books November 9, 2019

Big Sister, Little Sister, Red Sister

Three sisters born to a wealthy Christian family in Shanghai towards the end of the 19th century influenced the course of modern Chinese history. The roles played by the legendary Soong sisters, however, were as different as their politics and...

books November 9, 2019

Battle on 42nd Street

World War II continues to be mined for popular histories extolling Digger courage and endurance. At first glance Peter Monteath’s Battle on 42nd Street looks like such a book – but it is in fact a deeper, compelling narrative by an academic...

books November 9, 2019


Parragirls is an impressive book that serves as both an art publication and a record of social change. As an enduring testament to the experiences of the Parragirls – a collective of former residents of Parramatta Girls Home, where abuse and cruelty...

portrait November 9, 2019

Nuriya Benson

A coffee with podcaster, actor and model Nuriya Benson.

television November 9, 2019

His Dark Materials

With a superb cast and a cracking pace, the BBC–HBO adaptation of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials proves television is the perfect vehicle for the beloved trilogy.

music November 9, 2019

FKA twigs’ Magdalene

Electronic musician FKA twigs is at the height of her powers on her new album, Magdalene, which combines formal ingenuity with visceral emotion.

film November 9, 2019

An audience with Antonio Banderas

Drawing on his recent experience of a heart attack, as well as his decades-long friendship with director Pedro Almodóvar, Antonio Banderas has produced what may be his finest performance in Pain and Glory. “We hadn’t worked together in eight or nine years, but suddenly he calls me and says, ‘Hey, I’m gonna send you something. You’re going to find a lot of references to people that you and I know.’ And I received Pain and Glory. I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe it because he was there, it was such an opportunity. So, I went to him as a soldier, as a very, very plain soldier, ready to listen. Really listen.”

books November 2, 2019

The Eighth Life (For Brilka)

This great shaggy bear of a saga, which runs close to a thousand pages in English translation, is not only the story of a single Georgian family across six generations. It’s also a helter-skelter history of the Soviet Union in all its lurid majesty...

books November 2, 2019

Maybe the Horse Will Talk

Elliot Perlman’s new novel, Maybe the Horse Will Talk , centres on a fable that the protagonist, one Stephen Maserov, tells his sons. In the story a tyrannical king decides he no longer finds his jester funny. Realising his life is at risk, the...

books November 2, 2019

Yellow Notebook

The myth of Helen Garner’s diaries is immense. When she published Monkey Grip 40-odd years ago, with its riveting depiction of emotional and drug squalors in inner-urban Melbourne, she evoked a world that had never been written about before. But the...

portrait November 2, 2019

NSW Rural Fire Service’s Shane Fitzsimmons

A walk through Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park with the New South Wales Rural Fire Service commissioner, Shane Fitzsimmons.