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Nicole Abadee

Nicole Abadee

Nicole Abadee writes about books and other things for Good Weekend. She appears regularly at writers’ festivals as a facilitator, and has a books podcast, Books, Books, Books, where she speaks to Australian and international writers about their latest books. She is also a literary consultant, helping writers to polish their work before they submit it to publishers.

Nicole Abadee reviews 'Faithless' by Alice Nelson

August 2022, no. 445 28 July 2022
Faithless is the third novel by West Australian writer Alice Nelson. Her first, The Lost Sky (2008), saw her named Sydney Morning Herald Best Young Australian Novelist, and her second, The Children’s House (2018), attracted widespread critical acclaim. All three explore themes of trauma, displacement, memory, and love. Nelson, many of whose family migrated here from Europe, once pondered in a 20 ... (read more)

Nicole Abadee reviews 'These Precious Days' by Ann Patchett

January–February 2022, no. 439 22 December 2021
In These Precious Days, her second essay collection (after This is the Story of a Happy Marriage in 2013), celebrated American writer Ann Patchett sets out to explore ‘what matter[s] most in this precarious and precious life’. Patchett is the author of seven novels, including Bel Canto (2001), which won the 2002 Orange Prize for Fiction, and her most recent, the internationally acclaimed The D ... (read more)

Nicole Abadee reviews 'The Committed' by Viet Thanh Nguyen

March 2021, no. 429 22 February 2021
Viet Thanh Nguyen arrived in the United States in 1975 as a four-year-old Vietnamese refugee. He is now a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, a professor of English and of American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California, and a contributing writer to The New York Times who has devoted much of his working life to Vietnamese-American history. A related topic that he writes and spea ... (read more)

Nicole Abadee reviews 'Infinite Splendours' by Sofie Laguna

November 2020, no. 426 22 October 2020
Sofie Laguna does not shy away from confronting subject matter. Her first adult novel, One Foot Wrong (2009), is about a young girl forced by her troubled parents into a reclusive existence. Her second, The Eye of the Sheep (2014), which won the Miles Franklin Literary Award in 2015, tells the story of a young boy on the autism spectrum born into a family riven by poverty and violence. Her third, ... (read more)

Nicole Abadee reviews 'The Burning Island' by Jock Serong

September 2020, no. 424 24 August 2020
Criminal lawyer turned crime/thriller writer Jock Serong has produced five highly successful novels in as many years. His latest, The Burning Island, is probably his most ambitious to date. Set in 1830, it is part revenge tale, part mystery, part historical snapshot of the Furneaux Islands in Bass Strait, in particular the relationship between European settlers and Indigenous women, who became the ... (read more)

Nicole Abadee reviews 'A Treacherous Country' by K.M. Kruimink

June–July 2020, no. 422 26 May 2020
Tasmanian writer K.M. Kruimink’s first novel, A Treacherous Country, a witty, cracking tale set in Van Diemen’s Land in the 1840s, has more than a hint of Dickens and Moby-Dick about it. It won The Australian/Vogel’s Literary award, established in 1980 for an unpublished manuscript by an author under thirty-five, which has launched the career of Kate Grenville and Tim Winton, among others. T ... (read more)

'A perfect storm: Promoting new books in a time of isolation' by Nicole Abadee

Book Talk 20 May 2020
The cancellations started in the middle of March, just after Adelaide Writers’ Week. One by one, the various writers’ festivals advised that due to Covid-19 they would not be proceeding. This was not good news for me personally, as I had recently given up a regular writing gig to focus on my speaking commitments. There were now major gaps in my diary. It was not good news for writers either ... (read more)

Nicole Abadee reviews 'Great Cities Through Travellers’ Eyes' by Peter Furtado

April 2020, no. 420 20 March 2020
‘The tourist travels in his own atmosphere like a snail and stands, as it were, on his own perambulating doorstep to look at the continents of the world. But if you discard all this, and sally forth with a leisurely and blank mind, there is no knowing what may not happen to you.’ Thus, in 1928, British writer Freya Stark, an intrepid traveller, described the distinction between a traveller and ... (read more)

Nicole Abadee reviews 'Bruny' by Heather Rose

October 2019, no. 415 25 September 2019
Tasmanian writer Heather Rose’s fifth adult novel, Bruny, about a joint venture between the Chinese, Australian, and Tasmanian governments, is well timed, given current concerns about the covert infiltration of the Chinese Communist Party into Australia’s universities and given Federal MP Andrew Hastie’s recent warning that Australia should approach its relations with China with care, lest i ... (read more)

Nicole Abadee reviews 'Frankissstein: A love story' by Jeanette Winterson

June–July 2019, no. 412 03 June 2019
What distinguishes man from machines? What is artificial life, death, progress? These are just some of the questions Jeanette Winterson explores in her brilliant new novel, Frankissstein, a modern take on Mary Shelley’s masterpiece, Frankenstein. Two warnings: first, the structure is complex, as the narrative segues (at times, unclearly) between the early 1800s and the present; second, readers u ... (read more)
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