do the work that she has set them in slow-moving, hyper-observant present tense."

Both novels would appear to be worth checking out.

Given the amount of interest being generated by Peter Carey's latest novel another view of Australina art might be just the ticket. Which brings us to Voyage and Landfall: The Art of Jan Senbergs by Patrick McCaughey. John Mateer reviews it and finds that: "While having the inevitable limits of the artist's monograph, a literary form that occupies an awkward middle-ground between biography and critical study, McCaughey's correlation of [the associations between style and location] in Senbergs' work is perceptive and useful."

Short notices are given to: His Name in Fire by Catherine Bateson: "In this engaging verse novel, Catherine Bateson takes the emotional life of the young people in her story serious...Bateson's touch is deft"; Pagan's Daughter by Catherine Jinks who "had commercial and critical success with her series of books for older children about Pagan, a medieval Templar squire. Ten years after the publication of the fourth and last book in that series, Pagan's daughter Babylonne makes her first appearance in a book that can stand independently and seems to signal the birth of a new series."

The Australian

Australian books are a bit thin on the ground in "The Australian" this week. We have The Wran Era edited by Troy Bramston, and Saving Australia by Bob Wurth, both explorations of Australian political history and diplomacy.

Neville Wran was an important figure in Australina Labor politics, not least because he was elected to government in NSW in 1976, only five months after Gough Whitlam's Federal government had been sacked by the Governor-General. Mike Steketee finds that "Discounted for the Labor boosterism and a degree of dross, this book provides insights into an absorbing period in politics."

Bob Wurth's book, which is reviewed by Ross Fitzgerald, seems to wander into the realms of fantasy and "goes so far as to suggest that eight days before it happened, Kawai [Japan's first minister to Australia] warned [John] Curtin about the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. He also argues that, between them, Kawai and Curtin, as Opposition leader and then as PM, worked towards a secret agreement between Japan and Australia to keep both countries neutral." Fitzgerald doesn't think he makes his case.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on June 5, 2006 3:55 PM.

The Bride of the Son of "Theft Continues in the UK" was the previous entry in this blog.

Australian Bookcovers #15 - Conditions of Faith by Alex Miller is the next entry in this blog.

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