Francesca Sasnaitis

Francesca Sasnaitis reviews 'On the Blue Train' by Kristel Thornell

Francesca Sasnaitis
28 October 2016

On the Blue Train is Kristel Thornell’s reimagining of Agatha Christie’s mysterious disappearance in 1926. Thornell might have let her imagination fly, given that both Dorothy More

Francesca Sasnaitis reviews 'Inside the Art Market: Australia’s galleries: A history 1956–1976' by Christopher Heathcote

Francesca Sasnaitis
28 October 2016

Like any good storyteller, Christopher Heathcote begins by setting the scene: ‘one of those scruffy unpaved streets on the outer fringe’ of Melbourne on a wintry day in 1956 ...

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Francesca Sasnaitis reviews 'Commonwealth' by Ann Patchett

Francesca Sasnaitis
23 September 2016

Life, one of Commonwealth's minor characters remarks, is a series of losses. Teresa Cousins acknowledges that life is also other, better things, but that it is the losses that define us ...

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Francesca Sasnaitis reviews 'Whisperings in the Blood: A memoir' by Shelley Davidow

Francesca Sasnaitis
27 April 2016

Shelley Davidow's multi-generational memoir begins in 1913 with her Jewish great-grandfather Jacob escaping the pogroms of tsarist Lithuania for the rigours of life in the American Midwest. The English language eludes Jacob, who struggles to make a decent living in his adopted country. Poverty contributes to his wife's untimely death. Jacob's son and daughter are co ... More

Francesca Sasnaitis reviews 'Leaving Elvis and Other Stories' by Michelle Michau-Crawford

Francesca Sasnaitis
25 February 2016

Michau-Crawford's accomplished début collection bears comparison to Tim Winton's impressionistic The Turning (2005) and Elizabeth Strout's Olive Kitteridge (2008), though Leaving Elvis is properly neither the portrait of place nor of a single character. The place might be any dilapidated small town in the wheat-belt region of Western Australia. Th ... More

Francesca Sasnaitis reviews 'Crow's Breath' by John Kinsella

Francesca Sasnaitis
29 July 2015

Recently I drove east from Perth through wheat belt country to the Helena and Aurora Ranges, past Cunderin, Kellerberrin, and Koolyanobbing, towns whose names echo the rhythms of the landscape; past the shimmering salt pan that was once Lake Deborah East; down rutted tracks which changed abruptly from red earth to yellow sand; past the ravages of iron ore mines to t ... More

Francesca Sasnaitis reviews 'A Madras Miasma' by Brian Stoddart

Francesca Sasnaitis
02 March 2015

Brian Stoddart is a scholar and expert in the history of modern India, with sixteen works of non-fiction to his credit. His first novel, A Madras Miasma, is set soon after World War I. The body of an Englishwoman is found with her head buried in the rancid mud of the Buckingham Canal, behind Chepak Palace. Superintendent Christian Jolyon Brenton Le Fanu, head ... More

Francesca Sasnaitis reviews 'Springtime' by Michelle de Kretser

Francesca Sasnaitis
16 December 2014

Anyone who has lived in Sydney’s inner west will recognise the terrain of Springtime: gardens redolent of mystery and decay, shabbiness, unexpected vistas, and streets that Michelle de Kretser describes as running ‘everywhere like something spilled’.

Frances has moved to Sydney with Charlie, who has left his wife and son Luke behind in Melbourne ... More

Francesca Sasnaitis reviews 'Australian Love Stories', edited by Cate Kennedy

Francesca Sasnaitis
29 October 2014

You are perfect for this story. I will never meet you.’ We are invited into Australian Love Stories and into Bruce Pascoe’s erotic reverie with this line from ‘Dawn’. The reader is embraced, as the luxuriating eye of Pascoe’s narrator embraces the recumbent body of the woman beside him. His gaze is illicit, touch forbidden. We are privileged voyeurs ... More

Francesca Sasnaitis reviews 'Cicada'

Francesca Sasnaitis
27 March 2014

Moira McKinnon practised as a community doctor in Halls Creek, in the Kimberley, where her first novel Cicada is also set. She was joint winner of the 2011 Calibre Prize for her essay ‘Who Killed Matilda?’, the story of an Aboriginal woman whose audacity and traditional ... More

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