Susan Lever is the general editor of the Cambria Press Australian Literature Series of critical books and an honorary affiliate at the University of Sydney.
All essays by Susan Lever
This Water: Five Tales
by Beverley Farmer
Published June, 2017
This Water is a collection of fiction – though Farmer continues to explore what the senses can teach us about the permeable barriers between our present world and the mysteries beyond it. Though the five tales in the book stand alone as narratives, they are carefully placed to lead the reader gradually into the imaginative realms where Farmer can examine elemental mysteries. The stories attempt to breach the borders between life and death, air and sea, human and animal life, and, of course, the place where dreams and myth contact our living experience.
The Buried Giant
by Kazuo Ishiguro
Published March, 2015
Off with the pixies: The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro
In The Buried Giant, a fog of forgetfulness has engulfed the people of Britain so that the characters are struggling to understand their fears and the moral logic of their world. They have no past, and the novel reaches for the connections that may create a narrative, both public and personal, for them.
by Lorrie Moore
Published March, 2014
To wit: Bark by Lorrie Moore
The stories in Bark are lifted from the commonplace by the way the characters have the power to see the ridiculous in their situations, and the undimmed verbal skill they display through the trials of life. These qualities – the sense of the ridiculous amid crisis and the relentless wit – are Moore’s particular gift to them.
by John A. Scott
Brandl & Schlesinger
Published April, 2014
Artists against fascism: N by John A. Scott
Scott’s new novel, N, is longer and more ambitious than any of his previous works, but it develops the interest in the parallel possibilities of Australian history that is evident in Warra Warra. In this case, it is Australia’s experience of the Second World War.
The Narrow Road to the Deep North
by Richard Flanagan
Published September, 2013
Heroes, certainly: The Narrow Road to the Deep North
The Narrow Road to the Deep North is Flanagan’s literary offering to history and national culture. It works hard to turn the memoirs of the prisoners of war into a work that is emotionally charged and accessible for readers too young to remember the aftermath of war.