Category Archives: Book Reviews

Book reviews

Who is Alex Miller?

Only late in her life did my mother tell me about finding skulls in the sand on Brunie Island in Tasmania as a child. And how her elderly friend near the South Australian border whispered about finding bags of ears … Continue reading

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MJ Hyland – This is How

I HAVE female friends who say they cannot finish MJ Hyland’s novels because she cuts so close to the bone. We recognise the blind spots and casual cruelties of her families, the unwitting neglect that only shows up when the … Continue reading

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Beth Yahp – Eat First, Talk Later

Vintage 2015 Reviewed by Hilary McPhee This beautifully crafted memoir by Beth Yahp of her ancestors, parents and herself is shaped around journeys which criss-cross the Malaysian Peninsula where her Siamese-speaking Eurasian mother and her Hakka Chinese father met and … Continue reading

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Ayaan Hirsi Ali – Nomad

Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s convert-like zeal is both disturbing and delusional, writes Hilary McPhee… Nomad: A Personal Journey through the Clash of Civilizations By Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Fourth Estate, $35.00 Ayaan Hirsi Ali has brains and beauty and is a gift … Continue reading

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Yann Martel – Beatrice and Virgil

Beatrice and Virgil By Yann Martel, Text Publishing, $32.95 In a small room as white and brightly lit as an operating theatre, an antlered creature stands at bay, a beautiful commodity, a thing. Encrusted with large balls of acrylic and … Continue reading

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Deep Listening – three novels by M. J. Hyland

MJ Hyland This is How, Text Publishing (2009) How the Light Gets In (2003), Carry me Down (2006) I have women friends who say they cannot finish MJ Hyland because she cuts so close to the bone. The blind spots … Continue reading

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Stella Miles Franklin: A Biography by Jill Roe

When nineteen year old Stella Miles Franklin sent Henry Lawson the manuscript of My Brilliant Career, he recognized ‘a big thing’ – an Australian Story of an African Farm, he told George Robertson of Angus and Robertson. Olive Schreiner’s autobiographical … Continue reading

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Who is Alex Miller?

‘Art cannot do the conceptual work we need if we are to understand ourselves,’ philosopher Rai Gaita said on air recently, arguing that moral clarity was best achieved by philosophical thinking. Hearing him speak of the danger of lucidity losing … Continue reading

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