Griffith Review 33

Griffith Review 33

Julianne Schultz (Ed.), Griffith University

As editor Julianne Schultz points out in her introduction, storytelling is undergoing a revolution: “Never before in human history has so much been known about so many by so many.” Welcome to the social media revolution where the detail of our lives — personal and often staggeringly trivial — is shared at an unprecedented rate.

This latest issue of Griffith Review is all about sharing stories, albeit far more substantial stories than the average entry on Facebook or Twitter. There is the almost painful memoir of Rebecca Epstein as she shares her experience of living with being bipolar ¾ her struggle between functioning in society and maintaining enough creative energy to write.

Carrie Tiffany shares her experience of living with tachycardia, undergoing surgery in the hope of a cure then managing her health after a complication arises. This is alongside having saved someone’s life after a heart attack.

Carolijn Visser’s moving memoir of the bride who’s wedding photo hangs in a synagogue built by Russian Jews in Shanghai; one who escaped Nazi Germany and ended up living in Bondi.

Also moving is the quite intimate glimpse of a son’s reshaped relationship with his father in Brian Geach’s Denzil.

I loved Kate Holden’s exploration of the ethics involved in the genre of memoir. Having made a name for herself through her memoir In My Skin, she now wonders if she has “cannibalised her life”, something that should sound a warning to those who bare themselves, literally and figuratively, on social media.

And Frank Moorhouse explores the complex notion of privacy in our society, something he refers to tellingly as “a cascade of complexity”.

There is much to enjoy and ponder on yet another excellent edition of Griffith Review, and there’s something for everyone. In addition to memoir and essays there is poetry, reportage and a poignant photo gallery that shows what it’s like to lose someone we love.

Karyl Davison

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