Fiction

Rory Kennett-Lister reviews 'Privacy'

Rory Kennett-Lister
Thursday, 31 October 2013

Privacy is an elusive concept. As Jonathan Franzen notes in his essay ‘Imperial Bedroom’ (2002), it is defined by negativity – freedom from interference, from disturbance, from observation – but resists any positive explanation. Privacy, Genna de Bont’s second novel, explores this slippery idea and uses privacy’s nebulou ...

Phil Brown reviews 'Gotland'

Phil Brown
Thursday, 31 October 2013

While I was reading this compelling but occasionally problematic novel, I started thinking about Oscar Wilde. Pretentious? Moi? The thing is, when I’m torn between opposing views of the same thing, I tend to think of Wilde’s The Ballad of Reading Gaol … ‘two men looked out from prison bars, one saw mud, the other stars’. So I found myself in t ...

Wendy Were reviews 'Zero at the Bone'

Wendy Were
Thursday, 31 October 2013

In Zero at the Bone, David Whish-Wilson envisions Perth in 1979 at the height of a major gold mining revival stimulated by price increases associated with the end of the gold standard in 1971. Perth is booming, and the culture of greed and excess that will characterise the 1980s is already well entrenched.

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Rosemary Sorensen reviews 'Barracuda' by Christos Tsiolkas

Rosemary Sorensen
Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Rosemary Sorensen review Christos Tsolkas’s new novel, Barracuda, another bracing study of masculinity, this time focusing on an ambitious and conflicted young swimmer at a Melbourne private school.

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Brian Matthews reviews 'Eyrie' by Tim Winton

Brian Matthews
Wednesday, 30 October 2013

In a notable month for major new Australian fiction, Tim Winton’s Eyrie stands out. Brian Matthews reviews this darkly funny novel – ‘a scarifying assessment of the way we live now’

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Jay Daniel Thompson reviews 'Dark Horse'

Jay Daniel Thompson
Friday, 27 September 2013

D ark Horse is the latest book from Victorian author Honey Brown. The novel tells of lust and lies between two strangers who come together in an appropriately secluded rural location.

Sarah Barnard has recently left an unhappy marriage, and is spending the Christmas period camping with her horse, Tansy. Sarah’s solitu ...

Alice Bishop reviews 'Holiday in Cambodia'

Alice Bishop
Friday, 27 September 2013

Seamlessly extending from the French occupation of Cambodia to the horrors of the Khmer Rouge and the current tourism industry, Laura Jean McKay’s début short story collection, Holiday in Cambodia, is a powerful portrait of a country long-affected by war and poverty. McKay’s knowledge of the Cambodian landscape underpins the collection. She evokes ...

Milly Main reviews 'What Was Left'

Milly Main
Friday, 27 September 2013

Our instinctual reaction to parents who leave their children is one of suspicion. ‘Child abandonment’ elicits such images as a swaddled foundling in the woods, a parent in a train station losing hold of her child’s hand and disappearing into the crowd, or an anonymous baby hatch in a hospital. The presumption is that a mother (fathers are usually spared ...

Don Anderson reviews 'The Following'

Don Anderson
Friday, 27 September 2013

Towards the end of Saul Bellow’s Humboldt’s Gift (1975), at the poet Von Humboldt Fleisher’s funeral on an April day in Chicago, Menasha Klinger, one of three mourners, points to a spring flower and asks Charlie Citrine, the novel’s narrator, to identify it. ‘Search me,’ Citrine replies, ‘I’m a city boy myself. They must be crocuses.’ ...

Brian Matthews reviews 'Coal Creek'

Brian Matthews
Thursday, 26 September 2013

The writing of a novel, Alex Miller has said, ‘is a kind of journey of the imagination in which there’s the liberty to dream your own dream … There’s always got to be a model located somewhere in fact and reality … But some of your best characters are what you think of as being purely made up, just characters that needed to be there.’

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