Australian Left Review

Article Title

Books: Bring Larks and Heroes


Kerin Cantrell


The high acclaim that this novel has received seems to me symptomatic of a general impulse to over-praise a work because it is w ritten by an Australian. Excessive praise of a work that simply does not merit it, can be detrimental to an author as well as misleading to the reader. A case in point is that of Judith Wright, whose early work was received with an enthusiasm that was inspired not so much by her poetry as by the fact that she was both female and Australian. The virtue of being Australian cannot however continue to conceal the shakiness of much of her work, and such is the case, though to a lesser extent, with Keneally.