Reviewer: CR

By this author

Books August 04, 2018

My Year of Rest and Relaxation

In the summer of 2000, in a Manhattan apartment, the hero of this vicious novel by Ottessa Moshfegh sets herself up with lots of VHS tapes, puts her bills on autopay, and begins a year of deliberate hibernation. “Sleep felt productive,” she reports …

Books July 14, 2018

Prize Fighter

The author of this first novel is a young playwright from Brisbane by way of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The narrator, Isa Alaki, is a young prize-fighter who’s ended up in Brisbane by way of the same place, but there the biographies diverge. From …

Books July 07, 2018

Light Borrowers: UTS Writers’ Anthology 2018

The UTS Writers’ Anthology sits on an interesting precipice, one no less interesting because it sits there with such grace and style. On the one hand, it’s the outcome of a learning and teaching project; the yearly editorial committee is composed …

Books June 16, 2018

Eggshell Skull

This memoir is named for the legal premise that “a victim must be accepted for who they are individually, regardless of where their strengths and weaknesses place them on a spectrum of human normality. If you strike a person whose skull happens to be …

Books May 12, 2018

On Patrick White

This short book, the third in Black Inc’s “Writers on Writers” series, sees Christos Tsiolkas reviving his love of Patrick White. Tsiolkas acknowledges David Marr’s thorough and acclaimed White biography early on – here he’s writing something …

Books March 17, 2018


Questions of knowing drive this memoir from an author in her early 30s who was raised off the grid by Mormon parents in Idaho before going to college in Utah and, eventually, Cambridge and Harvard. Along the way, she transforms from being a recipient …

Books February 24, 2018

In the Garden of the Fugitives

A friend and I recently argued about Only the Animals by Ceridwen Dovey. A collection of stories about the souls of 10 animals caught up in wars of the 20th century, each of the animals also bears a relationship to a famous literary figure, …

Books February 10, 2018

Feel Free

Given the plots of her novels and the range of her essays, what is it about Zadie Smith, of all the noughties whiz-kid writers, that makes her readers feel as if they know her personally? She’s not particularly confessional; if anything, she’s particularly …

Books January 27, 2018


Bottled is the right word for this graphic novel by Chris Gooch, a young and accomplished member of a talented field of comics-makers coming out of Melbourne and debuting on the international stage. You don’t know what kind of book this is …