Fiction

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 In his closing address to the 2010 Sydney Writers’ Festival, Peter Carey made a plea on behalf of the fading ‘cult’ of serious reading. This prompted a fierce riposte from Bryce Courtenay: ‘There’s no such thing as popular writing versus literary writing. If I’m a popular writer then Peter Carey is an unpopular writer. If I’m a best-selling write ...

It begins with a car accident. Five friends are returning to college after a night of drinking. The driver, Cameron, hits a deer and overturns the vehicle. When the police and ambulance arrive, Dylan, who has drunk the least, claims to have been at the wheel. The others – Elliot, who narrates the story, Tallis, Brian, and especially Cameron – let him assume responsibility. It is, more or le ...

Everyman’s Rules for Scientific Living was always going to be a tough book to follow. Carrie Tiffany’s début novel, published in 2005, was shortlisted for various major prizes, including the Miles Franklin Literary Award and the Orange Prize. It also won the Western Australian Premier’s Book Award in 2005 and the Dobbie Literary Award in 2007. Everyman’s Rules tells t ...

Currawalli Street is Christopher Morgan’s second novel for adults. Set in a suburb north of Melbourne, the novel is divided into two parts. It follows the lives of the street’s residents on the brink of World War I, then skips to 1972, when one of the grandsons of the original residents returns from the Vietnam War.

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In writing Bite Your Tongue, Francesca Rendle-Short, who is director of Creative Writing at RMIT University, has chosen a thorny tale. She dedicates the book to her mother, Angel, who is clearly a formidable personality: Northern Irish; medical doctor; mother of six daughters; Christian activist; ‘book burner’. Early on, we are told that ‘some stories are hard to tell, they bite ...

Memoir, it seems, is proliferating ever more furiously in Australia, filling bookshelves and review pages like bacteria in still water. We are insatiable in our appetite to read and write memoir, to feel the ‘real’. As a memoirist myself, I am all too aware of my hypocrisy in feeling uneasy about this rage for introspection. But memoir is most successfu ...

Small towns, as anyone who has lived in one can attest, abound in colourful characters. Or is it just that people’s peccadilloes are magnified without the distractions of the madding crowd? Rod Usher knows a thing or two about small towns; he happens to live in one: the village of Barcarrota in Extremadura, Spain. After a long career in journalism – including stints as literary editor of

A treacherous beauty pervades Chandani Lokugé’s third novel, a tragic story of loss and squandered love. Chris Foscari, owner of a rarefied specialist bookshop in Melbourne and son of an Italian father and an Australian mother, is married to the outrageously beautiful Sri Lankan Uma, whom he met when she was studying in Melbourne. They have a teenage son, Arjuna, who is also blessed with unu ...

Peter Corris’s Comeback, the thirty-ninth or some such book in his Cliff Hardy series, is yet another to be plucked from the apparently bottomless ocean that is the crime fiction genre. Ageing private detective Hardy – as adept with his fists as he is tactful with the ladies – skulks around a Sydney crammed with scabrous cops, fat-cat entrepreneurs, hired muscle, slinky prostitut ...

As contemporary author fan bases go, Margaret Atwood’s must be among the broadest. She is read at crèches, on university campuses, and in nursing homes. Feminists, birders, and would-be writers jostle to see her perform at literary festivals. Yet despite an Arthur C. Clarke Award and, in her own words ...

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