books December 15, 2018

The Feral Detective

Jonathan Lethem’s 11th novel is an oddity. It begins five days before Donald Trump’s inauguration, when 33-year-old New York Times journalist Phoebe Siegler quits her job, partly in protest at her employer inviting the “Beast-Elect” in for a meeting...

books December 15, 2018


The first thing you need to know about this novel that seems to capture Trump’s America so well is that Stephen Markley wrote it before Trump became president. Which is pretty much the same thing you need to know about Trump’s America – that it pre-...

culture December 15, 2018

Author Melissa Lucashenko aims for the heart

Melissa Lucashenko’s latest novel, Too Much Lip, exhibits a sharp defiance inspired by the author’s discovery of a gutsy family matriarch. She talks about family, country and mysterious mergings of fact and fiction. “I’ve only once started a novel I didn’t go ahead with. A novel is a huge undertaking, so I’m loath to rush in. It’s like waiting for fruit to ripen. There’s a certain berry that ripens at Easter, and there’s no point looking for it at Christmas time.”

portrait December 15, 2018

Artist Oki Sato

A walk through the mind of MC Escher with Oki Sato, from Japanese design studio Nendo.

art December 15, 2018

Patricia Piccinini & Joy Hester: Through love…

Surprisingly, proximity to Patricia Piccinini’s unsettling hybrid forms brings the darker themes of painter Joy Hester’s work to the fore, in the joint exhibition Through love... at TarraWarra.

books December 1, 2018

New Jerusalem

Some time in the middle of last century, large numbers of people studied the history of the Renaissance and the Reformation. And what a contrast the periods formed. There was all that humanistic sunlight pouring in, all that Italian civilisation,...

books December 1, 2018

The White Darkness

“What would Shacks do?” That’s what adventurer Henry Worsley asked himself whenever he faced a tough decision. Ernest Shackleton, the polar explorer, had been his hero since boyhood, and the challenges Worsley set himself as an adult would be framed...

books December 1, 2018

Turned On

This book about sex robots from academic and journalist Kate Devlin is big on breadth and charm. I foreground this because it’s presented by the publisher as a rather different book, a study that will give readers whole new ways of thinking about...

portrait November 24, 2018

Opera director Sarah Giles

A conversation side-stage with the director of Victorian Opera’s Lorelei.

television November 24, 2018

House of Cards

The final season of House of Cards may have lost every plot save for the one the former president is buried in, but with Robin Wright’s perfectly costumed and coiffured Oval Office connivances it remains a delight to the eye.

art November 24, 2018

The Everted Capital and Your Shadow Rising

Two exhibitions recently opened at Hobart’s Museum of Old and New Art highlight the ability of works to create new hypotheses. They also prompt viewers to ponder fiscal imperatives and the so-called ‘MONA effect’.