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 August 18, 2018

Hey Brother

Trysten Black is a 14-year-old rural Huck Finn type with an overbearing best friend, a crush on new girl Jessica at school, and a brother, Shaun, who is off fighting the Taliban. His mother, Kirsten, listens for war updates on a portable radio while...

books August 11, 2018

Always Another Country

Sisonke Msimang’s father fled South Africa and the violent repression of the African National Congress (ANC) in the early 1960s. She was born in Lusaka, Zambia and raised in a family at the centre of a revolutionary community in exile. They were...

books August 11, 2018

The Rapids

Sam Twyford-Moore, former director of the Emerging Writers’ Festival, has written a weird, garrulous, scattergram of a book about mania and the experience of life at what Saul Bellow once called the speed of intensest thought. So what is The Rapids...

books August 11, 2018

Confessions of the Fox

How fast the world moves, and how nice this can be for those of us caught in its spin. Just a few years ago, it would have seemed weird for a debut novel to combine the ingredients the author has mixed here, but in the literary landscape of 2018,...

books August 4, 2018

Too Much Lip

It’s the beginning of a Western: an outlaw on the run from police rides into town with a bag of ill-gotten loot. In Melissa Lucashenko’s wonderful Too Much Lip , the outlaw is Kerry Salter, her ride is a stolen Harley and she’s returned to her...

books August 4, 2018

My Year of Rest and Relaxation

In the summer of 2000, in a Manhattan apartment, the hero of this vicious novel by Ottessa Moshfegh sets herself up with lots of VHS tapes, puts her bills on autopay, and begins a year of deliberate hibernation. “Sleep felt productive,” she reports...