University of Queensland Press

To complement our 2017 ‘Books of the Year’, we invited several senior publishers to nominate their favourite books – all published by other companies.

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The characters who populate Tony Birch’s Common People are striking not so much because they are the ordinary people, the commonplace or everyday people that the title would suggest – they are, mostly, people living in or with extremity and trauma – but because the thing that unites them in these stories are discoveries of small moments of common huma ...

Jean Harley Was Here by Heather Taylor Johnson

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May 2017, no. 391

There is much to like about a well-executed set of short stories, and this is true of Jean Harley Was Here. While the book presents itself as a novel, it has more in common with Elizabeth Strout’s ...

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Comfort Food by Ellen van Neerven

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December 2016, no. 387

Ellen van Neerven, Joel Deane, and Mike Ladd present poems about journeys, recovery, and healing, from comfort food to the experience of a stroke, within overlapping landscapes as palimpsests for their respective pathways.

Reciprocity through feeding runs through Ellen van Neerven’s first collection (Comfort Food, University of Queensland Press, $ ...

In their very different ways, these three collections attest that contemporary Australian poetry is alive, robust, and engaging.

Puncher and Wattmann have delivered a generous collection of Martin Langford's most recent poems, Ground ($25 pb, 158 pp, 9781922186751). As we have come to expect from Langford, the voice we find here is strong – passio ...

Contemporary Australian poetry has a complex and ever-evolving relationship with the land, both at home and abroad. Almost twenty-five years post-Mabo and entrenched in ongoing ecological crises, Australian poets explore new ways of experiencing and defining place. Where misguided nationalism sought to limit Australian poe ...

Following the success of her first novel, Claire Zorn displays her remarkable talent again in The Protected. Although the books are vastly different (The Sky So Heavy [2013] is a futuristic survival thriller, while The Protected is a coming-of-age story coloured by grief), thematically they have many similarities. Zorn is adept at exploring the challenges and complexities of growing up, and the fallibility of adults.

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Matthew Condon is fast becoming the George R.R. Martin of Australian true crime. Like the Game of Thrones author, Condon is part-way through the delivery of a saga of epic proportions. However, whereas some fantasy fiction fans doubt that Martin will ever conclude his A Song of Ice and Fire series, everyone knows how the story of corruption in Joh Bjelke-Petersen-era Queensland ends. But knowing the ending doesn’t lessen the shock of the telling. Jacks and Jokers, the second instalment of Condon’s trilogy (the conclusion, All Fall Down, is slated for release in 2015), sprawls and appals in equal measure.

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When Gabrielle Carey wrote Puberty Blues (1979) with her school friend Kathy Lette, it was closely based on her own experience as a teenager. This initiated a writing career specialising in autobiography. Her novel The Borrowed Girl (1994) is based on her experience of living in a Mexican village, and So Many Selves (2006) is a personal memoir. Her new book extends the work of mourning and remembering her parents, which began with In My Father’s House (1994), an attempt to understand the suicide of her father, Alex Carey, and continued with Waiting Room (2009), an account of her mother Joan’s illness with a brain tumour.

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1953 by Geoff Page

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March 2013, no. 349

Geoff Page’s 1953 is set in the town of Eurandangee, which, we learn, is about 650 kilometres north-west of Sydney ...

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