Fiction

There is a moment in ‘The Skit’ – the second in a collection of sixteen short stories by Indian-Australian author Roanna Gonsalves – when the writer protagonist, upon reading her work to a group of her peers (‘the Bombay gang’, as she describes them, ‘still on student visas, still drinking out of second-hand glasses from Vinnies, and eating off melamin ...

Blanche Clark reviews 'The Restorer' by Michael Sala

Blanche Clark
Thursday, 30 March 2017

Domestic violence is an everyday reality for tens of thousands of women in Australia. Recent horrors and public campaigns have raised awareness of this social scourge. Journalists have written extensively on the subject, yet it is novelists, as Michael Sala shows in The Restorer, that can give us a more acute view of the emotional complexities that bind cou ...

Kerryn Goldsworthy reviews 'The Refugees' by Viet Thanh Nguyen

Kerryn Goldsworthy
Thursday, 30 March 2017

In the age of e-readers, this is a book to own in hard copy, because it is very beautiful: a hardback with a dust jacket in the pale frosted blue-green of a Monarch butterfly chrysalis, with a small bright parrot front and centre, wings outspread, reminding the reader that the word ‘refugee’ has its roots in the Latin word for ‘flight’.

Professor Vie ...

Fiona Wright review 'From the Wreck' by Jane Rawson

Fiona Wright
Thursday, 30 March 2017

From the Wreck is a deeply ecological novel. It isn’t quite cli-fi – that new genre of fiction concerned with dramatising the effects of our changing climate on people and the world – rather, it is underpinned by an awareness of the connectedness of creatures: animal, human, and otherworldly alike, and narrated in parts by a creature who has fled anot ...

Brenda Walker reviews 'Old Growth' by John Kinsella

Brenda Walker
Friday, 24 March 2017

John Kinsella’s short stories are the closest thing Australians have to Ron Rash’s tales of washed-out rural America, where weakened and solitary men stand guard over their sad patch of compromised integrity in a world of inescapable poverty, trailer homes, uninsured sickness, and amphetamine wastage. Poe’s adventure stories and internally collapsing character ...

Beejay Silcox reviews '4321' by Paul Auster

Beejay Silcox
Friday, 24 March 2017

The American critic Adam Gopnik writes: ‘Nothing is more American than our will to make the enormous do the work of the excellent. We have googly eyes for gargantuan statements.’ Paul Auster’s long-awaited novel, 4321, is a gargantuan statement. At almost 900 pages, the sheer physical heft of it is impossible to ignore. When a novel is as thick as it ...

Tali Lavi reviews 'Barking Dogs' by Rebekah Clarkson

Tali Lavi
Sunday, 26 February 2017

Mount Barker, its surrounding environs and proliferating estates, might be situated in volcanic territory for all the ferocious eruptions of violence that occur in Rebekah Clarkson’s collection of stories, Barking Dogs. The demographic is noticeably white Australian. In ‘Dancing on Your Bones’, a loathsome consultant suggests the government develop the Summit ...

Gretchen Shirm reviews 'To Know My Crime' by Fiona Capp

Gretchen Shirm
Friday, 24 February 2017

Described as ‘modern literary noir’, Fiona Capp’s novel delves deeper into the psychology of its characters than most in the genre. The opening is sleek and pacey, as Capp guides us expertly through the central intrigue.

Ned is squatting in a boatshed on the Mornington Peninsula, having entrusted the investment of the sum of his and his sister’s inhe ...

Fiona Gruber reviews 'Wedding Bush Road' by David Francis

Fiona Gruber
Friday, 24 February 2017

Wedding Bush Road is a novel about contrasts and conflicts: new-age America versus an old-fashioned Australia; messy rural versus shipshape urban; high status versus low; the past versus the present.

Expat Daniel Rawson is a successful lawyer in Los Angeles. He has been tempered by seven years of ‘California dreaming’; life is good. His graceful ...

Anna MacDonald reviews 'Storm and Grace' by Kathryn Heyman

Anna MacDonald
Friday, 24 February 2017

Kathryn Heyman’s novel, Storm and Grace, joins the recent proliferation of fiction by Australian women that deals with intimate partner violence. Like Zoë Morrison’s ...

... (read more)
Page 18 of 74