Short Stories

James Halford reviews Mouthful of Birds: Stories by Samanta Schweblin, translated by Megan McDowell

James Halford
27 June 2019

Despite seven years of expatriate life in Germany, the Argentine Samanta Schweblin’s writerly gaze, like that of Australia’s Pe More

Amy Baillieu reviews You Know You Want This by Kristen Roupenian

Amy Baillieu
22 February 2019

'If you think you know what this collection will be like, you’re wrong,’ Carmen Maria Machado (author of the brilliant < More

News from the Editor's Desk - March 2017

Australian Book Review
28 February 2017

Porter Prize

We received almost 1,000 entries in this year’s Peter Porter Poetry Prize – by far our biggest field to date. Entries came from twenty-two countries. The judges – Ali Alizadeh, Jill Jones, Felicity Plunkett – have now shortlisted More

Cassandra Atherton reviews 'Feet to the Stars' by Susan Midalia

Cassandra Atherton
27 October 2015

Susan Midalia's Feet to the Stars references Sylvia Plath's poem 'You're', in which Plath addresses her unborn child: 'Clownlike, happiest on your hands, / Feet to the stars, and moon-skulled, / Gilled like a fish ...' This clever title foreshadows Midalia's exploration of children in the family dynamic and the use of intertextuality, which are integral to ... More

Laurie Steed reviews 'When There's Nowhere Else to Run' by Murray Middleton

Laurie Steed
29 July 2015

Our national literary landscape would be seriously depleted without The Australian/Vogel’s Literary Award. It jump-started the careers of Tim Winton, Julienne van Loon, and Andrew McGahan, authors who have been willing to explore the harsher aspects of ... More

Francesca Sasnaitis reviews 'Crow's Breath' by John Kinsella

Francesca Sasnaitis
29 July 2015

Recently I drove east from Perth through wheat belt country to the Helena and Aurora Ranges, past Cunderin, Kellerberrin, and Koolyanobbing, towns whose names echo the rhythms of the landscape; past the shimmering salt pan that was once Lake Deborah East; down rutted tracks which changed abruptly from red earth to yellow sand; past the ravages of iron ore mines to t ... More

Morag Fraser reviews 'Can't and Won't' by Lydia Davis

Morag Fraser
26 February 2015

Reading Lydia Davis’s stories is akin to getting new glasses – or glasses for the first time. Suddenly the world shifts into sharp, bright focus. Disturbing. Disorienting. What you see, or understand, won’t necessarily gladden your heart. It may pique it, but you may not want to be brought so close to life, to the poignancy of it all. Not at first, anyway.

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Rachel Robertson reviews 'Six' by John Clanchy

Rachel Robertson
31 October 2014

At the start of ‘True Glue’, Dale the postie is called a Luddite by his mate and wonders if this is some religious or political splinter group he hasn’t yet heard of, before going home to google it. In ‘Slow Burn’, Daryl Turtle has a troublesome close encounter with a yellow toaster while suffering from ‘man flu’, resulting in a hilarious scene in a ch ... More

Shannon Burns reviews 'Three Stories' by J.M. Coetzee

Shannon Burns
30 October 2014

Each fiction in this small but handsome volume emerges from an interesting, perhaps even ‘transitional’ phase in J.M. Coetzee’s writing life: between the publication of Disgrace (1999) and Slow Man (2005); before and after receiving the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2003. The first story in the collection also predates Coetzee’s move to Adelaid ... More

Francesca Sasnaitis reviews 'Australian Love Stories', edited by Cate Kennedy

Francesca Sasnaitis
29 October 2014

You are perfect for this story. I will never meet you.’ We are invited into Australian Love Stories and into Bruce Pascoe’s erotic reverie with this line from ‘Dawn’. The reader is embraced, as the luxuriating eye of Pascoe’s narrator embraces the recumbent body of the woman beside him. His gaze is illicit, touch forbidden. We are privileged voyeurs ... More

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