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January-February 2024, no. 461

January-February 2024, no. 461

ABR’s annual double issue is packed with summer-reading features. To complement our Books of the Year feature (December issue), Australia’s top arts critics nominate 2023’s outstanding productions. Kevin Foster doesn’t pull his punches on David McBride’s whistleblower memoir, Emma Dortins reviews Kate Fullagar’s innovative biography of Bennelong and Arthur Phillip, and Frank Bongiorno considers Raimond Gaita’s tangle with life’s big questions. Gordon Pentland takes on Theresa May and Stuart Kells eyes Qantas. Ebony Nilsson unearths ASIO files to reveal ordinary lives and Peter Edwards considers political interference in official military histories. We review new fiction from Lucy Treloar, Max Easton, and Sigrid Nunez. As always, the summer issue features the five poems shortlisted in this year’s Peter Porter Poetry Prize.


Full Contents


Schoenberg: Why he matters by Harvey Sachs

Critic of the Month

An interview with Catriona Menzies-Pike

by Australian Book Review

Prickly Moses: Poems by Simon West


Death in the Sauna by Dennis Altman


Sunbirds by Mirandi Riwoe

Young Adult Fiction

Burn by Melanie Saward & We Didn’t Think It Through by Gary Lonesborough


Lies and Sorcery by Elsa Morante, translated by Jenny McPhee


Paradise Estate by Max Easton


The Vulnerables by Sigrid Nunez


Ian Fleming: The complete man by Nicholas Shakespeare


Shakespeare: The man who pays the rent by Judi Dench with Brendan O’Hea

Science and Technology

The Best Australian Science Writing 2023 edited by Donna Lu

Literary Studies

James Joyce by Gabrielle Carey

Australian History

Bennelong & Phillip: A history unravelled by Kate Fullagar


An Unlikely Prisoner by Sean Turnell


parallel equators by Nathan Shepherdson & camping underground by Greg McLaren