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Mark O'Flynn

White Light pieces together fragments of a colourful Australian suburbia: a bat-featured baby born to secretive neighbours; a young girl tipping over a bulldozer while playing on dormant construction equipment; and gold bullion appearing outside a rundown rooming house. The characters, like the book’s kaleidoscopic cover, are splintered. O’Flynn often creates original plotlines to emphasise this.

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Grassdogs by Mark O’Flynn

October 2006, no. 285

Grassdogs’ literary antecedents jostle like faces crowding around a porthole on a departing emigrant ship. One can tick them off like books on a required reading list for a twentieth-century Australian literature course. The doppelganger Jekyll-and-Hyde protagonists (blithe young city lawyer Tony Tindale and his bestial, increasingly wretched uncle Edgar) might have been written with actor Dan Wyllie in mind. Edgar even loses teeth in a car accident, just like Wyllie.

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Dispossessed by Philip Hodgins

April 1994, no. 159

With unsentimental compassion and irony, Dispossessed tackles the weighty topic of the rural crisis. In a sense the title of Phillip Hodgins’s verse novella gives too much away, casting a deliberate shadow over all that follows. Yet the manner in which Hodgins spins his yam is constantly engaging.

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