Search results for: australian-book-review

Australian Book Review

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Australian book review 2020

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ABR Australian Book Review

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Australian Book Review

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Essay Collection

Author : Peter Rose
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Index to Australian Book Reviews

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Lovesong

Author : Alex Miller
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Strangers did not, as a rule, find their way to Chez Dom, a small, rundown Tunisian café on Paris's distant fringes run by the widow Houria and her young niece, Sabiha. But when one day a lost Australian tourist, John Patterner, seeks shelter in the cafe from a sudden Parisian rainstorm, a love story starts to unfold. John and Sabiha's becomes a contented but unlikely marriage-a marriage of two cultures lived in a third-and yet because they are essentially foreigners to each other, their love story sets in train an irrevocable course of tragic events. Years later, living a small, quiet life in suburban Melbourne, what happened to them in Paris seems like a distant, troubling dream to John. He confides the story behind their seemingly ordinary lives to Ken, an ageing, melancholic writer who sees in his neighbours the possibility of one last simple love story. Told with Miller's distinctive clarity, intelligence and compassion, Lovesong is a pitch-perfect novel, a tender and enthralling story about the intimate lives of ordinary people. Like the truly great novelist he is, Miller locates the heart of his story in the moral frailties and secret passions of his all-too-human characters.

Pulse Points

Author : Jennifer Down
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‘With precise and beautiful prose, the short stories in Jennifer Down’s Pulse Points carry an emotional clarity and intensity that is truly impressive.’ Books+Publishing The characters in Jennifer Down’s Pulse Points live in small dusty towns, glittering exotic cities and slow droll suburbs; they are mourners, survivors and perpetrators. In the award-winning ‘Aokigahara’, a young woman travels to the sea of trees in Japan to say goodbye. In ‘Coarsegold’, a woman conducts an illicit affair while her recovering girlfriend works the overnight motel shift in the middle of nowhere. In ‘Dogs’, Foggo runs an unruly gang of bored, cruel boys with a scent for fresh meat. In ‘Pressure Okay’ a middle-aged man goes to the theatre, gets a massage, remembers his departed wife, navigates the long game of grief with his adult daughter. Jennifer Down, whose first novel, Our Magic Hour, was commended in the 2017 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award, is a masterful stylist whose sharp eye has been compared to that of Helen Garner. Pulse Points is a gutting collection that showcases her singular voice, and reminds us once more that this is a writer of great talent. Jennifer Down was born in 1990. Our Magic Hour was highly commended in the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award. Her writing has appeared in the Age, Sydney Morning Herald, Saturday Paper, Australian Book Review, Kill Your Darlings, Lifted Brow, Best Australian Stories and Blue Mesa Review. She is one of Sydney Morning Herald’s Young Novelists of the Year, 2017. ‘Jennifer Down is a subtly extraordinary writer, and Pulse Points is one of the best Australian literary offerings we’ll see this year.’ Good Reading ‘A haunting and evocative collection of stories about quietly courageous characters facing loss in its many forms.’ Abigail Ulman ‘Pulse Points exceeds all expectations...[it] has the precise, arresting prose and depth of feeling of Our Magic Hour, but the short story form magnifies Down’s skill...There are no weak moments here...A human pulse runs through this collection; these stories live and breathe, and as a result Pulse Points is powerful and deeply affecting.’ Readings ‘All the rapture and calamity of youth. Jennifer Down is a writer of rare insight and heart.’ Carrie Tiffany ‘Pulse Points is fluid, graceful and shocking. Down serves life up ruthlessly to us, in small, heart-wrenching packages, overturning expectations swiftly from story to story, but leaving us faintly uplifted in the end.’ Overland ‘Pulse Points isn’t just made up of technical proficiencies and clever motifs, it is a quick heartbeat.’ Writers Bloc ‘This is a finely crafted collection that reminds us how sad and beautiful it is simply to be alive. Down’s debut novel, Our Magic Hour, was shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Award for New Writing and she was named a 2017 SMH Best Young Australian Novelist. It’s probably insulting to comment upon how young she is, but the emotional depth of her writing displays a gift that will no doubt continue to unfold as her body of work grows.’ Saturday Paper ‘Pulse Points is beautiful. It’s a bit like opening a sketchbook and brushing a hand against all the charcoal nudes inside...Down has insight into the human condition beyond her years and a talent for writing realism in unwaveringly sharp prose. In Pulse Points she uses these skills to make a statement about the many different hearts beating in the one universe, however unrelated they may seem. As with Our Magic Hour, readers will feel safe in the hands of such a skilful writer, one able to turn her awareness of the human condition into measured and universal storytelling.’ Anna Spargo-Ryan, Kill Your Darlings ‘I honestly couldn’t recommend Pulse Points more highly. These are snapshots of ordinary people grappling with the small joys and deeper heartaches of ordinary lives, and the result is a powerful and deeply affecting collection.’ Readings ‘Taking the reader from Melbourne to the USA, each beautifully crafted story is a fascinating escape into someone else’s life.’ Sunday Life ‘Down is exemplary at drawing whole characters and quickly giving them depth. Stories are heavy with atmosphere, and words are chosen with care...She has a knack of talking honestly about the nature of contemporary life, and I look forward to more.’ Sydney Morning Herald ‘One of the most heartbreakingly beautiful books I have ever read.’ Hot Chicks With Big Brains ‘Pulse Points is an impressively poised and even collection...Down’s stories are alive with psychological acuity and technical dexterity. They offer thoughtful, sometimes heartbreaking, insights into our anxieties and desires...Readers of her intelligent, subtle, and affecting prose clearly have much to look forward to.’ Australian Book Review ‘These stories are studies in concision and with their strong social justice message they function like shocks. Though they are often about the disempowered, they ripple out with a seismic intensity, hinting at just how far this dazzling young writer might go.’ Australian ‘Down’s ability to inhabit the minds of her characters is eerily good, and no two voices in this collection seem alike. Her prose is tight and original. This is the sort of book that bibliophiles will delight in underlining, collecting those sentences too good to leave on the page...It is a collection which will bring you to your knees.’ AU Review ‘A master of short fiction, this short story collection brings together works including her prize-winning ‘Aokigahara’...Down’s prose isn’t afraid of dark subject matter, and handles this with a sharpness and clarity that is a delight to read.’ Herald Sun

