ABR January – February issue out now


  • Publisher Picks – ten leading Australian publishers reveal their favourite books of 2017 (published by other companies).


In Alexis Wright’s novel Carpentaria (2006), Girlie claims, ‘If you ever want to find out about anything in your vicinity, you have to talk to the mad people.’ There are a lot of mad people in Wright’s biography of Aboriginal activist, thinker, and provocateur

“ Tracker” Tilmouth. He is probably the maddest of all, in the Kerouacian sense of ‘mad to live, mad to talk’, but, according to his mate Doug Turner, his “madness gave him sanity”.’


Like another larger-than-life East European  poet, Joseph Brodsky, Miłosz was never short of an opinion, which got him into trouble on all sides, even more so when those opinions changed. During the war years, he was too left-wing cosmopolitan for the Polish nationalists (and also perhaps too pro-Semitic) and either too Catholic or too hu- manist for the communists. Which is not a bad place to be: it’s important to pick deserv- ing enemies.’


Westad amply proves his point that, although the Cold War did not determine every development between 1945 and 1991, it acted like a black hole in international affairs, its gravitational force distorting the orbits of even the most distant objects.’


The ADF’s conviction that it is under assault, particularly from the national media, has deep and dubious roots that stretch far back into the nation’s military history. In almost ev- ery conflict involving Australian forces, from the Boer War to the present day, the national

media’s presence on the battlefield  has been sporadic, contentious,  and generally unhappy.’


  • We review memoirs by biographer Claire Tomalin, journalist Mike Willesee, and Vanity Fair editor Tina Brown


  •  Bruce Moore reviews a new book on the Americanisation of English



  • ABR Arts – we review music, theatre, art, and film including:

Waiting for Godot (Wits’ End)

Robert Mapplethorpe: The Perfect Medium (AGNSW )

Muriel s Wedding: The Musical (Sydney Theatre Company/Global Creatures)

The Disaster Artist  (Roadshow Films)


More information about Australian Book Review, including a full contents list for the January–February issue, can be found on the  ABR website from December 29.

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