Antipodes

Articles from Vol. 23, No. 1, June

An Updated Novel for an Updated China
FICITON An updated novel for an updated China Nicholas Jose. Avenue of Eternal Peace. Kent Town: Wakefield, 2008. 279 pp. n.p. ISBN 978-1-86254-799-5Avenue of Eternal Peace, republished after twenty years with a new postscript, is Nicholas Jose's depiction...
A Stunning Debut from a Remarkable New Talent
FICTION A Stunning Debut from a Remarkabh New Talent Nam Le. The Boat. New York: Vintage, 2008. 288 pp. US$15.00 ISBN: 978-0-307388-19-3The Boat, Nam Le's remarkable debut collection of stories, has deservedly garnered a plethora of glowing reviews from...
August for Margaret Perversi
Boot prints crisscross, oyster-catchersin the shallows keep their activitiesdistant, truants at any approach.None, all day, will have managedto get close - not even the horseand its rider, hoofprints in the sandmade when the sunshine had warmth.An aeroplane...
Australian Pastoral: An Epic Presented in Five Acts
POETRY Australian pastoral: An epic presented in five acts John Kinsella. The New Arcadia. WW Norton & Co., 2007. 224 pp. US$15.95 ISBN 978-0-393329-07-0Australia is a place many are fascinated by, but few truly know. Its dangers are extreme; its...
"A World of . . . Risk, Passion, Intensity, and Tragedy": The Post-9/11 Australian Novel
TERRORISTS SEIZE CONTROL OF AN AIR FRANCE JETLINER filled with international passengers, sparing the children but eliminating the adults. A group of ten is given a fleeting hope as they become bargaining chips in the terrorists' effort to have their...
Don't Put a Good Painting in a Cheap Frame
FICTION Don't put a good painting in a cheap frame. Wendy James. The Steele Diaries. Sydney: Vintage, 2008. 361 pp. n.p. ISBN 978-1-74051-384-5Any museum curator worth her salt will tell you that a painting must be framed according to its contents. Frames...
Fearing the Protector, Fearing the Protected: Indigenous and "National" Fears in Twentieth-Century Australia
THIS ESSAY EXAMINES THE EFFECTS OF EARLY- TO MIDtwentieth-century government policies of "protection" and assimilation on indigenous Australian lives. It focuses on childhood fears as recounted by Baarkanji memoirist Evelyn Crawford in her transcribed...
Fear in Peter Weir's Australian Films: A Matter of Control
MANY HAVE NOTED THE PREVALENCE OF THE EMOTION of fear in Peter Weir's Australian films. In dealing with this fear, commentators have directed their focus at the world external to that which Weir's characters inhabit. The commentators have asked what...
Finding Meaning in the Mundane
FICTION Finding Meaning in the Mundane Steven Carroll. The Time We Have Taken. Pymble, Sydney: HarperCollins, 2008. 377 pp. A$32.73. ISBN: 978-0-7322-7837-3.Those who consider life in the suburbs to be boring have not read Steven Carroll's The Time We...
First Novel as Foundation for a Writing Career
FICTION First novel as foundation for a writing career Nick Gadd. Ghostlines. Victoria: Scribe Publications, 2008. 283 pp. US$23.95. ISBN 978-1-921372-04-9Nick Gadd's debut novel Ghostlines introduces readers to the bleak world of downward-spiraling...
Forever Elsewhere
POETRY Forever Ehewhere John Mateer. Elsewhere. Cambridge: Salt Publishing, 2007. 124 pp. A$27.95. ISBN 978-1-844712-75-5Thirteen years after his first poetrycollection, Elsewhere could be regarded as 'the best of John Mateer. What it also is, is Mateer's...
Full Bodied and Ambitious First Novel
FICTION Full bodied and ambitious first novel Alice Nelson. The Last Sky. North Fremantle: Fremantle Press, 2008. 251 pp. US$29.95. ISBN 978-1-921361-12-8Set before the British handover of Hong Kong to China, Alice Nelson's first novel and 2006 winner...
Hanging
While we wait for the hangmanmy grandmother squashes meagainst her body, into her single bedspread with widowwick.She switches the wireless onand we wait for Ryan's death.A radio voice talks us throughhis last hours like there's nothingto be ashamed...
In the Line of Sight
It's a black-hole universe in there,my eye's pupil in the mirror, up closewide as infinity, forced open and coal-black,midnight storm-skies wintering over bogsunken beneath lochs pit-eyed and blank.Dark moon in that dead sky,lens gone cloudy then lost,small...
Jones Has Nothing to Apologize For
FICTION Jones has nothing to apologize for Gail Jones. Sorry. London: Vintage, 2008. 218 pp. £7-99. ISBN 978-0-099-50709-3.Gail Jones is never an easy read, and Sorry is her most ambitious work to date. This complex narrative folds back on itself as...
Lash
My dearest, the belly and the heart overlap here;the same word able to mean both, and both togethermaking one's heart of hearts. In it I relish the astuteimplications of a small pair of words that meanto lounge around at street corners, and readily identifywith...
