September 2015, issue no. 374

Sonia Nair reviews 'Chasing Shadows'

Sonia Nair

A multi-generational saga straddling numerous countries and political régimes, Leila Yusaf Chung’s first novel, Chasing Shadows, largely alternates between middle child Ajamia’s viewpoint and her father Abu Fadi’s memories, thus giving an evocative portrait of Middle Eastern life in the late nineteenth century. Abu, a middle-aged Polish-Jewish m ... More

Terri-ann White: Amit Chaudhuri in Calcutta

Terri-ann White

There is currently a very appealing trend in publishing with books about cities written by creative writers: fiction writers, novelists, and essayists. In Australia we have had the Cities Series from NewSouth Publishing: personal, writerly books that capture the spirit of our capital cities (and Alice Springs) and take us along pathways, with the idiosyncrati ... More

Claudia Hyles reviews Su Dharmapala

Claudia Hyles

‘Six lives, six loves and a precious garment that binds them all’ are words on the cover of expatriate Sri Lankan Su Dharmapala’s second novel. The book’s six sections follow the sequence of tying a saree – knot, first drape, pleats, second drape, the fall, and the finishing. Six lives are cleverly connected by a precious silken saree in Sri Lanka, India, ... More

J. P. McKinney's Great War Novel

Rodney Hall

Everybody knows by now that the eBook may soon become as significant to literature as recording is to music. The copyright problems are evident, but on the positive side the tired old market-driven canon is being given a rude shake-up.

Quality speaks for itself. Recent welcome revivals include editions of David Ireland’s The Unknown Industrial Prisoner< ... More

Don Anderson on John A. Scott's new novel

Don Anderson
Don Anderson on John A. Scott's new novel More

Janette Turner Hospital's new novel

Brian Matthews

‘You acquired the habit of disguise and now you can’t shed it.’ This observation, made by a nameless old man to Lilith Goldberg, one of the three main protagonists of The Claimant, lies at the heart of the novel, though it shares that vibrantly beating heart with much else: the implications and intricacies of privilege; the iron grip of lineage; the com ... More

Tony Birch reviews Chris Flynn

Tony Birch
The Glass Kingdom offers readers a wild ride through a world of misfits, meth, and the shadowy recesses of society. More

Elisabeth Murray's 'The Loud Earth'

Benjamin Chandler

The unnamed narrator of The Loud Earth lives the hermit life of the shunned. Her parents were murdered. She was acquitted of the crime, but small-town mentality condemns her nonetheless. She retires to a cabin in the mountains overlooking the town’s lake, and seems content to remain there until Hannah arrives at her door. Hannah, not of the town and thus no ... More

Carmel Macdonald Grahame's 'Personal Effects'

Gillian Dooley

A woman, married but alone, stands at a window in a high-rise apartment in Calgary watching the snow fall. Later she might unpack a carton, go out to eat, go to bed. That is about all that happens in the present time in Grahame’s Personal Effects. The rest is memory. This woman, Lilith, from a coastal town in Western Australia, ruminates on a life story fil ... More

Robert Hillman's 'Joyful'

Kári Gíslason

While it may not be a novel’s main purpose, certainly one of its pleasures can lie in how it witnesses the history of the form itself. All novels reveal something of the genealogy from which they emerge, their debt to past traditions and ways of storytelling. Rather as is the case with families, sometimes the further back you go the more striking the resemblance b ... More

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