books

books June 19, 2021

The Other Half of You

“Never marry an outsider, never have less than five children, never go against the family, never go against the village, and never question me.” So ran the script that Arab men in Michael Mohammed Ahmad’s family passed onto their sons. Presumably...

books June 19, 2021

Building for Hope: Towards an Architecture of Belonging

Architecture is inherently optimistic: its founding assumption is that a better world is possible through design. Sometimes this can seem utopian or idealistic, sometimes naively Pollyanna. But for better or worse, that hopey-changey thing (as Sarah...

books June 19, 2021

Real Estate

Who, in this interminable year, hasn’t longed to be somewhere else? Perhaps a grand old house, with a pomegranate tree and a fountain, a blue sky and an even bluer sea? A place where you can swim all day and where a roving population of friends and...

books June 12, 2021

One Hundred Days

Having published memoir, essays and fiction, Alice Pung has demonstrated an ability to write with flair and flexibility across genres. While each story is unique, there’s a comfort in reading a book by Pung, as you know the characters and narrative...

books June 12, 2021

Ten Skies

The feature film Ten Skies (2004) by American avant-garde artist James Benning is easily summarised: 10 views of the sky, each photographed from a static camera angle. As Erika Balsom asks at the beginning of her superb book, “How many films can be...

books June 12, 2021

Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty

Some journalists are very comfortable documenting power. Their scrutiny is not the empty threat of an insider, nor are they driven by a tabloid nose for scandal. What inspires them is fascination: the desire to understand those who make, and can...

books June 5, 2021

Tomorrow Sex Will Be Good Again: Women and Desire in the Age of Consent

In the year 2021, Australia is experiencing a deluge of sexual assault testimonials. The voices of Grace Tame, Brittany Higgins and Chanel Contos have coalesced into a tidal wave made formidable by countless others who have, in their wake, named...

books June 5, 2021

A Matter of Death and Life

Anyone in a happy marriage – perhaps even more so in an unhappy one – ponders the prospect of their spouse dying. A Matter of Death and Life , co-written by a happily married couple who are coming to the end of their lives, is an extraordinary...

books June 5, 2021

Stranger Care

Like many before her, Sarah Sentilles had no idea that whole regions of her heart lay dormant until she had a baby. These emotions come in hard and fast and change you physically. It’s like the letting down of mother’s milk. But there is a wrinkle...

books May 29, 2021

The Winter Road

As dusk closed in on isolated Talga Lane on a cold winter’s night in 2014, Glen Turner, a compliance officer with the Office of Environment and Heritage, crouched behind his vehicle in terror. He was bleeding from bullet wounds and pleading for his...

books May 29, 2021

Flock: First Nations Stories Then and Now

Flock is a brief glimpse at the past 25 years of First Nations writing. As Ellen van Neerven, the collection’s editor, writes, “many collections have come before this one”. There have been a lot of stories, shared between kin, across Country and...