Ashley Hay

ABR has published an environment issue every year since 2014, with our next one appearing in October. This themed issue has transformed our coverage of sustainability, climate change and the environment – right throughout the year.

During this ever-worsening climate crisis, it’s good to look back at the ABR Fellowship essay that appeared in our 2015 environment issue – Ashley Hay’s ‘The Forest at the Edge of Time’. Ashley has published novels and multiple works of non-fiction. In 2002, Ashley published Gum, a book that explores the eucalypt. Here she revisits the ‘majestic or scrawny’ gum. 

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I was never brave enough to visit Pompeii, partly due to an overactive imagination that combined a sense of the ferocity of Vesuvius’s blast in 79 CE and the volcano’s ongoing muttering with thoughts of the city’s Roman residents, cauterised in the eruption: outstretched hands; a dog expiring mid-roll; a mother and her child ...

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To complement our coverage of new books on the subject, we invited a number of writers, scholars, and environmentalists to nominate the books that have had the greatest effect on them from an environmental point of view.

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Hundred Small Lessons holds powerful truths, simply told. It is a story of parenthood and place, where small domestic moments, rather than dramatic public displays, are the links between people, the present and the past. Each moment occurs in and around a familiar, ordinary Brisbane house ...

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Why do you write? It’s a hopeful or optimistic thing, I think, to try to catch bits of life, large or small, and explore them, understand them, then offer them up to readers who might also connect with them or for whom they might make sense.

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

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In 2015, ABR published Ashley Hay's Dahl Trust Fellowship essay, titled 'The Forest at the Edge of Time', that examines ‘what our mongrel trees tell us about our past, the present, and the future’. The essay was the main feature in our October 2015 Environment issue. The ABR Podcast is available from iTunes and SoundCloud. You can also listen to episodes on our website.

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When David Attenborough's memoir Life on Air was published in 2002, the magazine I worked for arranged for me to interview him. By then I had been interviewing people for a while and thought myself quite unflusterable. I keyed in the number, listened to the dial tone. And then it was as if the call had been answered by God (interesting, as an atheist). My r ...

Environmental times

For the second year in a row, generous support from the Bjarne K. Dahl Trust

Let’s begin, somewhere around 4,500 bce, in a small patch of soil on the south-west coast of Western Australia. An ovule and some pollen combine on the crest of a ridge overlooking the sea, and a plant begins to grow. It’s a little thing with juvenile leaves which will become a faint ...

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