Australian Book Review article on Federal Election

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Coverage: 18/11/1969.

Index to Australian Book Reviews

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The Bluebird Cafe

Author : Carmel Bird
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Published in 1988, this collection of twenty-four stories introduced American readers to a wonderful new writing voice from Australia. Carmel Bird's stories are funny-sad, frightening-gentle, mysterious-matter of fact.

APAIS 1992 Australian public affairs information service

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The Family File

Author : Mark Aarons
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For four generations the Aarons family were "subversive revolutionaries," avowed communists who challenged the established constitutional order. Having obtained access to his family's ASIO files, Mark Aarons combines their meticulous chronicles with his family's own accounts to tell a political tale of revolution and dissent, idealism and intrigue.

Angus Robertson and the British Trade in Australian Books 1930 1970

Author : Jason D. Ensor
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‘Angus & Robertson and the British Trade in Australian Books, 1930–1970’ traces the history of the printed book in Australia, particularly the production and business context that mediated Australia’s literary and cultural ties to Britain for much of the twentieth century. This study focuses on the London operations of one of Australia’s premier book publishers of the twentieth century: Angus & Robertson. The book argues that despite the obvious limitations of a British-dominated market, Australian publishers had room to manoeuvre in it. It questions the ways in which Angus & Robertson replicated, challenged or transformed the often highly criticised commercial practices of British publishers in order to develop an export trade for Australian books in the United Kingdom. This book is the answer to the current void in the literary market for a substantial history of Australia’s largest publisher and its role in the development of Australia’s export book trade.

Angus Robertson and the British Trade in Australian Books 1930 1970

Author : Jason D. Ensor
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‘Angus & Robertson and the British Trade in Australian Books, 1930–1970’ traces the history of the printed book in Australia, particularly the production and business context that mediated Australia’s literary and cultural ties to Britain for much of the twentieth century. This study focuses on the London operations of one of Australia’s premier book publishers of the twentieth century: Angus & Robertson. The book argues that despite the obvious limitations of a British-dominated market, Australian publishers had room to manoeuvre in it. It questions the ways in which Angus & Robertson replicated, challenged or transformed the often highly criticised commercial practices of British publishers in order to develop an export trade for Australian books in the United Kingdom. This book is the answer to the current void in the literary market for a substantial history of Australia’s largest publisher and its role in the development of Australia’s export book trade.

Literary Research and the Literatures of Australia and New Zealand

Author : Faye H. Christenberry
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This book is a research guide to the literatures of Australia and New Zealand. It contains references to many different types of resources, paying special attention to the unique challenges inherent in conducting research on the literatures of these two distinct but closely connected countries.

