Books of the Year 2012

Dennis Altman et al.

Dennis Altman

It is always tempting to use this opportunity to draw attention to books that may have been somewhat neglected, and looking back over 2012 three books stand out: Russell Banks’s Lost Memory of Skin (Ecco), Kim Westwood’s The Courier’s New Bicycle (Harper Voyager), and Frank Bongiorno’s The Sex Lives of Australians (Black Inc., 9/12).

Banks is one of the most interesting contemporary US novelists, and Lost Memory of Skin is a tough book, built around the lives of men estranged and outlawed from society, and struggling to survive in the interstices of urban Miami.

My two Australian books are very different: Westwood’s is a queer science fiction romp through a believable future Melbourne, while Bongiorno has written a major synthesis of an aspect too often forgotten in our historical memories. Together they illuminate the ambiguities of sexuality in ways that are important in the context of current debates.

Read the rest of this article by subscribing to ABR Online for as little as $10 a month.

We offer a range of subscription options, including print, which can be found by clicking here. If you are already a subscriber, enter your username and password in the ‘Log In’ section in the top right-hand corner of the screen.

If you require assistance, contact us or consult the Frequently Asked Questions page.

Leave a comment

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.

NB: If you are an ABR Online subscriber or contributor, you will need to login to ABR Online in order to post a comment. If you have forgotten your login details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.