It’s hard to think of an Australian writer who puts the cat among the pigeons quite like Helen Garner. From Monkey Grip (1977) to The First Stone (1995), to The Spare Room (2008) and later works, her fiction and non-fiction titles have landed with a bang. They’ve been the kind of works that get people
I couldn’t be happier that Michelle Cahill’s mesmerising short story collection Letter to Pessoa has just won a NSW Premier’s Literary Award. I’d been feeling it deserved more attention, so I’m glad it’s been recognised. It’s a seriously good book, so let’s go on a date with it now to find out why … What
Louis Nowra’s new book Woolloomooloo: A Biography explores the history, people and streets of one of Sydney’s most notorious and eclectic suburbs. Nowra, who lives on the boundary between Woolloomooloo and Kings Cross, wanted to capture the spirit and ‘Chaucerian richness’ of his suburb before it evanesced. Woolloomooloo has always been a dumping ground for
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)
Ice floes and frostbite in The North Water made it the perfect novel to read during Sydney’s February heat wave, which saw the mercury hitting the high 30s for days at a stretch. Set partly on a Yorkshire whaling vessel in the late 1850s, the novel also transported me from the irritating Trump mania and
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.
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
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.
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
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