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Amy Baillieu

News from the the Editor's Desk in the August issue of Australian Book Review.

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News from the the Editor's Desk in the September issue of Australian Book Review.

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Clade by James Bradley

March 2015, no. 369

Set in an unsettlingly convincing near future, James Bradley’s fourth novel, Clade, opens with climate scientist Adam Leith walking along an Antarctic coastline reflecting on the state of the world and on his relationship with his partner, Ellie. After six years together, their relationship is under pressure as Ellie undergoes fertility treatment. Adam is ambivalent about bringing a child into a world that he has recently conceded to himself is ‘on a collision course with disaster’, while Ellie is fiercely determined to do so. Now, as the ground both literally and metaphorically shifts beneath Adam’s feet, he waits for Ellie to call him with the results of her latest round of treatment.

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AmyAmy Baillieu 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. She also attended the Sorbonne in Paris, where she completed a Cours ...

There are some writers whose style is so distinctive they can be identified from a single paragraph. Sydney writer Debra Adelaide is more of a chameleon. Letter to George Clooney is Adelaide’s first short story collection. She has previously written three novels and edited several anthologies. Her first novel, The Hotel Albatross (1995), is the meand ...

The Sleepers Almanac No. 8 edited by Zoe Dattner and Louise Swinn

April 2013, no. 350

The latest Sleepers Almanac opens with a surreal encounter between a suave cane toad, presented as an amphibian Jiminy Cricket, and the guilt-wracked mother of a drug addict (‘Happy Monday’), and ends with the elaborate imaginings of a woman trying to distract herself from the reason why she is sitting in a hospital waiting room (‘How to Talk to a Fire Extinguisher’). Other themes echoing through the anthology include infidelity, sibling rivalry, mental illness, bullying, child abuse, ageing, death, and the complex nature of love. So far, so grim. Fortunately, there is a playful warmth to the Almanac that belies the gravity of its subject matter without lessening its impact.

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The beauty and danger of the ocean and its unpredictable nature have long been fertile subjects for artists and writers, and the sea a popular and potent metaphor. In Favel Parrett’s trim, lyrical début novel Past the Shallows, shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award,the sea is once again symbolic. In fact, nearly everything in this novel feels symbolic, sometimes distractingly so.

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Eleven Seasons is an impressive début novel from this year’s Vogel Prize winner, Paul D. Carter. A nimble and understatedcoming-of-age story, it takes its rhythm and structure from football, but encompasses so much more. Over the course of the eponymous eleven seasons, Carter follows Jason’s progress from a forlorn, yearning boy into an adult, while exploring issues of identity, belonging, friendship, love and the more sinister aspects of what loyalty to a teammate might involve. Written in the present tense, the narrative has a dreamlike quality. The prose is clear and powerful, with moments of brilliance and brutality. The occasional fumbles and unsatisfying moments are easily forgiven.

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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 ...

Having been ‘completely screwed over by men’, Libby Cutmore is on a self-imposed and inevitably short-lived ‘man-fast’. Although she loves her job at the (fictional) National Aboriginal Gallery in Canberra, memories of New York adventures with her friend Lauren (Manhattan Dreaming, 2010), and Libby’s own sense of exclusion now that her two closest ...

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