Allen & Unwin

In the past, a twenty-something could exemplify le dernier cri without having to dispense with his bicycle gears, reflectors, and brakes. Worry not. An infinitely cooler trend – less prone to vehicular mishap – is doubtless on its way to erase fixed-gear bikes, or ‘fixies’, from the palimpsest that is sub-cultural fashion. HipsterMattic, blogger Matt Granfield’s amusing début memoir, records his entrée into the fickle world of sartorial politics, organic produce, and National Bike Polo Championships.

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Early in Charlotte Wood’s previous novel The Children (2007), one of Stephen Connolly’s sisters describes him as lost; she says he carries within him ‘a bedrock of resentment … never articulated and never resolved, but which has formed the foundation for his every conversation, every glance from his guarded eyes’. Readers may disagree with this harsh assessment as they read Wood’s new novel, Animal People, in which Stephen is the primary focus – this time more anxious than resentful. He is an inherently difficult character, but not a bad man. Wood unpacks him – sometimes ruthlessly – to reveal a person bewildered by the demands of all kinds of relationships.

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Many Australians are hungry for answers to Indigenous disadvantage. In recent years, anthropologists have been among those who have proposed solutions. This latest offering is from Diane Austin-Broos, professor emerita at the University of Sydney and long-time ethnographer of the ...

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This bold book, with its lucid prose and vivid illustrations, will be discussed for years to come. It is not original in the narrow sense of the word, but it takes an important idea to new heights because of the author’s persistence and skill. Bill Gammage, an oldish and experienced historian of rural background ...

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Beatrice May Ross (Bee) is a list-maker, an amateur detective, a taxidermy assistant, and a regular teenage girl. She falls in love, fights with her best friend, and hates her mother’s new boyfriend, like plenty of adolescents. But she does so while stitching together a dead koala and trying to solve the ever-developing mystery surrounding the death of her mentor.

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When Arnold wrote his famous sonnet, he could have been anticipating John Bell’s book, which repeatedly asks provocative questions about the man and the work that have been his life’s inspiration – and arrives at much the same conclusion as Arnold. We don’t go to Shakespeare for mere knowledge, but for insight, challenge, and enrichment, and perhaps to help us know ourselves and others better. Further, as Bell says: ‘There is no worldwide conspiracy to keep Shakespeare alive. He survives because actors want to go on performing him and audiences want to listen.’ These sentences come from his second-last page, and the rest of the book helps us to understand why.

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Lawyer Nicki Greenberg spent six years converting The Great Gatsby to graphic novel format, an interesting project that was universally acclaimed and respected... ... (read more)

It’s the voice, isn’t it, of a master, so unmistakably in command of a music that is inseparable from the personal modesty that is its signature, which belies all grandeur and refuses to take credit for the gift but has it nonetheless in abundance. When Craig Sherborne read the last poem in this Selected Poems ...

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Gallipoli: A Short History by Michael McKernan & Pozières: The Anzac Story by Scott Bennett

by
May 2011, no. 331

Michael McKernan states in his introduction to his short book on Gallipoli that he is dissatisfied with much writing on military history. He writes: ‘Military history is often presented as a thing of maps and statistics, a brutal narrative based on the deployments and motives of commanders with a score sheet of those who performed well and those who failed. In this book I have tried to go beyond that ... to show that somewhere for each life lost, there was long mourning and deep grief.'

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Owen Graves, by occupation a house wrecker and by nature a collector, is summoned to the world’s tallest building by the president of Chicago’s First Equitable Insurance Company...

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