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JANINE
 BURKE is an
 Australian
art historian,
author,
biographer,
photographer and
award-winning novelist.
Her latest book, Kiffy Rubbo,
which she has co-edited with Helen Hughes, collects contributions 
from leading figures in the artistic community that all focus on the dynamic figure of Kiffy Rubbo (1944-80), a pioneering curator
in Melbourne in the 1970s. We asked Janine to tell us about this new book and the books that have shaped her life.
Read more...

Articles in this issue

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Archive Discoveries

  • Perth crime writer David Whish-Wilson reveals how the history of organised crime in WA and his many encounters with criminals, from teaching writing to inmates to meeting biker gangs, has influenced his novels.  Read on >
  • American author and hairdresser DEBORAH RODRIGUEZ lived in the Afghan capital of Kabul for five years, and in that time she founded her own beauty salon and coffee shop. On her return to the US, she wrote a bestselling novel based on the bustling cafe, and now she’s taking us back to Afghanistan in Return to the Little Coffee Shop of Kabul. ANGUS DALTON reports. Read on >
  • Most of Lonely Planet’s publications can fit snugly at the bottom of a backpack, but The Travel Book is a volume best left at home on the coffee table to inspire adventures.  Read on >
  • RITU MENON loves to travel and she loves to sample the local fare of the places her journeys take her to.Her new book, Loitering with Intent: Diary of a happy traveller, is derived from over a decade of travel journal writing. Here she recounts how she came to write the book and recalls a couple of fabulous Italian feasts. 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 >
  • The town of Sorrento in southern Italy sits high on a clff above the Tyrrhenian Sea, whose waters are sobuoyant and warm that you can doze off while floating on its surface. But as author KATE FURNIVALL found, the nearby city of Naples is steeped in a history of danger and wartime poverty. The UK author tells gr her latest novel, The Liberation, was inspired by the secret tunnels, mafia strongholds and the of child street gangs she encountered on a recent visit to the Bay of Naples. Read on >
  • He has worked as a wilderness guide, a ranch hand and a dogsled musher – and he’s also a skilled marksman. But ERIK STOREY, a lover of the great outdoors, has come in out of the wild for long enough to turn out his first novel, Nothing Short of Dying. A thriller set in the mountainous landscape of western Colorado, it features Clyde Barr, a man with a military past who is fresh out of prison. We talked with Erik recently about dealing with rejection, the lure of western Colorado and his number-one tip for surviving in the wild. Read on >
  •  Looking for an engrossing historical fiction read? gr has rounded-up eight of the best for you to try.   The books in Diana Gabaldon’s ‘Outlander’ series have undergone a renaissance recently after
being adapted into a BBC
TV series that has gained a cult following. When Claire Randall is thrown back in time from 1945 to 1743 she finds herself in a very different Scotland, where she is branded as an outlander or Sassenach (a derogatory word for an English person) in a country run by clans and invaded by Redcoats. Try this series if you like a well-researched historical sagas that have swashbuckling adventure and a bit of romantic romping. Read on >
  • Heart surgeon PROFESSOR STEPHEN WESTABY has worked for 35 years to save ailing hearts and, in many cases, give his patients a second chance at life. In his new memoir, Fragile Lives, Westaby recounts remarkable and poignant cases, such as the baby who had suffered multiple heart attacks before reaching six months of age. We asked him to tell us a bit about his life as a surgeon. Read on >
  • Paul Mitchell is a poet, short story writer, and now a novelist with the release of We. Are. Family. Read on to find out about Paul's poetry, writing, and the way he explores family trauma and masculinity in Australia.  Read on >
  • Kit, only 19 years old, works for Shen Corporation
as a phenomenaut – a person who projects their consciousness into the bodies of animals bred for research purposes. This is the strange and intriguing premise of The Many Selves of Katherine North. ANGUS DALTON puts some questions to EMMA GEEN, author of this new novel. Read on >

Book Reviews in this issue

  • The boy of this book’s subtitle was Georg Forster, son of the German naturalist Johann Reinhold Forster, who so annoyed his shipmates on Cook’s second great circumnavigation of the globe. A N Wilson uses a complex but deftly handled narrative structure to capture the complexity of Georg’s life, much of which was spent travelling. Read on >

  • ‘Who holds the whip hand?’ asks a question on the back cover of this book.Never have I been so intrigued by a blurb. Separated into two collections of short stories, Mihaela Nicolescu’s ‘The Returning’ and Nadine Browne’s ‘Playing Dead,’ this anthology is primarily concerned with women’s stories. Read on >

  • Welcome to the Late Roman Empire in the early 4th century CE. This is a pretty good read and recommended for those who want a different take on the Rome they know.   Read on >

  • Almost without exception, the characters in this novel are vividly rendered, and their attitudes and relationships – however unlikely – are entirely believable. I enjoyed almost every moment of this lovely story. Read on >

  • Thirty-something food photographer Kit is engaged to Scott, a talented but emotionally distant industrial designer with whom she has little in common. Raph is everything Scott is not: warm, sexy and mysterious. Should Kit dive into an unknown future with Raph, or play it safe with Scott? Is the man of her dreams everything he appears to be? Read on >

  • I was hooked and found myself enjoying spending time with these quirky, likeable people. A great book for the holidays. Read on >

  • Norman invites his stepmother to live with him, his wife and their three children. She proves to be an cantankerous lodger. But it’s only after she dies that the full extent of her malevolence is revealed.    Read on >

  • What would you choose to see if you could have one moment of history played out in front of your eyes? Dickinson’s novel immerses you. It can require concentration to keep up with the flow of the story but it’s worth the effort for readers who love a good time travel mystery. Read on >

  • In the distant future, the Earth has turned on humanity, almost as if in revenge for the way it has polluted, raped and pillaged the planet’s resources over the centuries. Rain is a long-forgotten memory, and the world has been reshaped by a colossal rise of the oceans, far beyond even the most pessimistic predictions of contemporary real-world pundits.  Read on >

  • Here I Am is a difficult read – not because it’s not good – but because it’s uncomfortably good. The complex subject matter, the characters and the world that Jonathan Safran Foer creates rings all too true.       Read on >

See all Book Reviews for this Issue