books

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...

books July 22, 2017

The Last Man in Europe

Eric Blair died for want of a typist. Self-exiled to a remote Scottish island and hollowed out by tuberculosis, he quailed at the prospect of typing a clean manuscript copy of his just-completed novel. Despite an SOS to his publishers, no typist...

books July 22, 2017

My Lovely Frankie

In My Lovely Frankie , the acclaimed YA writer Judith Clarke’s latest novel, Tom Rowland is 16 years old in the 1950s when he has a religious epiphany of sorts. He’s so struck that he defies the wishes of his loving but not terribly observant...

books July 15, 2017

Draw Your Weapons

“War,” observes the American theorist and former theologian Sarah Sentilles, “is right here”: on the television, in the drone factory an hour’s drive from her home in Idaho, and in the form of an art student, Iraq war veteran and former Abu Ghraib...

books July 15, 2017

The Pacific Room

Michael Fitzgerald’s debut, The Pacific Room , is putatively a novel about the last days of Robert Louis Stevenson. After several years travelling around the Pacific, the Scottish author of Treasure Island and Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde...

books July 15, 2017

Wimmera

In the prologue of Mark Brandi’s award-winning debut novel, Wimmera , something unusual is discovered by two young boys in a fast-flowing river. It’s a green wheelie bin with the lid bolted on, “like someone wanted it closed up really tight … like...

books July 8, 2017

The Secrets She Keeps

It’s amazing the airs trash fiction gives itself these days. The latest effort by Michael Robotham exploits the neat unstartling idea of a woman who works in a supermarket who steals a newborn baby of a posh woman she befriends. It has plenty of...

books July 8, 2017

The Long Goodbye: Coal, Coral and Australia’s Climate Deadlock

What price coal? What is our mania for mining costing the Great Barrier Reef? Or our fertile agricultural lands? Or our economy? Or rural and regional communities? Even our political integrity? Few questions escape the scrutiny of Anna Krien in her...

books July 8, 2017

Being Here: The Life of Paula Modersohn-Becker

The German painter Paula Modersohn-Becker was born in Dresden in 1876 and died in 1907 at the age of 31. She sold only three canvases in her lifetime but is today recognised as an artist of remarkable originality and a crucial link between the...

books July 1, 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 Stage...

books July 1, 2017

Hinterland

Hinterland is one of those big Australian bush novels in which a group of people – some of them sick, some of them rich and vicious, some of them vassals of the rich or put-upon kids – all collide in a big quasi-political story of grand themes and...