Alison Broinowski reviews 'Lightning'

Alison Broinowski
Thursday, 27 June 2013

Few first novelists are as assured and articulate as Felicity Volk. She has designed an elemental structure for her story: wind, fire, earth, and water each have a section. Her time frame goes centuries deep, naming ancestors who, in the style of Genesis, begat and begat seven generations, until they reach Persia, an Australian with Arab, European, and British ...

All the Birds, Singing

Felicity Plunkett
Thursday, 27 June 2013
Felicity Plunkett reviews Evie Wyld’s novel ‘All the Birds, Singing’, which went on to win the 2014 Miles Franklin Literary Award.

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Benjamin Chandler reviews 'The Asylum'

Benjamin Chandler
Tuesday, 25 June 2013

In The Asylum, the latest dark suspense novel from John Harwood, the author manages to walk a fine line between Gothic romance and contemporary psychological thriller. Or rather, he gambols gleefully along it, delighting his reader with familiar Gothic tropes while deftly interrogating his protagonist’s sense of her own self. There are mirrors here, a ...

Jane Sullivan reviews 'In the Memorial Room'

Jane Sullivan
Tuesday, 25 June 2013

This novel comes to us some forty years after it was written. Janet Frame (1924–2004) did not allow it to be published during her lifetime. Very probably she was anxious not to be seen as savaging the hands that had fed her: and it is indeed a gleeful, glorious savaging.


The Accursed

Morag Fraser
Tuesday, 25 June 2013
Morag Fraser tackles ever-prolific Joyce Carol Oates’s massive new novel, ‘The Accursed’, and likens it to a gigantic doll’s house: ‘The house has too many tour guides, encyclopedic, opinionated, and unreliable.’

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Samuel Williams reviews 'Now Showing'

Samuel Williams
Monday, 27 May 2013

‘If you don’t like movies, I’m not sure you will like these stories.’ So warns Ron Elliott in his introduction to Now Showing, after having explained that the five stories in this collection are unproduced screenplays repurposed as novellas. It may be useful to clarify Elliott’s warning: unless you are a cinéaste who appreciates screenp ...

Yvette Walker’s remarkable début novel is told in a series of letters that cross time and continents, tracing the intimate lives of three couples, one straight, one lesbian, one gay. Starting in 1969 in an artist’s studio in Cork, where a Russian painter and his Irish novelist wife exchange love letters, it moves to 2011 and a lesbian bookseller in Western Aust ...

William Heyward reviews 'The Drinker'

William Heyward
Monday, 27 May 2013

The Drinker, by Hans Fallada – first published in Germany in 1950, translated by Charlotte and A.L. Lloyd into English in 1952, unearthed for an Anglophone audience in 2009 by Melville House, and now published by Scribe – is the story of Erwin Sommer, who drinks himself, almost unaccountably, to death. It counts for everything, of course, to know that the ...

Judith Armstrong reviews 'Who We Were' by Lucy Neave

Judith Armstrong
Sunday, 26 May 2013

The nub of this first novel is a good one. Even those who weren’t alive in the early 1950s will have heard of Joseph McCarthy. Fired by the tensions of the Cold War but with scant regard for hard evidence, the US Republican senator made his reputation by accusing numerous individuals of communist sympathies, possible disloyalty, and/or treason. Intellectuals of ev ...

Dennis Altman reviews 'My Beautiful Enemy'

Dennis Altman
Sunday, 26 May 2013

During World War II the Australian government constructed a number of internment camps for ‘enemy aliens’, including ones at Tatura (Rushworth) in Victoria, Hay and Cowra in New South Wales, Loveday in South Australia, and Harvey in Western Australia. Most of those interned were German nationals, and the most famous stories are those connected with Jewish refuge ...

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