Reviews

Rabin’s ‘Wood Green’ shimmers—its rhythm compelling

Literary discursiveness in novels can be tedious. So can surprising plot turns in narratives that have been ticking along quite nicely without them. Such antics and glissandos in Sean Rabin’s debut novel, however, are welcome and enjoyable: A smart and compelling game that leads to a surreal ending that (by the skin of its teeth)

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Winton’s ‘Boy Behind the Curtain’ is bracing and revelatory

On the opening page of The Boy Behind the Curtain Tim Winton makes a confession. At 13 he would stand behind a Terylene curtain in a fibro house in Campbell Road, Albany, and aim his father’s .22 Lithgow at passers-by. A lad in his book The Turning does the same thing. Neither of them shoots.

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EOFY (Part 2) – the rest of this year’s fiction that got away

Finally, I give you EOFY (Part 2). This is fiction I’ve read in 2016 but not blogged about (until now). There’s an array of titles here for you to seek out in the New Year. Enjoy! You can also read EOFY (Part 1) here. The Salamanders by William Lane Peregrine is a self-absorbed artist who

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Where can this family lay their heads?

At first glance this moving children’s picture book seems to retell the journey of the flight into Egypt by Joseph and Mary after Jesus is born. Soon we see it’s a more contemporary tale of a family forced from their home to trudge across a desert in search of a new place to settle safely.

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McCreery’s ‘Loopholes’ packed with marvellous morsels to savour

Author and editor Sue McCreery’s New Year’s resolution in 2015 was to write a story a day for a year. Loopholes, her delectable new collection of microfiction released on December 1 by Spineless Wonders, is the result. ‘Can’t you order a tender eye?’ a woman asks of her partner in ‘Monoculus’—and it was from this

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Drill into this new edition Aussie dictionary and you’ll strike gold

Is it okay to marry a dictionary? I’d seriously settle for a long honeymoon with the new edition of The Australian National Dictionary in a wood-panelled library that serves Campos coffee and homemade scones. What a treasure! This two-volume tome will take you on an amazing voyage of discovery and reminiscence. Perhaps you’ve never heard

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Let’s speed date Wright’s ‘Fine’ new short story collection

Why do we say we’re fine when we’re not? What vulnerabilities might we be hiding? What hurts are we anxious to conceal? Speed date Wright’s accomplished debut collection here—then go to second base with its sharp and shapely short stories to find out. It’s speed dating, right, so three questions only—you get in, get dirty

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Shibboleth: A well-shaped collection with a thread of darkness

Even if you buy Shibboleth & other stories for the title story alone, you’ll be happy with your purchase. Jo Riccioni’s story eloquently illuminates the sticky cobwebs of past intimacies and how they catch at a young woman’s mind and emotions as she walks into them. When Riccioni writes of the laughter that ‘hangs amorphous

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Clever thinking drives Steiner’s ‘The Last Wilkie’s’

A recent and marvellous live reading of Jon Steiner’s story ‘Poioumenon’ gave me fresh insight into the power of Steiner’s words and the clarity and cleverness of his thinking. ‘Poioumenon’ is from Steiner’s collection The Last Wilkie’s and Other Stories. It’s a weird and wonderful riff on envy and its particularly convoluted manifestation in the

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