portrait February 17, 2018

My grandmother’s death

Reflecting on what’s lost with the passing of a generation.

culture February 17, 2018

Christopher Hitchens: The lost interview

Writer Christopher Hitchens first met Peter Wilmoth in 1989, covering the Romanian revolution. In 2010, two weeks before Hitchens was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer, the pair caught up for lunch in Sydney. Hitchens died 18 months later, and the tape of that conversation was missing until now. “I know I get very oppressed by the way that every day is more and more subtracted out of less and less.”

film February 17, 2018

‘Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool’

As a fading diva in Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool, Annette Bening reminds the reviewer of why he fell in love with film in the first place.

books February 17, 2018

The Melody

Somewhere in Europe, on a dark night, in a decaying seaside villa, a lonely old widower confronts an intruder in his kitchen. Alfred Busi has long been accustomed to the nightly din created by wild dogs, cats, monkeys, deer, pigs and rats that...

books February 17, 2018

The Passengers

Sarah and her granddaughter Hannah are travelling from San Diego to Australia by cruise liner. It’s a homecoming of sorts, as well as the completing of a circle: Sarah was a war bride who left her family back in Sydney in 1946 to sail to the...

books February 16, 2018

Redemption Point

Candice Fox’s latest comes with an endorsement from genre legend James Patterson, identifying Fox as “A bright new star of crime fiction.” It’s perhaps not an impartial view, as the pair have written bestselling novels together, but that doesn’t...

portrait February 10, 2018

Conductor Alondra de la Parra

At home with the music director of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Alondra de la Parra.

art February 10, 2018

Rembrandt and the Dutch golden age

At an exhibition of the Rijksmuseum’s Dutch masters, the viewer is captivated by the care and penetration in the work of Vermeer, Rembrandt and Hals.

books February 10, 2018

Restless Souls

In Dan Sheehan’s debut novel, four Irish friends, Tom, Baz, Gabriel and Karl, exit high school with varying degrees of ambition. Narrator Karl fancies himself a photographer of bleak spaces, while Tom heads off to war-torn Sarajevo as an unqualified...

books February 10, 2018

The Tattooist of Auschwitz

The story of Lale Sokolov’s three years in Auschwitz-Birkenau was recounted by him to Heather Morris, in Melbourne, as he neared the age of 90. Gita, his wife of almost 60 years, had recently died and Lale was eager, before he joined her, to tell...

books February 10, 2018

Feel Free

Given the plots of her novels and the range of her essays, what is it about Zadie Smith, of all the noughties whiz-kid writers, that makes her readers feel as if they know her personally? She’s not particularly confessional; if anything, she’s...