Noise
Twitterers, skeletal birdson the wrong side of the perch, thesewire coat-hangers transmit their anxious thoughtswhen I open the wardrobe door.No jackhammers of the aviary,still they manage 331.5 meters per secondof nervous tweeter through airas if recalling...
Ouyang Yu Sheds Light on Representations of Chinese in Australian Fiction
CRITICISM Ouyang Yu sheds light on representations of Chinese in Australian fiction Ouyang Yu. Chinese in Australian Fiction, 1888-1988. New York: Cambria P, 2008. 531 pp. US$139.95 ISBN 978-1-604975-16-1Chinese in Australian Fiction, 1888-1988 fills...
Paranoid Projections: Australian Novels of Asian Invasion
THE OCTOBER 9, 2007 EDITION OF THE AUSTRALIAN NEWS magazine the Bulletin features a special report, entitled "The Gathering Storm," which details predictions of how catastrophic, climate-change driven upheavals across Asia could see the inundation of...
Reality Bites: The Impact of the Second World War on the Australian Home Front in Maria Gardner's Blood Stained Wattle and Robin Sheiner's Smile, the War Is Over
ACCORDING TO HISTORIAN MLCHAEL MCKERNAN, "December 1941 was a black month for Australians" (96). They were stunned when the light destroyer Sydney was hit off the coast of West Australia and the entire crew of 645 was lost, and alarmed when the Japanese...
Rise and Fall of the Dime Novel Sass-Slinger
FICTION Rise and fall of the dime novel sass'slinger. Lenny Bartulin. A Deadly Business. Melbourne: Scribe, 2008. 249 pp. A$27.95. ISBN 978-1-921372-02-5.Handcuffed and dangling precariously from the side of a cliff, Jack Susko pleads for his life. A...
Terror Australis Incognita?: An Introduction to Fear in Australian Literature and Film
TO DATE, THE PHYSIOLOGY OF ANXIETY AND FEAR REMAINS terra incognita for neurobiologists, and this may be one of the reasons why fear and its wide-ranging hyponyms - panic, apprehension, timidity, worry, anxiety, alatm, fright, terror, horror, and dread...
The Country of Unspoken Feeling: An Interview with Jean Kent
The Australian poet Jean Kent was born at Chinchilla in rural Queensland on 30 August 1951 and educated at the Glennie Memorial School in Toowoomba in the mid to late sixties. Her youth was spent in and around the Darling Downs, before she took a degree...
The Exception That Proves the Rule? National Fear, Racial Loathing, Chinese Writing in "UnAustralia"
"[. . .] the child Bob had been confused because his father, for all his professed hatred of the Yellow Peril, had made him visit the Yipsoons several times a year, particularly at Chinese new year, and he had maintained a sullen respect for old Mrs...
The Importance of Being Incorrect: Burma Road Pieces, from End to Beginning
You arrived back in Melbourne on 4 May 2002. As soon as you arrived back, you felt better. It's the same old Melbourne all over again, the blue sky, the almost empty freeway, the taxi driver speaking broken English, the feeling that you could sleep away...
The Man Whose Wife Has Told Him to Leave
is camping with his daughters,two fifteen year olds running feralthrough the trees and tents of a folk music festival.His wife has told himhe should go camping,take as long as he wants,it's Christmasvisit his mother as wellwhy not?It's the last time...
The Plodder
Martin had been traveling when his father died. He flew back to Australia, an only child fatherless at twenty-two. His mother was waiting at the airport. She smothered him in a fierce embrace, then held him at arm's length. "You need a haircut." They'd...
The Shield of Distance: Fearful Borders at the Edge of the World
In the Lucky Country we had no disasters. None, that is, in public. We had incidents, bushfires that were "contained," torrents that "subsided," droughts whose effects were "minimized." Other continents existed in permanent catastrophe, stalked by calamity,...
The Smoker's Case
Morning light, filtered by the window above the tiles, gave a wintry aspect to the bathroom. Shaving, Rod McLeod wondered when he had stayed with Ellen at the motel and, for that matter, where it was: Foster or Coal Creek; they'd stopped for a drink...
The Uses of Fear: Spatial Politics in the Australian White-Vanishing Trope
[T]he Beaumonts are not the only ones who explored a little way off the cultural map and disappeared into thin air: Harold Holt, Ludwig Leichhardt, Azaria Chamberlain, the girls from Miss Appleby's school [. . .] All inhabiting now this Other space in...
Trampolining for Chris
The fattest eternity is childhood,minutes stuffed with waitingand the just- there worlddeferred to an afterlife of joywhere magically we outgrowall that might tell us what to do:we sat cross-legged on the floor, quietas the glad-wrapped biscuits on the...
Where Are the Tigers on This Picturesque Silk Road?
POETRY Where are the tigers on this picturesque Silk Road? Katherine Gallagher. Tigers on the Silk Road. Todmorden: Arc Publications, 2000. 68 pp. £6.95. ISBN 1-900072-47-5In The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy and her travel companions coin the infamous chant,...
Women in Their Houses on Their Own
Tonight I'm washing dishes after eating on my own.She's on her way to Singapore, en route to Amsterdam.Two weeks ago, while I was in New Zealand,She was eating on her own, as I have done and she has doneSo many times. She will be eating on a plane at...
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