Picador, $28 hb, 175 pp, 0 330 36340 9
From at least the mid-1980s, it has been almost obligatory for Australian reviewers to bemoan the dearth of contemporary political novels in this country. In some ways, this is a predictable backlash against the flowering of postmodern fabulist novels of ‘beautiful lies’ (by such writers as Peter Carey, Elizabeth Jolley, and Brian Castro) in the past two decades. And it is also a reaction against our increasingly alarming political climate: economic rationalism, poll-driven government, the increasing gap between rich and poor, the threats to the ideals of reconciliation and multiculturalism. Won’t someone take them on?