books

books September 22, 2018

The Year of the Farmer

The Year of the Farmer begins with an ominous scene of dogs running at night with “blood on their minds” towards sheep trapped in their paddocks, “innocent to the coming game”. Dogs aren’t the only predators in this darkly comic new novel by the...

books September 22, 2018

Wintering

Krissy Kneen’s novels have often centred on bodies, how they morph and constrict, how they can offer transcendence or be prisons for the soul, how they merge into other shapes, beyond desire, beyond gender, beyond human. In her latest, Wintering ,...

books September 22, 2018

The Word

Kenric is an executive at The Firm, a Sydney advertising company. He has a knack for branding products and he “knows what draws consumers to words. He knows the magic of words … their hidden life”. Kenric feels out of place among the lascivious...

books September 15, 2018

Blue Lake

They’re a weird mob, psychogeographers. Always drifting through boondocks and “liminal spaces”, interrogating their forsakenness. Iain Sinclair in rust-industrial London, Martin Amis bound for the airport on foot. It’s not as dull as it might sound...

books September 15, 2018

Coach Fitz

Tom is a young man in need of a spiritual guide and a personal trainer, someone to rehabilitate his damaged self-image and bring down his half-marathon time. Enter Coach Fitz. This guru in a yellow legionnaire’s cap is an exceptional long-distance...

books September 1, 2018

Dark Water

One fascinating aspect of our literary moment is the way contemporary novels seek to recycle the energies of the form during its 19th- and early 20th-century heyday. Take Jonathan Franzen’s Purity , published in 2015, which borrows from Dickens,...

books August 25, 2018

Man Out of Time

One of Stephanie Bishop’s major preoccupations in her previous novel, 2015’s award-winning The Other Side of the World , is parenthood: the vulnerability it causes and the shifts it brings to identity and one’s deepest longings. One of the two...

books August 25, 2018

The Biographer’s Lover

Ruby J. Murray is the grandniece of Arthur Boyd and she has written an attractive, slender novel about an obscure but very great painter and the young biographer who creates the artist’s posthumous reputation. This is a book where lurid family...

books August 25, 2018

Our Life in the Forest

Our Life in the Forest is the fifth of French writer Marie Darrieussecq’s books to be published in Australia by Text Publishing. Before this, there were three other novels, and a biography of German Expressionist painter Paula Modersohn-Becker, the...

books August 18, 2018

The Football Solution

You can tell from the title that George Megalogenis is drawing a long bow here. And he knows it. But as hyperbole goes, it’s harmless enough. Even as you smile at the cockiness of the thesis – premiership-winning footy as a model for political...

books August 18, 2018

No Country Woman

“Family and selflessness are at the heart of the culture that I was raised within,” writes Zoya Patel, whose debut memoir charts the “mishmash” of her Fijian–Indian–Australian heritage. “Self-determination is a conceit, and the wellbeing of the...