Review: “Storykeepers”, edited by Marion Halligan

by writereaderly

marion halligan ed storykeepersAnother opshop snaffle (but of course!), this one is a shiny 2000 anthology of 18 Australian writers writing back to historical Australian writers or events. Interesting to read authors and historians I knew names but no works of, fascinating to see the varying responses to the brief, happy to read Dorothy Porter’s poem on Barbara Baynton, delighted to read about Gwen Harwood’s writerly life. It reminded me how localised and pocketed Australian writing is (cf the Tasmanians vs the Carpentarians); I noted who wrote not-so-well in non-fiction (Alexis Wright?! Halligan herself!? And Peter Goldsworthy, who I’ve loathed ever since the HSC); and I felt comforted to be placed in a tradition of Australian writers who read. Recommended.

Where it came from: Opshop
Time and manner of reading:
Armchair and bed reads, with generally patient attention
Where it went: Keeper shelf. I’d have sent it to JJM could I have parted with the photo of Gwen Harwood’s famous acrostic poem, ‘Abelard to Eloisa’
Reminds me of/that: How illiterate I am in Australian (literary) history
Who I’d recommend it to:
Writers, mostly
Also reading: Rabbit #4; How to Read a Poem by Edward Hirsch; The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon; Being Alive edited by Neil Astley; Delaunay by Hajo Duchting