Reviewer: KN

By this author

book October 21, 2017

Friend of My Youth

“No one is sure any more what the novel is,” asserts Amit Chaudhuri in Friend of My Youth. When he tells people that he is a novelist, they sometimes ask, “Fiction or nonfiction?” This book mischievously adds to the confusion. It exists …

book September 16, 2017


How does one approach the art of travel writing? Some writers observe themselves as much as other people and places; others report on adventures in exotic locales; others look for the authentic through the anthropological. Flights, a travel book …

book August 26, 2017

The History of Bees

Cli-fi – climate change fiction – has become so popular it has achieved the status of a genre. That makes it more easily identifiable and more marketable, but it also comes with pitfalls. Conventions carry the risk of appearing formulaic and repetitive. …

book July 22, 2017


Some of the most exciting, tonally ambitious and uncompromising fiction that has been published in Australia in recent years has come from Aboriginal authors – most notably, the remarkable Waanyi writer Alexis Wright and the extraordinary Noongar writer …

book July 01, 2017

The Honeymoon Stage

According to the American poet Kenneth Goldsmith, we have entered an age of “post-internet” poetry, with poets making various uses of the internet without making “a big deal about it”. Oscar Schwartz’s first collection of poems, The Honeymoon …

book June 24, 2017

Australia Day

Melanie Cheng won the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for this collection as an unpublished manuscript – more evidence perhaps of the renaissance of the short story in contemporary publishing. It begins with a distinctly non-literary epigraph: …

book June 03, 2017

Some Tests

Wayne Macauley is an Australian original. He writes in a tradition of dystopian satire – associated most famously with George Orwell’s 1984 or Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World – but in a stripped-back and absurdist style. His …

book May 20, 2017

Men without Women

Murakami’s fiction is instantly recognisable. There is usually a central enigma, cats, a missing person, a strange woman, surreal or playful events, Western pop cultural references, and long dialogues between characters who share their life stories …

book April 29, 2017

Singing My Sister Down

Margo Lanagan’s Singing My Sister Down and Other Stories brings together selected stories from four previous collections with three new ones. They are almost all set in the archetypal world of mediaeval fantasy, popular in YA literature, a …