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Naama Grey-Smith

Naama Grey-Smith

Naama Grey-Smith is an editor, publisher, writer, and critic based in Fremantle/Walyalup, 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.

Naama Grey-Smith reviews 'The Loudness of Unsaid Things' by Hilde Hinton

April 2020, no. 420 20 March 2020
Hilde Hinton’s début novel is character-driven storytelling at its best. Its narrator, Susie, is a perpetual outsider whose world comprises ‘her dad, her crazy sometimes-there mum and a house that didn’t look like the others’. Susie faces life’s brutal realities earlier than most: by Year Seven she has moved from the country to the city, taken up selling newspapers in Melbourne’s stre ... (read more)

Naama Grey-Smith reviews 'Wolfe Island' by Lucy Treloar

September 2019, no. 414 27 August 2019
With Wolfe Island, Lucy Treloar joins a growing number of novelists whose fiction is marked by anthropogenic catastrophe. Her latest offering confronts two urgent global crises: the climate emergency, and the plight of refugees. Treloar reveals startling connections between the two through the shared thread of displacement in a work that is more than powerful: it’s transformative. Treloar’s s ... (read more)

Naama Grey-Smith reviews 'Gravity Is The Thing' by Jaclyn Moriarty

May 2019, no. 411 22 April 2019
The first thing one notices about Jaclyn Moriarty’s Gravity Is the Thing is its narrative voice: distinctive, almost stylised. Exclamation marks, emphasised words in italics, a staccato rhythm, and clever comments in parentheses add up to a writing style sometimes deemed quirky. This style is not restricted to the voice of the first-person narrator but rather is a lens through which the work and ... (read more)

Naama Grey-Smith reviews 'A Universe of Sufficient Size' by Miriam Sved

April 2019, no. 410 25 March 2019
At the front of Miriam Sved’s A Universe of Sufficient Size is a black-and-white photograph of a statue. The cloaked figure holding a pen (‘like a literary grim reaper’, reflects one character) is the statue of Anonymous in Budapest, a significant setting in the book. Its inclusion is a reminder that the novel draws on the story of the author’s grandmother, mathematician Marta Sved (née W ... (read more)

Naama Grey-Smith reviews 'Gravity Well' by Melanie Joosten

June-July 2017, no. 392 29 May 2017
Gravity Well opens with Carl Sagan’s famous ‘mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam’ quote, suggesting themes of astronomy, loneliness, and humanity’s cosmic insignificance. Though I was immediately smitten with the cover design (a nebula-coloured orb, its top and bottom halves depicting mirrored but not identical female silhouettes amid a sea of cosmic black), I worried that the novel might ... (read more)

Naama Amram reviews 'The Healing Party' by Micheline Lee

August 2016, no. 383 25 July 2016
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 Amram reviews 'The Waiting Room' by Leah Kaminsky

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)

Naama Amram reviews 'Leap' by Myfanwy Jones

October 2015, no. 375 30 September 2015
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)

Naama Grey-Smith reviews 'Deeper Water' by Jessie Cole

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)
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