Griffith Review 63

Author : Ashley Hay
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Griffith Review 63: Writing the Country is a timely exploration of Australia’s changing natural and built environments

The Scurrying World book Review

Author : Gillian Dooley
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Australian Book Review Posters

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The Book of Dirt

Author : Bram Presser
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‘An immense work of love and anger, a book Bram Presser was born to write.’ Joan London They chose not to speak and now they are gone...What’s left to fill the silence is no longer theirs. This is my story, woven from the threads of rumour and legend. Jakub Rand flees his village for Prague, only to find himself trapped by the Nazi occupation. Deported to the Theresienstadt concentration camp, he is forced to sort through Jewish books for a so-called Museum of the Extinct Race. Hidden among the rare texts is a tattered prayer book, hollow inside, containing a small pile of dirt. Back in the city, Františka Roubíčková picks over the embers of her failed marriage, despairing of her conversion to Judaism. When the Nazis summon her two eldest daughters for transport, she must sacrifice everything to save the girls from certain death. Decades later, Bram Presser embarks on a quest to find the truth behind the stories his family built around these remarkable survivors. The Book of Dirt is a completely original novel about love, family secrets, and Jewish myths. And it is a heart-warming story about a grandson’s devotion to the power of storytelling and his family’s legacy. Bram Presser was born in Melbourne in 1976. His stories have appeared in Best Australian Stories, Award Winning Australian Writing, The Sleepers Almanac and Higher Arc. ‘The lyrical, impassioned and culturally rich prose of The Book of Dirt, and its moral force, bears echoes of such great Jewish writers as Franz Kafka (Presser inherited his grandfather’s copy of The Trial), Elie Wiesel, Primo Levi, Isaac Bashevis Singer and Cynthia Ozick...It is a major book, and one for the times: while I was reading it, neo-Nazis in America brought fatal violence to Charlottesville, and, in Melbourne, neo-Nazis placed posters in schools calling for the killing of Jews to be legalised...The Book of Dirt is a courageous work, as necessary for us to read as it was for Presser to write.’ Saturday Paper ‘A beautiful literary mind.’ A.S. Patrić ‘Meet Bram Presser, aged five, smoking a cigarette with his grandmother in Prague. Meet Jakub Rand, one of the Jews chosen to assemble the Nazi’s Museum of the Extinct Race. Such details, like lightning flashes, illuminate this audacious work about the author’s search for the grandfather he loved but hardly knew. Working in the wake of writers like Modiano and Safran Foer, Presser brilliantly shows how fresh facts can derail old truths, how fiction can amplify memory. A smart and tender meditation on who we become when we attempt to survive survival.’ Mireille Juchau ‘The Book of Dirt is a grandson’s tender act of devotion, the product of a quest to rescue family voices from the silence, to bear witness, drawing on legend, journey and history, and shaped by extraordinary storytelling.’ Arnold Zable ‘A remarkable tale of Holocaust survival, love and genealogical sleuthing...A beautiful tale that will stay with the reader long after the book’s end.’ Books+Publishing ‘It’s hard not to be captured from the opening epigraph...[A] magnificent ode to all that is lost.’ Longin to Be ‘It is difficult to convey the breadth and nuance of this extraordinary work. It is a book about how history is made—and about who is allowed the privilege to remake it. There are echoes here of Sebald’s biting honesty and Chabon’s long and rewarding vignettes. An absolute pleasure to read.’ Readings ‘As in Sebald’s prose narratives, Presser’s novel inhabits and the dynamic region between fiction and non-fiction.’ Australian Book Review ‘An impressive and captivating story of remembrance, a journey into the past for the sake of deciphering our present.’ Dasa Drndic ‘In The Book of Dirt the fractured lines of memory create a gripping story of survival and love.’ Leah Kaminsky ‘I found Bram Presser’s The Book of Dirt impossible to forget. Penetrating, soulful, and surprisingly welcoming, it reminded me of my own ancestors and how easy it is to sidestep the past.’ Barry Scott, Australian Book Review, 2017 Publisher Picks ‘Presser blurs the boundaries of fact and fiction in a compelling way...A wonderful and original book, told in rich, lyrically beautiful prose that is laden with history and cultural meaning.’ Good Reading ‘A combination of homage, mystery, family history and a sepia-toned love story...The Book of Dirt is magnificent.’ ANZ LitLovers ‘A heartfelt and original attempt to bridge the ever-growing gaps between history, memory and silence...Its heart beats so earnestly, and so loud...What Presser has produced is a meditation on the ethics of storytelling, of the duties we owe to the people whose stories we tell, and to the people whose stories we don’t.’ Australian ‘Always surprising and beautifully complex, and both deft and sensitive in its handling of its intertwined narratives and materials. It is an incredibly affecting book, one that lingers long after reading—and a remarkably assured debut.’ Age ‘A gripping tale of survival and an absorbing novelisation of his family’s extraordinary lives...Presser fills in the gaps in his grandfather’s story with vivid character studies; together with poignant black and white snapshots, he brings them evocatively to life. His poetic narrative is a perfect foil for the silences of his forbears.’ Toowoomba Chronicle ‘The Book of Dirt is both a loving, honest portrayal of lives that would have been erased, and an incorporation of the broader lessons of their experience into contemporary mythology. It keeps the discussion about trauma, memory, and intergenerational acts of transfer alive for those generations that follow, that risk forgetting. It is a potent achievement for a debut novel.’ Sydney Review of Books