Susan Varga

Susan Varga’s first book, Heddy and Me, won the Christina Stead Award for non-fiction. Her first novel, Happy Families, won both the Braille and Talking Book of the Year awards. The travel memoir, Broometime was co-authored with her partner Anne Coombs. Her novel Headlong was shortlisted for the Barbara Jefferies Award. Rupture, her first book of poetry, was commended for the Elder Award and was nominated in the ABR's Best Books of the Year in 2016. Her most recent book is Hard Joy (Upswell, 2022).

Susan Varga reviews 'Untethered' by Hayley Katzen

June–July 2020, no. 422 26 May 2020
Susan Varga reviews 'Untethered' by Hayley Katzen
What tethers you to your life? For most people it is the filaments of connection – family, place, friends, work. Hayley Katzen becomes untethered in multiple ways in this engaging and highly readable book. Many will identify with that period of life when you are technically a functioning adult, but there remains a long, long journey ahead to real adulthood. Katzen has a sevenfold whammy: a broke ... (read more)

Susan Varga reviews 'A Lot Of Croc: An urban bush legend' by Kate Finlayson

May 2004, no. 261 01 May 2004
Susan Varga reviews 'A Lot Of Croc: An urban bush legend' by Kate Finlayson
Kate Finlayson’s first novel is a bumpy bronco ride, as exhilarating, confronting, and messy as the Northern Territory that she writes about so passionately. Finlayson’s protagonist, Connie, is stuck barmaiding in a rough city pub. Despite her street smarts and university degree, Connie is starting to go to the dogs along with the pub’s patrons. She decides to leave Sydney to pursue a post-a ... (read more)

Susan Varga reviews 'The Happiness Glass' by Carol Lefevre

April 2019, no. 410 25 March 2019
Susan Varga reviews 'The Happiness Glass' by Carol Lefevre
Carol Lefevre is the author of two novels and a non-fiction book on Adelaide, all well received and awarded. Yet she is not as well known in her own country as she should be, having spent decades in England. I hope The Happiness Glass will remedy that. This is a quietly powerful book; part memoir, part linked short stories. Lefevre’s own voice is shared with the fictional Lily Brennan, her alte ... (read more)

Susan Varga reviews 'Aesop the Fox' by Suniti Namjoshi

September 2018, no. 404 23 August 2018
Susan Varga reviews 'Aesop the Fox' by Suniti Namjoshi
Suniti Namjoshi has made an international reputation as a fabulist and poet with a strong feminist bent. Some Australian readers will be familiar with her work, long published here by Spinifex. Another Australian connection: after leaving India, then Canada, Namjoshi settled in England with her Australian partner, the writer Gillian Hanscombe. Being a fabulist is not a common occupation for ... (read more)