Gabrielle Carey

Essays & Articles


Essays & Articles | Work In Progress

The Silence Around Schizophrenia

ABC Radio National, May 26 2019

Why is schizophrenia so hard to talk about? Is it because we are convinced there is no cure? Recovery is possible.

Schizophrenia: The Lone Wolf of Mental Illnesses

co-authored with Dr Julia Brown

Canberra Times, May 2019

There is someone in Parliament House with schizophrenia.

At least, statistically speaking.

One in every 100 people suffer from schizophrenia.

The Scariest Word in the English Language

Familiar Strange Podcast (with Dr Julia Brown)

What did Nobel Prize winner John Nash, ballet dancer Nijinsky and James Joyce’s daughter all have in common?

Lucia Joyce.jpg

Beginning In A Garden: on Elizabeth von Arnim

Sydney Review of Books, June 2019

When I first went in search of Elizabeth von Arnim I got on a ferry. I thought, for once, I should do what proper biographers do and begin at the beginning - where she was born. Because so far, all three proper biographers had got it wrong.

Breaking Up with James Joyce

Sydney Review of Books, June 2018

‘The demand that I make of my reader is that he should devote his whole Life to reading my works.’ James Joyce

Dear Jim,

I never thought I’d say it.
It’s over.
After more than forty years.
I mean, what’s in it for me?
You get all the attention.

I’ll keep the academics guessing for the next hundred years, you said.

And you were right.

John Clarke: A Postscript

Sydney Review of Books, June 2017

It was the day that Seamus Heaney died: August 30, 2013. I hadn’t seen John Clarke since the late 1970s. More than three decades earlier, we had met in the hallways of Radio Triple J in Darlinghurst, when I was half of a young singing duo and he was a fresh-faced Fred Dagg.


On Being Australian: A Provocation

Griffith Review, Jan 2015

My father, Alex Carey, a fourth-generation Australian, was a lefty and an activist, who worked long hours as a university lecturer. But despite – or perhaps because of – being a largely absent father, he was my childhood hero. I marched with him in peace protests and listened to him address anti-war rallies; I wore a Troops Out badge to Sutherland North Primary School and showed photos of napalmed Vietnamese peasants to friends whose older brothers had been conscripted. Like my father, I exerted little influence.


Randolph Stow: An Ambivalent Australian

Kill Your Darlings, Jan 2013

In 1997, when I was asked to suggest nominations for the Australia Council Emeritus Awards, Randolph Stow seemed a perfect candidate. I wrote to him to request permission. Even his address was enigmatic: Fishpond Cottage, East Bergholt, Suffolk. Stow responded promptly and politely, grateful for my gesture, but pointed out that he was now a British citizen and that this might make him ineligible...


The Shire Revisited

The Australian, 4 Aug 2012

I was born in Sutherland hospital and brought home to a weatherboard house in Kirrawee that my father boasted had been built from an old boat.


Puberty to The Shire: reality is not pretty

Sydney Morning Herald, 24 Jul 2012

An opinion piece reflecting on our addiction to television and what The Shire (the show) says about viewers. This piece is very much inspired by David Foster Wallace’s wonderful essay E Unibus Pluram: Television and U.S. Fiction (1993). I am also indebted to the research work of UTS postgraduate Annabel Stafford.


Cronulla riots blues

Sydney Morning Herald, 16 Dec 2005

The first page of Puberty Blues describes South Cronulla, the lowest rung of the beach hierarchy, as Dickheadland, where “the uncool kids from Bankstown (Bankies)” hung out. Strangely, not much has changed.


A Pile of Quashed Quotatoes

Australian Literary Review, 2 Jun 2010

A reading group devoted to Finnegans Wake probably seems like the height of eccentricity but it’s not as weird as you might think.


My mother and Mick

Australian Literary Review, 1 Sep 2010

A personal essay about Australian writer Randolph Stow who died on May 29th, 2010.


Narcissistic Navel Gazing

The Australian, 5 Mar 2008

Ruminative, intimate, reflective why does the personal essay cause such angst for Australians?


You do not have the right to die

The Age, 11 May 2009

When most of the world is fighting to live, is suicide the ultimate act of selfishness?


Middle-age a lust cause for women hit by desire

Sydney Morning Herald, 31 Oct 2007

My observations are that women approaching 50 swoon just as easily at the sight of a fit male chest or a sweaty bicep as a middle-aged man might over a girl in a bikini. It’s just that women are better at concealing their lust.