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Writers J - L


Gail JonesGAIL JONES was born in Harvey, Western Australia. She received a PhD in English literature in 1995 from The University of Western Australia, where she currently teaches a range of courses including creative writing, gender and narrative, Australian literature and literary theory. Her first volume, The House of Breathing, won four major awards: the 1991 TAG Hungerford Award for Fiction, the 1992 Barbara Ramsden Prize, the 1993 Steele Rudd Short Story Award and the 1993 Western Australian Premier's Book Award for Fiction. Fetish Lives, published in 1997, is Gail Jones' second collection of short stories. Black Mirror is her first novel.

The House of Breathing (1992)
Fetish Lives (1997)
Black Mirror (2002)

Short Stories
The State Library has indexed a number of Gail Jones’ short stories.
Queenie the Wordless (1993)
Knowledge (1996)
The Reincarnation of Madame Toussaud (1996)
Life Probably Saved by Imbecile Dwarf (2000)
Heartbreak Hotel (2002)

Reviews of Fetish Lives
"The stories in Fetish Lives by Gail Jones concern themselves with meditations about acts of artistic creation and speculations on the voices and lives of those responsible, both the makers and those who receive the work. As announced in the title, the fetish is explored as a productive, producing state between art and life. We are offered yearnings and obsessions and desire. This collection is impressive for the remarkable subtleties and nuances of its language. This skill holds our attention; the stories are both compelling and accessible, and, at times, carry a gentle, wry humour. There is a darkness about this work, though; an attempt to find some truth about human relations which can be accessible only if all the usual verities are ignored, turned upside down or bypassed. This is usually the terrain of the poet, but Jones explores her ideas through narratives of real and imagined events, and she does so with intelligence and a fine elegance of language."
(Judges Report, 1997 WA Premier's Book Awards)

You can find Reading Notes to Fetish Lives, and reviews of Fetish Lives are also available in:
Westerly, Winter 1997, p. 123-125
The West Australian, 12 April 1997, Big Weekend, p. 3.
Australian Women's Book Review, Vol 9 (1) Autumn 1997, p35
Australian Book Review, no 188, p22

A number of reviews of The House of Breathing are referenced on the LISWA catalogue.

You can read a synopsis of the plot and a reader's review of Black Mirror.

Internet Links
You can read a Biographical sketch of Gail Jones, and an Interview with the author about Fetish Lives can be found in Western Review, March 1997, p. 9.1.


Margo KingstonMARGO KINGSTON is an acclaimed political journalist who currently is the online political commentator for The Sydney Morning Herald. She has spent more than a decade working in the Canberra press gallery before recently returning to Sydney, where she keeps a weather eye on the National stage. Kingston was briefly a solicitor before joining The Courier Mail in Brisbane. She has worked for a number of leading Australian newspapers, including The Herald, Melbourne Age, and the Canberra Times, as well as the television show A Current Affair. She talks every Tuesday and Wednesday on Radio National's Late Night Live about politics and also appears monthly on ABC TV's Lateline with Michael Duffy. As the only journalist to follow Pauline Hanson during the entire 1998 election campaign, Ms Kingston wrote Off the Rails: The Pauline Hanson Trip.

Off the Rails : the Pauline Hanson trip (1999)

Internet Resources
Margo Kingston writes a Web Diary for the Sydney Morning Herald where she writes something every day and invites people to send her feedback. You can link to her Web Diary at the Sydney Morning Herald.

Tim Blair, who styles himself a journalist, commentator and oppressor, has commented on Margo's Webdiary and included various extracts on his website.


JOHN KINSELLA has published poems in a large number of literary journals in Australia, the US, New Zealand, Japan, India, Canada and Britain. His most recent volumes of poetry are Visitants and The Hierarchy of Sheep. His experimental novel Genre was published in 1996, a collection of short fiction Grappling Eros appeared in 1998 and Speedfactory, co-written with Bernard Cohen, MacKenzie Wark and Terri-ann White. He is Professor of English at Kenyon College, Ohio, USA, Professor of Literature at Edith Cowan University and a Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge University.

