This essay for the Spring issue of Meanjin is about television’s lost and found children, childless and desperate mothers, and callous and caring states. It draws on (far too many) hours of lockdown viewing, from the Creamerie and Mare of Easttown to The Handmaid’s Tale, via Top of Lake and Call the Midwife, with a cameo from The World According to Garp. Read it here. (Online subscriptions to Meanjin start at $5/month.)
Catherine Dwyer’s documentary about the Australian women’s liberation movement made me think about the many ways the movement was a punk movement: read my review in The Guardian here.
A story I wrote for Meanjin on life, death, memory, weather, feminism, and Nick Cave’s mum.
The man I climb past to reach my window seat smells of sandalwood mixed with something herbaceous and fresh. It’s the kind of scent you buy in amber glass bottles from minimally lit shops; the kind that can somehow be simultaneously soothing and stimulating. The flight to Melbourne is little more than an hour long, and I’m glad I’ve squandered flying points for a seat in business class. It’s not where I usually sit, but the plane is full. I booked at the last-minute to attend a funeral: this isn’t a holiday, more the business of the living, I reason.
Read the rest of the story at Meanjin.
As the 1970s began, homosexuality was illegal, and women couldn’t drink in many public bars, secure home loans or easily divorce. There were no refuges. In her new book, Michelle Arrow makes the powerful argument that it was only when ordinary, private voices were heard publicly that the social ground shifted.
You can read my review of Arrow’s fascinating book The Seventies: The personal, the political and the making of modern Australia, online here at The Monthly.