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‘like a headbutt to the chest’

That’s Angela ‘Literary Minded’ Meyer on Eva Sallis’ story ‘Death Sentence’ from Overland 193. You can read the story here. Meyer’s review begins:

Another stimulating issue of a journal that dares to challenge you. By this I don’t mean just political stimulation (thought there is plenty of that there) but through non-mainstream points of observation.Overland generally gives you a variety of pieces on topics you may not have even thought of thinking about, if you know what I mean. In my review of 192 I wrote about how much I enjoyed the piece on women’s boxingsomething I had known nothing of previously. This issue, the standout nonfiction pieces for me were ‘The Last Fanzine’ by Andrew Ramadge, an interesting and informative piece about a provocative underground rock zinester; and ‘Death of the Father’ by Sandy Jeffs, a clear insight into schizophrenia. With the latter, I felt again that Overlandhad published something that everyone would benefit from reading – for a better understanding of people and their world.

Two more that really should be pushed under people’s noses in this issue, even if not quite as lyrically pleasing as the previous two, are Alexis Wright’s introduction and tribute to the poet Oodgeroo Noonuccal – and of course people should be reading an Indigenous voice on Indigenous issues, but so few of us do; and the other, who also argues for a depth and breadth of voices from different representatives on issues of importance is Antony Loewenstein, who in this issue gives us ‘The Resource Wars’. Loewenstein is not afraid to challenge you, give you a verbal slap here and there. It is needed. He follows the links between oil; invasion and war; the suffering environment; hegemony and rhetoric used by Western governments; and the ignorance of Iraqi deaths, plus more. It’s a fine essay and a good introduction/companion to The Blogging RevolutionSusan Lever’s follow-up to the Peter Craven and Ken Gelder debate on literature also had me quite enthralled. Lever gets much deeper into individual authors and texts in Australian literature’s past and present. I found her points on antagonistic voices; writers who make amends for the past; and the role of the literary academic all fascinating. I agree with her that ‘Fortunately, there are still Australian readers and audiences who know that language can transform our dull everyday lives with exciting possibilities, that it can make us see things we never imagined and apprehend the great mysteries and paradoxes of life.’ Amen!

You can read the rest of her review here.

Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places.

If you like this piece, or support Overland’s work in general, please subscribe or donate.

Jeff Sparrow is the former editor of Overland. He is the co-author (with Jill Sparrow) of Radical Melbourne: A Secret History and Radical Melbourne 2: The Enemy Within, the editor (with Antony Loewenstein) of Left Turn: Essays for the New Left and the author of Communism: a love story, Killing: Misadventures in violence, and Money Shot: A Journey into Censorship and Porn.  On Twitter, he's @Jeff_Sparrow.

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