Fiction

Patrick Allington reviews 'Chemistry of Tears'

Patrick Allington
20 January 2012

 In his closing address to the 2010 Sydney Writers’ Festival, Peter Carey made a plea on behalf of the fading ‘cult’ of serious reading. This prompted a fierce riposte from Bryce Courtenay: ‘There’s no such thing as popular writing versus literary writing. If I’m a popular writer then Peter Carey is an unpopular writer. If I’m a best-selling write ... More

Kirsten Tranter: A Common Loss

Ruth Starke
20 January 2012

The bequest

Ruth Starke

 

A Common Loss
by Kirsten Tranter
Fourth Estate, $29.99 pb, 360 pp, 9780732290825

 

It begins with a car accident. Five friends are returning to college after a night of drinking. The driver, Cameron, hits a deer and overturns ... More

Carrie Tiffany: Mateship with Birds

Bronwyn Lea
20 January 2012

Dubious lessons

Bronwyn Lea

 

Mateship with Birds
by Carrie Tiffany
Picador, $19.99 pb, 208 pp, 9781742610764

 

Everyman’s Rules for Scientific Living was always going to be a tough book to follow. Carrie Tiffany’s début novel, published ... More

Francesca Rendle-Short: Bite Your Tongue

Donata Carrazza
20 January 2012

MotherJoy’s list

Donata Carrazza

 

Bite your tongue
by Francesca Rendle-Short
Spinifex Press, $27.95 pb, 246 pp, 9781876756963

 

In writing Bite Your Tongue, Francesca Rendle-Short, who is director of Creative Writing at RMI ... More

Michael Sala: The Last Thread

Kate Holden
20 January 2012

Second in line

Kate Holden

 

The Last Thread
by Michael Sala
Affirm Press, $27.95 pb, 256 pp, 9780987132680

 

Memoir, it seems, is proliferating ever more furiously in Australia, filling bookshelves and review pages like bacteria in still water. We are ... More

Rod Usher: Poor Man's Wealth

Phil Brown
20 January 2012

An ugly, lovely town

Phil Brown

 

Poor Man’s Wealth
by Rod Usher
Fourth Estate, $27.99 pb, 323 pp, 9780732294519

 

Small towns, as anyone who has lived in one can attest, abound in colourful characters. Or is it just that people’s peccadilloes are ... More

Chandani Lokugé: Softly, As I Leave You

Gillian Dooley
20 January 2012

Illusive beauty

Gillian Dooley

 

Softly, As I Leave You
by Chandani Lokugé
Arcadia (Australian Scholarly Publishing), $24.95 pb, 252 pp, 9781921875410

 

A treacherous beauty pervades Chandani Lokugé’s third novel, a tragic story of loss and squande ... More

Janette Turner Hospital: Forecast:Turbulence

Rhyll McMaster
24 November 2011

Wide isobars

Rhyll McMaster

 

FORECAST: TURBULENCE
by Janette Turner Hospital
Fourth Estate, $29.99 hb, 232 pp, 9780732294441

 

Janette Turner Hospital, who grew up in Brisbane, has taught in Australian and overseas universities, and is well regarded a ... More

Tony Birch: Blood

Chris Flynn
24 November 2011

Old-school skill

Chris Flynn

 

Blood
by Tony Birch
University of Queensland Press, $29.95 pb, 288 pp, 9780702239274

 

As Christos Tsiolkas notes in his back cover puff, Tony Birch’s storytelling skills have been widely acknowledged since the publicat ... More

Charlotte Wood: Animal People

Miriam Zolin
24 November 2011

Everyperson on a bus

Miriam Zolin

 

Animal People
by Charlotte Wood
Allen & Unwin, $29.99 pb, 264 pp, 9781742376851

 

Early in Charlotte Wood’s previous novel The Children (2007), one of Stephen Connolly’s sisters describes him as lost ... More

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