October 2016

After the Carnage by Tara June Winch Cover

The Bleeding Edge: new short fiction

The short story is sometimes viewed as an apprentice form, yet the heterogeneity of the stories collected in these volumes attests to its adaptability in structure, style, voice and genre – and to the particular freedoms it offers as a site for experimentation.

Disappearing Mural

The Writers We Deserve

I suspect that, like me, most readers are inclined to approach any new work of fiction that explores the writing life with a kind of wariness verging on dread, but two recent Australian books prove that metafiction can still be stimulating, and that the Künstlerroman is not yet an exhausted literary form.

the freewheelin' by flickr user the euskadi 11
Image: Kathy Drasky/Flickr
The School Days of Jesus J. M. Coetzee

Novelist of the Sorrowful Countenance

There are critics who have suggested that J. M. Coetzee’s writing lost its edge when he emigrated from South Africa to Australia.

We are here and we are significant

Long before those postcards of Bondi Beach and Sydney Harbour co-opted our image of Sydney, Parramatta was its watery centre.


Bad Writer

The universality of bad writing


September 2016

Back to Cronulla

‘Cronulla had changed, and the image of it I still carried was one that had set in amber, and had become as kitsch and heavy as a paperweight – not to mention as obsolete.’

Image credit: Rowen Atkinson, some rights reserved (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/). This image has been cropped.

Excavating St Peters

‘This is a typical St Peters scene: unlovely, surreal, resistant to investigation.’

Post-Industrial, Holland Street, St Peters.
Inexperience and other stories by Anthony Macris

A Real Inexperience

The strangeness of Macris’s stories are not derived from uncommon states...


Letters to Who? On Michelle Cahill

In Letters to Pessoa, Michelle Cahill anchors Pessoa's spirit figures in history and her own life.

Christina Stead The Little Hotel Cover

The Hunted Months

On Christina Stead’s The Little Hotel.

Bolt Worth Fighting For Cover

Crying Freedom

Conservatives and libertarians: a happy marriage or heading for divorce?


Feral with vulnerability: Nelson, O’Shaughnessy and Mann

Tame love and secure form on one hand, wildness, danger and formlessness on the other.


A Terrible Beauty

Terror and the French Revolution


Maximalist Cosmos: An Interview with Stefano Ercolino

Large works that will strain the hands.

Georges Perec "53 Days" Cover

Georges Perec: ‘C’est l’Australie qui m’a foutu mal!’

In 1981 Georges Perec visited Australia and attempted to write a book in 53 days.

Scenes from the Top End: Mary Anne Butler

I had a lot of inspirations with Broken. Andrew Bovell’s When The Rain Stops Falling taught me that not only can you put anything on stage; you can leap eras and locations in a single sentence.

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August 2016

Illegitimate Son: On Patrick Modiano

There is a doomed quality to the relationships in Modiano’s fiction.

Mondiano Books Featured Image3
Zero K by Don Delillo book cover

Zero K: The Poetry of Alien Places

In Zero K DeLillo brilliantly balances the wildly different scales of his subject matter...

The Orchid Nursery Louise Katz Cover

Browsing the Aisles: A Foray into Speculative Fiction

My research and reading confirmed what I’d suspected all along: most interesting texts don’t fall into easy categories.

Indirect Speech: Contemporary Writing in Cambodia

Oppression and control of writers and literature has been a standard measure of social and cultural life in Cambodia for a thousand years at least, but since the last elections in 2013 there has been the appearance of change.

Word Migrants Hazel Smith Cover

Discomfort Enacted In Writing

What we are meant to think about are words, about the capacity of language to do other than what it seems to be doing.

Brett Whiteley: Art, life and the other thing

Art, Life and the Other Thing

A parallel narrative to the rise of Whiteley as an artist is the detailed account of his sexual promiscuity and his growing dependence on alcohol and drugs.