May 2005

Arts & Letters

‘Brotherboys: The Story of Jim and Phil Krakouer’ by Sean Gorman

By Paul Daffey

As footy-mad youngsters, the Krakouer brothers’ inventive quest to improve their Aussie Rules skills included practising over the kitchen table in the family home at Mount Barker, WA. While their father Eric, one of several quiet heroes in this sad and stirring story, sips his tea after a hard day’s shearing, the two brothers try to handball a pair of rolled-up socks as close as possible to his nose. To those who took even a fleeting interest in the Krakouers’ careers with Claremont and North Melbourne in the 1970s and 80s, it will come as no surprise that Eric Krakouer felt a gentle swish of air as the socks passed within a bootlace of his proboscis.

Brotherboys is as comprehensive as any sporting biography produced in Australia, certainly more detailed than any previous football biography. And while the football stories are dazzling, the book’s success lies in its exploration of Aboriginal issues. Especially compelling are the early chapters which talk of the boys’ upbringing in a family of 12. The focus is on Jim, the older, brooding brother, whose 16-year sentence for drug trafficking gained national notoriety. Gorman, a white man, includes himself in the narrative to great effect. His work alongside Aboriginal men in shearing sheds aroused his interest in indigenous affairs, and his personal dealings shine a clear and occasionally damning light on black and white relations. Those early adult years spent shearing, rather than in universities or newsrooms, are important. Gorman sometimes over-reaches and is occasionally inelegant, but by far the most telling aspect here is his heart. It’s enormous.

Cover: May 2005

May 2005

From the front page

Big stick, no carrot

The Coalition’s fixation on energy prices distracts from wage stagnation

Image of Member for Chisholm Gladys Liu and Prime Minister Scott Morrison

How good is Gladys Liu?

Scott Morrison ducks and weaves questions about the embattled MP

Image from ‘Blanco en Blanco’

Venice International Film Festival 2019

Théo Court’s masterful ‘Blanco en Blanco’ is a bright point in a largely lacklustre line-up

‘Here Until August’

‘Here Until August’ by Josephine Rowe

The Australian author’s second short-story collection focuses on the precipice of change rather than its culmination


In This Issue

Illustration by Jeff Fisher.

Zero Millimetres in Tooleybuc

Mission Unthinkable

'Paradise Now'

Illustration by Jeff Fisher.

Comment

Illustration by Jeff Fisher.

Uncle Malcolm


More in Arts & Letters

Image of ‘Sex in the Brain’

Our largest sexual organ: Amee Baird’s ‘Sex in the Brain’

We know surprisingly little about how our brains orchestrate our sex lives

Detail of Yanni Florence photograph

Losing yourself

How can we be transformed by music if online platforms mean we will always remain ourselves?

Image from ‘The Nightingale’

Tasmanian torments: Jennifer Kent’s ‘The Nightingale’

The Babadook director talks about the necessity of violence in her colonial drama

Photo of Adam Goodes

Swan song: Documenting the Adam Goodes saga

Two documentaries consider how racism ended the AFL star’s career


More in Noted

‘Here Until August’

‘Here Until August’ by Josephine Rowe

The Australian author’s second short-story collection focuses on the precipice of change rather than its culmination

Image of ‘The Godmother’

‘The Godmother’ by Hannelore Cayre

A sardonic French bestseller about a godmother, in the organised crime sense of the word

Image from ‘Lambs of God’

‘Lambs of God’

Director Jeffrey Walker blends ripe melodrama and Gothic thriller in his TV series about three wayward nuns

Cover of ‘The White Girl’ by Tony Birch

‘The White Girl’ by Tony Birch

An emotionally eloquent novel about the necessary inheritance of strength in Indigenous women


Read on

Image of Member for Chisholm Gladys Liu and Prime Minister Scott Morrison

How good is Gladys Liu?

Scott Morrison ducks and weaves questions about the embattled MP

Image from ‘Blanco en Blanco’

Venice International Film Festival 2019

Théo Court’s masterful ‘Blanco en Blanco’ is a bright point in a largely lacklustre line-up

Image from ‘Animals’

Girls, interrupted: Sophie Hyde’s ‘Animals’

This untamed depiction of female friendship moves beyond basic binaries of freedom and control

Image of Peter Dutton

Peter Dutton’s tyranny

On the minister’s treatment of the Tamil asylum-seeker family and his pursuit of power


×
×