Don Watson’s Recollections of a Bleeding Heart: A portrait of Paul Keating PM (Knopf). Gripping narrative; gripping drama. Plenty of heart; plenty of blood on Canberra carpets. Fond picture of possibly Australia’s last Labour prime minister. Sylvia Lawson’s How Simone de Beauvoir Died in Australia: Stories and essays (UNSW Press). Complex, spacious, committed, convincing, intellectually riveting speculations and reflections. And, finally, anything by Peter Temple, an outstanding crime fiction novelist who combines true grit and a college education with the smells of the city (Melbourne). Try Shooting Staror Dead Point (both from Bantam).... (read more)
Six years after the ‘transgender tipping point’ proclaimed by Time magazine in 2014, the trans and gender-diverse (TGD) community continues to surge into the spotlight. From Netflix and Neighbours to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary (which named ‘they’ its 2019 word of the year), transgender experience is enjoying well-deserved recognition and representation. Visibility, however, is not without its problems. Internationally, growing awareness has triggered an anti-trans backlash, with the TGD community becoming a conservative scapegoat du jour. The United States is experiencing a spate of anti-trans violence, while ‘bathroom bills’ proliferate in red states. In Australia, the 2016 moral panic over Safe Schools was followed in 2019 by The Australian’s anti-trans campaign (with sixty-eight articles, ninety-two per cent of them negative, published in six months), as well as the transphobic fearmongering of TERFs (trans-exclusionary radical feminists) over Victoria’s birth certificate reforms – not to mention Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s attacks on ‘gender whisperers’.... (read more)
To complement the reviews and commentaries in our Environment issue, we invited a number of writers and scholars to nominate a book that will give readers a better appreciation of the environment.... (read more)
Never far from one’s mind these days, the events of September 11, 2001, and their direct aftermath in Afghanistan and elsewhere, had to be prominent in this month’s issue of ABR, such is their complex resonance and ubiquitous iconography. To complement Morag Fraser’s essay in this issue on the consequences of ‘September 11’ for civic ...
On 20 August 2018 the ABC aired a ‘special literary edition’ of Q&A during the Melbourne Writers Festival. It had a stellar line-up: John Marsden, Maxine Beneba Clarke, Sofie Laguna, Michael Mohammed Ahmad, and Trent Dalton. Viewers must have been optimistic. Were Q&A’s producers indulging in a long hour ...... (read more)
ABR News: The winner of the Calibre Essay Prize; the ABR Favourite Australian Novel poll; our new column, Epiphany; Monash University sells film rights for Half A Perfect World; Hilary Mantel's new novel; Mary-Kay Wilmers; Anchuli Felicia King; and more!... (read more)
To complement our ‘Books of the Year’ feature, which appeared in the December 2018 issue, we invited some senior publishers to nominate their favourite books of 2018 – all published by other companies.... (read more)