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Sophie Shanahan reviews 'Sweet One'

Sophie Shanahan
Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Peter Docker knits us into a ‘pea-soup fog’ of Western Australian heat, blanketing us, until we feel it ‘seeping right into the bones’. In the familiar-sounding Baalboorlie, the sun beats down,scorching the airless metal cell of a prisoner transportation vehicle. It cooks the Old Man’s flesh as he is escorted across a vast stretch of his desert country. Th ...

Alec Patrić reviews 'Heat and Light'

Alec Patrić
Tuesday, 26 August 2014

A prestigious prize and national exposure are fine achievements for a writer in her early twenties. Heat and Light is the first major publication by Ellen Van Neerven, winner of the 2013 David Unaipon Award. Given her age, it is less surprising that Heat and Light focuses on questions of identity.

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Alice Bishop reviews 'Lost & Found'

Alice Bishop
Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Certain catchwords – ‘quirky’, ‘heartwarming’, ‘uplifting’ – mark the media coverage surrounding the release of Western Australian Brooke Davis’s first novel, Lost & Found. Perhaps foreseeing this, Davis presents her twee characters in a slightly laboured, albeit fashionable, manner: the elderly Karl in colourful braces; the agoraphobic ...

In the spirit of our annual ‘Books of the Year’ feature, in which we ask a range of writers and critics to nominate their favourite new fiction and non-fiction titles, we asked ten Australian short story writers to nominate their favourite short story collections and individual stories. As this is the first time we have run a short-story themed feature of this n ...

Jo Case on Sonya Hartnett's new novel

Jo Case
Monday, 25 August 2014

Sonya Hartnett writes for all ages, her work spanning children’s picture books to novels for young adults and adult readers. Her adult novels have been widely acclaimed; Of a Boy (2002) won the Age Book of the Year award and has been canonised as a Penguin Classic. In many ways, though, her pedigree as a much-awarded children’s writer has always character ...

Sarah Holland-Batt reviews 'When the Night Comes' by Favel Parrett

Sarah Holland-Batt
Monday, 25 August 2014

Sarah Holland-Batt reviews Favel Parrett's new novel and the literal and metaphorical meanings of the rough seas her characters' navigate.

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Kerryn Goldsworthy reviews 'The Golden Age'

Kerryn Goldsworthy
Monday, 25 August 2014

When the polio epidemics at the hinge of the twentieth century were catching hundreds of Australian children and adults in their web of pathogens, a pub in suburban Perth called ‘The Golden Age’ was converted – with its name unchanged – into a convalescent home for children who were recovering from polio but still unready to go back into the world. Joan Lond ...

Delia Falconer reviews 'The Snow Kimono'

Delia Falconer
Monday, 25 August 2014

When Mark Henshaw’s début, Out of the Line of Fire, appeared in 1988, it was, as literary editor Stephen Romei states in his introduction to the recent Text Classics reissue, the ‘literary sensation of the year’. A novel about an Australian author’s difficulties in writing about his fugitive subject, the young German philosopher Wolfi, it was very mu ...

Doug Wallen reviews 'Wild Things'

Doug Wallen
Wednesday, 23 July 2014

‘The boys are behaving badly’ is the coy tagline for journalist Brigid Delaney’s début novel, about an élite Australian university’s cricket team subjecting a Malaysian exchange student to a grisly hazing ritual that goes too far. Such understatement isn’t indicative of the book itself, which follows a group of thinly drawn characters through pained, oft ...

Carol Middleton reviews 'The Return'

Carol Middleton
Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Silvia Kwon’s début novel explores the legacy of war on an Australian family, seen mainly through the eyes of the wife of a returned soldier. The prologue comprises a vivid and disturbing flashback to Burma in 1944, where Merna’s husband Frank spent time ‘on the line’.

Although narrated in the third person, this is Merna’s story, told from the poi ...