books September 18, 2021

Beirut 2020: The Collapse of a Civilization, a Journal

Charif Majdalani is one of Lebanon’s most laurelled novelists. Born in Beirut in 1960, he writes in French and has been celebrated across the Francophone world. He lived in France for 13 years from 1980 and was later a professor of French literature...

books September 18, 2021

Checkout 19

Claire-Louise Bennett’s 2015 novel Pond was a minor masterpiece offering an account in granular detail of the life of a solitary woman living on the west coast of Ireland. Her second novel, Checkout 19 , is more expansive in scope and scale, as...

books September 18, 2021

Ten Thousand Aftershocks

The Christchurch earthquake of February 22, 2011 hammered Michelle Tom’s house, but the terror didn’t stop that day. It was repeated in the “ten thousand aftershocks” of her memoir’s title. One day the following December after two giant aftershocks...

books September 11, 2021

Beautiful World, Where Are You

Across the world, readers are lining up to buy 30-year-old Irish writer Sally Rooney’s third novel, Beautiful World, Where Are You . It follows Conversations with Friends (2017) and Normal People (2018), the latter having sold more than three...

books September 11, 2021

Title Fight: How the Yindjibarndi Battled and Defeated a Mining Giant

“I do not feel or see myself as something that is separate and different from Yindjibarndi Country,” Michael Woodley told the Federal Court in 2017, “because my spirit comes from my Country and is always connected to it.” Woodley, chief executive of...

books September 11, 2021

The Sweetest Fruits

Monique Truong often stumbles upon her characters in the margins of other books, appearing at the edges of another’s story. The protagonist of her award-winning debut novel, The Book of Salt (2003), appeared first in The Alice B. Toklas Cookbook ;...

books September 4, 2021

Author Claire  G. Coleman

Noongar author Claire G. Coleman’s new book – her first nonfiction title – looks at colonisation through a very personal lens.

books September 4, 2021

Sold Down the River

How might you manage the limited water on the driest continent on Earth? You could depend on systems of law, custom and spirituality, as Indigenous people did for tens of thousands of years. You could rely on elected governments, rather than private...

books September 4, 2021


After 16 years, Morris Gleitzman brings his best-selling series to a close, saying an emotional goodbye to his hero, Felix. The books have now stretched well beyond their beginnings, where Gleitzman introduced young readers to the horrors of the...

books September 4, 2021

The Magician

In 2005, Irish writer Colm Tóibín published The Master , a work of fiction about Henry James that went to great lengths to plumb the gay depths of that notably celibate man. The novel was widely admired but struck some of us as having an oily...

books August 28, 2021

Travelling Companions

“How to be alone yet to be in company? That,” the unnamed narrator of Travelling Companions tells us, “is the conundrum.” As a train strike throws him into travel limbo with other tourists on the Spanish–French border, he observes: “We are a group...