Australian politics, society & culture


The politics of Clive Palmer
By Guy Rundle
Black Inc.; $32.99
By Geordie Williamson
JB East's 1834 portrait of Billy Blue. Mitchell Library, State Library of NSW.
The Story of Billy Blue
By Cassandra Pybus
Frieda Keysser and Carl Strehlow, May 1986. Courtesy of John Strehlow
John Strehlow’s 'The Tale of Frieda Keysser'
By Peter Sutton
Pauline Kael: a life of film © Associated Press
Brian Kellow’s 'Pauline Kael: A Life in the Dark'
By Christos Tsiolkas
Frank Moorhouse, the nation's Edith Wharton. © Steve Baccon/Fairfax Syndication
Frank Moorhouse’s ‘Cold Light’
By David Marr
Mary Finister at work. © Michael Amendolia
Meeting Mary Finsterer
By Andrew Ford
Manning Clark with his image, as sculpted by Ninon Geier, c. 1985. Courtesy of the National Library of Australia.
John Hirst on Mark McKenna’s 'An Eye for Eternity'
By John Hirst
Building of Knox Grammar School, 1943. State Library of New South Wales
Knox Grammar’s Adrian Nisbett
By Malcolm Knox
Hans Keilson. © Martin Spieles / S Fischer Verlag
Hans Keilson’s 'The Death of the Adversary' and 'Comedy in a Minor Key'
By Inga Clendinnen
Stanley Melbourne Bruce in the early days of his prime ministership, c. 1923. © Newspix/News Limited
David Lee’s 'Stanley Melbourne Bruce' and David Bird’s 'JA Lyons'
By Hugh White
Mrs Austin and son visit the butcher in 1951. Courtesy of the National Archives of Australia
Hugh Lunn’s 'Words Fail Me: A Journey through Australia’s Lost Language'
By Peter Conrad
By Michelle de Kretser
Central to Lyndall Gordon’s biography of Henry James is an extraordinary scene. As daylight fades over Venice, James drops a dead woman’s dresses into the lagoon. But the garments fill with air and won’t drown, pressing up against the novelist’s gondola. The scene is riveting for what it tells us about James, but also
Germaine Greer © Maggie Hannan/Flickr
Germaine Greer and 'The Female Eunuch'
By Louis Nowra
Australian Style
By Clare Press
“Are not the colours exquisite? And see how intricate the patterns.” So said the two swindlers intent on convincing Hans Christian Andersen’s Emperor that his new clothes were indeed the proverbial bee’s knees. Alas, the Emperor’s subjects could see his knees and plenty more besides, for as we know these splendid
Illustration by Jeff Fisher.
By John van Tiggelen