The Antibiography of Robert F. Menzies

by Bernard Cohen

Release date: October 2013

The Antbiography of Robert F. Menzies cover


The premise of The Antibiography of Robert F. Menzies, set during the early years of the Howard government, is that the soon-to-be Prime Minister’s invocation of Robert Menzies has the effect of reviving the great man.

Back on earth, this spectral Menzies is at first powerless and anachronistic, little more than a symbol. Three distinct narrators - the Antibiographer, Menzies himself, and J, who seems to have inside knowledge of the back room operation of government - tell how revenant Menzies escapes, becoming larger and larger as he runs across Australia.

Brave and brilliant: Bernard Cohen’s The Antibiography of Robert F. Menzies manages the impossible. At once autobiography, fiction, incisive political analysis and a sustained reflection on biography and writing generally, Cohen has invented a new genre. This is the most daring piece of Australian writing in years”— Mark McKenna (biographer of Manning Clark)

“Gutsy and iconoclastic. Satire should always be this inventive and insightful.” — Nigel Krauth

“Entertaining and impressive work … one is left with resonances of the Menzies voice and character, both Beowulf and Grendel.” — Brian Castro