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Wednesday, 23rd July 2014

API Review of Books

Altitude BirdIssue 44
Features reviews by Kathleen Broderick, Linn Miller, Christine Choo, Bill Thorpe, David Ritter, Eve Vincent, Stephanie Bishop, Alison Miles, Richard Kay, Amanda Day, Bernard Whimpress, Mads Clausen, Marion May Campbell, Sylvia Alston, Catie Gilchrist, Eva Chapman, Lucy Dougan, Stephen Lawrence and Nathanael O'Reilly. Click here for more details.


Altitude BirdPopular Music: Practices, Formations and Change - Australian Perspectives
The papers collected here in this special edition of Altitude offer a brief snapshot of popular music research broadly connected with Australia. The essays demonstrate the variety of theoretical and methodological approaches used by researchers in the fields of popular music studies and cultural studies to explore themes of popular music practice, formation and change in an Australian context. Click here for more details.

Network Scholars

Thinking about White Weddings

  • Christyana Bambacas
    This article aims to conceptualise how girls, brides-to-be and others interested in the bride and the wedding are invited — through what is commonly referred to in cultural studies as the practise of the everyday — to consume, produce and reproduce popular discourses on wedding traditions. It engages in and responds to existing dominant views that focus on weddings as a social institution — a celebratory cultural event between predominantly heterosexual couples. Weddings are significant as a cultural and social celebration but they also provide an important commentary on how ...
    Click here to read more.

Network Review of Books

Calendar Boy (2002)

  • imageReviewed by Simmone Howell in the July 2002 issue.
    Whoever said there are only five stories in the world was pushing it. In Andy Quan's debut collection Calendar Boy, sixteen short stories fall into each other so completely that ultimately it seems Quan only has one story: it's about a youngish, insecure, Asian-Canadian gay guy and his search for love and acceptance in the modern world. Neal Drinnan's blurb suggests that Quan writes of open wounds and allows the reader a bit of a poke around -- but this reviewer got the feeling that the author was holding something back. Calendar Boy reads more like a memoir than fiction. If it were a film ... read more.

Going Feral (2002)

  • imageReviewed by John de Laine in the April 2003 issue.
    The landscape is a subject which has seduced Australian writers for many years, and this debut collection of poems from Barbara Temperton surrenders inventively and skilfully to that seduction. Such commitment to legends and myths, places and characters, is as refreshing as dangling one's tired feet in one of Temperton's cool rock pools; pools scattered throughout the pages of her book. In Going Feral, Temperton explores the self and its relationship with landscape and place. Mythical in many places, the book is divided neatly into two parts titled 'North' and 'South'. The landscape ... read more.

Swan River Letters Vol 1 (2002)

  • imageReviewed by Anette Bremer in the October 2003 issue.
    Ian Berryman, a rare creature--an independent historian, and self-publisher--deserves to be congratulated for this handsome edition of letters, skilfully edited and beautifully produced. Swan River Letters collects just over 100 letters written by emigrants to the new British Government supported settlement on the Swan River, letters which first appeared in either English or colonial newspapers. As a volume of colonial letters, Swan River Letters serves up the staple stuff of settler literature: first-hand accounts of the voyage out, first impressions of Swan River (typically negative, ... read more.

The White Ship: Searching for a Place to Call Home (2002)

  • imageReviewed by Natasha Giardina in the January 2003 issue.
    One of the most exciting aspects of children's literature has always been its ability to translate complex social issues into accessible and interesting formats for its young readers, and The White Ship, by Jackie French, is no exception. French's latest offering explores our current debate over refugees and illegal immigrants from a sensitive yet innovative perspective, using a blend of fantastic and historical elements to tell her story. The tale begins in 1572, with a young Huguenot boy, Michel, living on a small island off the French coast. When the prospect of religious persecution ... read more.

Magpie Mischief (2002)

  • imageReviewed by Strephyn Mappin in the July 2002 issue.
    While growing up in the Western Australian suburb of Dianella, I got to know magpies quite well. The long walk to primary school took me along the edge of a swamp, and during nesting time it was common to be dive-bombed by these black and white missiles. Occasionally, someone would get hit. The resulting wound was small and always treated by the school nurse with a dab of Mercurochrome. Though ridiculous to look at, a purple patch on the skull was worn with pride; proof that you'd run the gauntlet. The school, of course, would contact the council and a ranger would be dispatched to shoot the ... read more.

Nugget Coombs: A Reforming Life (2002)

  • imageReviewed by Rick Rutjens in the December 2002 issue.
    On 24 February 1906 in Kalamunda, a small station outpost 200 kilometres east of Perth, one Herbert Cole Coombs was born to the stationmaster and his wife. None could have envisaged the impact that this boy would grow to have on Australian political and cultural life throughout the twentieth century. H C 'Nugget' Coombs became a household name through his service to different public institutions over seventy years. Even now, five years after his death, people are immediately able to link Coombs with one or more of the facets of his public achievements. There are few career public servants who ... read more.

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