Reviewer: Maria Takolander

By this author


Culture July 20, 2019

From Here On, Monsters

Elizabeth Bryer’s From Here On, Monsters is a genuinely exciting debut from an Australian writer. This novel is playful, allegorical and formally ambitious, qualities that lend it a distinctly international flavour, in the way of Peter Carey’s …

Culture July 06, 2019

The Yield

The past is fraught territory, particularly when it comes to those territorial pasts marked by trauma. How can such histories be explored without proving overwhelming? It is a question raised at the beginning of Tara June Winch’s new novel, The …

Culture June 29, 2019

Hitch

A woman hitchhiking alone through the Australian outback: it is a scenario that has been used as fodder for many horror stories. It is also the scenario of Kathryn Hind’s debut novel, Hitch, which introduces readers to the vulnerable Amelia, …

Culture June 08, 2019

The Subjects

Why are dystopias more popular than utopias? The growing genre of cli-fi, for instance, is almost universally pessimistic, and the TV phenomenon of The Handmaid’s Tale will continue to air its nightmares in a third series. And why, even when …

Culture March 30, 2019

Imminence

Imminence is the title of a newly translated novel from the Argentinian writer Mariana Dimópulos. It is also a word that can allude to, among other things, impending danger or evil. In this tense and deeply unsettling novel, the impending event …

Culture March 16, 2019

The Rip

In Mark Brandi’s new novel The Rip, a homeless, young, female drug addict says to the reader: “I don’t think I could ever make you understand what it’s like for me, unless you could be me for a minute.” Of course, this is precisely …

Culture February 23, 2019

brookings: the noun

Male writers and critics seem more prone than their female counterparts to making claims about each other’s genius. After revisiting Jennifer Maiden’s work for this review, I feel it’s time to buck that trend. Maiden’s work is idiosyncratic, urgent …

Culture February 16, 2019

Imperfect

Thanks to Snapchat and Instagram filters, and cosmetic injectables and other “treatments”, modern standards of beauty are perhaps more standardised than ever. Uneven teeth, lined foreheads, body hair, jowls – you need to look hard to find them, …

Culture February 09, 2019

Green Shadows and Other Poems

Gerald Murnane’s insular, self-reflexive and obsessive style of essayistic fiction has attracted special praise of late. However, while The New York Times may have described him as “the greatest living English-language writer most people …