Category: Book review
You can read my review of Broken: Children, parents and family courts, Camilla Nelson and Catharine Lumby’s important study of the way the family courts have failed the most vulnerable people caught in the acrimony and arguments of the court room, at Australian Book Review here.
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, … Read More Making the private public: ‘The Seventies’ by Michelle Arrow
First published by The Sydney Morning Herald, 27 May 2006 The Treehouse By Naomi Wolf Virago, 320pp, $35 WHEN NAOMI WOLF turned 40, she and her father, Leonard, built a treehouse for her eight-year-old daughter, Rosa. Then she wrote a book about it. If this sounds dismissive, it’s at least partly so because I’d hoped for more from the woman who gave us The … Read More Naomi Wolf’s The Treehouse:The quest is for poetry but the outcome is prosaic
First published by The Sydney Morning Herald, 8 April 2006 The World According to Y By Rebecca Huntley Allen & Unwin, 218pp, $24.95 After the gloom of the ’80s, the next generation arises optimistic and confident. A TYPICAL MEMBER of generation Y has started up one or two businesses by age 21, wears Playboy bunny T-shirts (the girls) or bum cleavage (the boys), downloads … Read More Shiny, happy people
First published by The Sydney Morning Herald, 5 February 2005 What, No Baby? By Leslie Cannold Curtin University Books, 333pp, $29.95 When I told a close friend that this book was about how women need real freedom to choose both motherhood and a career (not one or the other), she quickly sputtered out: “But that’s just being greedy!” This friend is one of the … Read More Babe, it’s a new world
First published by Arena Magazine, August-September 2002 Sylvia Ann Hewlett, Baby Hunger: The New Battle for Motherhood, Atlantic Books, 2002 Elizabeth Wurtzel, More, Now, Again, Virago Press, 2002 Tara Brabazon, Ladies who Lunge, UNSW Press, 2002 Half a century ago a young journalist knocked on the doors of middle class American suburbia and interviewed the most educated (and medicated) housewives the world had ever seen. … Read More Babies, literary tics and ritalin
First published by The Australian, 1 January 2000 Music to Move the Stars By Jane Hawking Macmillan, 610pp, $45 STEPHEN Hawking – “the black hole man”, as Queen Elizabeth is said to have described him – has fascinated us for some years now. It’s not a little to do with the paradox of his paralysis-ravaged, wheelchair-bound body that nevertheless harbours a mind that can … Read More Chariots of ire