books

books November 25, 2017

Domestic Interior

It is hard to read Fiona Wright’s new collection of poems, Domestic Interior , without her award-winning and much-publicised essay collection, Small Acts of Disappearance , in mind. That book dealt with Wright’s eating disorder and Domestic Interior...

books November 25, 2017

Wednesdays with Bob

So much has been written about Bob Hawke – Labor’s longest-serving prime minister, women fawning in his presence, blokes awed by his sporting and drinking prowess – you might wonder what more there is to know about him. But just a couple of pages...

books November 25, 2017

Border Districts

It begins, this mesmeric inward spiral of a book, with a digressive turn towards the past: Two months ago, when I first arrived in this township just short of the border, I resolved to guard my eyes, and I could not think of going on with this piece...

books November 18, 2017

The Woman Who Fooled the World

Despite being fresh in our minds, the case of Belle Gibson is still compelling. A self-styled “wellness warrior” who built a business by hoodwinking millions into believing she had cured terminal brain cancer, Gibson’s fraudulent house of cards was...

books November 18, 2017

Winter

Ali Smith’s 2016 novel, Autumn , was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and acclaimed as the first serious post-Brexit novel. Winter , the second in her “Seasonal Quartet”, is just as stunning and continues Smith’s extreme engagement with reality. The...

books November 18, 2017

Future Home of the Living God

Future Home of the Living God is another example of the growing genre known as climate-change fiction or cli-fi. Louise Erdrich is a multi-award-winning American writer whose mother is First Nation (Chippewa) and whose father is German-American, and...

books November 11, 2017

The Future Is History

For some years now Masha Gessen has been the smartest voice in the room when it comes to interpreting Russia for the West – no small compliment when the rooms in question are The New York Review of Books , The New York Times and, more recently, The...

books November 11, 2017

Heather, the Totality

Matthew Weiner was a key figure in the rise of “premium cable” television. As a writer and executive producer on The Sopranos , and the creator and showrunner of Mad Men , Weiner helped usher in the age of high-prestige novelistic television serials...

books November 11, 2017

Going into Town

Roz Chast is the beloved cartoonist from The New Yorker , whose work has graced its pages since 1978 when she submitted her first cartoon at the age of 23. Her art remains unlike anything else, capturing modern life in often amusing moments. In her...

books November 4, 2017

Can You Hear the Sea?

In Can You Hear the Sea? Brenda Niall, author of biographies of Martin Boyd, Judy Cassab and Daniel Mannix, trains her eye on her grandmother, Agnes “Aggie” Maguire. The daughter of Irish refugees who have flourished in the grim seaport of Liverpool...

books November 4, 2017

The Book of Thistles

Noëlle Janaczewska tells us up front that she’s “interested in unaccompanied language. In collage. In reveries and writings which switch register and jump-cut across genres.” She’s not alone. Didn’t George Saunders just get Man Bookered for...