Survey

To highlight Australian Book Review's arts coverage and to celebrate some of the year's memorable concerts, operas, films, ballets, plays, and exhibitions, we invited a group of critics and arts professionals to nominate their favourites – and to nominate one production they are looking forward to in 2016. (We indicate which works were reviewed in Arts Up ...

Last month in Melbourne, a group of book reviewers and literary editors took part in a conference organised by Monash University’s Centre for the Book. There were more than thirty short papers, or ‘provocations’, as they were styled. Our Editor lamented the low or non-payment of some reviewers (especially youn ...

Books of the Year is always one our most popular features. Find out what our 41 contributors liked most this year – and why.

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In the spirit of our annual ‘Books of the Year’ feature, in which we ask a range of writers and critics to nominate their favourite new fiction and non-fiction titles, we asked ten Australian short story writers to nominate their favourite short story collections and individual stories. As this is the first time we have run a short-story themed feature of this n ...

Books of the Year is always one our most popular features of the year. Find out what 30 senior contributors liked most this year – and why.

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Dennis Altman

It is always tempting to use this opportunity to draw attention to books that may have been somewhat neglected, and looking back over 2012 three books stand out: Russell Banks’s Lost Memory of Skin (Ecco), Kim Westwood’s The Courier’s New Bicycle (Harper Voyager), and ...

Patrick Allington

The year, for me, has been dominated by wonky donkeys and dancing kangaroos. As for books for adults, I read more fiction than non-fiction – and, with accidental parochialism, more Australian than international novels. Frank Moorhouse’s Cold Light (Vintage, see the November 2011 ABR review [11/11]), especially its majestic ending, ...

Patrick Allington

While I have been rather underwhelmed by much of the non-fiction I’ve read in 2010, it’s been a terrific fiction year. Although published in 2009, I can’t go past Marie Munkara’s début book, Every Secret Thing (University of Queensland Press, reviewed 4/10, ABR), connected stories set on an island mission. Munkara writes bril ...

Don Anderson

Don Watson’s Recollections of a Bleeding Heart: A portrait of Paul Keating PM (Knopf). Gripping narrative; gripping drama. Plenty of heart; plenty of blood on Canberra carpets. Fond picture of possibly Australia’s last Labour prime minister. Sylvia Lawson’s How Simone de Beauvoir Died in Australia: Stories and essays (UNSW Press). Complex, spacious, committed, convincing, intellectually riveting speculations and reflections. And, finally, anything by Peter Temple, an outstanding crime fiction novelist who combines true grit and a college education with the smells of the city (Melbourne). Try Shooting Staror Dead Point (both from Bantam).

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Never far from one’s mind these days, the events of September 11, 2001, and their direct aftermath in Afghanistan and elsewhere, had to be prominent in this month’s issue of ABR, such is their complex resonance and ubiquitous iconography. To complement Morag Fraser’s essay in this issue on the consequences of ‘September 11’ for civic ...

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