Australian Fiction

Carol Middleton reviews 'Fall Girl' by Toni Jordan

Carol Middleton
Friday, 10 June 2011

After her success with Addition (2008), Toni Jordan is back with a second novel, Fall Girl, an attempt, according to Jordan, to recreate on the page the romantic screen comedies of the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s...

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Benjamin Chandler reviews 'Madigan Mine' by Kirstyn McDermott

Benjamin Chandler
Wednesday, 08 June 2011

Madigan Mine is the promising first novel by Kirstyn McDermott, who won the Aurealis, Ditmar and Chronos awards for her short story ‘Painless’.

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Peta Murray reviews 'Girl Saves Boy' by Steph Bowe

Peta Murray
Wednesday, 08 June 2011

Jewel Valentine saves Sacha Thomas when she pulls him, unconscious, from a lake. Girl resuscitates boy, and, for better or worse, their fates are sealed. Jewel and Sacha’s voices intertwine throughout this beguiling début novel from Steph Bowe. Written when she was just thirteen, Bowe takes the teen romance genre and gives it an edge. Here is a journey to first love between an enigmatic girl ...

This is a book of rather brief short stories, few of which exceed a dozen pages. This leaves room for nineteen stories in a fairly short collection. Most of them read easily, each one effortlessly displacing its predecessor. There are, of course, standouts, to which I shall return, but the most striking overall characteristic is the distinctively personalised tone. The wide variety of personae ...

Stories of the impact of European discovery, exploration, invasion, and settlement on Australia are naturally a source of fascination to novelists. The microcosm of the island of Tasmania, with its cruel yet beautiful landscape and its unforgiving weather, offers these stories with a special kind of eerie horror. Against this setting, the stories emerge both in concert and in counterpoint, desc ...

Felicity Plunkett reviews 'Five Bells' by Gail Jones

Felicity Plunkett
Friday, 06 May 2011

At the heart of Gail Jones’s Five Bells is a hymn to Kenneth Slessor’s dazzling elegy of the same name, published in 1939.

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Laurie Steed reviews 'Other Stories' by Wayne MacAuley

Laurie Steed
Wednesday, 04 May 2011

How to review a book that includes, as major characters, Simpson and his donkey, the Dig Tree, and a bus that may or may not be a tram?

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The initial premise of John Tesarsch’s first novel sounds like a modern-day reworking of Dickens’s A Christmas Carol as seen through the prism of B-grade Hollywood melodrama ...

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Jackie French, a prolific author, is best known for her children’s books, with variations on historical themes clearly something of a specialty. A Waltz for Matilda, which seems to be aimed at a broader market, builds on the premise that the Jolly Swagman of Banjo Paterson’s song is not alone. His twelve-year-old daughter, Matilda, is with him and witne ...

Pam Macintyre reviews 'Good Oil' by Laura Buzo

Pam Macintyre
Wednesday, 04 May 2011

There is much to like in this début Young Adult novel: its straightforward storytelling, distinctive central characters, well-tuned adolescent dialogue, and humorous depiction of first love...

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