Fiction

Anthony Lynch reviews 'Dissonance' by Stephen Orr

Anthony Lynch
Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Percy Grainger has been the subject of a number of books (most notably a 1976 biography by John Bird), a play (A Whip Around for Percy Grainger, 1982) by Thérèse Radic, and a feature film, Passion (1999), by Peter Duncan. He was an avid letter-writer, and his correspondence has been anthologised and critiqued. Thanks to his eccentric way of life and sometimes erratic behavio ...

Every migrant has a story. The past two decades have given us accounts of migration to Australia from so many Asian countries, and from so many viewpoints – sad, painful, funny, cynical, mystical – that little more seems left to tell. But now, out of Africa, comes a writer with a new and altogether more terrible tale.

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Milly Main reviews 'Fault Lines' by Pierz Newton-John

Milly Main
Tuesday, 28 August 2012

In this collection of short stories from Pierz Newton-John, the author calls upon the suburban familiarity of a garden weed: couch grass, the fast-spreading pest whose rhizomes grow rapidly in a suffocating network, until the area it covers is ‘strangled’ and the custodian must ‘pull up the entire intractable tangle and start again’. This network of affliction that spreads throughout Ne ...

Angela E. Andrewes reviews 'Secrets of the Tides' by Hannah Richell

Angela E. Andrewes
Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Hannah Richell’s début novel, Secrets of the Tides, undoubtedly enjoyed a boost in sales when it was named the Australian Women’s Weekly ‘Great Read’ for the month of May. A family drama in the style of Jodi Picoult, Richell’s first foray into the women’s fiction market has proved its author’s marketing savvy. A former professional marketer for Pan Macmillan, Ha ...

Continuously inhabited since at least the sixth century, Delhi is fabled to be the city that was built seven times and razed to the ground seven times. Some believe the word Delhi comes from dehali or threshold, and the city is seen as the gateway to the Great Indian Gangetic plains. In 1912 the British moved their colonial seat of power from Calcutta to New Delhi, which also became th ...

Francesca Sasnaitis reviews 'Sufficient Grace' by Amy Espeseth

Francesca Sasnaitis
Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Imagine the book as a repository of memories: to turn the pages is to remember. Fiction, in particular, encourages flipping back and forth through memory’s volume. An author’s life informs her fiction. Memories, personal and second-hand, play a pivotal role in the formation of narrative structures. In a début novel, it is not uncommon for the author to resort to childhood sources for inspi ...

Anna Heyward reviews 'HHhH' by Laurent Binet

Anna Heyward
Tuesday, 28 August 2012

What we need from history is a sense of narrative. The masses of statistics, dates, artefacts, and voices are nonsensical without it. Laurent Binet’s HHhH, winner of the 2010 Prix Goncourt du Premier Roman and the 2011 Prix des Lecteurs du Livre de Poche, is a loving tribute to the Czech resistance, and to all who resisted the Nazification of Europe in the first few terrifying years ...

Sophie Splatt reviews 'Friday Brown' by Vikki Wakefield

Sophie Splatt
Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Friday Brown is Vikki Wakefield’s second Young Adult novel, following All I Ever Wanted (2011), and although the protagonists of both are essentially facing the same dilemma – how to escape what they consider to be their own unshakeable destinies – I found this one far more rewarding.

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Dystopian fiction has surged in popularity in recent years, with books like The Hunger Games (2008) among the many Young Adult titles being devoured by younger and adult readers alike. There is a danger that the sudden influx of a genre in the marketplace, and the eagerness of authors to get their books into the hands of keen readers, will lead to a drop in the quality of writing, or t ...

Stephanie Owen Reeder reviews recent picture books

Stephanie Owen Reeder
Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Stephanie Owen Reeder

 

Good picture books stimulate a child’s imagination. Nick Bland and Stephen Michael King celebrate creativity in The Magnificent Tree (Scholastic, $24.99 hb, 32 pp, 9781742832951). Bonny and Pops enjoy sharing ideas and making things together. Bonny’s inventions are ‘simple, clever and properly made’, wh ...

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