Fiction

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Kerryn Goldsworthy reviews 'MaddAddam' by Margaret Atwood

Kerryn Goldsworthy
25 September 2013

Kerryn Goldsworthy admires Margaret Atwood’s depth of intellect as revealed in MaddAddam, the concluding sequel to Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood.

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The Swan Song of Doctor Malloy, a novel about addiction, compulsion, and recovery, is set within a fast-moving thriller. Traversing the worlds of health research, drug cartels, world politics, and corporations, it is a conspiracy novel that manages to stay just within the realms of credibility due to the specialist knowledge the author brings t ...

Cass Lehman keeps to herself – her mother and grandmother tell other residents of sleepy Jewel Bay that she is agoraphobic. Her real reason for staying in her house for the past nine years is that she has a terrifying kind of ‘retrocognition’: if Cass passes over a place where someone has died, she experiences their death. And death, as it turns out, is ...

Francesca Sasnaitis reviews 'Holy Bible'

Francesca Sasnaitis
26 August 2013

Vanessa Russell grew up in a traditionalist Christian fellowship, the Christadelphians. She read the Bible from cover to cover every year, enjoyed a childhood filled with group activities, and only left when their oppressive restrictions caused her too much grief.

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In Richard Beasley’s third novel, a friendship between three boys ends violently, and one of them is tragic-ally implicated. The lives of the young teenagers – Jake, Robbie, and Rory – are filled out with street football, driveway cricket, billycarts, fishing trips, slingshot target practice, and the comedy of flatulence. Their world is Rose Avenue durin ...

Amanda Curtin’s second novel, Elemental, tells the story of Margaret (Meggie) Duthie Tulloch. Meggie, an old woman who is dying of leukaemia, writes her life story in a series of notebooks intended to be a twenty-first birthday present to her granddaughter, Laura, who grew up clamouring for tales of ‘Fish Meggie, The Gutting Girl from the Top of the ...

An old woman, caught between the present and her troubled past in another hemisphere, picks herself out of a puddle of water: ‘Her head is tender, and the left side of her body still feels strange: as if she has lost half of herself. Nevertheless, she understands things again.’ The characters in Maria Takolander’s collection of short stories, The Doub ...

The legend of Kenneth Mackenzie (1913–55) has always hovered around the corridors of Australian literature. From Western Australia, was he? Died young, didn’t he? Trouble with drink, wasn’t it? Or sexual identity, could it have been? They say he’s worth reading but nobody much has, have they?

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‘Without an indigenous literature, people can remain alien in their own soil,’ wrote Miles Franklin, initiator of an Australian literary prize that has been awarded to just two Aboriginal writers: Kim Scott for Benang in 2000 and That Deadman Dance in 2011; and Alexis Wright for Carpentaria in 2007. Franklin, of course, didn’t mean I ...

Vanessa Russell grew up in a traditionalist Christian fellowship, the Christadelphians. She read the Bible from cover to cover every year, enjoyed a childhood filled with group activities, and only left when their oppressive restrictions caused her too much grief.

...