Non Fiction

Hamish Ford reviews Alain Badiou's 'Cinema'

Hamish Ford
28 November 2013

In recent years, the work of French philosopher Alain Badiou has been discussed with increasing regularity as part of an academic dialogue between cinema studies and philosophy that is often called ‘film-philosophy’. His various writings on cinema were for a long time scattered among many different sources, the majority untranslated. With its original 2010 ...

‘If in this I have been tedious,’ admitted William Cowper in a letter published in 1750, ‘it may be some excuse, I had not time to make it shorter.’ In The Writing Culture of Ordinary People in Europe, c.1860–1920, Martyn Lyons has accomplished what Cowper could not. This is a short book but withal it successfully tackles an expansive agenda. ...

Jay Daniel Thompson on 'The Baby Farmers'

Jay Daniel Thompson
28 November 2013

In The Baby Farmers, legal scholar Annie Cossins revisits a bizarre episode in Australian criminal history. Her text focuses on a pair of baby killers who operated in Sydney during the nineteenth century. In October 1892, Sarah and John Makin were arrested after a baby’s corpse was found buried on their farm. An investigation revealed the ...

The main title of John Darwin’s new book is simple but mischievous. Its primary purpose is to announce that he sees empire as an activity rather than a thing. People, millions of them, made it, and remade it constantly, over long stretches of time; it was always in progress, always being finished ...

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Alastair Collins reviews 'Changing Gears'

Alastair Collins
27 November 2013

With resource shortages looming and climate change a topic of intense discussion, it is becoming increasingly important for people to find ways to reduce their day-to-day consumption and carbon footprint. Greg Foyster’s Changing Gears seeks to explore the question of how to do so through the author’s own interesting, and no doubt exhausting, cross-c ...

Sara Savage reviews 'Banana Girl'

Sara Savage
27 November 2013

Writing a memoir at the age of thirty may seem like an exercise in self-indulgence: what wisdom could one possibly impart amid the universal tumultuousness of the Saturn Return? Seemingly aware of the predicament, the author of Banana Girl doesn’t pretend to deliver any answers, her memoir instead giving a more immediate snapshot into the life of a tw ...

Debbie Hamilton's 'Out of Bounds'

Debi Hamilton
27 November 2013

Last week I received an envelope in the mail, the address written in my father’s hand. My heart accelerated a little and it struck me as unseemly, at my age and in my circumstances, to be still so easily rattled by a parent.

The envelope was light – inside I found only a newspaper clipping and a small note. I spread them out on the kitchen bench. A frien ...

Ian Gibbins on 'Gardens of Fire'

Ian Gibbins
27 November 2013

As I write this article in my Adelaide Hills home, surrounded by native eucalypts and introduced fruit trees, large areas in New South Wales are dealing with the consequences of some of the worst bushfires in recorded history. Remarkably, given the unseasonally extreme weather, the rugged terrain, and the ferocity of the fires the ...

This is one of the more vital and significant poetry anthologies to appear in Australia. It has been compiled with a purpose as sophisticated and complex as the arguments for existence that it posits. It is an anthology not so much of ‘region’ (it is a rather massive one), as of the experience of being or having been from Asian heritages in contemporary Au ...

Susan Sheridan reviews 'Moving Among Strangers'

Susan Sheridan
27 November 2013

When Gabrielle Carey wrote Puberty Blues (1979) with her school friend Kathy Lette, it was closely based on her own experience as a teenager. This initiated a writing career specialising in autobiography. Her novel The Borrowed Girl (1994) is based on her experience of living in a Mexican village, and So Many Selves ...