Strange Truths. "Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 16: 1940-1980, Pik-Z" by John Ritchie and Diane Langmore (eds). [review]
Like sport, the "Australian Dictionary of Biography" is a national institution. Since publication commenced in 1966, the appearance of each new volume is one of the perennial delights of Australian letters. Now, with Volume 16, General Editor John Ritchie and deputy Diane Langmore present the lives of 673 Australians who died in the period from 1940 to 1980. This new volume, the last of four in its series, represents Australians whose names fall alphabetically within the division Pik–Z. While Volume 16 will have a guaranteed life in private and public reference libraries, it deserves to be read in its own right as a key to understanding the human condition shaped and defined by the peculiar exigencies of Australian life and experience. If we need to be reminded, it will tell us that Mark Twain's 'land of the most beautiful lies' is also the repository of many strange truths.