June–July 2019, no. 412

Welcome to the June–July issue of ABR! Highlights include:

Ferocious grace
Felicity Plunkett on Nick Cave and trauma's aftermath

Calibre Prize: 'Floundering'
Runner-up Sarah Walker's personal essay on pregnancy

Spring is here
Jack Callil on Ali Smith's new novel

Bedlam at Botany Bay
Alan Atkinson on James Dunk's history of New South Wales

#MeToo: A reckoning
Zora Simic on #MeToo, a compilation of essays on the movement

The ABR Favourite Australian Novel poll
Vote now and win one of three great prizes!

June–July 2019, no. 412

‘A mutinous and ferocious grace: Nick Cave and trauma’s aftermath' by Felicity Plunkett

Felicity Plunkett

It begins with a projected haze of ocean horizon. In this blurry liminal space, silence is misted with anticipation, like the moment before an echo comes back empty, right across the sea. Then a close-up of multi-instrumentalist Warren Ellis’s hands unpicking tranquillity’s fabric, each piano note a loosened stitch ...

2019 Calibre Essay Prize (runner-up): 'Floundering' by Sarah Walker

Sarah Walker

I swim at night, carving through water full of chlorine and tasting of mould, turning lap after lap before the pool closes down, while cells inside me hurry into being like bubbles under a running tap. The lifeguard stalks along beside the pool watching me. I know he’s trying to get me out, but I can’t stop swimming ...

Alan Atkinson reviews Bedlam at Botany Bay by James Dunk

Alan Atkinson

James Dunk is not the first Australian historian to notice that mental breakdown was surprisingly common during the first two European generations in New South Wales. Malcolm Ellis linked the ‘Botany Bay disease’ to rheumatic fever, rife on shipboard, which ‘ruined the lives or unbalanced the minds of … many pioneers’. Manning Clark spoke of ...

Jack Callil reviews Spring by Ali Smith

Jack Callil
Uncertainty is the new norm. Nationalist rhetoric is rife. Donald Trump is running for the US presidency. It’s June 2016 and the Brexit referendum has dazed the international community, heralding the start of the United Kingdom’s glacial extraction from the European Union. Amid the turmoil, Irish novelist Ali Smith releases Autumn ...

Also in this issue