books

books July 24, 2021

Men without Country

Hear “mutiny”, think “ Bounty ”. The shipboard rebellion of 1789 has enjoyed a long and fertile afterlife. It has inspired three films and more than a dozen books, fiction and nonfiction alike, including several titles promising the “true story”...

books July 24, 2021

After Story

Larissa Behrendt’s second novel, the award-winning Legacy (2009), explored the influence of the father. Her new book, After Story , turns her gaze to the matriarchy, which she examines through the fractured relationship of Jasmine, a successful city...

books July 24, 2021

Gentle and Fierce

There are complex, fundamental questions around how we relate to non-human animals. How can we find a way to organise our systems so they are not exploitative or degrading and are not poisoning the land and water we all depend on? What might a...

books July 17, 2021

The Tribute

W. H. Auden loved detective fiction for the soothing inevitability of its narrative arc. An ordered world is disturbed by an act of murder. The person responsible for that crime is sought, discovered and punished. The world is returned to rights...

books July 17, 2021

Terminal Boredom

Terminal Boredom is a welcome introduction to the Japanese writer Izumi Suzuki, translated here for the first time into English. It’s a collection of funny, bleak and surprising science fiction stories that gnaw at the wobbliness of identity, the...

books July 17, 2021

The Others

Who – or what – are The Others? This question is asked from the opening pages of Mark Brandi’s exquisite new novel. Are they decivilised humans, as in Cormac McCarthy’s The Road ? Are they members of an off-the-grid cult? Are they something other...

books July 10, 2021

Heaven

I was only a few pages into this book when I realised I was gritting my teeth, despite admiring the author’s sharp observations of teen angst, existentialism and desire. That’s because the prevailing mood of this slim novel is dread. The protagonist...

books July 10, 2021

The Mother Wound

“Are we all narcissists who simply haven’t chosen violence yet?” asks Lebanese–Australian lawyer, artist and author Amani Haydar, who was catapulted to public life in 2015 when her father murdered her mother, Salwa. There were no warning signs. He’d...

books July 10, 2021

Where We Swim

The past few years have seen a slew of books that engage with bodies of water, such as Amy Liptrot’s The Outrun , Jessica Lee’s Turning and Victoria Whitworth’s Swimming with Seals . These works chronicle the writers’ swims as a response to traumas...

books July 3, 2021

The Newcomer

A troubled young woman blows in from the big city, only to be found dead at the bottom of a cliff in the windswept, isolated place she hoped would heal her. A thread of secrets and lies drifts among the insular locals as a grieving mother looks for...

books July 3, 2021

The Rabbits

Delia Rabbit does not paint anymore. Yet when her son Charlie goes missing – dredging up memories of Delia’s sister, Bo, who also disappeared when they were teenagers – she picks up her brush once again, as if she can magic him back through art. Set...