March 2015, issue no. 369

Laurie Steed reviews 'After Darkness'

Laurie Steed

Australia’s history is chequered at best. For every story of military heroism, there is one of discomfiting prejudice. So it is with Christine Piper’s After Darkness, which explores Australian history from the point of view of a Japanese doctor, Tomakazu Ibaraki, arrested as a national threat while in Broome, and sent to the Loveday internment camps in re ... More

Sophie Shanahan reviews 'Sweet One'

Sophie Shanahan

Peter Docker knits us into a ‘pea-soup fog’ of Western Australian heat, blanketing us, until we feel it ‘seeping right into the bones’. In the familiar-sounding Baalboorlie, the sun beats down,scorching the airless metal cell of a prisoner transportation vehicle. It cooks the Old Man’s flesh as he is escorted across a vast stretch of his desert country. Th ... More

Alec Patrić reviews 'Heat and Light'

Alec Patrić

A prestigious prize and na-tional exposure are fine achievements for a writer in her early twenties. Heat and Light is the first major publication by Ellen Van Neerven, winner of the 2013 David Unaipon Award. Given her age, it is less surprising that Heat and Light focuses on questions of identity.

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Alice Bishop reviews 'Lost & Found'

Alice Bishop

Certain catchwords – ‘quirky’, ‘heartwarming’, ‘uplifting’ – mark the media coverage surrounding the release of Western Australian Brooke Davis’s first novel, Lost & Found. Perhaps foreseeing this, Davis presents her twee characters in a slightly laboured, albeit fashionable, manner: the elderly Karl in colourful braces; the agoraphobic ... More

Ten authors on their favourite short story collections

In the spirit of our annual ‘Books of the Year’ feature, in which we ask a range of writers and critics to nominate their favourite new fiction and non-fiction titles, we asked ten Australian short story writers to nominate their favourite short story collections and individual stories. As this is the first time we have run a short-story themed feature of this n ... More

Jo Case on Sonya Hartnett's new novel

Jo Case

Sonya Hartnett writes for all ages, her work spanning children’s picture books to novels for young adults and adult readers. Her adult novels have been widely acclaimed; Of a Boy (2002) won the Age Book of the Year award and has been canonised as a Penguin Classic. In many ways, though, her pedigree as a much-awarded children’s writer has always character ... More

Sarah Holland-Batt reviews 'When the Night Comes'

Sarah Holland-Batt

Sarah Holland-Batt reviews Favel Parrett's new novel and the literal and metaphorical meanings of the rough seas her characters' navigate.

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Kerryn Goldsworthy reviews 'The Golden Age'

Kerryn Goldsworthy

When the polio epidemics at the hinge of the twentieth century were catching hundreds of Australian children and adults in their web of pathogens, a pub in suburban Perth called ‘The Golden Age’ was converted – with its name unchanged – into a convalescent home for children who were recovering from polio but still unready to go back into the world. Joan Lond ... More

Delia Falconer reviews 'The Snow Kimono'

Delia Falconer

When Mark Henshaw’s début, Out of the Line of Fire, appeared in 1988, it was, as literary editor Stephen Romei states in his introduction to the recent Text Classics reissue, the ‘literary sensation of the year’. A novel about an Australian author’s difficulties in writing about his fugitive subject, the young German philosopher Wolfi, it was very mu ... More

Doug Wallen reviews 'Wild Things'

Doug Wallen

‘The boys are behaving badly’ is the coy tagline for journalist Brigid Delaney’s début novel, about an élite Australian university’s cricket team subjecting a Malaysian exchange student to a grisly hazing ritual that goes too far. Such understatement isn’t indicative of the book itself, which follows a group of thinly drawn characters through pained, oft ... More

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