ABR Arts

Most Popular

Book of the Week

Online Exclusives

A Bigger Picture by Malcolm Turnbull

Reviewed by

Malcolm Turnbull looks us straight in the eye from the cover of this handsome book, with just a hint of a smile. He looks calm, healthy, and confident; if there are scars from his loss of the prime ministership in August 2018, they don’t show. The book’s voice is the engaging one we heard when Turnbull challenged Tony Abbott in July 2015 and promised a style of leadership that respected people’s intelligence. He takes us from his childhood in a very unhappy marriage, through school and university, his astonishing successes in media, business, and the law, his entry into politics as the member for Wentworth, and ends with his exit from parliament.


April 2019, no. 410

Meredith Curnow is Publisher of the Month

I am very proud of most of the books I have published. Some that stand out include Kate McClymont and Linton Besser’s He Who Must Be Obeid, which involved us all in a world of pain, but also instigated the case against Eddie Obeid. Working with Julia Gillard on My Story was rather special, and last year I published Rusted Off from Gabrielle Chan ...



Open Page with Trent Dalton

I’m the buffoon with the flailing arms thanking every last booklover who dropped some hard-earned money, cleared the diary for an hour, hopped in their car, paid for parking, found the right tent on the map, and came to hear me talk about the thing that makes my legs move.


March 2019, no. 409

Open Page with Debra Adelaide

Generally where I am right now, in my study writing, but also in the garden. It is very uncomplicated. 

From the Archive

May 1984, no. 60

The Story of Short Stories in Australia

People produce art to explain and honour the life they know, and to many the short story is a logical medium for that expression. The more futuristic art gurus, however, believe that printed pages are destined for extinction as an art form and that the short story will be first on the Dodo list.

From the Archive

April 2006, no. 280

Shadowboxing by Tony Birch

Shadowboxing is a collection of discrete short stories charting the arduous journey of the narrator, Michael Byrne, from childhood to fatherhood. Living in the inner-Melbourne suburbs of Carlton, Richmond, and Fitzroy in the 1960s was for many a tough proposition – and the Byrne family is no exception. Their household is headed by an embittered alcoholic whose violent tendencies are a source of constant dread. Money is always tight, and the family’s grip on any sort of security or comfort is invariably tenuous. Yet when the stories have been told, what we are left with is not a litany of woe but rather powerful examples of resilience and resourcefulness provided by the inhabitants of these impoverished communities.

From the Archive

September 1999, no. 214

Inside the Rocks: The archaeology of a neighbourhood by Grace Karskens

On getting hold of Grace Karskens’s new book, I went straight to the colour plates of artefacts resurrected from the neighbourhood of the title, part of the historic Rocks area of inner Sydney. I love to look at salvage: pieced-together dinner plates, dolls’ heads, and brass buckles and buttons whose verdigris defies any amount of elbow grease. But the photo that really grabbed me was of a dug-up gold wedding ring, modelled on one finger of a hand neatly manicured but for a crescent of black dirt embedded deep under the thumbnail. To me, that minute trace of the Rocks neighbourhood spoke vividly – more so, somehow, than any of the scrubbed-up artefacts – of the peculiar joys of dabbling in other people’s cesspits and of the adventure into history that underlies Inside the Rocks.

Recent Issues