books

books November 17, 2018

Unsheltered

The novelist, essayist and poet Barbara Kingsolver has been a giant of American literature since her fifth work of fiction, The Poisonwood Bible (1998). It’s an astonishing novel, and astonishingly good – especially in the subtle, engrossing way...

books November 17, 2018

Preservation

The Sydney Cove has the mixed distinction of being among the first ships wrecked on Australia’s east coast; it was on its way from Calcutta to Port Jackson in 1797 when it wrecked on an island – now called Preservation Island – in Bass Strait...

books November 17, 2018

Crimson

Crimson , the debut novel by Niviaq Korneliussen, comes with an unusual preface: a letter welcoming readers to the “secluded and often unknown island” of her birth but also promising “to show another side of Greenland” to that of stereotype. Instead...

books November 10, 2018

Collected Poems

Les Murray has always been a sort of enigmatic double-headed eagle: one profiled eye looking into the past, the other staring into the future. Of course, we know, or think we know, about the backward-looking Murray, the so-called bard of Bunyah with...

books November 10, 2018

All Among the Barley

“Last night I lay awake again, remembering the day the Hunt ran me down in Hulver Wood when I was just a girl.” The tang of foreboding in this novel’s opening line owes something to its echo of “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.”...

books October 6, 2018

The Bus on Thursday

When Eleanor gets her dream job as a teacher in Talbingo, a hamlet in the Snowy Mountains, it seems as if all her problems are solved. Clean air and country life are just what she needs to complete her breast cancer recovery, with bonus respite from...

books October 6, 2018

Bridge of Clay

In Markus Zusak’s Bridge of Clay , the five Dunbar young men – Matthew, Rory, Henry, Clayton and Thomas – have, since the death of their mother, Penny, and the abandonment by their father, Michael, formed a wild gang with their menagerie of animals...

books October 6, 2018

The World Was Whole

Fiona Wright’s second collection of essays, the follow-up to 2015’s superb Small Acts of Disappearance , is concerned with dark matter. Not the invisible stuff that makes up most of our universe, but those hidden parts of human life made from...

books September 29, 2018

French Exit

Timed to coincide with the release of the film version of his much-loved second book The Sisters Brothers , Canadian author Patrick deWitt drops novel No. 4 in our laps. French Exit is a brief comedy of manners, an amuse-gueule, if you will, about...

books September 29, 2018

On J.  M. Coetzee

Of all the titles in Black Inc’s Writers on Writers series, Ceridwen Dovey’s essay on J. M. Coetzee arrives with the most intellectual excitement, as well as the greatest anticipatory unease. This is because Coetzee – two-time winner of the Booker...

books September 29, 2018

Shell

Kristina Olsson’s novel about the construction of the Sydney Opera House is an appropriate book to launch Scribner Australia, a new imprint of Simon & Schuster. The book is gorgeously designed, with elegant endpapers, a gleaming dust jacket and...