Reviews by Australians #6

Geraldine Brooks reviews The View from Castle Rock, a new collection of stories by Alice Munro, for "The Washington Post", and sees linkages with her own family history: "My mother's childhood was shaped by a small town named Boorowa in the flat plains west of Australia's Great Dividing Range, and the stories she told of her years there shaped my childhood in its turn. Boorowa and my mother's tales about it were much on my mind as I read Alice Munro's latest collection of stories, The View From Castle Rock...Reading Munro, I often feel like that little girl, my mother, shivering in her dew-drenched nightgown, determinedly searching for an elusive, valuable thing. And that thing is the secret to Munro's prose. There are no pyrotechnics in it, very little poetry. The few similes are apt but not dazzlingly so. There is suspense, but it is contrived without resort to any obvious devices. In short, Munro is the illusionist whose trick can never be exposed. And that is because there is no smoke, there are no mirrors. Munro really does know magic: how to summon the spirits and the emotions that animate our lives?"

Leading into Remembrance Day Nicholas Shakespeare reviews The Berlin Wall: 13 August 1961 - 9 November 1989 by Frederick Taylor in "The Telegraph". "Few visitors to Berlin in the months following November 9, 1989 will have forgotten the eerie sound that penetrated the nights, of people chipping at concrete. It was like the sound of a nocturnal creature feeding. On a subsequent visit, I walked to the city centre with a West Berliner. Panic seized him when he sought to show where the Wall, which for 28 years had defined his life, had stood. We were in sight of Checkpoint Charlie, but he could not remember. 'It was here, I think. No, no, it was here. Or was it there?'" The wall, along with apartheid in South Africa, was something I thought would remain throughout my lifetime.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on November 13, 2006 11:35 AM.

Extract: Everyman's Rules for Scientific Living by Carrie Tiffany was the previous entry in this blog.

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