Tali Lavi

A marble statue of a crouching Venus disfigured by age and circumstance appears on the cover of Lee Kofman’s Imperfect. The goddess of love and beauty is a ruin, although one capable of radiating an uncertain allure. Through a deft trick of typography, the emblazoned title can be read as either ‘Imperfect’ or ‘I’m Perfect’ ...

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The morning I begin to read Insomnia, a darkly thrilling beauty of a book, the sky turns a duckblue albumen. Domestic hush and personal restlessness coexist. This tension of dualities recurs within Marina Benjamin’s philosophical and poetic reckoning with the state of insomnia ...

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In my childhood home, Yiddish prompted a frisson of the suppressed. This was a direct consequence of adults speaking it whenever they did not want us children to understand. Yiddish was the language in which jokes, clever and sometimes ribald, worked. When attempting to translate, inevitably my grandmother would shrug ...

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When I look at certain images of German-born photographer Roman Vishniac, the accompanying pain is acute, for his mesmerising monochromatic portraits of Eastern European Jews before their devastation in the Holocaust are not mere ethnological studies. Elie Wiesel refers ...

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Strange and terrible events unfold around us. Conflicts erupt; catastrophes occur; a billionaire reality television performer reminiscent of a snake oil merchant is elected president of the United States. Following these destabilising forces, a chorus comprised of dissonant tones of reproach and plea often emerges ...

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Foxtrot ★★★★★

by
21 June 2018

A doorbell rings. Along with the Feldman family, we are catapulted into Samuel Maoz’s mesmerising drama, one worthy of its Greek tragedian and European absurdist antecedents. Deeply shocked, a woman faints and fits; a man is frozen. Their son Yonatan, a soldier, has been killed ...

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Early on in this book, the fictional Lale Sokolov, based on the real man of that name who survived Auschwitz and its horrors to eventually live in suburban Melbourne, has his arm tattooed. Aghast, he laments, ‘How can someone do this to another human being?’ He wonders if, ‘for the rest ...

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A soldier comes home from war only to find that home is not what it once was. This premise, fertile with dramatic possibilities, has inspired storytellers from Homer and Sophocles to contemporary writers like Ben Fountain. In Taylor Mac’s Hir, the foreign war zone and the rainbow-splattered domestic space act as minefields ...

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In A Room of One’s Own (1929), Virginia Woolf instructs women to ‘write calmly’ and ‘not in a rage’. Commentator Catherine Fox writes ‘calmly’ about contemporary realities with great potential to spark rage.

Stop Fixing Women operates partly as a rejoinder to Sheryl Sandberg’s popular manifesto Lean In (2013), which addressed ‘internal obstac ...

As Nadine Gordimer once mused, ‘Writing is making sense of life. You work your whole life and perhaps you’ve made sense of one small area.’ Sheila Kohler’s site of personal haunting is the murder of her sister Maxine in South Africa more than three decades ago ...

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