Browsing English by Author "Dooley, Gillian Mary"
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Item"Afterlife" by Donald Denoon. [review - radio script](2004-10-04) Dooley, Gillian MaryIt’s an old idea that the gods envy humans their mortality, with all its possibilities of ecstasy and intense experience. Donald Denoon plays with this idea in his novel "Afterlife", subtitled "A Divine Comedy". "Afterlife" is a genial, philosophical book. The hero, Geoffrey Kingston, dies and goes to heaven. Both these facts are unexpected: he is in the prime of life, and his conduct hasn’t been such that he expected to end up in heaven. But then, he didn’t think that heaven existed. ItemAlien and Adrift: The Diasporic Consciousness in V.S. Naipaul’s 'Half a Life' and J.M. Coetzee's 'Youth'(New Literatures Review, 2003) Dooley, Gillian MaryIn this paper, I look at some similarities in sensibility of Naipaul and Coetzee, one clearly a diasporic writer and the other less identifiably so, as expressed in these two recent books. I discuss to what extent their differences in literal diasporic status are significant in forming the consciousness of these two writers and their characters, none of whom seem to owe any allegience to a group, a race, a class or a nation. Item"All Things Bright and Beautiful" by Susan Mitchell. [review - radio script](2005-07-04) Dooley, Gillian MaryGood versus Evil is the hook used to promote Susan Mitchell’s book "All Things Bright and Beautiful: Murder in the City of Light". Mitchell attended the trial of John Bunting and Robert Wagner, the two main perpetrators of the Snowtown killings, the worst serial murders in Australian history. She explores the role of social deprivation and endemic child abuse in the genesis of these particularly disgusting crimes. She wanted to find ‘the hidden underbelly to this city that I and many of its citizens either didn’t know about or simply refused to face.’ Mitchell’s thesis seems to be that Adelaide’s reaction to the Snowtown murders was denial. Item"Ash Rain" by Corrie Hosking. [review](Adelaide Review, 2004-04) Dooley, Gillian Mary"Ash Rain" is a strong, beautiful novel about troubled and wonderful people who brim with vitality. Hosking has managed that unusual and winning combination, poetic evocative prose with a compelling narrative. The story is full of contrasts. One of the most striking is between the vast skies of the Eyre Peninsula in summer and the wet cramped spaces of wintertime Edinburgh, where Dell travels to be with her lover Pat. ItemAttitudes to Political Commitment in Three Indian Novels: Raja Rao's 'Kanthapura', Khushwant Singh's 'Train to Pakistan' and Nayantara Sahgal's 'Rich Like Us'(Prestige Books, 2001) Dooley, Gillian MaryAn examination of attitudes to political commitment portrayed by three Indian novels written in English, Raja Rao's 'Kanthapura', Khushwant Singh's 'Train to Pakistan' and Nayantara Sahgal's 'Rich Like Us'. ItemAn Autobiography of Everyone? Intentions and Definitions in Doris Lessing's Memoirs of a Survivor(Routledge, 2009-04) Dooley, Gillian MaryDoris Lessing's novel 'Memoirs as a Survivor' was described by Lessing as 'an attempt at autobiography'. This paper examines the autobiographical element, and the ideological concepts which formed Lessing's attitude to autobiography and the universality of experience. ItemAn Autobiography of Everyone? Intentions and Definitions in Doris Lessing’s “Memoirs of a Survivor”. [abstract].(2006) Dooley, Gillian Mary"Memoirs of a Survivor" was first published in 1974, and is the second of what Lessing has described as her “unrealistic stories”. The “real” setting of the novel is an unnamed English city in the near future, when for some unexplained reason civilization is crumbling. The narrator, a single middle-aged woman, is mysteriously put in charge of a young girl, Emily. The wall of her flat occasionally melts to reveal a large house. This is the “impersonal” world; however, shortly after Emily’s arrival, the narrator begins to be subjected, beyond the wall, to a child’s-eye view of an oppressive nursery where “personal” scenes from the childhood of Emily and her baby brother are played out. Meanwhile, in the “real” world, Emily passes with unnatural rapidity through the stages of adolescence, while outside cannibalism and violence become common among the