Topic archives: literary fiction

Writing on writing: guest post by Harry Bingham

Writing on writing: guest post by Harry Bingham

June 6, 2011 2

  I’ve been a professional writer for more than ten years,  but it was only recently, when asked to produce a How to Write book by A&C Black/Bloomsbury, that I came to think systematically about this craft of ours. I mean ‘systematically’ in two different dimensions. First, there’s the whole area of technique. How, precisely, […]

Some of my short stories available as ebooks

Some of my short stories available as ebooks

June 3, 2011 4

I decided to extend the life of some of my short stories that have been published in journals/magazines over the last few years, by publishing them digitally. It’s a bit of a (fairly safe) experiment in self-publishing and the world of ebooks. I’m loving reading on my Kobo eReader, and I’ve made these stories available […]

<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 […]

Cult carny lit: Katherine Dunn’s <i>Geek Love</i>

Cult carny lit: Katherine Dunn’s Geek Love

December 27, 2010 3

Vintage, 1989 9780375713347 (2002 edn) (Also Aus, US, UK) Miss Olympia is an emotional, hunchbacked albino dwarf, and the complex narrator of this wonderful novel. In the present, Oly secretly watches over the remaining members of her carnival-of-freaks family: her daughter, Miranda, and her mother, Crystal Lil. Why her observance and care is secretive is revealed through […]

<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 […]

Eleanor Catton’s <i>The Rehearsal</i>

Eleanor Catton’s The Rehearsal

February 2, 2010 3

Granta 2009 (Aus/NZ, US) 9781847081162 All the world’s a stage… A novel as a performance, more – a novel as flirtation (the performance of flirting): self-conscious, inviting yet exclusive. The reader is all the roles, all the characters and all the actors – for in The Rehearsal there are layers of fictional existence – blended, […]

Peter Goldsworthy’s <i>Everything I Knew</i>

Peter Goldsworthy’s Everything I Knew

July 14, 2009 10

Penguin Aus ISBN 9780143009634 (paperback, August 2009) It’s 1964 in small-town South Australia and Robert Burns (like the poet) is on the cusp of adolescence. ‘Happiness is a default state’, he narrates, looking back. Reading it, no matter when or where you grew up, one can relate to that simplicity, the time before ‘adult’ aspects of […]

J.M. Coetzee’s <i>Disgrace</i>

J.M. Coetzee’s Disgrace

June 29, 2009 8

Disgrace JM Coetzee 9780099289524 Vintage (Aus, US) Disgrace is centred around David Lurie, a Romantic Poetry Professor at a Cape Town University, and an unapologetic lover of the firm, youthful, accommodating female form. He’s been married twice, and in the story satisfies his hunger with a prostitute, and then a student, becoming enamored with both […]

Philipp Meyer’s <i>American Rust</i>

Philipp Meyer’s American Rust

May 7, 2009 4

A&U 2009, 9781741756838 (Aus, US/Kindle) The fundamental thread, through Philipp Meyer’s brilliant American Rust, is mistakes and failures, and how they come about through choice, instinct or luck. In the novel, each of the characters comes up against choices large and small, and the reader is not only witness to the outcomes of their decisions, […]

<i>Turner’s Paintbox</i> by Paul Morgan

Turner’s Paintbox by Paul Morgan

April 9, 2009

Viking, 9780670071364, 2007 (Australia) Gerard Moyne is an extremely successful Sydney-based art consultant, art lover, and all round philosophical aesthete. He falls for the independent, earthy, and oft-scattered Julia. They’re not exactly opposites, but nor do they complement each other entirely. Their relationship, and its undoing (it begins with this) are chronicled, alongside the narrative […]

Eva Hornung on <i>Dog Boy</i>, writing and activism

Eva Hornung on Dog Boy, writing and activism

March 9, 2009 14

In October 2006, I was sitting at the airport in Bali after the Ubud Writers’ and Readers’ Festival, and Eva Hornung (then Sallis) and her gorgeous little boy came and sat next to me. I had seen her speak during the festival, and read her book Fire, Fire, which I found quite confronting. We talked […]

<i>The Comfort of Figs</i> by Simon Cleary

The Comfort of Figs by Simon Cleary

December 16, 2008 2

  9780702236433, UQP, 2008 (Australia) This book opens in the past, with the sight of a body falling from a bridge. In the present, Robert O’Hara makes small gestures – planting fig trees, comforting his distraught girlfriend after an attack on them both, easing his way into an old man’s life to learn the secrets of his […]

Punk Romance and Time Travel – an interview with Audrey Niffenegger

January 15, 2008 5

  The Time Traveler’s Wife is a highly absorbing read with quirk, warmth and genuine romance. It follows the connecting stories of Henry, who suffers from spontaneous time travel, and Clare, his destined partner. LiteraryMinded caught up with Audrey Niffenegger somewhere in time and space to ask her a few questions about the novel…   The […]

The Children by Charlotte Wood

October 27, 2007 2

9781741753356, Allen & Unwin, 2007 The perfect book for me is one that is about the extraordinariness of everyday life – the things that human beings acknowledge, and the things they deny; the amazement, comfort and simultaneous hurt in personal relationships; the wealth beneath the surface, but also the necessity of surfaces. Charlotte Wood looks […]

The Trout Opera by Matthew Condon

October 13, 2007

Random House Vintage, 9781740510325, November 2007, $32.95 (TPB) (UK pb). First published in the October 2007 issue of BOOKSELLER + PUBLISHER magazine (c) 2007 Thorpe-Bowker (a division of RR Bowker LLC) Wilfred Lampe has experienced a whole century in the Snowy River town of Dalgety. He’s a part of the landscape, its consistencies and […]

Matthew Condon – Interview

October 13, 2007 1

First published in the October 2007 issue of BOOKSELLER + PUBLISHER magazine (c) 2007 Thorpe-Bowker (a division of RR Bowker LLC) The Trout Opera sprang from an encounter with a Dalgety local, stories of the place, and much research. What were you most inspired by when you first visited the place? I hadn’t been […]

Anais Nin’s Delta of Venus – Feminine Identity Through Pleasure – A Mini Analysis

September 26, 2007 8

Anais Nin’s stories in Delta of Venus (Aus/US) were intended for a specific male client but it is possible to detect a feminine presence in the writing. Lynette Felber (1995) suggests that Nin called herself a feminine writer but nonetheless, wanted to grasp the male reader in her projects with Henry Miller and her erotic […]

Dead Birds – Trevor Shearston

August 10, 2007

9780733320903, ABC Books, September 2007First published in the August 2007 issue of BOOKSELLER + PUBLISHER magazine (c) 2007 Thorpe-Bowker (a division of RR Bowker LLC) A New Guinean tribesman is killed by a spirit with lightning (a white man with a gun). His head is preserved in a jar and it’s from this point […]

Modes of Connection – a review of Sorry by Gail Jones

August 3, 2007 4

My review of Gail Jones’ Sorry (Aus, US) appears in the latest Australian Women’s Book Review. Sorry is Gail Jones’s most important and accessible book to date. Perdita is born late in life to immigrant parents Nicholas and Stella. They have come from England so Nicholas can study anthropology. In Broome they keep a ramshackle […]