Already this year twenty-eight Australian women writers of histories, biographies and memoirs have had their work reviewed for the Challenge. This is the work of passionate readers of these genres. Half of the people who have committed to review at least one book that is a history, biography or memoir have already done so. This augurs well for this section of the Challenge this year.
If you have not already done so, read the review of Beyond Chernobyl: Women Respond written for the Challenge by author, Isolde Martyn. This review introduces a book about a well-known topic but written using the voices of a population who tends to be overlooked in the reporting of this environmental catastrophe. Martyn, describes this book as “an important contribution to women’s history”.
The literary legacy of the author Hazel Rowley has been reviewed by Peter Corris. Rowley wrote books about two famous partnerships; that of Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone Beauvoir, and Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt. Read more on the Newtown Review of Books.
The memoir of influential movie producer, Sue Milliken, has been reviewed by Sue on Whispering Gums. Milliken has produced some well-known Australian films so Selective Memory: A life in film should be of interest to many Challenge readers. In her review Sue mentions the Australian comedian who wasn’t that funny and other anecdotes. She concludes, “this is a good read, not just for those interested in Australian film history but for anyone interested how films are made, particularly from a producer’s point of view”.
The beginning of the year is a good chance to review books reviewed in previous years. Challenge reviewer, Mindy, has taken this to a new level by committing to review all the books on the Stella Prize long list for 2013 that she has not already read. Over the last month she has reviewed The Mind of a Thief by Patti Miller and People Smuggler by Robin de Crespigny.
As many of the reviewers in this section of the Challenge are on Twitter, I have created a Twitter list of those who have signed up this year. I encourage you to reach out to other reviewers in the Challenge who have similar interests to yours. The #OzHst hashtag on Twitter is also a good source for news and discussion about Australian history. The #familyhistory and #genealogy hashtags may also be of interest to you.
Later this week we have something special for everyone who is interested in history. Stella Prize shortlisted author, Clare Wright will be interviewed for the Challenge. Wright is an historian who also writes and presents history for television. We look forward to sharing with you Wright’s thoughts on the portrayal of women in history, writing and her experiences as a female author. Her history of women and the Eureka Stockade, The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka has been reviewed for the Challenge by Janine Rizzetti and myself.
Next month Australia and New Zealand will be commemorating Anzac Day. If you want to review a war history, biography or memoir by an Australian woman author take a look at our list of histories of war on Goodreads.
There are more reviews than can be mentioned in these roundups. Have a look at our list of the reviews of histories, biographies and memoirs entered in the Challenge this year.
I’m Yvonne Perkins. Currently I am researching the beliefs, religious or otherwise, of soldiers who served in World War I. In my spare time I enjoy reading history and writing about it on my blog, Stumbling Through the Past. I can also be found @perkinsy on twitter.