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Sunday, 20th April 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

Voices from the Battlefield: Personal Narratives as an Historical Tool in Studying the Place of the Vietnam War in Australian Society

  • Janine Hiddlestone
    imageThe use of personal narratives has proved a popular method of studying the Vietnam War, both in Australia and the United States. Vietnam was one of the most controversial and longest wars in contemporary history. It was a war that was fought on the home front as well as on the battlefield, and for many, the wounds inflicted are still painful more than a quarter of a century later. The rush of histories that quickly followed previous wars were not so swift to appear after Vietnam. There was no great victory to celebrate and many found difficulty placing Vietnam into the context of a proud ...
    Click here to read more.

Network Review of Books

Venom (2005)

  • imageReviewed by Sylvia Alston in the July 2006 issue.
    My family and I moved from small acreage on the outskirts of Sydney to a suburban block in Canberra nearly 20 years ago. One of the many reasons for the move -- and there was a long list -- was that we were unlikely to come across any nasties like snakes or funnel-webs in our back yard. So far, the only nasty I've seen was an enormous brown snake slithering across a quiet suburban street. Luckily I was in a car at the time and I was relieved, selfishly I know, that it wasn't my quiet suburban street. Anyway, on reading Venom, I was shocked to discover that the nation's capital is, after all, ... read more.

The Dismissal: Where were you on November 11, 1975? (2005)

  • imageReviewed by Kristy Yeats in the May 2006 issue.
    Three decades on and the dismissal of Gough Whitlam as Prime Minister remains a deeply contested chapter in Australian history, where, as Jenny Hocking notes in her introduction to this anthology, grand themes, arrant characters and circumstance collide. No consensus has been reached either over the legitimacy of Governor-General John Kerr's actions in removing Whitlam from office, nor over the legacy of short-lived Labor administration, subsequently distorted in the public mind. Whitlam's period of government -- he won two elections and lead the country from December 1972 -- still casts a ... read more.

Sounding the Alarm: Remote area nurses and Aboriginals at risk (2005)

  • imageReviewed by Stephanie Lindsay-Thompson in the October 2005 issue.
    Sounding the Alarm is a disturbing case study of unsafe nursing practices in the delivery of health services from a 'nursing post' at Warburton to Ngaanyatjarra communities in the Western Desert region of Western Australia. Some 2,300 Ngaanyatjarra people live in eleven widely separated communities scattered across 9.8 million hectares of their own lands. Warburton, the operational centre for the Ngaanyatjarra Lands, is 930 km distant from the nearest hospital and medical services, at Kalgoorlie, and four hours by air from Alice Springs. This book draws on Jennifer Cramer's research for her ... read more.

The House at Number 10 (2005)

  • imageReviewed by Sylvia Alston in the January 2006 issue.
    I was drawn to Dorothy Johnston's latest book, The House at Number 10, not only because it's set in Canberra, a place I've called home for almost 20 years, but because it explores Canberra's seedier side and debunks the myth that it's a cold, soulless place. Canberra is Australia's capital city; it's also the porn capital. Not only can visitors to Canberra take in its iconic attractions -- Parliament House (both old and new), the Institute of Sport, the Australian War Memorial, and the National Gallery -- they can also pay a visit to the adult establishments operating in the industrial areas ... read more.

Freehold: Verse Novel (2005)

  • imageReviewed by Adam Atkinson in the January 2006 issue.
    Geoff Page's Freehold: Verse Novel attempts to negotiate the different modes in which white and Aboriginal Australians connect to land and country and to counteract the forgetting of historical wrongs perpetrated against Aboriginal communities and 'justified' by white understandings of land ownership. Despite the back cover's claim that 'nothing is black and white', Page reveals that, like the Clarence river which repeatedly cuts into the novel, a sharp divide exists between black and white cultural understandings of land use. This divide in turn, serves to make Aboriginal culture transparent ... read more.

The Singing (2005)

  • imageReviewed by Zora Simic in the September 2005 issue.
    Broken hearts and illness are universal experiences, but like dreams, they can sometimes grate in the telling. Luckily Australian writer Stephanie Bishop manages to pack these themes with proper resonance, in spite of -- or possibly because of -- her small canvas. Her debut novel The Singing has at its quiet yet turbulent centre an un-named woman with an unidentified illness. She is in love with an un-named man, possibly a few years older, with a family he's left behind and a determination to see their love endure past the frustration of her sickness. They live in the bush outside a city ... read more.

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