books

books April 17, 2021

Klara and the Sun

The slick, silver, flying-car-future found in 20th-century fictions always seems to be a decade or two away but never quite here. The only notable flying car in recent history needed the assistance of an enormous rocket, was piloted by a mannequin,...

books April 17, 2021

Turns Out, I’m Fine

Turns Out, I’m Fine is both the title of Judith Lucy’s latest memoir and a hard-won declaration of self. While a simple assertion on the surface, the noted comedian explains with open-hearted insight the influences that held her back from making it...

books April 16, 2021

Radicals: Remembering the Sixties

“I’m not your fucking Uncle and I’m not a fucking Elder.” Aboriginal activist and historian Gary Foley doesn’t take kindly to being pigeonholed because of his seniority. A similar sentiment informs Radicals: Remembering the Sixties , which opens...

books April 10, 2021

A Swim in the Pond in the Rain

In the introductory chapter of A Swim in the Pond in the Rain , George Saunders describes what he has written as a “workbook”. It is a term, he says, that “kept coming to mind” as he was writing, and one that feels fitting because what has resulted...

books April 10, 2021

From Where I Fell

Susan Johnson has written eight novels, a memoir and a nonfiction work. Her latest effort is a contemporary version of the epistolary book once popular in the 18th century. From Where I Fell is a narrative conducted entirely through online...

books July 18, 2020

A Lonely Girl Is a Dangerous Thing

We’re not even halfway through the first page of this book before Jena Lin, former child prodigy, is in a chapel closet furiously banging a fellow musician she only vaguely knows. In her mind she doesn’t refer to him by name, just by instrument:...

books July 11, 2020

Meanjin, Winter 2020

There’s a strange elasticity of time at play in the latest issue of Meanjin , which seems fitting, perhaps, for the particular moment in which we find ourselves, unmoored from our regular habits and lives, newly conscious of our place in history...

books July 11, 2020

The Spill

Imbi Neeme’s The Spill is an engaging novel set in Western Australia that meditates upon the connections between memory, trauma and the imagination. Sweeping across four decades, the novel focuses on the lives of two sisters, Nicole and Samantha:...

books July 11, 2020

Sweatshop Women: Volume Two

In a white-dominated literary world, writing “the other” becomes a political act. This is, to put it lightly, unfortunate. Regardless, decades of omission have led to a reckoning in which writers of colour have carved out new spaces – those that...

books July 4, 2020

One Bright Moon

Andrew Kwong’s memoir, One Bright Moon , recounts his family’s experiences under the first decades of Mao’s New China and their eventual escape, highlighting the everyday moments that underlie historical events. Public executions and famine are...

books July 4, 2020

Daddy Cool

In the 1930s, as Robert Cutter, he sold more copies of “Hawaiian Paradise” than Bing Crosby. He performed before Katharine Hepburn and Clark Gable at the Academy Awards. He hadn’t quite finished divorcing his best friend’s sister when he fell for...