August 2015, issue no. 373

Sophia Barnes reviews Janet Frame's new collection of short stories

Sophia Barnes

Over half the stories collected in Between My Father and the King have not been published before – whether through reluctance, initial rejection, or restraint – and are only now, with this posthumous publication, reaching an audience. Others have appeared everywhere from the New Zealand School Journal to The New Yorker, from the mid-19 ... More

Simon Collinson reviews 'How I became the Mr Big of People Smuggling'

Simon Collinson

How I Became the Mr Big of People Smuggling is sold as a crime novel, but this is a crude categorisation for an unusual book. Mr Big is more like a fictional memoir; the story of Nick Smart, a high-school graduate who signs up to work as a jackaroo at the remote Palmenter Station, but quickly discovers that it is a front for a people-smuggling outfit. ... More

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

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