Hodder Headline

Robert Menzies cast such a large shadow that the contribution of his immediate successors has tended to be belittled, if not forgotten altogether. Each of the three is remembered mostly for things unconnected with their prime ministerships: Harold Holt for the manner of his death; John Gorton for his drinking ...

... (read more)

During my reading of Susan Varga’s first work of fiction, Happy Families, I was drawn back into the fields of family and emotion as offered in the two recent American films: The Ice Storm and Six Degrees of Separation. Each of these works hard at tracking the intricacies of humans connecting and communicating, the tectonics of family and emotional landscapes. Happy Families shows us, up close, mothers and daughters, aunts and grandchildren and cousins, lovers and spouses and neighbours. The drive of the work is, as with the two films cited, about how trauma is carried in the body, how we try and trick ourselves about recoveries. And, to a lesser extent, how we integrate the apprehension of difference into our experience of walking through the world. Varga’s novel is one of restitution and connection.

... (read more)