Reviewer: KN

By this author


Books 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. …

Books July 22, 2017

Taboo

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 …

Books 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 …

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Melanie Cheng won the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for this collection as an unpublished manuscript – more evidence perhaps of the renaissance of the short story in contemporary publishing.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

Books 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 …

Books 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 …

Books 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 …

Books 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 …

Books 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 …