16 to 20 December 2019

Bill Landeryou rape case: did John Cain know?

The accusations by Rosslyn Dillon, nee Hawke, that she was repeatedly raped by Victorian state Labor MP Bill Landeryou in the early 1980s have been dropped down the Australian memory hole with great despatch.

Labour Dead, Live from the Rat and Parrot

Gutted is not the word. Gutted is not the word. ‘The Rat and Parrot’ in Hackney had been filling up since nine pm, a fake Victorian gaff, but cosy it is, and it was bursting when the chimes went for ten.

They are hauled out of their little hidie-holes, blinking at the light about this time of year, unaccustomed to the attention. Yes, i’m speaking of writers who are called on to produce their books of the year for the Saturdays. Here they are in the SMAge – Nein? Fair-ex? – with their picks of 2019. The two goals in this sort of thing are to puff your own publisher by recommending their other authors, and spruik yourself with a self-deprecating aside. The class of 2019 do not disappoint: Favel Parrett boosts Maxine Beneba Clarke, both of Hachette; Charlotte Wood checks Vicki Hastick, both of Allen and Unwin; Abigail Ulman selects Tara June Winch, both of Hamish Hamilton; and two of Sofie Laguna’s four picks are from A&U, her publisher. Bravissimo! What about the self-boosting? Well Parrett notes that he received an early proof of Elizabeth Strout’s Olive Kitteredge sequel so just had to put it in; while Jane Rawson was so tired! from judging two book prizes she couldnt do anymore litfic! Graeme Simson namechecked his own book The Rosie Project which is so aspy, but the prize has to go once again to Anna Funder, who never disappoints: ‘in May I visited my NY publisher, a German man, now head of a publishing empire…’ Long Funderesque overwrought story short, he gave her books on fascism. Against, it should be said. Fantastic work gang! Ok back to your dark little studies till next year!