books

books July 14, 2018

The Fireflies of Autumn

How strange it is the way the idyll of life in a Tuscan village can animate a literary mind with tall tales and true of a past that is partly gritty realism and partly a dreamt-up extravaganza of the panorama of life on the Italian land, where every...

books July 14, 2018

Prize Fighter

The author of this first novel is a young playwright from Brisbane by way of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The narrator, Isa Alaki, is a young prize-fighter who’s ended up in Brisbane by way of the same place, but there the biographies...

books July 14, 2018

The Nowhere Child

Thirty-year-old Melburnian Kimberly Leamy leads a quiet life. She lives alone in a Coburg apartment and drives to a local TAFE at night where she teaches photography. One rainy evening between classes, Kim is approached by James Finn, a stranger who...

books July 7, 2018

Light Borrowers: UTS Writers’ Anthology 2018

The UTS Writers’ Anthology sits on an interesting precipice, one no less interesting because it sits there with such grace and style. On the one hand, it’s the outcome of a learning and teaching project; the yearly editorial committee is composed of...

books July 7, 2018

The Art of Taxidermy

Sharon Kernot’s fourth book contains many sweet, darkly beguiling set pieces, which evoke in their way a sense of the beauty that can be seen in nearly anything living or dead. In the opening pages we meet two girls about 11 years old. One of them...

books July 7, 2018

Antidote to a Curse

Antidote to a Curse , the first novel of the Maltese–Australian James Cristina, is an ambitious debut. It is excitingly difficult to classify. It is an erotic story and an international mystery. It is a celebration of Melbourne – with references to...

books June 30, 2018

When Elephants Fight

Introducing They Cannot Take the Sky , a collection of testimonies from people in detention on Manus and Nauru, Christos Tsiolkas wrote of the intellectual abstraction necessary to make refugees’ futures fodder for public debate: “We forget that the...

books June 30, 2018

Swan Song

Does Truman Capote belong to the history of literature or the history of celebrity? Both, of course. The man who imposed himself upon the world as an orchid of graciousness and grotesquerie is a legend in himself, and as the author of Breakfast at...

books June 29, 2018

and my heart crumples like a coke can

Poetry and comedy meet in Ali Whitelock’s poetry collection and my heart crumples like a coke can . As in a stand-up routine, these poems offer sharp social observation, frankness played for laughs and nourishing doses of swearing. And as with the...

books June 23, 2018

Saint Antony in His Desert

A critic once wrote of Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina that a close reading of the novel would yield, if nothing else, a recipe for raspberry jam. A similarly intimate engagement with Anthony Uhlmann’s ambitious fictional debut offers the potential for a...

books June 23, 2018

Ayiti

Roxane Gay is well known as a social commentator and writer of nonfiction. She is the author of Bad Feminist , a book of essays advocating an intersectional feminism, and of the memoir Hunger , which reveals her gang rape at age 12 as the trigger...