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Monday, 21st 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

Home on 'The Block': Rethinking Aboriginal Emplacement

  • Ceridwen Spark
    ‘It is no accident that homeplace ... is always subject to violation and destruction’.2‘The block’ refers to a small area of Aboriginal-owned terrace housing bounded by four inner-Sydney streets, near Redfern railway station. Purchased by the newly formed Aboriginal Housing Company (AHC) in the early seventies, with money provided by the Whitlam government, the block has been described variously as a ‘dream for self-determination’ and a ‘shameless slum’.3 In 1996, the Australian newspaper called it ‘Sydney’s shame’.4 Recently, ...
    Click here to read more.

Network Review of Books

The Hard Word (2002)

  • imageReviewed by Geoff Parkes in the Aug/Sep 2003 issue.
    Given the complexities of contemporary Australian identities, the tricks and turns and intricacies of the multitudes of cultural practices that somehow combine to constitute 'Australianess', it's a brave writer who decides to write a novel about an Australian family. Clanchy, already well established with four previous works of fiction, is not merely content to write this mythical beast, but also to craft three females as the central characters, one - Vera - who has Alzheimer's. Another - Miriam, Vera's daughter - is the Anglo ex-wife of a Greek peasant, and teaches English to students, many ... read more.

A Map of the Gardens (2002)

  • imageReviewed by Sue Bond in the October 2002 issue.
    Many of the stories in this collection have the capacity to break the reader's heart. Even the ones I feel are less successful, like 'Le Moustiquaire', contain magic: a cobweb with 'a heart-shape on a string, as if the spider has been flying a festive kite in the night' (p 61) and a book hatching, when new wasps emerge from the nest made on the edges of the pages.'Bird O Circle' tells the story of Beth looking after her godmother Rona's apartment for eight weeks or so in Paris, and the lost way she drinks through all the alcohol she finds there. Beth goes to the Sunday bird markets with an ... read more.

Michael Dransfield: A Retrospective (2002)

  • imageReviewed by Tim Metcalf in the August 2002 issue.
    I came to Dransfield with a suspicious mind. I had read some of his poems here and there, and put him in my basket for drug-taking darlings of 'the set'. Here he kept company with Jim Morrison of 'The Doors' and the early Robert Adamson. These young men were allowed liberties in their personal lives and in their writing for the sake of their entertainment value as much as for the scent of the muse they exuded. Adamson alone lived and matured to the clarity of 'The Clean Dark'. Dransfield, I am now certain, was on that same path to a consistently fine poetry. It has long been my habit not to ... read more.

Contagion: Epidemics, History and Culture From Smallpox to Anthrax (2002)

  • imageReviewed by Maggie Tonkin in the March 2003 issue.
    This collection of essays, written from the fields of cultural studies, biomedical history and critical sociology, has a dual project. Many of the essays examine, in widely varied ways, the cultural meanings that have historically been attached to specific contagious diseases, as well as to the strategies deployed to contain them. But the essays also engage with contagion as a generic concept, which signifies the breakdown of the barrier between self and other, and threatens the very notion of the sovereign subject at the heart of Western epistemology. The editors, Alison Bashford and Claire ... read more.

More Than Refuge: Changing Responses to Domestic Violence (2002)

  • imageReviewed by Christine Choo in the July 2003 issue.
    As Suellen Murray states, the history of responses to domestic violence in Australia in the late twentieth century has been largely undocumented. Murray's timely book, More than Refuge, has a dual function: it documents the history of Nardine Women's Refuge and in doing so, places this history in the wider context of the history of the women's liberation movement in Western Australia. This history draws strongly on reminiscences and personal (oral) accounts of refuge workers and residents in Nadine, politicians and bureaucrats who were involved in the women's movement and responses to domestic ... read more.

A Little Bird Told Me: A Memoir (2002)

  • imageReviewed by Deborah Gare in the October 2003 issue.
    This is a story about secrets, about more than the average skeleton in the family closet. It is a poignant memoir penned by Lynette Russell as she recovered the past that her family had tried to forget and to conceal. Russell's grandmother was born to an Aboriginal woman of western Victoria. But, for most of her life, Gladys, or Nanna, tried to conceal the truth of her genealogy. 'Look at my mother', she said on at least one occasion, pointing to an old photograph, 'she was a beautiful Polynesian princess'. Sometimes the story changed and instead of being Polynesian, Nanna's mother was a ... read more.

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