Fiction

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Amore appropriate moniker for this year’s Black Inc. collection might be ‘Bleak Australian Stories 2010’. Either the editor’s taste runs to the morose or Australian writers need to venture outside and enjoy the sunshine a little more...

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The great Russian short story writer Ivan Bunin said that in the process of becoming a writer, ‘one learns not to invent, but to see clearly...

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Jackie French, a prolific author, is best known for her children’s books, with variations on historical themes clearly something of a specialty. A Waltz for Matilda, which seems to be aimed at a broader market, builds on the premise that the Jolly Swagman of Banjo Paterson’s song is not alone. His twelve-year-old daughter, Matilda, is with him and witne ...

Pam Macintyre reviews 'Good Oil' by Laura Buzo

Pam Macintyre
Wednesday, 04 May 2011

There is much to like in this début Young Adult novel: its straightforward storytelling, distinctive central characters, well-tuned adolescent dialogue, and humorous depiction of first love...

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Stephen Mansfield reviews 'Noah's Law' by Randa Abdel-Fattah

Stephen Mansfield
Wednesday, 04 May 2011
The teen detective novel is a rare breed in this post-Famous Five era, now that the catch-cry of popular Young Adult fiction is the familiar and the relatable ... ... (read more)

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 ...