books April 4, 2020

The Animals in That Country

The Animals in That Country , the debut novel of Laura Jean McKay, has certainly hit the jackpot for timeliness. The novel is about a virus that sweeps through Australia, leading to government lockdowns and generating widespread hysteria. That virus...

books April 4, 2020

Thinking Again

You have to hand it to Jan Morris. The Welsh literary legend seems to have gone through her 93 years doing exactly what she wants all the time, always with the same upper-class chutzpah. She was the intrepid journalist who interviewed Eisenhower and...

books April 4, 2020

Three Brothers

Yan Lianke’s Three Brothers is a tender, frank and philosophical memoir of growing up in a rural family cursed by “constant poverty” but blessed with “boundless grace”. Yan, a novelist whose biting political satires ( Serve the People! , for example...

books April 4, 2020

Ronnie Scott on the ties that bind

In his debut novel, The Adversary, Ronnie Scott explores the intense friendships and social rituals of young gay men. Here, he talks about trying to read the unspoken intentions of others, and the unintended consequences of our everyday behaviour. “Of course, it makes sense that people would want to decode others,” Scott says. “Hitching your fate to another person or letting someone into a really private part of your life … is an act of trust.”

television April 4, 2020

Westworld, season 3

With today’s sequels and spinoffs often eclipsing their source material, Westworld, now entering its third season, takes the trend to a whole new level – presenting a futurist world of automatons with staggering richness and intricacy.

books March 14, 2020

The Mirror and the Light

Hilary Mantel has been at it for years now with her Wolf Hall /Thomas Cromwell novels and they are a thing of wonder. The nasty Cromwell – not to be confused with the English Civil War chap who ruled a monarchless Britain with a fist of iron – was...

books March 14, 2020


In the opening pages of Chilean author Bruno Lloret’s stifling, slim novel, translated into English by Ellen Jones, Nancy leaves her father and travels to Santa Cruz, where she meets “a stooped old gringo”. Years later, Nancy, now in her 30s, is...

books March 14, 2020

She I Dare Not Name

Donna Ward’s piano was stranded in the middle of her study. She’d pushed it out from one wall but couldn’t get it to the other side. Two friends, a couple, came to dinner. As they were leaving, they noticed the piano. “This is a time when you ask...

art March 14, 2020

Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Monster Theatres

Aiming to confront audiences with the hidden monstrosities of our age, the Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art provokes crucial questions.

theatre March 14, 2020

Emerald City

MTC and Queensland Theatre’s revival of Emerald City brings the distinctly Australian dramatic idiom of playwright David Williamson into focus once more. Skilfully led by Nadine Garner, the work still has much to offer.

dance March 14, 2020

The Australian Ballet’s Alice Topp

As a homesick teenager from Bendigo, Alice Topp dreamed of dancing with The Australian Ballet. Now she is also a resident choreographer with the company, and only the second woman to hold the title. She speaks about the creative collaboration of her latest work, Logos. “We are in a vulnerable space together, and it’s a safe space and we’re free to have our own voice and it’s a really special journey for me. I can’t imagine creating any other way.”