Fiction

One feels greatly conflicted while reading The Ottoman Motel. While Christopher Currie’s début novel certainly shows promise, it would have benefited from further editorial development prior to publication.

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Melinda Harvey reviews 'Too Close to Home' by Georgia Blain

Melinda Harvey
Thursday, 21 April 2011

Something happened to the Australian suburban novel while Georgia Blain was trying her hand at memoir in Births Deaths Marriages (2008) and Young Adult fiction in Darkwater (2010). Put it down to The Slap juggernaut. The working family is now angry, high, horny, and mad about tattoos. Gone are the scenes of inarticulate loss at the kitchen ...

Elizabeth Stead’s fifth novel is set in 1948, when newly independent women, who kept the wheels of industry turning during World War II, were resuming full-time household duties. Stead, who married a naval officer in the 1950s, would have seen this domestic dynamic played out around her. The Sparrows of Edward Street tells the story of a family – a widow and her two teenage daughte ...

Jeffrey Poacher reviews 'The End of Longing' by Ian Reid

Jeffrey Poacher
Thursday, 21 April 2011

What do we really know about other people, even those closest to us? In one of Chekhov’s most famous stories, the supreme adulterer Gurov takes the view that authentic life is always lived in secret (though, of course, he would say that). Marriage offers no ready access to another person’s history, as a young wife discovers in Ian Reid’s début novel,

Mandy Sayer has been winning awards since the start of her career more than twenty years ago. Her first novel, Mood Indigo (1990), a pacy, absorbing account of a remarkable and rackety childhood, bagged the Vogel in 1989. Its autobiographical origins become clear when read in conjunction with her memoir Velocity (2005), which covers Sayer’s early ...

Thuy On reviews 'The Voyagers' by Mardi McConnochie

Thuy On
Thursday, 21 April 2011

Sometimes you can get away with judging a book by its cover. Even without knowing the sub-title, a cursory glance at Mardi McConnochie’s latest novel suggests high romance, with its picture of an elegantly coiffed woman kissing her paramour against a seascape backdrop. Indeed, The Voyagers unashamedl ...

Jay Daniel Thompson reviews 'The Indignities' by Graeme Aitken

Jay Daniel Thompson
Thursday, 21 April 2011

Applause

Jay Daniel Thompson

 

 

The Indignities is the sequel to Vanity Fierce (1998). In this new book, Graeme Aitken provides another provocative perspective on love and other catastrophes in Sydney’s gay male community.

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While the stories in The Kid on the Karaoke Stage vary thematically, they are predominantly realist in style, with plenty of seemingly serendipitous through-lines. Georgia Richter, who has edited the collection superbly, says that she was interested in ‘the way we turn to writing to crystallise moments of realisation’. The authors all have links to West ...

Shaun Prescott reviews 'The Crossing' by B. Michael Radburn

Shaun Prescott
Thursday, 21 April 2011

Set in an imminent Tasmanian ghost town, B. Michael Radburn’s first novel departs from his previous work as a horror short story writer. This murder mystery unfolds in the rural town of Glorys Crossing, which is being consumed by a hydropower dam, and which all but the most stubborn townsfolk are leaving to make a life elsewhere. Told through the eyes of ...

In 1967, eleven schoolgirls and their teacher take a field trip to the public gardens in Sydney. There, Miss Renshaw and her young charges meet the teacher’s friend and possible paramour – a gardener and a poet. The charismatic Morgan takes them to a nearby wet, low-roofed cave, ostensibly to see some sacred Dreamtime paintings. The girls are both giddy and alarmed at this unauthorised excu ...

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