Sydney Review of Books
Sheer Pleasure
March 27th, 2017, 02:38 PM

Notwithstanding widespread pessimism about the relationship between non-Indigenous and Indigenous Australians, Laura Fisher believes that there is much goodwill between the two groups, and that one vehicle of this goodwill is the emergence of ‘Aboriginal fine art’, as a beautiful and conceptually rich voice for a minority long despised, ignored and insensitively managed. Her book […]

The post Sheer Pleasure appeared first on Sydney Review of Books.

Bad Hombres
March 22nd, 2017, 02:38 PM

So, it’s happened. Donald J. Trump, the guy hardly anyone thought could win the Republican nomination, and, having won the Republican nomination, hardly anyone thought could become US President, is US President. It still doesn’t feel entirely real, and the sense that we’re living in an alternative present, a counterfactual come to life – more […]

The post Bad Hombres appeared first on Sydney Review of Books.

Pick Your Own Misadventure
March 21st, 2017, 02:38 PM

On the first page of Julia Leigh’s memoir Avalanche, the author injects herself with artificial hormones: ‘I did this knowing that no matter how hard I hoped, no matter what I tried, chances were I’d never have a child.’ This is a book about hope, effort, and chance. Hope: the possibility of a child ‘conjured […]

The post Pick Your Own Misadventure appeared first on Sydney Review of Books.

Seventy-Two Transformations
March 21st, 2017, 02:38 PM

‘Since hearing the Way,’ Sun Wukong replied, ‘I have mastered the seventy-two earthly transformations. My somersault cloud has outstanding magical powers. I know how to conceal myself and vanish. I can make spells and end them. I can reach the sky and find my way into the earth. I can travel under the sun or […]

The post Seventy-Two Transformations appeared first on Sydney Review of Books.

The Demythologising Business
March 16th, 2017, 02:38 PM

Buried in the endnotes of an essay on Angela Carter’s fiction by Lorna Sage – Carter’s close friend and one of her most perceptive readers – there is an intriguing misquotation. ‘We think blasphemy is silly,’ Sage credits Carter as saying, ‘but we’re wrong.’ The endnote directs the reader to a short review of Georges […]

The post The Demythologising Business appeared first on Sydney Review of Books.

All The Bells Rang
March 14th, 2017, 02:38 PM

In 1989, I was an eighteen-year-old hopeful writer. I kept a black-and-red notebook for storing ideas, character sketches and exotic and/or multisyllabic words.  My literary pretensions led me to perform such rituals  as reading a page of Dylan Thomas’s Under Milk Wood  every night, as if I could somehow absorb its greatness  through contact. During […]

The post All The Bells Rang appeared first on Sydney Review of Books.

Shadowing Billy the Kid
March 13th, 2017, 02:38 PM

Our interest’s on the dangerous edge of things. The honest thief, the tender murderer . . . Robert Browning On the evening of 14 July 1881, in Fort Sumner, New Mexico, William H. Bonney, better known as Billy the Kid, was shot dead ­by Sheriff Pat Garrett. Garrett wrote his own account of that evening, […]

The post Shadowing Billy the Kid appeared first on Sydney Review of Books.

An Inaudible Silence
March 8th, 2017, 02:38 PM

As he neared the end of his life, Samuel Beckett, one of the keenest chroniclers of unfathomable distances, wrote a letter to his friend Kay Boyle in 1985: ‘I try to see it all from afar, with neither smile nor tear, but with little success so far.’ We may doubt his detachment but Beckett set […]

The post An Inaudible Silence appeared first on Sydney Review of Books.

Where Do Writers Get Their Ideas From?
March 7th, 2017, 02:38 PM

1. Living ‘Where do writers get their ideas from?’ This a question that comes up regularly for writers who find themselves released into polite company in the broader community. I suspect it is most commonly asked by people who do not often write imaginatively. One of the writers who has complained about being regularly asked […]

The post Where Do Writers
Get Their Ideas From?
appeared first on Sydney Review of Books.

A Storehouse of Poems
March 6th, 2017, 02:38 PM

Since the continuities in poetry are at least as profound as its discontinuities — its palace revolutions — it is always difficult to periodise poetic history. It may be one of the barely intentioned achievements of Contemporary Australian Poetry that, in selecting poems published between 1990 and 2015, it successfully establishes 1990-2015 as a workable, quarter-century […]

The post A Storehouse of Poems appeared first on Sydney Review of Books.