Fiction

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What do we really know about other people, even those closest to us? In one of Chekhov’s most famous stories, the supreme adulterer Gurov takes the view that authentic life is always lived in secret (though, of course, he would say that). Marriage offers no ready access to another person’s history, as a young wife discovers in Ian Reid’s début novel,

Mandy Sayer has been winning awards since the start of her career more than twenty years ago. Her first novel, Mood Indigo (1990), a pacy, absorbing account of a remarkable and rackety childhood, bagged the Vogel in 1989. Its autobiographical origins become clear when read in conjunction with her memoir Velocity (2005), which covers Sayer’s early ...

Sometimes you can get away with judging a book by its cover. Even without knowing the sub-title, a cursory glance at Mardi McConnochie’s latest novel suggests high romance, with its picture of an elegantly coiffed woman kissing her paramour against a seascape backdrop. Indeed, The Voyagers unashamedl ...

Applause

Jay Daniel Thompson

 

 

The Indignities is the sequel to Vanity Fierce (1998). In this new book, Graeme Aitken provides another provocative perspective on love and other catastrophes in Sydney’s gay male community.

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While the stories in The Kid on the Karaoke Stage vary thematically, they are predominantly realist in style, with plenty of seemingly serendipitous through-lines. Georgia Richter, who has edited the collection superbly, says that she was interested in ‘the way we turn to writing to crystallise moments of realisation’. The authors all have links to West ...

Set in an imminent Tasmanian ghost town, B. Michael Radburn’s first novel departs from his previous work as a horror short story writer. This murder mystery unfolds in the rural town of Glorys Crossing, which is being consumed by a hydropower dam, and which all but the most stubborn townsfolk are leaving to make a life elsewhere. Told through the eyes of ...

In 1967, eleven schoolgirls and their teacher take a field trip to the public gardens in Sydney. There, Miss Renshaw and her young charges meet the teacher’s friend and possible paramour – a gardener and a poet. The charismatic Morgan takes them to a nearby wet, low-roofed cave, ostensibly to see some sacred Dreamtime paintings. The girls are both giddy and alarmed at this unauthorised excu ...

The ten tales in Margo Lanagan’s Yellowcake offer an eclectic glimpse behind the slender veil separating the everyday from the fantastic. The collection is peopled by monstrous gods and godly monsters, by scavengers, drifters, and fascinators. Its landscape incorporates hellish war zones, apocalyptic streetscapes, and haunting carnivals. There is hope and ...

Anna Ryan-Punch reviews 'Six' by Karen Tayleur

Anna Ryan-Punch
19 April 2011

Six people. Five seatbelts. Six teenagers involved in a horrific car crash. But who has died?

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The latest crop of children’s picture books highlights the ability of this versatile genre to cover everything from the ever-popular animal tale, to sparkling stories about fairies, to introspective contemplations on the meaning of life.

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