In Brief

The narrator of David Malouf’s virtuosic ‘A Traveller’s Tale’ (1982) describes Queensland’s far north as ‘a place of transformations’ and unwittingly provides us with an epigraph for this collection. Without doubt, every story selected from ....

... (read more)

Anna MacDonald reviews 'The Fortress' by S.A. Jones

Anna MacDonald
Thursday, 26 April 2018

This speculative novel is of the Zeitgeist. S.A. Jones imagines a civilisation of women – the Vaik – committed to ‘Work. History. Sex. Justice.’ Although they live apart, in ‘The Fortress’, there is a history of exchange between the Vaik and the outside world. All women are entitled to Vaik justice if they have been violated and ...

... (read more)

Gretchen Shirm reviews 'You Belong Here' by Laurie Steed

Gretchen Shirm
Thursday, 26 April 2018

Interwoven short story collections are often at their best when they offer multiple perspectives on the same event. Laurie Steed does this well in his début novel You Belong Here, as he captures the life of a single family through the multiplicity of its members. Jen meets Steven on her way to a party in Brunswick in 1972 ...

... (read more)

Josephine Taylor reviews 'The Lucky Galah' by Tracy Sorensen

Josephine Taylor
Thursday, 26 April 2018

In 1969, in a quintessentially Australian town on the remote north-west coast, the locals prepare to celebrate their role in the moon landing. In 2000, as the townsfolk brace themselves for a cyclone, Lucky, this novel’s pink and grey narrator, uses transmissions from a satellite dish tuned to galah frequency to make sense of what ...

... (read more)

There is an observation in the titular story of Indonesian writer Intan Paramaditha’s first collection to be published in English, which can be read as the thematic spine of the book: ‘Sometimes it seemed like there was nothing new to talk about. It was the same old story, repeated over and over, all stitched together.’  This notion ...

... (read more)

Set in England during the Big Freeze of 1962–63 – the coldest winter in nearly 300 years – Robert Lukins’s first novel tells the story of Radford, who is sent to live at Goodwin Manor, ‘a place for boys who have been found by trouble’. The Manor is overseen by Teddy, a charismatic depressive, who resists ...

... (read more)

Early on in this book, the fictional Lale Sokolov, based on the real man of that name who survived Auschwitz and its horrors to eventually live in suburban Melbourne, has his arm tattooed. Aghast, he laments, ‘How can someone do this to another human being?’ He wonders if, ‘for the rest ...

... (read more)

A collection organised around ‘the best’ of anything invites a particular kind of evaluation, a seeking of the criteria that such an elastic adjective might imply. The criteria employed for the selection of essays, fiction, and poetry appearing in ...

... (read more)

The title of this book is surprisingly apt. Considering that whales are such charismatic creatures and icons of the conservation movement, it comes as a shock to realise how much of their ecology and behavior was unknown prior to the revolutionary research of marine biologist, Micheline Jenner. Part popular science, part ...

... (read more)

It is a pleasure to read a collection of short fiction in which every story is a work of elegant and meticulous craft. Catherine Cole has brought her significant observational and lyrical skills as a poet, novelist, and memoirist to bear on these stories, and the narratives unfold with cool, restrained style. However, this ...

... (read more)