John Kinsella's works are held in the Battye Library and widely throughout the public library system.
The Book of Two Faces: poems (1989)
Night Parrots (1989)
Eschatologies (1991)
Ultramarine (1991) (with Anthony Lawrence)
Full Fathom Five (1993)
Syzygy (1993)
Erratum Frame(d) (1995)
Intensities of Blue (1995) (with Tracy Ryan)
The Silo: A Pastoral Symphony: Poems (1995)
Lightning Tree (1996)
Poems, 1980 - 1994 (1997)
The Hunt: poems (1998)
Kangaroo Virus (1998) (with Ron Sims)
Visitants (1999)
Wheatlands (2000)
The Hierarchy of Sheep (2001)
Rivers (2002)

Auto (2001)

Genre (1997)
Grappling Eros (1998)
Speedfactory (2002) (with Bernhard Cohen, MacKenzie Wark and Terri-ann White)

Writing and Interviews
You can read some of John Kinsella's writing and poetry, his reviews, as well as his interviews with Australian and other poets or to another website featuring his writing.

LAL, Brij V

Brij V LalBRIJ V LAL, grandson of a girmitiya, was born in Tabia (Labasa), Fiji. He is now Professor of History and Director of the Centre for the Contemporary Pacific in the Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies at The Australian National University. A co-architect of Fiji's 1997 multiracial constitution and a recipient of many awards and honours, including the Officer of the Order of Fiji and Fellowship of the Australian Humanities Academy, Professor Lal was recently honoured by the Fiji Millennium Committee for his distinguished scholarship and named as one of 70 people who helped shape Fiji's 20th century history. Mr Tulsi’s Store is his first novel.

Girmitiyas : the Origins of the Fiji Indians (1983)
Problems and methods of enquiry in South Asian history (1984)
Politics in Fiji : studies in contemporary history (1986)
Broken Waves (1992)
Tides of history : the Pacific Islands in the twentieth century (1994)
Fiji Before the Storm : elections and the politics of development (2000)
The Pacific Islands : an Encyclopedia (2000)
Coup : Reflections on the political crisis in Fiji (2001)
Mr Tulsi's store : a Fijian journey (2001)

Internet Resources
The article "Fiji: Damaged Democracy" in the Journal of South Pacific Law, is available on the Internet.

"In George Speight's Shadow: Fiji General Elections of 2001" is an paper by Brij Lal for the Griffith Asia Pacific Council, Griffith University.

Tavenisa Diri Wolfromm has written a critique on Lal’s writings entitled "Brij Lal and Pacific Democracy.".

LAU, Siew Mei

Lau Siew MeiLAU SIEW MEI was born in Singapore in 1968 and migrated to Australia in 1994. She has received a grant from Arts Queensland and was awarded a Varuna Writers’ Fellowship. Her first novel, Playing Madame Mao, was shortlisted for the Christina Stead Prize for fiction in the 2001 NSW Premier's Literary Awards and published in Australia, Greece and the UK. Her short stories have been broadcast on the BBC World Service and published in literary journals in Australia, USA, Canada and the UK. Lau Siew Mei was awarded an Australia Council grant for Developing Writers.

Playing Madame Mao (2000)

Short Stories
Hunting the Squonk, in Westerly, Vol.40, no.3, (Spring 1995), p.66-68.
Cutting the Tight-rope, in Westerly, Vol.43, no.l (Autumn 1998), p.14-16.

Internet Resources
"The Core Revolt" by Lau Siew Mei has been published in SPAN, the Journal of the South Pacific Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies No 33 1992.

Tamara S. Wagner, Fellow at the National University of Singapore, has written an article entitled "Themes and Contexts of Lau's Playing Madame Mao".


Julia LawrinsonJULIA LAWRINSON writes young adult fiction. She is the author of Obsession, winner of the 2002 Western Australian Premier's Award for Young Adult Fiction and Skating the Edge.

Obsession Obsession (2001)
Skating the Edge (2002)

"Julia Lawrinson has achieved a rare balance here: honest expressions of a young girl as she negotiates family life (always difficult) and school life (a veritable jungle of jealous passions and barely suppressed violence). The language captures schoolyard lingo and manages to give just the right inflection to the conflicting emotions of the struggling outsider in a school where sexual politics and power struggles get in the way of learning. Humour, pathos, love, achievement and failure combine to make this an immensely readable work that has captured the language of the genre perfectly." (Judges Report, 2001 WA Premier's Book Awards)

You can find more reviews of Obsession.

You can read a review of Skating The Edge.

Other Resources
"Monkey on your back : writing about Obsession" sees Julia Lawrinson talking about her writing in Western Word, December 1998, p4-5.


