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Chilean American author ISABEL ALLENDE was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2014 by Barack Obama. Here the 75-year-old author tells ANGUS DALTON about her new novel, In the Midst of Winter.
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Articles in this issue

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Archive Discoveries

  • Biographies have long fascinated readers, serving as guides for how to live our own lives or often just giving us an intriguing peek into the world of extraordinary people. In this round-up we look at a comedian with a disability, a magician with a learning disorder, the real man behind Walter White of Breaking Bad and more. But we’re bending the biography rules a bit by also including a book by a philosopher that will prompt you to think about living a better life, a book about Aussies at war and an account of Queensland police leading lives of corruption. Read on >
  • In her latest novel, Melbourne author JANE RAWSON adds an air of otherworldliness to the story of her ancestor who survived a 19th-century shipwreck. She talks to MAUREEN EPPEN about history, aliens and the benefits of having been a ‘hack writer’ for 25 years.  Read on >
  • Read this and the ordinary world disappears,’ says Stephen King of
‘The Passage’ series. ANGUS DALTON talks with bestselling author JUSTIN CRONIN about his post-apocalyptic trilogy, the vampiric creatures he created to end humanity, and the last instalment of the series, The City of Mirrors. Read on >
  • Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre has inspired all kinds of fan fiction and adaptations, such as the 1966 prequel Wide Sargasso Sea. But in this new novel by Sydney resident JENNIFER LIVETT, the lives of Jane Eyre characters become entwined with those of real 19th-century Tasmanians, including doomed Arctic explorer Sir John Franklin. Here Jennifer tells us how she came up with the idea for Wild Island. Read on >
  • From an investigation into the scandals of the Catholic Church by Tom Keneally to Jeffrey Archer’s thrilling last instalment in the ‘Clifton Chronicles’ series or a tale of a shrewd female locksmith in the time of Queen Elizabeth I, these books will delight you over the long, languid days of summer. Read on >
  • Australian film director BRUCE BERESFORD (Driving Miss Daisy, Paradise Road) and film producer SUE MILLIKEN (Black Robe and Sirens) have collaborated on several films over their long careers. Their new book, There’s a Fax from Bruce: Edited correspondence between Bruce Beresford & Sue Milliken 1989- 1996, collects the communications – full of industry gossip, news and thoughts on books and films – from a pre-email era between these two filmmaking luminaries. They tell us here about the books that have influenced them. 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 >
  • FIONA CAPP is the internationally published, award-winning author of three works of non-fiction, including her memoir That Oceanic Feeling – which won the Kibble Award – and five novels, including Gotland, which was shortlisted for the 2014 Queensland Literary Awards. Fiona lives in Melbourne and works as a freelance writer and reviewer. Her latest novel, To Know My Crime, is a story of blackmail, risk, corruption, guilt and consequences set on the Mornington Peninsula. We asked Fiona to tell us about the books that have shaped her view of the world. Read on >
  • Meet the author who won the ABIA General Fiction Book of the Year 2015, and find out about her latest title, The Art of Keeping Secrets. Read on >
  • The symptoms of boredom, loneliness and heartache can often be alleviated by exposure to a good novel. But poetry can also have a similar healing effect. If you suffer from any of the following undesirable conditions, try these three poetic prescriptions that might just do the trick. 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 >

Book Reviews in this issue

  • This is both a very Australian story and a universal one. I was genuinely taken aback by how affected I was by this concise yet powerful story. It is a journey of self-discovery, endurance in the face of horrific odds and ultimately the triumph of resilience. Read on >

  • Titch and Irene Bobs and their neighbour, Willie Bachhuber, the three main characters in A Long Way Home live in Bacchus Marsh, 60 km north-west of Melbourne, Australia. Celebrated author Peter Carey was born in Bacchus Marsh. Read on >

  • Flights is a very strange book. In fact, I’m certain the author intended it that way. It is concerned with all manner of odd things: the psychology of restlessness, missing and broken people and the anatomy of our bodies, to name a few.  Read on >

  • This is a profoundly moving novel, such is the power with words and depth of feeling by the leading Taiwanese author Wu Ming-Yi.  Read on >

  • Salman Rushdie’s The Golden House is an intriguing, if not completely absorbing, tale.  Read on >

  • This novel explores sexual identity, underage sex, societal double standards and the accessibility of pornography and considers their impacts on friendship and personal development. While Cole is an unsympathetic though credible protagonist, Handler imbues him with a trace of vulnerability, to remind us that we were once self-centred, hormonal teenagers, too. Read on >

  • What an entertaining novel.  Read on >

  • Flanagan creates a thought-provoking story with a searching look into Australia, its authors, its history and future, its admiration of anti-heroes and the persona or masks we can all wear. Read on >

  • Connolly really makes you feel for Stan and his lost love, his only real true (platonic) love – Oliver Hardy.  Read on >

  • The Boat Runner follows Jacob over the course of four years, as he navigates the unfamiliar rituals of the Hitler Youth, the fear and sorrow of loss, sabotage with his uncle in the dead of night and his perceived betrayal of the British as they rain bombs down upon everything he ever knew. Read on >

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