Review: Laurie Hergenham – the Australian short story

the Australian short story
Laurie Hergenham (ed)
This is a novel I had to read for a literature class. It is not really a novel, as it suggested, it is a collection of short stories. It covers quite a long time period, around 100 years, from Peter Carey to Henry Lawson.

As befitting my usual treatment of literature studies books, I didn’t read all of the short stories in this collection. I read and studied just three: Short Shift Saturday by Gavin Casey, Josie by Vance Palmer and Happiness by Katherine Susannah Prichard.

Short Shift Saturday is a gritty short story written in a realist manner. It’s longer than the other two, and I felt that it was easier to understand and get into the depth of the characters.

Josie is an odd ducky. The whole short story is an odd ducky. It was a bit hard to read, and it certainly wasn’t enjoyable. In a way, it was more disgusting than anything. It makes the point of the outsider in Australian early culture.

Happiness is told from the perspective of an Aboriginal woman. It feels like a setup, and I wasn’t entirely convinced about the authenticity of feeling.

As a whole, I hated the unit of study that this book was part of, and I really didn’t do well on any of it. For this particular assessment, I had jetlag! You can tell it’s been on my mind for a while to review this book, because I went on holiday more than a month ago.

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