Book awards rich in history by Vin Maskell

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Country footy writer Paul Daffey showed magnanimity in the face of dashed hopes and grace in the face of disappointment when his book The Totem Poles of Ouyen United, Travels in Country Footy missed out on winning the 2020 History Publication Award that is part of the Victorian Community History Awards. The awards were announced late October. Continue reading

Players with multiple flags to their names by Richard Jones

TotemWhen footy historians compile best-of lists, players who have won more than one fairest and best award plus those who were voted top footballer on the ground in a grand final there’s some other amazing statistics tabulated. How about a list of people who have played in six, seven or more country Victorian premiership-winning sides since World War 2. Continue reading

Life cycle, for Bruce Dawe and Paul Kelly by Vin Maskell

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You could call it an illusion, a trick of the stage lighting. Or maybe it was just tiredness that created the moment.

Hamer Hall. October 2001. Paul Kelly is onstage. His grey hair, what little there seems to be of it, is close-cropped. His face appears gaunt, his eyes in shadow. He has looked like this for some years now but it is only at this moment, late in the concert, that for some reason, perhaps merely a blink of my eyes, I think the songwriter bears a passing resemblance to one of Australia’s most popular writers. Continue reading

Best of 19’s crime by David Wish-Wilson

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This year has been a good one for crime reading, with some favourite new novels out by Adrian McKinty The Chain, Emma Viskic Darkness for Light, Dave Warner River of Salt, Garry Disher Peace and Jock Serong Preservation. For my Christmas reading, I’m looking forward to cracking into Sticking It to the Man: Revolution and Counterculture in Pulp and Popular Fiction, 1950 to 1980, edited by Andrew Nette & Iain McIntyre, following their earlier pulp collaboration – Girl Gangs, Biker Boys, and Real Cool Cats: Pulp Fiction and Youth Culture, 1950 to 1980. I’ve got a chapter in the new book, but I know I’m going to love the range, research and comment across the whole thing. Continue reading