Tasmania's journal of discovery

Ferreting out the truth

imageCheeky: Confessions of a Ferret Salesman
By Bob Cheek
Published by Pipeclay Publishing
Paperback, 398pp, illustrated
ISBN 0 9758303 0 9
rrp $29.95

Your man with a thin skin, a vehement ambition, a scrupulous conscience, and a sanguine desire for rapid improvement, is never a happy, and seldom a fortunate politician.

Anthony Trollope, The Prime Minister (1875)

When I decided to migrate from Sydney to Tasmania ten years ago, people questioned my sanity. “You’ll freeze,” they said. “They’re all throwbacks down there,” they warned. “But it’d be a nice place if it had an economy.”

Weary of big-city journalism and the pressures of living with four million go-getters, I wanted to be free of the clamour of the chattering classes and the endless knockabout of politics. I made the move anyway, and for the last decade I’ve paid little attention to what passes for political life on this self-absorbed island, being too preoccupied with doing the best I can, a very overcrowded profession in these parts.

Continued …

The Literary Lunch

The Literary Lunch
Selected stories
By Geoffrey Dean
Published by Roaring Forties Press
ISBN 0 9756797 0 8

Geoffrey Dean is a Tasmanian who has been in print for five decades — ever since his first short story ‘The Last Page’ won a short-story competition run by The Mercury and made Dean the richer by a couple of pounds.

He was overseas at the time, doing what was becoming a pilgrimage in post-WWII years for young Australians, working their way around Europe and Canada. His brother Graeme had found the story and entered it without Dean knowing.

Continued …

When we eat

When we eat
A seasonal guide to Tasmania’s fine food and drink
By Liz McLeod and Bernard Lloyd
Photography by Paul County
Published by The Culinary Historians of Tasmania 2004
ISBN 0-646-44132-9

Here we have the main course, so to speak, following the delicious and tantalising entree that was the first book by the Culinary Historians of Tasmania — Before we eat.

Where Before we eat talked about Tassie foodstuffs and the people who grow, prepare and serve them, When we eat presents recipe after recipe that will have the armchair chef salivating and the earnest cook out in the kitchen sharpening up the knives.

As the authors say “its 328 pages lay out the journey of food and drink in Tasmania, from the wild to the table, and from the remotest past to the present”. The high priestess of good Aussie tucker, Maggie Beer, wrote the foreword.

Continued …

Dancing on the Edge of the World

Dancing on the Edge of the World
Essays on Birds and the Lighter Side of Life
Donald Knowler
Published by Donald Knowler
ISBN 0 646 42882 9

Once a prominent literary form, the essay has declined in status as our collective attention span has been truncated by the quick, the slick and the superficial; the six-word sound-bite, the snarling shock-jock, the second-by-second editing that makes most television so enervating to watch and the near-universal rule, imposed by half-educated newspaper editors, that journalists should write for those with a reading age of twelve, have drowned out the quiet and the contemplative.

Continued …

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