Compelling from start to finish, The Healing Party is a mature and illuminating account of the complex ties of family. Micheline Lee's début novel follows Natasha Chan who, after years of estrangement from her family, receives news of her mother's terminal cancer. Natasha leaves her life in Darwin and returns to the family home in Melbourne. Here, the Chans – who became born-again Charismatic C ... (read more)
Naama Grey-Smith is an editor, publisher, and critic based in Fremantle, Western Australia. She holds degrees in communications and publishing and has edited award-winning fiction and non-fiction. Her enduring interests are language, memory, and place.
January-February 2016, no. 378 • 18 December 2015
'Freg nisht dem royfe, freg dem khoyle – Don't ask the doctor, ask the patient,' my grandmother says in Yiddish, one of eight languages at her disposal, having grown up in Europe during World War II and migrated as a teenager to the multilingual melting pot of Israel. I smile and ask her for another gem. My grandmother obliges, this time with a juicy-sounding Bulgarian phrase with a similar mean ... (read more)
Set in Melbourne’s cafés, under its bridges, behind its laundromats, and within its zoo, Leap is a contemporary Australian novel about love and loss. It entwines the narratives of Joe, whose guilt over the accidental death of his high-school girlfriend drives him to work dead-end jobs and train furiously in the art of Parkour, and Elise, a recently separated graphic designer who finds clarity i ... (read more)
What makes a person useful? What gives them worth and value in the world? And who gets to decide? These are some of the questions Debra Oswald explores in Useful, a novel set in suburban Sydney. ... (read more)
November 2014, no. 366 • 01 November 2014
Deeper Water delivers on its title’s promise of immersion, sensuality, and the liminal. Narrated by Mema, an innocent twenty-two-year-old living on an isolated rural property, the book opens with the arrival of Hamish, a city sophisticate whose car has been washed down a flooding creek. Mema saves Hamish from drowning and takes him into her family home until the floodwater recedes. He soon becom ... (read more)