The man traditionally held to have written about half of the New Testament is variously known as Saul of Tarsus, Paul the Apostle, and St Paul. Initially an enthusiastic persecutor of the earliest Christians, he underwent a dramatic conversion shortly after the Crucifixion, and it is on this moment that his life, and Christos Tsiolkas’s new novel, both turn. Damascus covers the period 35–87 ce, from shortly before Paul’s conversion until twenty or more years after his death. This chronology is not straightforwardly linear, with an assortment of narrators recounting their personal experiences, at various times and from various points of view, of Christianity’s birth and spread amid the brutal realities of the Roman Empire.... (read more)
In early 2018, Christos Tsiolkas published a long essay as part of a series commissioned by the Sydney branch of PEN, an organisation dedicated to freedom of expression. ‘Tolerance’, which appeared in Tolerance, Prejudice and Fear (2008), is an interesting document, not least for the way it highlights how compelling yet exasperating a writer Tsiolkas can be.... (read more)
Ten years after the first ABR FAN Poll, the second one was limited to Australian novels published since 2000 (though we received votes for recent classics such as 1984, Voss, and Monkey Grip). When voting closed in mid-September, Richard Flanagan’s Booker Prize-winning novel The Narrow Road to the Deep North emerged ...... (read more)
So often, the language used to discuss Australian literature is that of anxiety. A.A. Phillips’s ‘cultural cringe’, coined in 1950, is never far from the critical surface as readers and commentators grapple with questions of national and literary identity. The report of the 1995 Miles Franklin Award’s judges offers one such example ...... (read more)
The Western world was well into the swing of our proverbial digital age when Patrick White passed away at his home on Martin Road in Centennial Park at the age of seventy-eight in 1990. Yet, as Christos Tsiolkas suggests at the outset of this taut and lively meditation on Australia’s greatest novelist, Patrick White is often ...... (read more)
The slap that I wanted to deliver with that book was to a culture in Australia that had literally made me sick, sick to the stomach. A middle class culture that struck me as incredibly selfish and ungenerous … I wanted to try and write a book ... that represented that culture. And to do that, honestly, I had to put myself in the middle of it. I also had to put my Greekness in the mid ...
Christos Tsiolkas (1965–) is a Melbourne author, playwright, and screen writer. His début novel Loaded (1995) was made into the film Head-On (1998). Since then he has written five novels, including Dead Europe (2005), which won the Age Book of the Year fiction award, The Slap (2008), which won the 2009 Commonwealth Writer's Prize,... (read more)
Susan Lever reviews Merciless Gods, a new collection of short stories by Christos Tsiolkas, and concludes that, though admirable, the work amounts to confined literary art.... (read more)
Rosemary Sorensen review Christos Tsolkas’s new novel, Barracuda, another bracing study of masculinity, this time focusing on an ambitious and conflicted young swimmer at a Melbourne private school.... (read more)
Ben Eltham reviews 'Left Turn: Political Essays for the New Left' edited by Antony Lowenstein and Jeff Sparrow
Few would suggest that global capitalism is in rude, unqualified, health. Greece has just voted on whether to stay in the Euro, global markets continue their rollercoaster trajectory, and millions of workers in advanced Western economies remain jobless. With much of the rich world halfway into a lost decade, capitalism is suffering another of the periodic and devast ...