books

books December 14, 2019

The Best Australian Science Writing 2019

We are living on the doorstep of a new global dark age, in which superstition, conspiracy theories and distrust of scientific expertise have risen hand in hand with right-wing authoritarianism. The howls of climate crisis denialists fill the air,...

books December 14, 2019

Wake, Siren: Ovid Resung

Ovid’s The Metamorphoses , that epic medley of transfiguration and rebirth, is one of the more controversial texts in the canon of European literature because so many of the myths it narrates involve some form of sexual violence. In Wake, Siren ,...

books December 14, 2019

Incidental Inventions

Incidental Inventions collects 52 short essays written by the much-loved and famously reclusive Italian novelist Elena Ferrante for The Guardian over a year. Ferrante describes the project as “a collaboration” – having agreed to write this column...

books December 14, 2019

Writer Lindy West

Using her brilliant wit as a tool for political activism, writer Lindy West has fought for social justice issues such as fat liberation and abortion rights. The author of Shrill – now an acclaimed TV series – and The Witches Are Coming speaks about her work. “There’s something intoxicating about being defiant, especially when you start to articulate all the ways in which your life has been made smaller and more difficult by systems of power.”

books December 7, 2019

Paris or Die

Jayne Tuttle’s memoir, Paris or Die , is a literary suitcase packed with sparkling friendships, startling discoveries, mad love, intriguing challenges and hot sex. Quite a bit of hot sex, in fact. There’s also mortal danger and helpless loss, both...

books December 7, 2019

New Australian Fiction 2019

Within the pages of the first short-fiction collection from Australian literary journal Kill Your Darlings , we are transported to a series of engrossing micro-worlds. Editor Rebecca Starford writes in the introduction that “stories offer a way to...

books December 7, 2019

Darkness for Light

Emma Viskic blazed onto the literary crime fiction scene in 2015 with the private investigator Caleb Zelic. The character of Caleb has been deaf since a childhood bout of meningitis from which he never fully recovered. In many ways the author works...

books November 30, 2019

Publisher and writer Hilary McPhee

Once a powerhouse of Australian publishing, Hilary McPhee traded the comfortable life she knew for a mysterious job with Middle Eastern royalty. In writing about this adventure and the collapse of her marriage to Don Watson in her new memoir, Other People’s Houses, she traces her strange journey back to herself. “I dreaded coming back to Australia because I left feeling I’d lost everything, I’d lost my marriage. We’d been together for more than 20 years, so it was quite a lot of life.”

books November 30, 2019

We Refugees

The problems of the world have become so urgent that it seems we have finally moved beyond tired arguments about whether literature should be political or apolitical. Literature and activism now go hand in glove, as evidenced by literary responses...

books November 30, 2019

Fascists Among Us

From Hitler and Mussolini to the Trump administration, Jeff Sparrow’s Fascists Among Us outlines how and why contemporary fascism leads to acts of terror. Sparrow contextualises fascism by linking 1930s ideologies and the contemporary movement,...

books November 30, 2019

The Shelf Life of Zora Cross

Zora Cross was a poet and journalist writing a hundred years ago. The obviousness of the assertion that if she had been a man we would be considerably more familiar with her oeuvre doesn’t make the reality of it any less enraging. Her 1917 poetry...