Fiction

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'A Short History of Richard Kline' by Amanda Lohrey

Felicity Plunkett
Wednesday, 25 February 2015

A prefatory note to this striking novel tells us that it is Richard Kline’s memoir of ‘a strange event that intervened in my life at the age of forty-two’. The following ‘short history’ interleaves sections of first- and third-person narration, shuffling the pieces of a reflective Bildungsroman that charts Richard’s ...

Kate Grenville

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Kate Grenville (1950–) is an award-winning Australia author of fiction, memoir and non-fiction, Kate’s first publication was the short story collection Bearded Ladies (1984). She has gone on to publish a total of thirteen books in the last thirty years including her most recent one, One Life (2015). Several of Kate’s works have been adapted f ...

‘Everyone I talk to remembers Tirra Lirra by the River as a wonderful book, sometimes even as a life-changing one. But why don’t we hear anything about it today?’ This was a young journalist who ... ... (read more)

Ronnie Scott reviews 'Crow Mellow' by Julian Davies

Ronnie Scott
Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Crow Mellow, the sixth novel by Julian Davies, centres on a bush retreat where a millionaire couple gathers artists to share around ideas. From an optimistic standpoint, the retreat is a salon. Viewed differently, all parties are engaged in a status grab: artists ‘came from the cities of the east coast to score … the kudos of being there when their collea ...

The authors of the stories in Breaking Beauty are graduates of the University of Adelaide, which Brian Castro (a professor there) reminds us in his introduction is ‘the first and best creative writing college in the country’. However, as an advertisement for creative writing at Adelaide University, this collection has limited success. While the contributo ...

Francesca Sasnaitis reviews 'Springtime' by Michelle de Kretser

Francesca Sasnaitis
Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Anyone who has lived in Sydney’s inner west will recognise the terrain of Springtime: gardens redolent of mystery and decay, shabbiness, unexpected vistas, and streets that Michelle de Kretser describes as running ‘everywhere like something spilled’.

Frances has moved to Sydney with Charlie, who has left his wife and son Luke behind in Melbourne ...

Christian Griffiths reviews 'Perfidia' by James Ellroy

Christian Griffiths
Tuesday, 16 December 2014

There is a quality in James Ellroy’s fiction that evades analysis and exceeds his popular status as a successful author in the ‘crime genre’. This quality is in part connected to his demanding narratives, which inevitably leave one with the nagging feeling that there is a great deal one has failed to understand, and which prompt (often multiple) re-readings of ...

Jackie French, according to the press release for her new adult novel To Love a Sunburnt Country, has written over 140 books in a twenty-five-year career. Many are for children and teenagers. I have only read one other, A Waltz for Matilda (2012), the first in ‘the Matilda Saga’ for teens; but these two books share at least one character and severa ...

Susan Lever reviews 'Merciless Gods' by Christos Tsiolkas

Susan Lever
Monday, 15 December 2014

Susan Lever reviews Merciless Gods, a new collection of short stories by Christos Tsiolkas, and concludes that, though admirable, the work amounts to confined literary art.

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Jane Sullivan reflects on the 'literary cathedrals' Hilary Mantel has erected in her new collection of short stories, The Assassination of  Margaret Thatcher.

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