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Knowledge of good and evil: Chris Flynn’s <i>A Tiger in Eden</i>

Knowledge of good and evil: Chris Flynn’s A Tiger in Eden

If narrator Billy Montgomery’s life was an action movie, A Tiger in Eden depicts the time after the credits roll, after the gunshots and the bloodshed when the protagonist rides off into the sunset to some tropical climate to escape their fate. Billy is on the run from the violence and warring of the Troubles […]

Guest Post — ‘Returns to’ <i>Goosebumps</i>: a children’s introduction to horror

Guest Post — ‘Returns to’ Goosebumps: a children’s introduction to horror

Guest Post by Benjamin Solah  My introduction to haunted houses, monsters and scary stories is credited to R.L. Stine and his Goosebumps series. One of my first memories of being excited by books was the pile of colourful novels with titles in dripping blood that sat stacked on my school desk in primary school. In […]

VIDA’s 2011 count announced: gender disparity in publication rates

VIDA’s 2011 count announced: gender disparity in publication rates

For those following the debates in recent years about the representation of women in publishing, literary journals, book reviews etc. VIDA: Women in Literary Arts this week announced their second annual count of the publication rates between women and men in some of the world’s most respected literary outlets, such as The New Yorker, Granta, The London Review of […]

Observations of desire at Cohuna: Carrie Tiffany’s <i>Mateship with Birds</i>

Observations of desire at Cohuna: Carrie Tiffany’s Mateship with Birds

*Spoiler alert: this is not intended as a straight review and I do refer to key plot points in this analysis. Mateship with Birds is a reflection on the various tangled forms of desire, love, and lust. In a revealing passage towards the end of the novel, Tiffany writes of one of the protagonists’s understanding […]

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J. K. Rowling, Stephen Colbert and the story of two topsy turvy publishing announcements

J. K. Rowling, Stephen Colbert and the story of two topsy turvy publishing announcements

Well, we appear to be in a strange looking-glass world this week with political satirist Stephen Colbert to publish a children’s book and acclaimed children’s author J. K. Rowling today announcing she will be releasing a novel for adults. Personally, I’m looking forward to both. Colbert’s book, I Am a Pole (And So Can You!) […]

Guest Post — The smell of books

Guest Post — The smell of books

Guest post by Elizabeth Redman Every debate I have ever heard about e-books goes something like this: Advocate: ‘E-books are cheaper, more portable and quicker to access than paper books. They also allow authors to self-publish more easily.’ Critic: ‘Yes but paper books are so much better because of the way they smell.’ My nose […]

Our Stories? Gender and the ‘Australian experience’ in the National Year of Reading

Our Stories? Gender and the ‘Australian experience’ in the National Year of Reading

Though for many of us it is a perpetual state, 2012 is the officially appointed National Year of Reading. One of the centerpieces of the NYOR is an initiative called ‘Our Story’. Over the summer of 2011-2012, Australians were encouraged to vote for one of six titles in a shortlist for their state/territory that best […]

Guest Post — Love between the lines: On reading Maura Kelly and Jack Murnighan’s <i> Much Ado About Loving</i>

Guest Post — Love between the lines: On reading Maura Kelly and Jack Murnighan’s Much Ado About Loving

Guest Post by Rebecca Howden There are two things in the world I don’t think I’ll ever fall out of love with – books, and being in love. When I’m trying to impress cute philosophy students, I’m likely to claim that my incurable romantic streak is some kind of Nietzschean theory, that capacity for joy […]

Guest Post — Swept Away

Guest Post — Swept Away

Guest Post by Andrew Stafford In a new post for the ‘Returns to’ series, Andrew Stafford isn’t crying a river for the loss of his children’s books. I LOST my children’s books in the Queensland floods. The story of how that happened is banal enough. They had not left my mother’s home since I left […]

The Omnivore’s ‘Hatchet Job of the Year’ award winner announced

A few weeks ago I wrote about The Omnivore’s Hatchet Job of the Year Award – a prize given to the best scathing review of the year. Last night the awards were announced and it went to Adam Mars-Jones for his review of Michael Cunningham’s By Nightfall, and the runner up: Leo Robson for his […]

Although Of Course I’ll End Up Becoming Myself: David Foster Wallace and The Writer’s Journey

Although Of Course I’ll End Up Becoming Myself: David Foster Wallace and The Writer’s Journey

Guest Post by Laurie Steed  2012 marks my ten-year anniversary of being a writer. When I began I had many idols, including Peter Goldsworthy, Lorrie Moore, Roald Dahl and Nick Hornby. I also craved a mentor, someone to show me how. I craved it so much I befriended an established writer more insecure than I […]

‘All the dark places’: Michael Sala’s <i>The Last Thread</i>

‘All the dark places’: Michael Sala’s The Last Thread

‘Gezellig. This is Mum’s word. “Nou ja, dit is gezellig,” she says as she shrugs off her coat full of winter rain and puts on a light.’ Gezellig is a word that recurs throughout The Last Thread. We have no literal translation or equivalent in English. The closest we have is ‘cosy’ or ‘coziness’, but […]

Guest Post — Finding the people behind a revolution: Johnny West’s <i>Karama!</i>

Guest Post — Finding the people behind a revolution: Johnny West’s Karama!

Guest post by Max Denton It’s now been a year since the old orders of the Arab world began to crumble under the weight of popular protest. It was the first time in my lifetime that I’d witnessed, albeit from afar, the strength of raw people power to affect large-scale change. This, plus the ability […]

A place in which to write

A place in which to write

At the moment I’m house-sitting in an apartment in Clifton Hill in Melbourne. It’s a cute little deco building and there are apartments below and above me, and all around are the windows and balconies of other brick buildings. I sit on the balcony to write, looking up at the chimney tops and out at […]

Mungo MacCallum’s <i>The Good, the Bad & the Unlikely</i>

Mungo MacCallum’s The Good, the Bad & the Unlikely

Some we know because their personalities were memorable – such as Keating or Hawke. Some, because of famous or tragic stories – such as Harold Holt’s mysterious end (and the rather poor taste, though admittedly amusing, fact that he has a memorial pool named after him in Melbourne). Some we know because they led not […]