'To cross a line can be to start something – a race or a journey – or to breach a boundary. It can also mark a disruption or a transgression. In her new memoir, Position Doubtful, Kim Mahood crosses many lines. She broaches topics that are fraught with ethical, social and intellectual complexities, and while she does so with a confidence earned through experience, she does not relinquish her uncertainties. She questions herself, her right to be doing what she does, her reactions to people and to her situation as a white artist working with Aboriginal people.'
‘Charlotte Wood’s fifth novel The Natural Way of Things is a virtuoso performance, plotted deftly through a minefield of potential traps, weighted with allegory yet swift and sure in its narrative advance. In Wood’s fictional imagining, the mechanism of punitive control is simply to remove those whose sexuality has become a provocative inconvenience to powerful men. It’s galling, but is it impossible?’
‘It’s as though a well-dressed man has taken off his hat to pat his hair and found a bald spot he then delights in scratching. Never overplayed, and modestly developed, the interplay between the stories of the past and the historian’s self-scrutiny in recounting them is a device that is both charming and revelatory.’ Rosemary Sorensen on Graeme Davison, ‘chattering genealogists’ and family history.
This is a book every Australian should read. The kind of people we are, the kind of nation this is, the big myths and the way they have been forged – these are the stones with which Watson’s builds his book.
Women lust and die in Robert Hillman’s Joyful, but not, it would appear, in the classic realist novel manner. Where a heroine such as Emma Bovary yearns, is seduced, and falls from grace, Joyful offers a twenty-first century update on that scenario. Women still die, but it is the men who love longest when all hope is gone.
One of the queries at the core of Gotland – what would it be like to be a political spouse? – is refined to become, pointedly, what would it be like to be a political wife? Capp is interested in women’s roles, and their desires.