August 2017, issue no. 393

Josephine Taylor reviews 'Where the Light Falls' by Gretchen Shirm

Josephine Taylor

In the midst of preparing for an important London exhibition, photographer Andrew is drawn back to Australia by the sudden disappearance of his former girlfriend, Kirsten ...

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Kevin Brophy reviews 'Ghostspeaking' by Peter Boyle

Kevin Brophy

If Peter Boyle’s new and selected, Towns in the Great Desert (which I reviewed in ABR, March 2014), was a tour de force of the imagination, and a book of stunningly str More

Gabriel García Ochoa reviews 'The Transmigration of Bodies and Signs Preceding the End of the World' by Yuri Herrera, translated by Lisa Dillman

Gabriel García Ochoa

Mictlán, the underworld of Aztec mythology, is divided into nine regions, like Dante’s Inferno. Yuri Herrera’s novella, Signs Preceding the End of the World, opens with ...

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Gillian Dooley reviews 'Extinctions' by Josephine Wilson

Gillian Dooley

Extinctions takes its time giving up its secrets, and there are some we will never know. One of its most persistent enigmas is what kind of book it is. I wondered ...

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Shannon Burns reviews 'Autumn' by Ali Smith

Shannon Burns

Ali Smith is a formally and thematically exuberant writer who takes obvious pleasure in the art of storytelling, the mutability of language, and slippages in representation ...

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Kerryn Goldsworthy reviews 'The Best Australian Stories 2016' edited by Charlotte Wood

Kerryn Goldsworthy

If a collection of stories is put together on the basis that these are the ‘best Australian stories of 2016’, is it fair or reasonable to hope for some kind of cohesiveness or gestalt More

Ann-Marie Priest reviews 'The Joyce Girl' by Annabel Abbs

Ann-Marie Priest

In 1934, Lucia Joyce, then in her late twenties, entered analysis with Carl Jung, at the behest of her father, James Joyce. She had been in and out of psychiatric care for several years, but it was still not clear exactly what was wrong with her – if anything. A few years earlier, as a dancer in the Isadora Duncan style, she had been thought to have a genius akin ... More

Chris Flynn reviews 'Inexperience and other stories' by Anthony Macris

Chris Flynn

Given the Australian propensity for travel, it is odd that the global wanderings of our citizens are not much explored in literary fiction, which is still in the anguished throes of self-examination, arguably stuck in a loop. How refreshing, then, to read Anthony Macris’s fourth book, Inexperience and Other Stories, a short volume which drops the reader i ... More

Kevin Rabalais reviews 'Moonglow' by Michael Chabon

Kevin Rabalais

‘Tell all the truth but tell it slant,’ wrote Emily Dickinson. In Moonglow, his latest novel, Michael Chabon follows Dickinson’s directive. This shape-shifting novel masquerades at times as a memoir and at others as a biography of the author’s grandmother and, more frequently, of his grandfather. At the centre of this family saga that takes us throu ... More

Fiona Hile reviews 'Letter to Pessoa & Other Short Fictions' by Michelle Cahill

Fiona Hile

You can tell a lot about a piece of writing from how it begins. For American poet Billy Collins, ‘the first line is the DNA of the poem’. With novels, as J.M. Coetzee writes ...

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