Elizabeth Bryer

Elizabeth Bryer

Elizabeth Bryer is the author of From Here On, Monsters (Picador), which was joint winner of the 2020 Norma K Hemming award. She is also a translator from Spanish, including of novels by María José Ferrada, Aleksandra Lun, José Luis de Juan and Claudia Salazar Jiménez.

Elizabeth Bryer reviews 'The Beautiful Fall' by Hugh Breakey, 'The Other Side of Beautiful' by Kim Lock, and 'The Rabbits' by Sophie Overett

September 2021, no. 435 19 August 2021
The Beautiful Fall by Hugh Breakey Text, $32.99 pb, 349 pp By the end of Hugh Breakey’s The Beautiful Fall, it is hard to remember that the prologue hinted at stimulating possibilities. In it, Robbie’s past self writes to his present one, explaining that he suffers from recurring amnesia, which strikes every 179 days. Readers could be mistaken for thinking they are in for meditations on time ... (read more)

Elizabeth Bryer reviews 'Smokehouse' by Melissa Manning

April 2021, no. 430 23 March 2021
Elizabeth Bryer reviews 'Smokehouse' by Melissa Manning
Smokehouse is an engagingly constructed collection of interlinked stories set in small-town, yet globally connected, settler Tasmania. The volume, which is focused on personal crises and family breakdown, is bookended by the two parts of the novella that lends the collection its name. This splicing is an inspired decision: the end of Part One keeps us turning the pages through the subsequent, full ... (read more)

Elizabeth Bryer reviews 'Broken Rules and Other Stories' by Barry Lee Thompson

October 2020, no. 425 24 September 2020
Elizabeth Bryer reviews 'Broken Rules and Other Stories' by Barry Lee Thompson
In perhaps the most tender story in this textured, interconnected collection, an adolescent son spends the summer sunbathing in the backyard and sneaking glances at the paperboy while his working-class, stay-at-home father, who reads detective fiction and likes to ‘figure things out before the endings’, gently attempts to make it known to his son that he can tell him anything. This develops i ... (read more)

Elizabeth Bryer reviews 'Nancy' by Bruno Lloret, translated by Ellen Jones

September 2020, no. 424 24 August 2020
Elizabeth Bryer reviews 'Nancy' by Bruno Lloret, translated by Ellen Jones
Near the beginning of Bruno Lloret’s stark, unvarnished first novel, Nancy, the cancer-riddled protagonist discovers that her husband has died in a workplace accident, sucked into the tuna processor while drunk. With no body to bury, she imagines having ‘a moment alone with the 2,500 tins containing [him]’. That unsentimental account issues from a woman habituated to abandonment and plays o ... (read more)

Elizabeth Bryer reviews 'Meanjin Quarterly: Volume 79, Issue 2' edited by Jonathan Green

August 2020, no. 423 27 July 2020
Elizabeth Bryer reviews 'Meanjin Quarterly: Volume 79, Issue 2' edited by Jonathan Green
In the winter issue of Meanjin, some of Australia’s best writers, including Sophie Cunningham, Lucy Treloar, and Jennifer Mills, grapple with the climate emergency and our relationship to place in these days of coronavirus and the summer that was. One of the delights of a literary journal is the way that bringing pieces together can seem to prompt a conversation. Sometimes, however, this highli ... (read more)