VIC contributor

I swim at night, carving through water full of chlorine and tasting of mould, turning lap after lap before the pool closes down, while cells inside me hurry into being like bubbles under a running tap. The lifeguard stalks along beside the pool watching me. I know he’s trying to get me out, but I can’t stop swimming ...

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'Honeywell', a new poem by Rowan McNaught

Rowan McNaught
Thursday, 23 May 2019

In a hallway with the door open, a Honeywell T87 will attempt to
equalise the temperature of the continuous (available) world. It sits
between the mirror-dresser and the coat-hook which resembles two
of four talons of a lived-in bird, like a Fiji or an Imitator goshawk ...

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Alistair Thomson reviews Hazelwood by Tom Doig

Alistair Thomson
Thursday, 23 May 2019

Tom Doig’s Hazelwood begins with Scott Morrison proclaiming to Parliament, ‘This is coal. Don’t be afraid … It won’t hurt you’, and concludes, 284 riveting pages later, that ‘the Australian coal industry doesn’t just cause disasters – it is a disaster’. In February 2014, during ‘the worst drought and heatwave south-eastern Australia had ...

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Australia’s energy transition has been hotly debated for a decade, and it doesn’t look set to cool anytime soon. Blackout: How is energy-rich Australia running out of electricity? offers readers the chance to be an informed participant in the debate. For more than a century, decisions about our electricity system have been left to the experts ...

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'History repeats itself,’ Karl Marx wrote presciently in The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon. ‘The first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.’ The central themes of Hal Brands and Charles Edel’s The Lessons of Tragedy are clear. In the developed world, we are complacent about world order, democracy, and civil society ...

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From McKinsey analyst to honoured author, New York Times correspondent, familiar face on MSNBC. Awarded a prestigious Henry Crown Fellowship at Aspen, invited onto private planes amid discussion of drinking-water projects in Kenya and improved farm supply chains in India. Not one but two TED talks ...

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For more than a decade the world has waited, patiently or disbelievingly, for a second book from Nam Le, author of The Boat (2008), a collection of seven tales that won the young Australian author acclaim throughout the world. Finally, it has arrived. A book-length essay running to about 15,000 words ...

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When Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird wrote The Secret Life of Plants (1975), many critics labelled their attempt to prove a spiritual link between people and plants as mystical gibberish, with a New York Times review chiding the authors for pandering to charlatans and amateur psychics ...

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Open Page with Judith Brett

Australian Book Review
Monday, 22 April 2019

Camping at Thurra River in the Croajingalong National Park, swimming in its tannin estuary, cooking fresh fish, gossiping while walking its long white beaches, watching the sea eagles soar.

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Night Parrot by Penny Olsen is more than a biography of a bird that spent most of the twentieth century successfully hiding from people. It is a historical biography of human determination and obsession, and of the ways in which this bird has acted as a catalyst for transitions between those two psychological states ...

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