books August 8, 2020

Utopia Avenue

Towards the end of Utopia Avenue , the latest novel by English author David Mitchell, we find Jerry Garcia sitting on a couch at his home in San Francisco, holding forth on the power of great music to make things happen in the world. It’s late 1968...

books August 8, 2020

Why Visit America

Matthew Baker seems to have a tireless capacity for invention. His new collection of stories gives us 12 alternative versions of the United States, or projections for its future. Among them are worlds where citizens over 70 are expected to...

books August 8, 2020

How to Talk about Climate Change

Watching the news of the 2018 climate strike, Rebecca Huntley suddenly understood that when the young people demanded action from the older generation, they were talking to her. She had, she says, a visceral reaction to this realisation. As a lawyer...

fiction August 8, 2020

Capricorn Highway

Bill watches Joyce gather the kids for a photo. He’s seated on the front lawn, next to the overgrown bougainvillea, an oxygen tank by his side, tubes to his nose. He watches Joyce arrange the children – their adult daughters who both turned up in...

television August 8, 2020

Search Party

As a dark comedy about self-absorbed millennial killers, Search Party focuses heavily on the lies that bind. In doing so, it also tells a lot of insightful truths.

art August 8, 2020

Wiradyuri conceptual artist Amala Groom

For Amala Groom, making art is a collaboration between herself and her Wiradyuri ancestors. Drawing on her history and culture, as well as her legal training, she seeks to subvert the colonial project. “Colonialism affects all of us … To be change agents we have to be inclusive, and Aboriginal culture is inclusive.”

fiction August 1, 2020

Riding trains with Thelma Plum

Penrith Station was as broken as the shattered heart I carried. The few of us waiting on the train to central Sydney provided each other with more than the required distance. Some of us were sad, others miserable. The coronavirus had beaten us into...

music August 1, 2020

Three versions of ‘Blue’

The take on a 1998 Europop hit by three artists highlights a contemporary desire to find comfort in nostalgia and the innocence of a bygone age.

books August 1, 2020

Sydney deputy lord mayor Jess Scully

Since becoming the deputy lord mayor of Sydney, Jess Scully has continued her fight for social equality. As she pushes for affordable housing and investment in the ‘caring economy’, she remains hopeful of instituting long-lasting change. “I think there’s an opportunity for us right now to make sure that participatory democracy and the care economy and affordable housing are some of the things that become practical, real projects.”

books August 1, 2020

After Australia

“The distance between / what is / and what will be / is less than you think …” So says a snippet from Ambelin Kwaymullina’s poem “Message from the Ngurra Palya”, one of 12 contributions to After Australia , an anthology edited by Michael Mohammed...

books August 1, 2020

The Most Beautiful Job in the World

In The Most Beautiful Job in the World – Italian anthropologist Giulia Mensitieri’s scathing takedown of the luxury fashion industry – a supermodel undresses for a shoot. She peels off her robe to reveal flesh-coloured compression socks and a thong...