South Australia remains something of a national contradiction in terms, and this is brought out well in this richly diverse and varied collection of essays and stories. Shifting its focus away from Adelaide to many of South Australia’s older industrial and pre-industrial centres, including Whyalla, Port Augusta, the Riverland, and Clare, Griffith Review’s State of Hope is no tourist guide and does not contain any particularly useful historical overview for those who might want one. However, the editors ask an important question which those living in other states often want to know: what makes South Australia so different? The answers, and there are many, come together piece by piece in the reading of this collection. Few readers will be left unrewarded by at least some of the assembled guests at this particular literary dinner party.