NEWS/RECOMMENDATIONS (Staff, 7-9, 10-12)
Far too many Australians know too little about Asia. This is not just my opinion, for while funding for government programs to increase engagement with Asia may wax and wane, all sides of politics have commissioned reports that show that most Australians know very little about the region’s history, geography, politics or economic importance to Australia.
Our journalists scamper off to report on populist issues, without knowing a word of Japanese, Chinese or Indonesian, (which must be the easiest language to learn on the planet). (Can you imagine English journalists reporting in France needing an interpreter??) They get away with this because hardly anybody in Australia knows any better. Australians travel to Bali and Phuket for holidays without even knowing the name of the country’s capital and they too often trample on local customs and cause offence. And while Baby-Boomers know a bit about the Vietnam War and the murderous regime of Pol Pot, most young people know nothing about it.
This is the thinking of Lisa Hill, prolific reviewer of fiction and author of ANZ LitLovers LitBlog. Her review of Figurehead by Patrick Allington is typical of all her reviews – intelligent, honest, informative and comprehensive. She makes you wish you could retire to read. Read the rest of her review here.
If you’re looking for a place to go for reading recommendation, Lisa’s blog is the place to go. She reads and reviews voraciously. Look back through the past posts to get a sense of the breadth of her reading.