Stephanie Trigg reviews Germaine Greer's latest, Shakespeare's Wife, along with Bill Bryson's Shakespeare: "Shakespeare's Wife takes its point of departure from the standard accounts of Shakespeare's marriage to Anne Hathaway...[It] is best read, perhaps, as a brilliant anthology of 16th-century life: it teems with detail about births, marriages, and deaths, demographics, household management, religious controversy, and relations between family and neighbours."
And then it's all Australian fiction, which is a pleasant surprise.
Of Ron McCoy's Sea of Diamonds by Gregory Day, Michael Willams says: "If Louis de Bernieres had been asked to write an episode of the ABC's SeaChange, it might have wound up looking something like Gregory Day's second novel, Ron McCoy's Sea of Diamonds...Day demonstrates many of the talents that were on display in his first, the crisp and startling vignette The Patron Saint of Eels: a lively sense of humour, and a prepossessing sense of place."
Louise Swinn is very impressed with The Low Road by Chris Womersley: "It is difficult to believe that The Low Road is a first novel. It has the controlled pacing of an experienced hand. With echoes of Peter Goldsworthy's Three Dog Night, Kenneth Cook's Wake in Fright and Cormac McCarthy's The Road, this is both modern tragedy and crime thriller...Rife with images, it unfolds like a film."
Lorien Kaye on The River Baptists by Belinda Castles: "It is impossible to resist river-related metaphors to dscribe this novel, filled as it is with undertows and undercurrents; ultimately the reader is swept away." This novel won the 2006 Australian/Vogel award.
And Carmel Bird is captivated by David Malouf's The Complete Stories: "The stories of David Malouf are not easy to put into a category; they lift the reader across a line from memory and reality into another dimension without the reader's being aware that there ever was a line."
Barry Oakley on Searching for Schindler by Tom Keneally: "Tom Keneally, irrepressible generator of fictons, is in a relaxed mood in Searching for Schindler. This is a memoir, so the stories and characters are already there: raconteur Tom rather than Tom the novelist."