Amy Baillieu

Amy Baillieu is Deputy Editor of Australian Book Review. She completed a Masters of Publishing and Communications at the University of Melbourne in 2011 and holds a Bachelor of Arts from the same university with majors in English Literature and French. Prior to becoming Deputy Editor of ABR in 2012, she worked in other editorial roles at the magazine and was Philanthropy Manager from 2011–12. Amy chaired the ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize judging panel from 2014–17. She regularly reviews fiction for ABR and also works as a freelance editor. 

Amy Baillieu reviews 'Here Goes Nothing' by Steve Toltz

June 2022, no. 443 23 May 2022
Amy Baillieu reviews 'Here Goes Nothing' by Steve Toltz
What happens when we die? Human curiosity about the afterlife has inspired countless artists and storytellers from the earliest myths through to Dante and Boccaccio. More recently we’ve had Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones (2002) and George Saunders’ Lincoln in the Bardo (2017), as well as sitcoms like Netflix’s philosophical The Good Place and Amazon’s capitalist dystopia Upload, and now ... (read more)

Amy Baillieu reviews 'Wild Abandon' by Emily Bitto

November 2021, no. 437 25 October 2021
Amy Baillieu reviews 'Wild Abandon' by Emily Bitto
Joe Exotic. Carole Baskin. Tiger King. There was a moment in early 2020 when these were names to conjure with; when a plague-ridden world became fascinated with the outlandish behaviour of these larger-than-life Americans and their unbelievably legal menageries of ‘exotic’ animals. Now, as we inch closer to ‘Covid-normal’, revisiting this surreal world through Emily Bitto’s exuberantly b ... (read more)

Amy Baillieu reviews 'The Airways' by Jennifer Mills

September 2021, no. 435 19 August 2021
Amy Baillieu reviews 'The Airways' by Jennifer Mills
There is something, or rather someone, in the air in Jennifer Mills’s dark fourth novel. The Airways represents another leap towards the uncanny for Mills, whose previous book, the Miles Franklin-shortlisted Dyschronia (2018), was already a departure from the more traditionally realist modes of her earlier novels, The Diamond Anchor (2009) and Gone (2011), and short story collection, The Re ... (read more)

Amy Baillieu reviews 'The Mother Fault' by Kate Mildenhall

December 2020, no. 427 25 November 2020
Amy Baillieu reviews 'The Mother Fault' by Kate Mildenhall
Kate Mildenhall’s confronting new novel, The Mother Fault, is set in an alarming near-future Australia. Climate change has left refugees ‘marking trails like new currents on the maps as they swarm to higher, cooler ground’. Sea levels have risen, species have died out, farmlands have been contaminated, and meat is a luxury. Unprecedented bushfires occur regularly; technology and surveillance ... (read more)

Amy Baillieu reviews 'The Bass Rock' by Evie Wyld

March 2020, no. 419 24 February 2020
Amy Baillieu reviews 'The Bass Rock' by Evie Wyld
In a 2013 interview with British literary magazine Structo, Anglo-Australian author Evie Wyld recalls lamenting to a writing tutor that she wanted to write a big action thriller, ‘something with Arnold Schwarzenegger and machine guns and blood and explosions’ but was always writing ‘really quiet little paragraphs about Dads’. These paragraphs evolved into her haunting début novel, After t ... (read more)

Amy Baillieu reviews 'The Trespassers' by Meg Mundell

November 2019, no. 416 23 October 2019
Amy Baillieu reviews 'The Trespassers' by Meg Mundell
As the ship carrying nine-year-old Cleary Sullivan and his mother, Cate, sets sail from Liverpool, there is a ‘flurry’ among the passengers. A ‘violent slash of red; tall as a house and shining wet’ has appeared on the dock, visible only to those onboard. Cleary’s mind fills with images of ‘some diabolical creature of the deep, blood erupting from its mouth’. The reality is more pros ... (read more)

Amy Baillieu reviews 'Crossings' by Alex Landragin

June–July 2019, no. 412 23 May 2019
Amy Baillieu reviews 'Crossings' by Alex Landragin
I didn’t write this review. I stole it. Or so a review that echoes the framing conceit of Alex Landragin’s elegant and unusual début might begin. This richly allusive, speculative historical novel opens with a preface from the book’s self-described ‘adopted parent’, the fictionalised ‘Alex Landragin’. Following the sudden death of the ‘Baroness’, an ardent and obsessive biblioph ... (read more)

Amy Baillieu reviews 'You Know You Want This' by Kristen Roupenian

March 2019, no. 409 25 February 2019
Amy Baillieu reviews 'You Know You Want This' by Kristen Roupenian
‘If you think you know what this collection will be like, you’re wrong,’ Carmen Maria Machado (author of the brilliant Her Body and Other Parties, 2017) states on the back cover of Kristen Roupenian’s provocatively titled début, You Know You Want This. It is an unusual description of a short story collection from an emerging author, but Roupenian is not your average débutante. She is the ... (read more)
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