Topic archives: Australian literature

Review of <i>Animal People</i> by Charlotte Wood in the <i>Age</i> today

Review of Animal People by Charlotte Wood in the Age today

October 8, 2011 2

I reviewed Charlotte Wood’s new novel Animal People for the Age and it looks like it has already found its way online, on the SMH website (not sure if it was in their print version as well). It is definitely one of the best Australian books I’ve read this year, and I do encourage you to […]

Review of <i>:etchings 9 – Love & Something</i> on <i>Cordite</i>

Review of :etchings 9 – Love & Something on Cordite

September 6, 2011

I recently reviewed issue nine of the journal :etchings for Cordite Poetry Review. The focus of the review is the issue’s poetry, as that is Cordite‘s focus, but I mention the fiction and nonfiction also. It begins: ‘Love & Something is the sub-header of :etchings 9, and the something seems to stand for the multitudinous meanings the […]

Guest review: Raili Simojoki on <i>The Amateur Science of Love</i> by Craig Sherborne

Guest review: Raili Simojoki on The Amateur Science of Love by Craig Sherborne

June 9, 2011 2

Text Publishing, June 2011 9781921758010 (trade paperback, ebook) Reviewed by Raili Simojoki If you’ve read any of Craig Sherborne’s writing, you’ll know not to expect a rosy-eyed view of the world. The Amateur Science of Love follows the grim journey of a love affair gone wrong. Colin leaves the unglamorous environs of his parents’ farm […]

Mystery, strangeness and coming-of-age: an interview with Christopher Currie, author of <i>The Ottoman Motel</i>

Mystery, strangeness and coming-of-age: an interview with Christopher Currie, author of The Ottoman Motel

May 16, 2011 1

Text Publishing, May 2011, 9781921758164 (Aus, US, UK) The parents of a young boy disappear in a small, strange town called Reception, in Christopher Currie’s atmospheric debut novel The Ottoman Motel. The townfolk don’t seem to be trying too hard to find Simon’s parents, and it isn’t the first disappearance in the area. Currie’s debut is […]

Let’s read writing by women

May 13, 2011 42

A new committee is being set up to pursue equal rights for women writers in Australia. Besides research, lobbying and setting up mentorships, the committee is looking at establishing a literary prize for Australian women writers, along the lines of the UK’s Orange Prize. The steering committee (including novelist and publisher Sophie Cunningham, critic and […]

Guest review: Lisa Down on <i>Kill Your Darlings: Issue Four</i>

Guest review: Lisa Down on Kill Your Darlings: Issue Four

April 19, 2011 1

Kill Your Darlings: Issue Four (Aus) Ed: Rebecca Starford January 2011 reviewed by Lisa Down Call me a philistine, but I wasn’t previously familiar with the Australian quarterly Kill Your Darlings. It means I don’t have a standard by which I can judge this edition but I walked away satisfied that it had provided the […]

<i>Australian Book Review Online Edition</i> launches today

Australian Book Review Online Edition launches today

April 4, 2011 2

Australian Book Review, as you may well know, is a monthly magazine featuring lengthy, considered book reviews plus poetry and essays (and soon fiction). It is 50 years old this year. Today they’re launching their Online Edition, which is an enhanced version of the magazine accessible to subscribers. ABR OE can be read on any device with […]

Guest review: Lyndon Riggall on <i>The Girl With No Hands</i> by Angela Slatter

Guest review: Lyndon Riggall on The Girl With No Hands by Angela Slatter

March 25, 2011 1

Ticonderoga Publications, 2011 9780980628883 (Aus, US, UK) reviewed by Lyndon Riggall In my first year at University I studied fairytales, and more specifically Angela Carter’s The Bloody Chamber, a book which is arguably the poster-child of fairytale re-imaginings. Carter writes well, and in many cases her stories spin beautifully away from tradition while remaining neatly tied […]

<i>This Too Shall Pass</i> by SJ Finn

This Too Shall Pass by SJ Finn

March 17, 2011

This review first appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald: Spectrum on the weekend of February 26-27. Sleepers Publishing 9781742700380 March 2011 (Aus) Jen Montgomery, known as ‘Monty’, had always considered herself a ‘forever’ person, until years into her marriage when something shifted. Monty began a relationship with another woman. This Too Shall Pass not only reflects on […]

The moody city: Meg Mundell on <i>Black Glass</i>

The moody city: Meg Mundell on Black Glass

February 26, 2011 1

Black Glass Meg Mundell Scribe, March 2011 9781921640933 (Aus) In Meg Mundell’s dark and stylish debut, two sisters and a cast of characters from different tiers of society fight for survival, recognition and connection in near-future Melbourne. The novel is in some ways about maintaining some kind of hope or dreams in a fractured, controlling […]

Guest review: Lyndon Riggall on <i>Five Wounds</i> by Jonathan Walker & Dan Hallett

