books

books August 13, 2022

Provocations: New and Selected Writing

Many years ago, before algorithms channelled our interactions with the written word, it was possible to stumble upon the quirkiest pieces of writing. I once turned a page in The New Yorker to a very long story about American baseball. I knew little...

books August 13, 2022

Should We Fall to Ruin

Gallipoli’s power to sustain the culture wars is probably the only thing preventing the Pacific theatre from becoming Australia’s most important wartime legend. The Pacific resonates deeply with the present, as an ascendant Asian power expands south...

books August 13, 2022

Grounded: How soil shapes the games we play, the lives we make and the graves we lie in

The power of simile and metaphor often hits its peak in the poetic line. When describing something as apparently commonplace as soil, a writer might be forgiven for unleashing all their rhetorical strategies to enliven the topic. But as Alisa Bryce...

books August 6, 2022

Train Lord

“The way of the train is also the way of the boarding school, the convent, the prison and the psychiatric hospital,” Jenny Diski wrote in her 2002 travel memoir Stranger on a Train , in which she interweaves the story of a trip around the United...

books August 6, 2022

Legitimate Sexpectations: The Power of Sex-ed

Almost one in five Australian women – and one in 20 Australian men – will experience sexual violence after the age of 15. These bleak statistics open Katrina Marson’s Legitimate Sexpectations , a measured yet impassioned call for comprehensive...

books August 6, 2022

Mothercare: On Obligation, Love, Death, and Ambivalence

Early in Mothercare , a hospital room offers a good analogy for the incompetence of the American healthcare system. Lynne Tillman’s mother has had a seizure and is rushed to hospital in an ambulance. Once she gets there, she’s barely lucid,...

books July 30, 2022

Lessons from History

In 1984, the historian Geoffrey Blainey sparked a nationwide debate by denouncing the government for its supposed preference towards Asian migrants. The subsequent normalisation of the far right means Blainey’s comments no longer shock as they once...

books July 30, 2022

Words are Eagles: Selected Writings on the Nature and Language of Place

Award-winning novelist and essayist Gregory Day has written widely on subjects as varied as the powerful owl and Australian poetry. Many of his nonfiction essays have appeared in notable literary publications over the years, each demonstrating Day’s...

books July 30, 2022

A System So Magnificent It Is Blinding

The peculiar thing about grief is that the world continues. Or, as Amanda Svensson writes, “Nothing ever ends, but everything ends.” Svensson’s newest novel, A System So Magnificent It Is Blinding , considers how different textures of loss are...

books July 23, 2022

Harvest Lingo

In his 14th collection, Harvest Lingo , Murri poet Lionel Fogarty continues his decades-long commitment to disrupting colonial language, colonial thought and their machineries of oppression. Fogarty creates poems in which language is liberated,...

books July 23, 2022

Serendipity

The origins of particular foods, drinks and specific dishes are a fascination for many. Everyday items such as cornflakes and Nutella have origin stories. Many of these origins come from failures, mistakes or simple serendipitous events. Oscar...