Australian Fiction

Elisabeth Holdsworth reviews 'For the Patriarch' by Angelo Loukakis

Elisabeth Holdsworth
Tuesday, 27 September 2011

For the Patriarch first appeared in 1981 and was much lauded, winning a New South Wales Premier’s Literary Award. The work is an important landmark in migrant writing. Angelo Loukakis, although born in Australia, identifies with the first generation of post-World War II migrants who are under-represented in our literature. Their children and grandchildren are the ones who have engage ...

The latest work by bestselling Tasmanian novelist Rachael Treasure is a collection of short stories, written at various stages of her career. At the age of thirteen, Treasure began writing mock Mills & Boon stories with her friends. The influence, and the mocking tone, are still there in the square-jawed heroes with chocolate- (or coffee-) coloured eyes and dark curls, but the stories veer ...

Thuy On reviews 'All I Ever Wanted' by Vikki Wakefield

Thuy On
Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Sixteen-year-old Jemima (Mim) Dodd lives in a dilapidated house on the edge of suburbia, with an overweight, couch-loving mother. Mim’s two elder half-brothers are in remand for drug-related offences, and she is struggling not to be sucked into her neighbourhood’s vortex of sex, crime, and violence. Mim seems to be a victim both of her hostile social environment and her dysfunctional family ...

Patrick Allington reviews 'Spirit of Progress' by Steven Carroll

Patrick Allington
Tuesday, 23 August 2011

At the beginning of Steven Carroll’s new novel, Spirit of Progress, Michael stands on a platform of the Gare Montparnasse in Paris. Readers of Carroll’s ‘Glenroy’ trilogy will remember that Michael is Vic and Rita’s son – a boy who grew up with an unblinking grasp of his parents’ fractured marriage and who learned early to fend for himself. Now a man, Michael observes the ...

Jay Daniel Thompson reviews 'When We Have Wings' by Claire Corbett

Jay Daniel Thompson
Wednesday, 29 June 2011

When We Have Wings, the first novel by Blue Mountains journalist Claire Corbett, offers an ambitious and politically engaged blend of detective narrative, family melodrama, and futuristic thriller. In the dystopian world that Corbett depicts, social élites are distinguished by their ability to fly. These elect ‘fliers’ soar through the air using genuine wings. One such flier is th ...

Amateurs are untrained but fired by enthusiasm for their subject. By definition, an amateur is passionate about something (in this case love itself, being a lover, and Tilda, the loved object) but the word implies less seriousness than the word ‘science’ does, and can be a pejorative.

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Christine Piper reviews 'The Vanishing Act' by Mette Jakobsen

Christine Piper
Wednesday, 29 June 2011

The début novel from Danish-born, Australia-based author Mette Jakobsen resembles a riddle: a tiny island in the middle of the ocean battered by wind, snow, and rain, sometime after the war; three men, a girl, a dog, a dead boy, a missing woman.

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When Holly Love heads to the Blue Mountains to marry her fiancé, Andrew McNish, after a quick romance, she doesn’t expect to end the day penniless, homeless, jobless, and jilted. After she takes refuge in Andrew’s empty office with her few remaining possessions and a bottle of Moët, Holly’s shock is replaced by a determination to find and confront him. She h ...

The Lace Tablecloth is the second novel by Anastasia Gessa-Liveriadis, who was born in Macedonia in 1935. It is the story of Tasia, who ostensibly serves as the author’s alter ego, living through World War II and the civil war in Macedonia, before emigrating to Australia as a young woman.

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Lorelei Vashti reviews 'Somebody to Love' by Steve Holden

Lorelei Vashti
Friday, 10 June 2011

Steve Holden’s début novel puts us inside the head of a transsexual mortician living in a small Tasmanian town. It could be a stifling and lonely place to be, but the nameless protagonist draws us persuasively into her world. As a mortician, her job is to disguise death, but as a storyteller she is able to illuminate it for our benefit.