Simone LazarooSIMONE LAZAROO was born in Singapore in 1961 and migrated to Perth with her family in 1963. In 1983, she completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a minor in Creative Writing at the Western Australian Institute of Technology (now Curtin University). She began writing full time when she was awarded a Creative Development Grant by the Western Australian Department for the Arts in 1990. In 1993, the manuscript of The World Waiting to be Made won the TAG Hungerford Award for unpublished fiction. It was published in 1994 and won the 1995 WA Premier's Book Award for Fiction. In 2000 Simone was awarded the $67,000 David T Wong Fellowship for an author writing in English about the Far East and life in East Asia. The fellowship involves a years’ residency at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, United Kingdom. Her second novel, The Australian Fiance was published in 2000 and won the 2000 WA Premier's Book Awards for Fiction. She is currently working on a third novel.

The World Waiting to be Made (1994)
The Australian FianceThe Australian Fiance (2000)
"In a spare but elegant style, Simone Lazaroo manages to give life to a couple of unlikely lovers who are brought together in fateful circumstances in the aftermath of World War II. Lazaroo skillfully presents Australian life and customs as they are seen through the eyes of a young Eurasian woman, a former prostitute and victim of war,  who finds herself physically and culturally isolated in a remote part of Western Australia. The author's own voice intervenes into that of the narrator as she explores the intensely painful emotions that accompany the woman's gradual rejection by a lover who has his own pastoral lineage to consider. Although written in the genre of romance, the  novel eschews the genre's predictable conventions to examine in a moving and imaginative manner, themes  of love, hope and loss in a cross-cultural relationship."
(Judges Report, 2000 WA Premier's Book Awards)

Short Stories
The State Library has indexed the following Simone Lazaroo short stories:
A Complete Giveaway (1995)
Tremors (1997)

Reviews of The Australian Fiance are available in:
The Bulletin, 22 August 2000
The Australian, 19-20 August 2000, Book reviews p13
Perth Weekly, 2-8 August 2000 p24

Reviews of The World Waiting to be Made are available in:
Australian Book Review, October 1994, p23-24
Westerly, Summer 1994, p148-150
Western Review February 1995, p18

Internet Resources
You can read an excerpt from The Australian Fiance.


Joan LondonJOAN LONDON is the author of two collections of stories, “Sister Ships”, which won the Age Book of the Year in 1986 and the Western Australian Week Literary Award, and “Letter to Constantine”, which won the Steele Rudd Award 1994 and the West Australian Premier’s Award for Fiction. Her first novel Gilgamesh won the 2002 Age Book of the Year Award - Fiction and has been shortlisted for the 2002 Miles Franklin Literary Award; the 2002 Christina Stead Award, N.S.W. Premier's Literary Award and was shortlisted in the 2001 W.A. Premier's Book Award. Joan lives in Fremantle, Western Australia.

Sister Ships and other Stories (1986)
Letter to Constantine (1993)
Gilgamesh : a novel (2001)

Short Stories
The State Library has indexed the following Joan London short stories
Angels (1991)
The Angry Girl (1993)
Burning Off (1986)
Enough Rope (1986)
First Night (1986)
The Girls Love Each Other (1985)
The Inlet (1989)
Lilies (1986)
Maisie Goes to India (1993)
New Year (1986)
The Photographer (1996)
Pinch Me, Pinch Me (1993)
Second Stage (1993)
Sister Ships (1986)
Travelling (1984)
The Woman Who Only Answered Yes or No (1993)

Internet Resources
You can read a review of Gilgamesh in Australian Book Review.

Maggie Ball has interviewed Joan London for Suite101.

LONG, John

John LongJOHN LONG is a palaeontologist at the Western Australian Museum and is the author of a number of popular science books, including Mountains of Madness. He has published many articles, scientific papers and books, including The Evolution Revolution (with Ken McNamara),and the children's novel The Mystery of Devil's Roost and The Hermit of Hyde Park. John won the 2001 Eureka Prize for the Promotion of Science for his dedication to making science accessible to all levels of the community. The Dinosaur Dealers is the blow-by-blow account of his attempt to recover the fossilised dinosaur footprints stolen from an isolated beach near Broome in 1996.

Dinosaurs of Australia (1990)
Catalogue of Type Fossils in the Western Australian Museum (1991)
Sea Monsters : Bizarre and unusual creatures from seas of the prehistoric past and present (1991) with Ken McNamara
The Rise of Fishes : 500 million years of evolution (1995)
The Evolution Revolution (1998)
Dinosaurs of Australia and New Zealand : and other animals of the Mesazoic Era (1998)
Mountains of Madness : a journey through Antarctica (2000)
Prehistoric Mammals of Australia and New Guinea : one hundred Million years of evolution (2002) (John Long with others)
The Dinosaur Dealers (2002)

Children's Books
The Hermit of Hyde Park (1999)
Mystery of Devil's Roost (1997)

Internet Resources
Review of Dinosaurs of Australia and New Zealand.