Critic Swallows Book: Ten Years of the Sydney Review of Books

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In 2023 the Sydney Review of Books celebrates a decade online, and the publication of more than a thousand essays and longform reviews of Australian and international literature. Over these ten years the journal has created a unique space for serious reflection on literature and for critical thinking about our culture more broadly. The journal has been shaped by the diverse aesthetic, political and critical dispositions of our contributors, each of whom has different questions to ask of contemporary writing.

As they’ve asked these questions, they’ve guided a bold and independent public conversation about literature, and especially about the many forms of Australian literature. Critic Swallows Book brings together twenty-two essays that together demonstrate the eclecticism of the Sydney Review of Books. It includes arguments about decolonising Australian literature and revisiting the classics, blockbuster fiction and book-length poems, modernism in the Antipodes and reading during the pandemic. Essays on Susan Sontag and Rita Felski sit alongside critical considerations of the work of Murray Bail and Joan London, and of new books by Evelyn Araluen and Samia Khatun.

Contributors: Timmah Ball, Paola Balla, Alix Beeston, Tegan Bennett Daylight, Andrew Brooks, Bonny Cassidy, Mridula Nath Chakraborty, Tom Clark, Ali Cobby Eckermann, Ben Etherington, Ross Gibson, Melinda Harvey, Ivor Indyk, Yumna Kassab, Louis Klee, Jeanine Leane, James Ley, Catriona Menzies-Pike, Drusilla Modjeska, Alys Moody, Suneeta Peres da Costa, Oliver Reeson.

Critic Swallows Book is edited by Catriona Menzies-Pike, former editor of the Sydney Review of Books. It follows the collections Open Secrets, Second City and The Australian Face, all published by the Sydney Review of Books.