books

books April 20, 2019

Unspeakable

Silence is not always golden, as the prizewinning British journalist and filmmaker Harriet Shawcross attests in Unspeakable . At the age of 13, she tells us, she lost the ability to speak more than was absolutely necessary to function. Nearly one...

books April 20, 2019

Tired of Winning

Tired of Winning: A Chronicle of American Decline collects into one volume selected dispatches from Richard Cooke, The Monthly ’s United States correspondent. Taken together, they evoke life in Trump’s America and showcase the work of an ascendant...

books April 20, 2019

The Island of Sea Women

The bloody Cold War history of South Korea’s picturesque Jeju Island is not well known, even among mainland Koreans. And yet it’s estimated that more than 25,000 civilians were killed as part of a government-led anti-communist campaign between 1947...

books April 13, 2019

Bent Books’ Kat Mulheran

A chat among the books in a Brisbane bookshop institution.

books April 13, 2019

The Place on Dalhousie

Melina Marchetta’s latest novel opens in a downpour lasting “forty days and forty nights”, establishing a sense of providence that runs through The Place on Dalhousie . While a rural town floods with sorrow, blow-ins Rosie Gennaro and Jimmy Hailler...

books March 30, 2019

Make Me a City

Make Me a City is a biography of Chicago in its first, dynamic century, and a wondrous, bold and playful first novel. Seductively fascinating characters, real and imagined, populate this fiction with their interweaving and intergenerational stories...

books March 30, 2019

Simpson Returns

He lives and yet does not live; he’s flesh and yet not. He’s John Simpson, ill-fated stretcher-bearer of Gallipoli turned national myth, and in this short novel by Wayne Macauley, he’s dredged up from the mists of time along with Murphy the donkey,...

books March 30, 2019

Imminence

Imminence is the title of a newly translated novel from the Argentinian writer Mariana Dimópulos. It is also a word that can allude to, among other things, impending danger or evil. In this tense and deeply unsettling novel, the impending event is...

books March 23, 2019

Exploded View

Road trips, as epitomised by Jack Kerouac’s On the Road , can be a way to unfetter and unbind. Not in Carrie Tiffany’s Exploded View , though, where a car is described as little more than a “moving coffin”. In 1970s Australia, an adolescent girl,...

books March 23, 2019

Eight Lives

Ask a cancer researcher or oncologist about the most exciting developments in their field, and chances are they will mention immunotherapy. By modifying the body’s own immune system to treat disease, it gives doctors the ability to target specific...

books March 23, 2019

Kindred: A Cradle Mountain Love Story

It is the photographs scattered through the text of Kindred that grab our attention first. Two pairs of battered boots in close-up, hanging on a nail. A rudimentary bush campsite where a couple of thin ropes are tied between two trees and draped...