Reviews of Australian Books #51

"Pure poetry" says Tee Shiao Eek, in a review of David Malouf's short story collection Every Move You Make. "In each story, Malouf's characters are commonplace people, captured at a special moment in their lives and immortalised by his elegant prose...As each story ends, you breathe a slow sigh, sharing Malouf's sense of closure. For his characters, another day hovers on the horizon...They float towards it, somehow knowing that even when they are gone, some things will remain forever."

Damien, on his weblog "Crime Down Under", extols the virtues of a new crime novel, An Easeful Death by Felicity Young. The author "manages to set up an array of plausible suspects who all come under close scrutiny as possible killers without ever giving away the identity until she's well and truly ready. I reckon this is an under-rated aspect of good mysteries, but Felicity achieved it with style." The author hails from Western Australia and this is her second novel after 2005's A Certain Malice.

The first novel by Carol Lefvre, Nights in the Asylum is reviewed by Mary Manning in "Eureka Street". "In Nights in the Asylum, Lefevre handles themes of grief and loss, displacement and memory with authority and confidence. As the title might suggest, the novel concerns characters at low points in their lives. However the book is saved from being a dark novel by moments where care and love bring positive change: an asylum seeker is given asylum, a grieving mother is comforted and a victim of domestic violence is sheltered."

J.M. Coetzee's Inner Workings: Literary Essays, 2000-2005, has made its way to India and is examined by Aveek Sen in "The Telegraph" from Calcutta. The reviewer makes damn good point about the book early on, one that could only be gleaned by a familiarity with the author's previous works. "'Too many continents,' explains J.M. Coetzee's eponymous, Australian writer-heroine in Elizabeth Costello. Elizabeth is trying to tell her sister, a nun in Africa, why she, Elizabeth, is so exhausted: 'Too many continents,' she repeats. 'Too many burdens.' There has been no dearth of continents in Coetzee's own life, fiction and critical writing. Yet, it is difficult to imagine such an utterance made by the writer himself in his own voice. Coetzee, one feels, would never allow himself such a lapse into self-pitying, self-revealing fatigue." And while the rest of the review shows similar evidence of research it ends abruptly, with not much of a conclusion and no summing up. Pity, one more paragraph and this could have been a quite excellent piece of work.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on April 19, 2007 8:36 AM.

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