Fiction

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Owen Richardson reviews 'The Pale King' by David Foster Wallace

Owen Richardson
Wednesday, 29 June 2011

In David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest, set half at a tennis academy and half at a rehab centre, one of the characters says that junior athletics is about sacrificing the ‘hot narrow imperatives of the Self’ to ‘the larger imperatives of the team (OK, the State) and a set of delimiting rules (OK, the Law)’. Meanwhile, the rehab inmates are learning, with the help of the twel ...

Jay Daniel Thompson reviews 'When We Have Wings' by Claire Corbett

Jay Daniel Thompson
Wednesday, 29 June 2011

When We Have Wings, the first novel by Blue Mountains journalist Claire Corbett, offers an ambitious and politically engaged blend of detective narrative, family melodrama, and futuristic thriller. In the dystopian world that Corbett depicts, social élites are distinguished by their ability to fly. These elect ‘fliers’ soar through the air using genuine wings. One such flier is th ...

Tim Brewer reviews 'Bearings' by Leah Swann

Tim Brewer
Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Leah Swann’s first fiction publication comprises a novella and seven short stories, all dealing with themes relating to the book’s title, Bearings. Each short story provides a familiar plot in which Swann’s characters search for meaning and direction: a young boy deciding which parent to live with; an old woman reflecting on a hard life; and two forty-somethings looking for love, ...

Weeks before its release, the Man Booker tipsters are laying short odds on Alan Hollinghurst’s new novel, the successor to his 2004 winner, The Line of Beauty. Booker cynics might agree that the great British literary race has in some seasons had more in common with pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey than the Derby, but here is surely a promising contender for 2011’s glittering prize. Wher ...

Brenda Niall reviews 'A Man of Parts' by David Lodge

Brenda Niall
Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Nearly seven years ago, David Lodge had the bad luck to collide with Colm Tóibín when both writers produced a novel about Henry James. Tóibín was the first to publish; his work The Master (2004) won high praise and a Booker Prize nomination. Lodge’s Author, Author (2004), trailing six months behind, suffered in the inevitable comparisons. The ...

Amateurs are untrained but fired by enthusiasm for their subject. By definition, an amateur is passionate about something (in this case love itself, being a lover, and Tilda, the loved object) but the word implies less seriousness than the word ‘science’ does, and can be a pejorative.

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Francesca Sasnaitis reviews 'Harry Curry' by Stuart Littlemore

Francesca Sasnaitis
Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Stuart Littlemore was the inaugural compère of ABC TV’s Media Watch, and is remembered for his acerbic wit and incisive analysis. Clearly, his long career as a Sydney silk has given him enough material to fill this first novel, Harry Curry: Counsel of Choice. I suspect there is plenty left over for more than one sequel.

With a nod to Lit ...

Christine Piper reviews 'The Vanishing Act' by Mette Jakobsen

Christine Piper
Wednesday, 29 June 2011

The début novel from Danish-born, Australia-based author Mette Jakobsen resembles a riddle: a tiny island in the middle of the ocean battered by wind, snow, and rain, sometime after the war; three men, a girl, a dog, a dead boy, a missing woman.

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When Holly Love heads to the Blue Mountains to marry her fiancé, Andrew McNish, after a quick romance, she doesn’t expect to end the day penniless, homeless, jobless, and jilted. After she takes refuge in Andrew’s empty office with her few remaining possessions and a bottle of Moët, Holly’s shock is replaced by a determination to find and confront him. She h ...

The Lace Tablecloth is the second novel by Anastasia Gessa-Liveriadis, who was born in Macedonia in 1935. It is the story of Tasia, who ostensibly serves as the author’s alter ego, living through World War II and the civil war in Macedonia, before emigrating to Australia as a young woman.

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