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Book of the Week

Stone Yard Devotional

Stone Yard Devotional by Charlotte Wood

'Arrive finally at about three.’ The opening sentence of Charlotte Wood’s seventh novel does a lot in five simple words, emblematic of her gift for compression. With the direct, truncated prose of a diary entry, we are suddenly on intimate terms with another mind, impatient to begin. The unnamed narrator is a woman alone, returning to the country town where she grew up and where her parents are buried. ‘Your bones are here, beneath my feet,’ she thinks, standing at their graves for the first time in thirty-five years. So begins her reckoning.




From the Archive

December 2007–January 2008, no. 297

On the Road: The original scroll by Jack Kerouac

In one of the most famous, free-flowing and deceptively careless paragraphs in his second novel, On The Road (1957), Jack Kerouac (1922–69) writes with disarming honesty about his relationship with ‘Dean Moriarty’ (Neal Cassady) and ‘Carlo Marx’ (Allen Ginsberg), each of whom would later become, like Kerouac himself, central figures in the mythology of the ‘Beat Generation’:

From the Archive

January-February 2015, no. 368

Mary Eagle reviews 'Strange Country' by Patrick McCaughey

The cover assembles the book’s title and author’s name (writ very large) with a photograph of him, in an art gallery, before a wide yellow landscape by Fred Williams. Turning to the viewer, Patrick McCaughey is about to launch into a story that will satisfy the curiosity teased by the name of the book, Strange Country: Why Australian Painting Matters.

From the Archive

April 1987, no. 89

Sister Ships by Joan London

Fiction which is well-choreographed is difficult to resist. Joan London’s first collection of short stories, Sister Ships, is a dancerly go at mimesis; poised, unerring, it keeps its promises. And to run the tautological line between ‘literature’ and life, as all writing must, reminds us of the possibility for faux pas as well as the pas de deux; in one instance, an amnesia as to what has already been said, and in the other, stories which are so gracefully designed that they can say the same thing twice, or more, and we remember and witness such repetitions with pleasure.