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Book Reviewing in the Australian Literary Field
Most of the writing about books that is published in Australia takes place outside the academy: more than 3,000 book reviews are published each year in Australian newspapers and magazines. These reviews constitute a sector of the online literary sphere that retains strong links to legacy print media, as well as to other consecrating mechanisms in the field such as literary prizes and university syllabuses. Book reviews are an important and understudied sector of the literary field. They are also, as we know from the Stella and Vida counts of the past decade, strongly gendered. This paper discusses the key findings thus far of a collaborative research project on gender in Australian book reviewing—a project that aims to understand the relationship between gender, academic criticism and more public forms of writing about literature over the past 30 years in Australia.
Julieanne Lamond lectures in English at ANU and is editor of the journal Australian Literary Studies.
Melinda Harvey is Lecturer in Literary Studies at Monash University, is series editor of Monash University Press' Contemporary Australian Writers series, and is a current judge of the Miles Franklin Literary Award.