Reviewer: KN

By this author

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Melanie Cheng won the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for this collection as an unpublished manuscript – more evidence perhaps of the renaissance of the short story in contemporary publishing.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 …

book April 15, 2017

American War

Omar El Akkad is an Oregon-based award-winning journalist who has covered the war in Afghanistan and the military trials at Guantanamo Bay. His debut novel, American War, is science fiction, but its plot is ably informed by El Akkad’s understanding …

book March 25, 2017

Bright Air Black

[TOC:ul In this story] The story of Medea, icon of female vengeance, has inspired many storytellers. Pasolini and Lars von Trier have offered filmic adaptations. The poet Robin Robertson recently translated Euripides’ play. The novelist Christa Wolf …

book March 04, 2017

An Uncertain Grace

[TOC:ul In this story]Krissy Kneen is known for her frank and feminist depictions of sex. Her latest novel again explores the erotic, playfully, controversially, but ultimately didactically. The novel is made up of different parts, introducing us to …

book February 25, 2017

The Landing

[TOC:ul In this story] Paul Croucher is the owner of Red Wheelbarrow Books in Melbourne’s Brunswick. The store’s name – recalling William Carlos Williams’ famous poem – suggests much about the provenance of his poetry. Croucher’s The …

book February 11, 2017

Storm and Grace

[TOC:ul In this story] Kathryn Heyman’s Storm and Grace is essentially a novel about domestic violence, though you will find only veiled references to this subject in the recommendations on the book’s cover, which emphasise – somewhat …