Triple Choice Tuesday: Lisa Hill

Triple-Choice-TuesdayWelcome to Triple Choice Tuesday. This is where I ask some of my favourite bloggers and other bookish bods to share the names of three books that mean a lot to them. The idea is that it might raise the profile of certain books and introduce you to new titles and new bloggers.

Today’s guest is Lisa Hill from ANZ LitLovers LitBlog, my favourite source of reviews and commentary on a wide range of Australian and New Zealand literary fiction.

I only discovered ANZ LitLovers last year, but it has promptly become my favourite book blog, and I do hold Lisa largely responsible for contributing to my ever-growing TBR and wishlist!

Lisa lives in Melbourne, Victoria (my old stomping ground), where she works as a primary school librarian.

Here’s Lisa’s Triple Choice Tuesday selections:


GreatFire A favourite book:
The Great Fire by Shirley Hazzard

I don’t often re-read books, but I’ve read The Great Fire twice and listened to it as an audio book twice, too. I’ve enjoyed all of Shirley Hazzard’s novels, but this one is really special. It won the American National Book Award in 2003 and the Miles Franklin in Australia the following year; it was also shortlisted for the Orange Prize and the IMPAC and long-listed for the Booker.

Every time I read (or listen to) it I am lured into sharing Hazzard’s belief in the redemptive power of love, in destiny, and – despite human aggression and folly – in the idea of transformation in nations and cultures. I also like Hazzard’s courage in rejecting cynicism and suspicion to assert that there can be innocence in a love between a man of 32 and a girl of 17.

She has used the blighted landscape of post-war Japan to visit contemporary themes such as post-colonialism, casual racism, and the fate of women. It’s a complex book, but I enjoy Hazzard’s nuanced turns of phrase, her tasteful irony, and the power of her imagery.


FemaleEunuch A book that changed my world:
The Female Eunuch by Germaine Greer

I think women all over the world had their lives changed by this book. Greer completely subverted the way I looked at my role as a wife, mother, and daughter, and I love her for it.

I have had a wonderfully rewarding life and career, in relationships that treat me with respect, because Germaine Greer wrote this exciting book in a way that made both men and women see the world differently.


Lifein7mistakes
Bathfugues A book that deserves a wider audience:
Life in Seven Mistakes by Susan Johnson, and The Bath Fugues by Brian Castro

I’m cheating here because I’m choosing two. Life in Seven Mistakes is a delicious black comedy, woven around the phenomenon inflicted on all of us whose parents have retired to warmer climes: the Dreaded Family Christmas.

With wonderfully original characterisation and a sly dissection of modern family life, it explores one of my favourite themes, how to manage the demands of the creative impulse in the real world of competing career-and-family needs. Susan was based in London the last I heard, but she is a real Aussie writer all the same.

The Bath Fugues is a more challenging book, but it is well worth the effort. Like the novels of Patrick White, Brian Castro’s books gradually reveal hidden treasures, with the enticing possibility that each re-reading will reveal yet more. The book is cleverly structured to mirror the musical form of the fugue, and is an intriguing story of relationships, identity and authenticity, playing with the way people drift in and out of each other’s lives like musical motifs. This book really deserves an international audience.

International buyers can get copies of these two from Readings.

Thanks, Lisa, for taking part in my Triple Choice Tuesday!

I’m delighted to see Susan Johnson’s Life in Seven Mistakes here, as I read it a year or so ago, and really enjoyed it. Indeed, Susan occasionally comments on this blog. I haven’t read The Female Eunuch, but I did read the sequel, The Whole Woman, about a decade ago and found it quite illuminating. And I’ve really got to read Shirley Hazzard at some point… (see what I mean about Lisa influencing my TBR!)

What do you think of Lisa’s choices? Have you read any of these books?

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12 thoughts on “Triple Choice Tuesday: Lisa Hill

  1. What a fabulous idea for a post, Kim!
    I have never heard of Shirley Hazzard but I’m loving the sound of that book! (Off I go, to add yet another book to Mt. TBR – *sigh*) 🙂
    Boof

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  2. Great choices Lisa. The female eunuch did change my world too! I’ll never forget it!
    And, I love Shirley Hazzard also … I’ve read Transit of Venus twice, as well as The great fire. I have still to get to Castro, but did read Susan Johnson’s book about Charmian Clift (The broken book) which I thoroughly enjoyed. I should read more of her but she sort of dipped under the radar. Maybe that’s because she’s in London?

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  3. Hazzard is an Australian writer. Her 1970 novel The Bay of Noon has recently been shortlisted for the Lost Man Booker. I keep seeing that one in bookshops and am tempted to buy it!

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  4. I am also enjoying this post each week although it is very detrimental to the wishlist!! I too loved Life In Seven Mistakes and always enjoy Johnson’s work. I struggled with The Great Fire and as I have discovered a copy of The Bay of Noon on my shelf since its nomination on the Lost Man Booker I will be giving Hazzard another try. Oh… so many books so little time.

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  5. Great choices Lisa, I love Hazzard’s work in particular The Great Fire and hope her next novel isn’t another twenty years away!
    I don’t know if you’ve read Germaine Greer’s excellent ALR on The Female Eunuch 40 years on? (If not, it’s online at http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/arts/better-half-still-battling/story-e6frg8nf-1225860734719).
    Greer ended her piece with this:
    “The Female Eunuch was my first book, and not my best. It is only important now because so many women found in it something they were already looking for. I did not create those women; those women created me. When a woman stops me in the street to say, “You changed my life”, I always (boringly) reply: “You changed your life. If my work helped, I am glad, but the achievement is yours.” When wowsers tell me I destroyed the family, I reply, “You do me too much credit.” For the past hundred years women have been gearing up for revolution, but it hasn’t begun to happen . When the real thing starts, I shall be forgotten.”

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  6. I loved listening to The Great Fire too and keep meaning to pick up The Transit of Venus. And, another blog to read. Yikes.

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  7. Thanks Stu… I run Triple Choice Tuesday every… well… Tuesday. Come back next week to find out my next guest! All others are listed in the menu bar there somewhere on the right.

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  8. *chuckle*
    Kim, you are shameless, *my* TBR is *your* fault (and Kevin’s and Tom’s and Sue’s and Tony’s and…and…and…)
    But I forgive you because you said such nice things *blush* about my blog LOL.
    Sarah, I read that article too, and I think Greer is being a bit disingenuous. What she did was to ‘give us permission’ to say aloud the things we women were tentatively thinking instead of suppressing our discontent. We had a strong and vocal and intellectually rigorous voice behind us and with us, and that helped when we were feeling discouraged. She was smart and brave when we were not, and she spoke up for us again and again. No matter what she says about it, she’s my heroine!

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  9. Hear, hear, Lisa. For me, like you it seems, it doesn’t really matter what she says now (some of which I like, some of which surprises me) because it doesn’t take away from what she said and gave me back in the early 70s.

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