Belinda Jeffrey: Big River Little Fish

Thuy On
07 October 2011

'Swimming with your mouth'

Thuy On


Big River Little Fish
by Belinda Jeffrey
University of Queensland Press
$19.95 pb, 268 pp, 9780702238505


The birth of Tom Downs on the banks of the Murray River in South Australia tragically coincided with the ... More

Morag Fraser reviews 'Autumn Laing'

Morag Fraser
27 September 2011

Not since Marguerite Yourcenar’s classic Memoirs of Hadrian (1951) have I encountered a novel of such bravura intensity and insight into the jagged contours of the human heart.

Autumn Laing opens with a mercurial soliloquy. Over eighteen shimmering pages, the novel’s eponymous heroine draws scarcely a breath as, in a soul-scouring torre ... More

Anna Funder: All That I Am

Jo Case
27 September 2011

Bearing witness

Jo Case


All That I Am
by Anna Funder
Hamish Hamilton, $29.95 pb, 384 pp, 9781926428338


The heroine of All That I Am reflects that an author’s published books ‘preserve the fossil imprint on the world of that particular ... More

Sophie Cunningham reviews 'Sarah Thornhill' by Kate Grenville

Sophie Cunningham
27 September 2011

Sarah Thornhill is the third book in Kate Grenville’s loose trilogy depicting life in the early days after Australia’s settlement. Like the previous novels, The Secret River (2005) and The Lieutenant (2008), Sarah Thornhill fictionalises actual stories of settlement. In the process, Grenville transforms our history into someth ... More

Elliot Perlman: The Street Sweeper

Don Anderson
27 September 2011

Elliot Perlman bears witness to history

Don Anderson


The Street Sweeper
by Elliot Perlman
Vintage, $32.95 pb, 554 pp, 9781741666175


In 2003, the year in which Elliot Perlman’s previous novel Seven Types of Ambiguity was published, the em ... More

Natsume Soseki: Kokoro

Barry Hill
27 September 2011

Missing maestros

Barry Hill


by Natsume Soseki, translated by Meredith McKinney
Penguin, $9.95 pb, 237 pp, 9780143106036


Australia is supposed to have a knowing relationship with East Asia, but the embarrassing truth we keep under wraps is th ... More

Wayne Macauley: The Cook

Adam Rivett
27 September 2011

Menus and lust

Adam Rivett


The Cook
by Wayne Macauley
Text Publishing, $29.95 pb, 304 pp, 9781921758690


For a work that deals heavily with culinary aspirations, it is going to be hard to review Wayne Macauley’s brilliant new novel The CookMore

John Charalambous: Two Greeks

Donata Carrazza
27 September 2011

Holding pattern

Donata Carrazza


Two Greeks
by John Charalambous
University of Queensland Press, $24.95 pb, 264 pp, 9780702239045


What does a young boy make of a father who carries in his pocket a knife that is used to peel fruit, behead chickens, f ... More

Amos Oz: Scenes from Village Life

Colin Golvan
27 September 2011

The redemptive power of dreams

Colin Golvan


Scenes from Village Life
by Amos Oz
Chatto & Windus, $29.95 hb, 265 pp, 9780701185503


Amos Oz, who is at the pinnacle of Israeli writing, epitomises the role of writer as a voice of hope, a moral guid ... More

Steven Carroll: Spirit of Progress

Patrick Allington
23 August 2011

Steven Carroll’s new novel

Patrick Allington


Spirit of Progress
by Steven Carroll
Fourth Estate, $29.99 pb, 347 pp, 9780732291181


At the beginning of Steven Carroll’s new novel, Spirit of Progress, Michael stands on a platform of the G ... More

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