Reviewer: Geordie Williamson

By this author

Culture August 28, 2021

Red Heaven

For Virginia Woolf, it was Hamlet. A play the Modernist giant found so resonant and abundant with meaning that she thought an annual re-reading, along with a record of the reader’s shifting responses to the text over time, would form a kind …

Culture August 14, 2021

Dark as Last Night

Tony Birch has published four short story collections in a little over a decade, a dedication to the form with few comparisons in contemporary Australian literature. He writes stories as Ernest Hemingway suggested a true practitioner of the craft should …

Culture July 17, 2021

The Tribute

W. H. Auden loved detective fiction for the soothing inevitability of its narrative arc. An ordered world is disturbed by an act of murder. The person responsible for that crime is sought, discovered and punished. The world is returned to rights. But …

Culture June 19, 2021

The Other Half of You

“Never marry an outsider, never have less than five children, never go against the family, never go against the village, and never question me.” So ran the script that Arab men in Michael Mohammed Ahmad’s family passed onto their sons. Presumably …

Culture June 05, 2021

Stranger Care

Like many before her, Sarah Sentilles had no idea that whole regions of her heart lay dormant until she had a baby. These emotions come in hard and fast and change you physically. It’s like the letting down of mother’s milk. But there is a wrinkle …

Culture May 15, 2021

Night Blue

American author William H. Gass believed colour stood for consciousness and feeling in a world where our vocabulary for such states was impoverished. He wrote an entire book about the colour blue to expand his point. Angela O’Keeffe’s novella about …

Culture March 20, 2021

My Year of Living Vulnerably

Rick Morton writes prose like drag artists perform gender: with unabashed enthusiasm, stylistic flair and carefully calibrated exaggeration. Readers are first distracted by the glitter-bombs of wit on display. Only afterwards do they note the pathos and …

Culture February 20, 2021

The Death of Francis Bacon

Feelings of desperation and unhappiness “are more useful to an artist than the feeling of contentment”, said Francis Bacon, one of the most notorious figures of 20th-century art, “because desperation and unhappiness stretch your whole sensibility”. Agreed, …

Culture October 24, 2020

Our Shadows

In the winter of 1893, the Irish prospector Paddy Hannan and two compatriots noted the presence of gold in the place that would become known as Kalgoorlie. The diggings were soon swarmed, and a bustling mining town grew up in the years that followed, …