Guest review: Lyndon Riggall on Five Wounds by Jonathan Walker & Dan Hallett

January 25, 2011 3

Allen & Unwin, 2010 9781742370132 (Aus, US, UK) To call your novel ‘illuminated’ is a dangerous thing. Five Wounds‘ claim holds with it the expectation that it should be something beyond a typical read. An ‘illuminated novel’ must be more than novel: no minor feat, and no small promise. I am glad to say that […]

Guest review: Elizabeth Bryer on Wayne Macauley’s <i>Other Stories</i>

Guest review: Elizabeth Bryer on Wayne Macauley’s Other Stories

December 2, 2010 2

Black Pepper November 2010 9781876044664 (Aus) Reviewed by Elizabeth Bryer Other Stories brings together Melbourne-based Wayne Macauley’s output over the past decade and counting. The collection is filled with ‘other’ stories—tales that are other, or outside the mainstream, in a double sense. They are other in subject, given that they are stories that trace the […]

Brendan Cowell’s <i>How it Feels</i>

Brendan Cowell’s How it Feels

November 19, 2010 1

Picador, November 2010 9781405039291 Our protag, Neil, is a young ‘arty’ guy from Cronulla whose concerns oscillate between the people of home, and his burgeoning theatre career. He’s self-absorbed, which we know because it’s reiterated a million times in the book. He can’t make up his mind about which chick to f*ck and keep f*cking. […]

Aussies up for largest worldwide literary prize: IMPAC Dublin longlist

Aussies up for largest worldwide literary prize: IMPAC Dublin longlist

November 16, 2010 1

The longlist for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award is nominated by libraries worldwide, so it’s no surprise that Australian books have been put forward by Australian libraries. Nonetheless, the €100,000 prize is nothing to balk at. It’s a long longlist, but an interesting one. I like seeing the flavour of different libraries in different […]

Guest review: Alice Robinson on John Tesarsch’s <i>The Philanthropist</i>

Guest review: Alice Robinson on John Tesarsch’s The Philanthropist

November 3, 2010 9

Sleepers Publishing November 2010, 9781740669979 (Aus) reviewed by Alice Robinson John Tesarsch’s accomplished first novel The Philanthropist is a book about parents and children. It is about what we pass on, and what we inherit in turn. ‘The best thing a father can do, of course, is be there for his children. I wasn’t, because […]

<i>The Mary Smokes Boys</i> by Patrick Holland

The Mary Smokes Boys by Patrick Holland

October 24, 2010 2

Transit Lounge August 2010 9780980571790 A version of this review originally appeared in the Byron Shire Echo. Grey North lives in the small town of Mary Smokes, outside of Brisbane. Grey’s mother dies giving birth to his little sister, Irene, and from this traumatic event the novel, and Grey’s character, emerges. On the night his […]

Guest review: Derek Motion on Tiggy Johnson’s <i>First Taste</i>

Guest review: Derek Motion on Tiggy Johnson’s First Taste

October 13, 2010 1

Page Seventeen, 2010 9780980813609 Reviewed by Derek Motion                 I often have to catch the bus out to the university, and from the stop near my house the journey takes around 15 minutes. This parcel of time is – if you get straight on to the task and don’t waste any time looking out the window […]

Investing in rainbows: Lisa Lang’s <i>Utopian Man</i>

Investing in rainbows: Lisa Lang’s Utopian Man

September 14, 2010 2

Utopian Man Lisa Lang Allen & Unwin 9781742373348 2010 (Australia) Edward Cole was the forward-thinking, optimistic and eccentric founder of Cole’s Book Arcade – a utopian hive of 1880’s Melbourne. In the Arcade was stacked all manner of books (which were able to be perused on in-store lounges), pamphlets (including challenging, self-published explorations by Cole), and eventually, […]

Chris Womersley’s <i>Bereft</i>

Chris Womersley’s Bereft

August 30, 2010 7

This review first appeared in the August issue of Bookseller+Publisher, and is cross-posted over at Bookseller+Publisher‘s Fancy Goods blog. Bereft Chris Womersley Scribe, September 2010 (Australia) 9781921640605 Chris Womersley’s Bereft, his second novel after 2008’s award-winning The Low Road, is a rich, gripping tale of love, loss, conflict and salvation. The prologue states that in 1912, during a […]

Guest review: Sam Cooney on Clinton Caward’s <i>Love Machine</i>

Guest review: Sam Cooney on Clinton Caward’s Love Machine

May 5, 2010 2

Love Machine Clinton Caward Hamish Hamilton (Penguin) February 2010, Australia 9781926428024 Reviewed by Sam Cooney. I first encountered Clinton Caward’s writing last year in the lit journal Cutwater; his two short stories punched me in the gut with their corrosive and compelling strength, and the accompanying author interview struck some chords. (Indeed, I said so […]