Nathan Smith

is a freelance writer.

By this author

Culture April 22, 2023

The Secret Life of You

In our wired world, to be offline and alone feels rare. Recent books such as Jenny Odell’s How to Do Nothing and Cal Newport’s Digital Minimalism have become popular guidebooks for resisting the corrosive attention economy and embracing …

Culture February 04, 2023

Why Does It Still Hurt? How the power of knowledge can overcome chronic pain

Chronic pain can be cruel. One in five people live with it, while many more are helpless bystanders to its suffering. From this sobering standpoint, journalist and former doctor Paul Biegler examines whether an armoury of knowledge can retool our approach …

Culture October 01, 2022

Cells: Memories for My Mother

In Gavin McCrea’s memoir are many cells, both real and imagined. There’s the mental institution in which his father takes his own life. The family house that imprisons his “mad” brother – a place that keeps the family captive too. The figurative …

Culture August 06, 2022

Legitimate Sexpectations: The Power of Sex-ed

Almost one in five Australian women – and one in 20 Australian men – will experience sexual violence after the age of 15. These bleak statistics open Katrina Marson’s Legitimate Sexpectations, a measured yet impassioned call for comprehensive …

Culture June 11, 2022

Our Members Be Unlimited: A comic about workers and their unions

Unionism has been declining for three decades in Australia. Today trade union membership is about 14 per cent of all Australian workers, having peaked in the 1970s. Young workers are less likely to be union members now than older ones. Even so, unions …

Culture May 07, 2022

Open Secrets: Essays on the Writing Life

It’s news to few Australian writers that the gig can be gruelling work. It also doesn’t pay the bills – at least, not consistently. “Most Australian writers don’t get paid much for their work, not by publishers, not by readers, not by the government,” …

Life March 18, 2017

Queer connections on the road

Making connections overseas can be challenging, but, for the author, a candid yet fleeting exchange provides unexpected direction.

Travel August 06, 2016

A walk through Harlem

The gentrification under way in Harlem is delivering a new population drawn to the history but disconnected from it.

Life July 11, 2015

The meditative benefits of staying between the lines

Stressed out by the fast-paced digital world? Perhaps it’s time to break out the colouring books.