Michelle de Kretser

Michelle de Kretser WRITERS & CONTRIBUTORS

13 ENTRIES Michelle de Kretser is the author of The Rose Grower, The Hamilton Case and The Lost Dog, which won the NSW Premier’s Book of the Year Award and the Christina Stead Prize for Fiction.


Afterwards, nothing is the same: Shirley Hazzard


Afterwards, nothing is the same: Shirley Hazzard

On the splendour of the acclaimed author’s distinctly antipodean seeing

Emily Perkins. © Jessie Casson


Out of Auckland

Emily Perkins’ 'The Forrests'

'The Watch Tower' by Elizabeth Harrower, Text Publishing; $12.95


‘The Watch Tower’ by Elizabeth Harrower

Elizabeth Harrower’s fiction obsessively circles the workings of power within the domestic sphere. Watchfulness, cruelty and the suffering of the innocent feed her work, as her titles hint: The Long Prospect, The Catherine Wheel. Harrower’s …

'The Hanging Garden' by Patrick White 
(afterword by David Marr), Knopf Australia; $29.95

Patrick White

’The Hanging Garden’ by Patrick White

The publication of an unfinished draft is the writer’s version of that nightmare in which you find yourself naked in the street. Writers donate manuscripts to libraries, of course, but there is usually a finished work to offset those drafts. Also, the …

'Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend of the World’s Most Famous Dog', Susan Orlean, Atlantic, 336pp; $29.99

’Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend of the World’s Most Famous Dog’ by Susan Orlean

In World War I, trained ‘mercy dogs’ roamed among the wounded on the battlefields of France. A soldier could call one over and hold it for comfort while he died. It’s one of the affecting factoids that stray through Rin Tin Tin, New …

'Iphigenia in Forest Hills: Anatomy of a Murder Trial', By Janet Malcolm, Yale University Press, 155pp; $32.95


‘Iphigenia in Forest Hills: Anatomy of a Murder Trial’ By Janet Malcolm

Courtrooms, like theatres, draw on claustrophobia to compel. The closed-door atmosphere, sealed off from the quotidian, lends contrived outcomes the inevitability of fate. If Iphigenia in Forest Hills offered no more than courtroom drama, Janet …

'Claude Lévi-Strauss: The Poet in the Laboratory', By Patrick Wilcken, Bloomsbury, 384pp; $59.99


‘Claude Lévi-Strauss: The Poet in the Laboratory’ by Patrick Wilcken

In 1938 an obscure French anthropologist, sporting a topee and with a monkey clinging to his boot, led an expedition into deepest Brazil. Part scientific enterprise, part youthful lighting out for the territory, its fieldwork was patchy, impressionistic …

'The Man Who Loved Children' by Christina Stead, Miegunyah Press, 576pp; $24.99


‘The Man Who Loved Children’ by Christina Stead

It is one of the great ironies of our literature that Christina Stead’s The Man Who Loved Children, a novel steeped in autobiography, should be set in Washington rather than Sydney. The change was imposed by its American publishers, who believed …

'The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis' by Lydia Davis, Hamish Hamilton, 742pp; $55.00


‘The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis’

In the United States, Lydia Davis has long been acclaimed for her experiments in short fiction. Elsewhere, she is best known as a translator of French literature and philosophy; in particular, for the 2002 translation of Marcel Proust’s In Search …

'Freedom' by Jonathan Franzen, Fourth Estate, 562pp; $32.99


‘Freedom’ by Jonathan Franzen

Artists in fiction are coded confessions. Freedom gives us Richard Katz, rock musician and homme fatal, pitched suddenly, just like Jonathan Franzen following The Corrections (2001), into fame. Since this is a novel …


‘Lives Like Loaded Guns: Emily Dickinson and Her Family’s Fueds’ by Lyndall Gordon

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 …


‘Important Artifacts and Personal Property from the Collection of Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris, Including Books, Street Fashion and Jewelry’ by Leanne Shapton

In Thomas Hardy’s elegiac poem ‘During Wind and Rain’ there are “Clocks and carpets and chairs / On the lawn all day”. As any trawler of flea markets can attest, a terrible vulnerability attaches to private belongings exposed to public view. …


‘The Anthologist’ by Nicholson Baker

“Hello, this is Paul Chowder, and I’m going to tell you everything I know.” That’s a good opening sentence: it’s colloquial and grabby, in a telemarketing sort of way, and it signals the didactic intent of the narrative. This beginning also …