Anna MacDonald

Anna MacDonald reviews 'The Fortress' by S.A. Jones

Anna MacDonald
26 April 2018

This speculative novel is of the Zeitgeist. S.A. Jones imagines a civilisation of women – the Vaik – committed to ‘Work. History. Sex. Justice.’ Although they live apart, in ‘The More

Anna MacDonald reviews 'The Everlasting Sunday' by Robert Lukins

Anna MacDonald
27 March 2018

Set in England during the Big Freeze of 1962–63 – the coldest winter in nearly 300 years – Robert Lukins’s first novel tells the story of Radford, who is sent to live at Goodwin Ma More

Anna MacDonald reviews 'A Scandal in Bohemia: The life and death of Mollie Dean' by Gideon Haigh

Anna MacDonald
26 March 2018

A Scandal in Bohemia: The life and death of Mollie Dean is Gideon Haigh’s engrossing account of the circumstances surrounding the unsolved 1930 murder in Elwood of primary schoo More

Anna MacDonald reviews 'Her' by Garry Disher

Anna MacDonald
22 December 2017

In this dark historical novel, Garry Disher imagines a world in which small girls are sold by their desperate families and enslaved to men such as the brutal ‘scrap man’ – ‘a schem More

2017 Books of the Year

Australian Book Review
24 November 2017

To celebrate the best books of 2017 Australian Book Review invited nearly forty contributors to nominate their favourite titles. Contributors include Michelle de Kretser, Susan Wy More

Anna MacDonald reviews 'Half Wild' by Pip Smith

Anna MacDonald
24 November 2017

In this inventive début novel, Pip Smith recounts the multiple lives of Eugenia Falleni, the ‘man-woman’ who in 1920, as Harry Crawford, was convicted of murdering his first wife, Ann More

Anna MacDonald reviews 'The Book of Dirt' by Bram Presser

Anna MacDonald
25 October 2017

Within the last decade, a new wave of writers has emerged whose work is indebted to W.G. Sebald. Sebald’s name, become an adjective (‘Sebaldian’), is often used as shorthand for describing a writer’s approach to history and memory, or his or her use of images alongside word-text, or the presence of a peripatetic narrator, or the rejection of conventional gen ... More

Anna MacDonald reviews 'This Water: Five tales' by Beverley Farmer

Anna MacDonald
26 May 2017

There is a distinct poignancy attached to last things, a sense in which they encapsulate all that has gone before at the same time as they anticipate an end. In the moment of their first manifestation, last things are already haunted by their own absence. This Water: Five tales is the first book by Beverley Farmer to be published since 2005, and has been an ... More

Anna MacDonald reviews 'See What I Have Done' by Sarah Schmidt

Anna MacDonald
30 April 2017

In this gripping first novel, Sarah Schmidt re-imagines the lives of Lizzie Borden, her family, and the brutal double murder of her father and stepmother, for which Lizzie became notorious. Set in and around the Borden’s house at Fall River, Massachusetts, the narrative has a dense, claustrophobic air that feeds the portrayal of this family as menacingly close.

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Anna MacDonald reviews 'The Trapeze Act' by Libby Angel

Anna MacDonald
30 March 2017

An epigraph from Mary Ruefle’s Madness, Rack, and Honey: Collected lectures (2012) sets the tone of Libby Angel’s novel, The Trapeze Act ‘what is the moment but a fragment of greater time?’ This book is composed of fragments, which, taken together, capture the desire for a complete understanding of history and the impossibility of satisfyin ... More

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