Reviews of Australian Books #35

Alex Peake-Tomkinson reviews the new paperback release of Robert Drewe's novel Grace, in "The Guardian" (3rd item down): "Drewe is unafraid to explore debates on colonialism and creationism, debates that centre on Grace's father, a controversial anthropologist who has founded his career on discovering the remains of the 'first modern woman'."

David Thompson's Nicole Kidman has been followed by a biography , Kate: The Woman Who Was Hepburn by William J. Mann, which allows James Christopher to compare the two women and the two books in "The Times": "Both are described as tall, angular, unconventional and ambitious. Both had middle-class backgrounds. Both were made to feel gawky and uncomfortable at school. Both had high- profile relationships with dotty stars. Both made ghastly mistakes. Both had stage hits on Broadway. Both have been hounded by the paparazzi. Both command the highest prices Hollywood is prepared to pay. And both are, or were, obsessed by the currency of their public image."

Theft: A Love Story by Peter Carey, is reviewed by Subash Jeyan in "The Hindu". The review starts with a great opening paragraph: "We have been reared culturally to appreciate art in isolation, to conceive of art as a transcendental object, cut off from the hustle, bustle and sweat of life as it is lived every day. A novel or book comes to us neatly packaged, a whole industry of assorted talents behind the packaging, so that when we hold that beautifully designed book in our hands, it tells us nothing of the lives behind that book, nothing of the vast infrastructure and the industry, with all its machinations and politics, that made possible that particular book perhaps at the cost of many others. Similarly with a painting. Sanctified, put up in a frame and spotlighted, it stands in splendid isolation from its circumstances, transcending them if you will. All you are made to see is the talent that shines through. Not the slime it has had to wade through." The reviewer isn't overly enthusiastic, but interested enough.

Graham Beattie, former Managing Director/Publisher of Penguin Books NZ Ltd., and Scholastic NZ Ltd looks at Clive James's latest memoir, North Face of Soho, which he calls "Entertaining, thoughtful, engaging,". In the process, he revisits two of James's epic, comic poems published in the 1970s.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on November 9, 2006 11:10 AM.

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