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Archive Discoveries

  • The author of The Woman Who Changed Her Brain: And other inspiring stories of pioneering brain transformation, busts long-held conceptions about how our minds function. Read on >
  • We chat to aspiring astronaut and sci-fi writer S J Kincaid on haunted graveyards, Star Trek, and her new YA galactic thriller, The Diabolic.  Read on >
  • LUCY DURNEEN lectures in creative writing in Plymouth, England, and is the assistant editor of the literary journal Short Fiction. We asked her about the apparent resurgence of interest in short stories, her beginnings as a writer, and the blending of realism and fantasy in the stories in her new collection, Wild Gestures. Read on >
  • Aristotle said that metaphor consists in giving a thing a name that belongs to something else. Shakespeare used metaphor when he wrote ‘All the world’s a stage’, drawing parallels between the planet and a theatrical performance space so that we might more easily understand what the world is like. Metaphors, by likening one thing to another, help us to understand things, or aspects of them, that might otherwise be difficult to comprehend. In Metaphors Be With You, DR MARDY GROTHE takes a historical look at how metaphors have been used to understand a huge range of topics, from adversity, beauty and curiosity through to love, war and vanity. Read on >
  • If you think of the German navy in World War II, then you probably conjure up images of grand-scale conflicts such as the Battle of the Atlantic or the Baltic Sea campaigns. But not so many people are aware that German ships were also on the prowl down in the South Pacific and in the Indian Ocean, where they disguised themselves as ordinary freighters before launching their deadly assaults on unsuspecting Allied craft. False Flags, a new account by Canberra author STEPHEN ROBINSON, tells the story of four German raiders, including the infamous attack by one of them, the Kormoran, on the HMAS Sydney in 1941. GRANT HANSEN reports. Read on >
  • After reading a few thrillers lately I got to thinking about writers in the crime and thriller genres and the research they need to do to make their books seem real. Research can be an exciting part of writing any book. Determining how a killer might think and how their victim could become entrapped is one thing, but I can’t imagine looking at dead people or reading detailed reports of the methods that serial killers use to stalk and murder their prey.That’s the sort of awful stuff police deal with and psychologically struggle with for the rest of their lives. But could even researching this sort of thing affect a writer?  Read on >
  • Teachers of writing classes often tell their students ‘show, don’t tell’. But showing – which means providing vivid description so that readers can clearly imagine what is being represented – depends to a large extent on memory and an alertness to the present moment. Writer and memoir instructor PATTI MILLER, author of Ransacking Paris, shows here how you can draw on sensory memory to enhance your writing. Read on >
  • I switched on to watch ABC TV’s The Drum one evening and discovered Jodi Picoult sitting on the panel discussion.What a great performer she is – not only an impressive writer but also an impressive speaker.The discussion at the table was raging around whether a white author has the right, or could even have the understanding, to write about black characters. As a white woman, how could she really know what’s it’s like to be a black woman, let alone a black man? How could she write black characters and make them authentic without knowing how they feel? Read on >
  • A Melbourne woman proud of her 7000-year-old Persian heritage shines a light on family violence in a memoir covering three generations. SOHILA ZANJANI, author of Scattered Pearls, speaks with JENNIFER SOMERVILLE. Read on >
  • ALL IS GIVEN: A MEMOIR IN SONGS by LINDA NEIL She’s a Brisbane-based songwriter and an awardwinning producer of radio documentaries, and in this memoir LINDA NEIL travels the world, playing music and meeting people along the way. In this extract she recalls as a teenager being given the seemingly tedious duty of reading books to a blind neighbour. But what happened next surprised both the reader and the listener. Read on >
  • Australian novelist NICOLA MORIARTY is the youngest of six siblings, two of whom – Jacyln and Liane – are also accomplished novelists. Her latest novel, The Fifth Letter, examines the relationships of a group of friends after a letter-writing dare uncovers a festering cache of secrets andr esentment. ANGUS DALTON reports. Read on >

Book Reviews in this issue

  • 4 Star Review Nutshell is probably unlike any other thriller you have read, largely because it is narrated by a foetus. This is an original novel that will resonate with anyone familiar with the story of Hamlet. Enjoy the Shakespearean undertones and the elegant prose. Read on >

  • 4 star review Hill’s dense, satisfying storytelling shines a critical and satirical light on contemporary America culture and introduces a cast of quirky characters – some strangely beguiling, others despicably toxic – all caught up in a series of bizarre events and experiences. Read on >

  • 2 star review Take a fiercely intelligent, ambitious, and profoundly naive college student. Add a brilliant physics professor and a dash of infatuation, and bake slowly in the stifling social mores of mid-20th century small-town USA.     Read on >

  • 3 star review Abel is dying, and the disembodied voice of a nurse is asking him to give a full account of himself. In dreamlike stream-of-consciousness prose, Abel tells the story of his life.     Read on >

  • 4 star review The title (based on a quote from Martin Luther King Jr: ‘If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.’) is what drives Ruth to take on the big issue of racism that she has pushed to the back of her mind for too long. Read on >

  • 4 star review This collection of short stories is a skilful exploration of characters who seem to inhabit a nebulous world: visible, present and yet somehow adrift on the margins of society. After the Carnage is a fine collection of stories and bodes well for her next novel, due out later this year. Read on >

  • 2 star review In this sixth book of the ‘Ancient Egypt’ series, Pharaoh Tamose is dead, leaving Taita, his chief advisor, in charge of the remnants of Pharaoh’s army, which faces an overwhelming Hyksos army. Their defeat seems unstoppable until succour arrives from a most unexpected source, and Taita emerges the victor. Read on >

  • 1 star review The college narrative presents Charlie, a wannabe entrepreneur who is trying to start a business, and Ellie, who is attempting to finish a dissertation on Nietzsche. Read on >

  • 4 star review The Rules of Backyard Cricket is an astute exploration of character and family. Serong takes us from ’70s suburbia through to a brutal present in which ex-cricketer Darren Keefe is cable-tied and lies wounded in the boot of a car. During his frightening ride, Darren remembers the life that has led him to this point. Read on >

  • 4 star review A tightly written thriller with enough twists and turns to keep you reading until the last page. Read on >

See all Book Reviews for this Issue