Reviewer: Andrew Fuhrmann

By this author

Culture February 01, 2020

Baron Wenckheim’s Homecoming

László Krasznahorkai’s most recent novel, first published in Hungarian in 2016 and now available in a formidable translation by Ottilie Mulzet, captures with inspired but sinister exactness the feeling of a collective headlong flight – terrified …

Culture December 14, 2019

Wake, Siren: Ovid Resung

Ovid’s The Metamorphoses, that epic medley of transfiguration and rebirth, is one of the more controversial texts in the canon of European literature because so many of the myths it narrates involve some form of sexual violence. In Wake, …

Culture November 02, 2019

The Eighth Life (For Brilka)

This great shaggy bear of a saga, which runs close to a thousand pages in English translation, is not only the story of a single Georgian family across six generations. It’s also a helter-skelter history of the Soviet Union in all its lurid majesty …

Culture September 07, 2019

The Rich Man’s House

Andrew McGahan’s first novel was not, in fact, Praise, that best-selling classic of Australian dirty realism. According to a Sydney Morning Herald interview from 2011, his first book-length fiction was actually a thriller in the style …

Culture August 17, 2019

The Enchantment of the Long-haired Rat

That versatile polymath historian Tim Bonyhady’s latest book is nostalgic in the weirdest way. Where, he asks, are the great rat plagues of yesteryear, those rodent hordes that, in times past, regularly swept the back blocks of Queensland, New South …

book July 27, 2019


Lisa Gorton’s Empirical is a remarkable achievement. With its mesmerising diorama-like clarity and its air of meditative stillness, it’s both uncompromising in its intelligence and superbly readable despite its fragmented style. The book’s …

Culture June 15, 2019

Intimate Antipathies

Luke Carman, you ask? I imagine him up there on his mountain at the end of the line where it’s always the proverbial dark and stormy night, languishing in a monkish cell, tap, tap, tapping away at a block of old acrimony as he dreams up his revenges. Intimate …

Culture April 20, 2019

The Island of Sea Women

The bloody Cold War history of South Korea’s picturesque Jeju Island is not well known, even among mainland Koreans. And yet it’s estimated that more than 25,000 civilians were killed as part of a government-led anti-communist campaign between 1947 …

Culture April 06, 2019

Invented Lives

The London-based literary agent Ed Victor once said to the writer Susan Johnson that he’d never come across a people more insecure about their relationship with their homeland than Australians – except, of course, the Russians. So perhaps it makes …