Nick Earls: Welcome to Normal

Jeffrey Poacher
09 July 2012

Jeffrey Poacher


by Nick Earls
Vintage, $29.95 pb, 288 pp, 9781864711547


When asked why his later writing had taken on such a different character, Eugenio Montale explained that this was because it came from la retrobottega – liter ... More

Peter Rose reviews 'Bring up the Bodies'

Peter Rose
28 May 2012

Royals, it seems, have their tenacious uses, often fictive. Contemporaries such as Alan Bennett and Edward St Aubyn have deployed them. One hundred years ago, Ford Madox Ford wrote his singular trilogy (1906–08) about Katharine Howard, The Fifth Queen of Henry VIII. Now the esteemed novelist and memoirist Hilary Mantel returns to the Tudor world, again wi ... More

Phil Brown reviews 'The Daughters of Mars' by Thomas Keneally

Phil Brown
23 May 2012


alancing the big picture with the intimate details that engage us when reading a novel is not easy. This latest book from veteran Australian author Tom Keneally is epic in scope, but takes us into the intimate worlds of particular people. This is the way to tell a story about an event as mammoth as World War I. Keneally, the author of Schindler’s Ark ... More

Amy Baillieu reviews 'Eleven Seasons' by Paul D. Carter

Amy Baillieu
23 May 2012

Eleven Seasons is an impressive début novel from this year’s Vogel Prize winner, Paul D. Carter. A nimble and understatedcoming-of-age story, it takes its rhythm and structure from football, but encompasses so much more. Over the course of the eponymous eleven seasons, Carter follows Jason’s progress from a forlorn, yearning boy into an adult, while ex ... More

Jennifer Paynter: Mary Bennet

Carol Middleton
23 May 2012

Carol Middleton


Mary Bennet
by Jennifer Paynter
Viking, $29.95 pb, 342 pp, 9780670075706


This début novel by Sydney playwright Jennifer Paynter is a skilful retelling of Pride and Prejudice, narrated by Mary Bennet, the forgotten middle sister. Mary ... More

Drusilla Modjeska: The Mountain

Gillian Dooley
24 April 2012

Gillian Dooley


The Mountain
by Drusilla Modjeska
Vintage, $32.95 pb, 464 pp, 9781741666502


Papua New Guinea doesn’t loom large in Australian literature. As Nicholas Jose says, our ‘writers have not much looked in that direction for material or inspiration ... More

Ruby J. Murray: Running Dogs

Christine Piper
23 April 2012

Christine Piper


Running Dogs
by Ruby J. Murray
Scribe, $29.95 pb, 288 pp, 9781921844706


How much does the average Australian know about Indonesia? Not the tourist version, with its resorts and beaches and lacklustre nasi goreng – but the wider culture, hist ... More

Peter Conrad reviews White's 'The Hanging Garden'

Peter Conrad
21 March 2012

‘Genius,’ as Arthur Rimbaud put it, ‘is childhood recovered at will.’ Rimbaud himself abandoned poetry at the age of twenty and thereafter refused to look back, but Patrick White exemplified the rule in writing The Hanging Garden. He was sixty-eight at the time, and had just completed his rancorous memoir Flaws in the Glass (1981); having d ... More

Honey Brown: After the Darkness

Alan Vaarwerk
21 March 2012

Action and reaction

Alan Vaarwerk


After The Darkness
by Honey Brown
Viking, $29.95 pb, 292 pp, 9780670075973


In After the Darkness, the third novel by Victorian writer Honey Brown, suburban couple Bruce and Trudy Harrison have their l ... More

Kerry Greenwood: Cooking the Books

Francesca Sasnaitis
27 February 2012

‘Tired old recipes’

Francesca Sasnaitis


Cooking the Books
by Kerry Greenwood
Allen & Unwin
$22.99 pb, 312 pp, 9781742370217


For many years I have looked forward to the ongoing exploits of Kerry Greenwood’s sassy heroine Phryne Fisher ... More

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