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Gillian Dooley reviews 'The Night Guest'

Gillian Dooley
Wednesday, 27 November 2013

The depredations of time on the ageing human is an unusual topic for a young writer to confront, especially in a first novel, but why not, if the negative capability is not wanting? After all, it’s common enough for an older writer to inhabit young characters. The difference is, of course, that a young writer hasn’t yet been old. In Fiona McFarlane’s fir ...

Books of the Year 2013

Robert Adamson et al.
Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Books of the Year is always one our most popular features of the year. Find out what 30 senior contributors liked most this year – and why.

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Maya Linden reviews 'Zac & Mia' by A. J. Betts

Maya Linden
Thursday, 31 October 2013

Authentically owning a character’s experience is one of the great challenges faced by fiction writers, especially when it is something as intensely felt as living with terminal illness. It is testimony to A.J. Betts’s talent that she does so in Zac & Mia without lapsing into melodrama, rather, maintaining a voice that is youthful, contemporary, ...

Kate Hayford reviews 'The Wild Girl'

Kate Hayford
Thursday, 31 October 2013

In the German kingdom of Hessen-Cassel, twelve-year-old Dortchen Wild falls in love with her scholarly neighbour Wilhelm Grimm amid the turbulent lead-up to the Napoleonic Wars. When Wilhelm and his brother Jakob undertake the task of collecting folk and fairy tales to preserve their national heritage, Dortchen becomes a willing source and participant, telling ...

Carol Middleton reviews 'Floodline'

Carol Middleton
Thursday, 31 October 2013

Floodline is the fifth novel by Kathryn Heyman, course director at Allen & Unwin’s Faber Academy. Set in an unspecified area of the United States, it follows a proselytising family, which is on a mission to save the godless inhabitants of Horneville on the eve of their annual gay mardi gras, Hornefest, when the city is devastated by floods.

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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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