gangs of young people. The narrator and Emily are besieged in the flat until the wall finally reopens and admits them to a new world. "Memoirs" is subtitled, in the early editions, “an attempt at autobiography.” Lessing complains, “curiously, no one noticed it, as if that precision was embarrassing”. This is not strictly true: of a sample of ten contemporary reviews, only half do not mention the autobiographical element. Item"Bad Karma" by Tamara Sheward. [review - radio script](2003-08-30) Dooley, Gillian MaryTamara and her friend Elissa are backpackers who can’t stand backpackers. "Bad Karma" relates their three-week journey through mainland Southeast Asia. They storm their way through Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia, leaving a trail of cigarette smoke and obscenities. They reserve their worst invective for the other western tourists they meet. ItemBatmania. "Bright Planet" by Peter Mews. [review](Australian Book Review, 2004-05) Dooley, Gillian Mary"Bright Planet" is a wry, laconic book; bold, entertaining and slightly mannered. Mews’s vocabulary is vivid and his epithets at times startlingly original. It is a kind of sustained exercise in bravado; Mews is playing games with us. That is allowed: this is not history, but highly imaginative, fantastic fiction. Item"Baudalino" by Umberto Eco. [review](Adelaide Review, 2004-09-28) Dooley, Gillian MaryYou might have thought that Monty Python had the last word on the Holy Grail, but now Umberto Eco has offered his own version of this potent mediaeval myth in "Baudalino", his latest novel. The title character is a peasant boy in twelfth-century Italy who by chance meets Frederick Barbarossa, the first Holy Roman Emperor. The novel tells of his adventures over the next fifty years: how Frederick adopts him and sends him to Paris to be educated; how he helps his adopted father, by means of his quick wit and good nature, to extricate himself from many tricky situations. Eventually he persuades an aging Frederick to embark on a Crusade. Mired in the dangerous politics of the warring states east of the Mediterranean, Frederick dies mysteriously in the castle of an Armenian dignitary. Baudalino and his eleven motley companions set off to find the fabled eastern kingdom of Prester John, posing as the Twelve Magi. Truth or lies, fact or fiction? Baudalino relates his story to Niketas, a Byzantine historian in Constantinople, under attack from another wave of barbarian crusaders in 1204. Item"Beautiful Lies: Australia from Menzies to Howard" by Tony Griffith. [review](Adelaide Review, 2005-08-25) Dooley, Gillian Mary"Contemporary Australia" was the pedestrian title of a 1977 book by historian Tony Griffith. For later editions he spiced it up with a quote from Mark Twain: Australian history ‘is almost always picturesque … it does not read like history, but like the most beautiful lies’. The third edition, just out, with a new, up-to-date subtitle, is "Beautiful Lies: Australia from Menzies to Howard". Item"Belonging" by Isabel Huggan. [review](Adelaide Review, 2005-02-18) Dooley, Gillian Mary"Belonging" is Isabel Huggan’s third book of ‘reminiscences’, A Canadian by birth, an expatriate by marriage, she finds herself settled permanently in the foothills of the Cévennes in provincial France with her Scottish husband Bob. "Belonging" is divided into twenty chapters, the first of which is titled ‘There Is No Word for Home’. Huggan uses this quirk of language deftly to introduce her theme of being ‘both home and not-home’. Interwoven into her narrative of life in France, with floods and storms, friendly, inefficient workmen, and untidy neighbours, are memories of childhood, of years spent living in Africa and the Philippines with Bob, and regular pilgrimages to family shrines in Canada. Item"Blacktown" by Shane Weaver. [review - radio script](2003-11-21) Dooley, Gillian Mary"Blacktown" is Shane Weaver’s autobiography about his tough childhood and growing up in working-class Blacktown, NSW. Item"Bluestocking in Patagonia" by Anne Whitehead. [review - radio script](2003-08-16) Dooley, Gillian Mary"Bluestocking in Patagonia" is not only a biography of Mary Gilmore’s six-year sojourn in South America. It is also a travel book. Whitehead visits the places where Gilmore lived, and alternates her own account with the historical narrative.