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For many of us, the streets of London or New York are more familiar
than the towns and settlements of the remote north and centre of our own country. But non-Indigenous artist and writer KIM MAHOOD, who spent many years of her childhood on a cattle station amid Indigenous lands, knows these parts of Australia well. In her new book, Position Doubtful, she recounts
 her frequent journeys from her home in Wamboin, near Canberra, back to Indigenous communities in NT and WA. We caught up with Kim in Alice Springs just as she was preparing to head out on a 1000 km road trip.
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Articles in this issue

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Archive Discoveries

  • In the early 1900s, the luminescent properties of radium – a highly radioactive metal – had just been discovered, and entrepreneurs were quick to identify its marketing potential. They flooded supermarket shelves with radium-based products, and thousands of young women in North America were hired to paint clock dials with radium. The girls would go home with their hands aglow, oblivious to the bone-destroying radiation they had been exposed to. We spoke with London-based author KATE MOORE about these workers’ stories, which appear in her new book, The Radium Girls. Read on >
  • Australian historical novelist Pamela Hart tells us about her latest novel, A Letter From Italy, and Australia's first female war correspondent.  Read on >
  • Creativity is often thought of as a special gift bestowed on only a handful of lucky people. But as Australian novelist SUE WOOLFE points out, it’s a skill that you can cultivate. Here are five tips she used to create her latest collection of stories, Do You Love Me or What? 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 >
  • Recent research has revealed the astonishing capabilities of dogs. We know that they can help vision- impaired people, but they can also sniff out cancer and even help to locate missing people. CAT WARREN in What the Dog Knows recounts how she adopted an unruly German shepherd puppy, Solo, who is eventually trained to locate human corpses. Read on >
  • Born in London, retired doctor TONY ATKINSON spent the first years of his life in a cage dangling out of a window. But he went on to serve the Queen and Winston Churchill during his early career as a footman and waiter, which he recalls in hilarious stories in he memoir, A Prescribed Life. Read on >
  • The jazz era of the 1920s in America was
 filled with exuberant music, fast cars and young men and women determined to have a good time. But at the same time in working-class Far North Queensland, life wasn’t lived at quite the same level of opulence.
In a new novel, Treading Air, Queensland author ARIELLA VAN LUYN uses fiction to investigate the life of a real young woman from Townsville named Lizzie O’Dea, who shot another woman in 1924. Read on >
  • Following on from her two-million-selling historical novel Orphan Train, CHRISTINA BAKER KLINE has delved into the backstory of a famous painting by Andrew Wyeth to write her new novel, A Piece of the World. ANGUS DALTON talks with the author.  Read on >
  • Australian author of literary and crime fiction DOROTHY JOHNSTON writes about the real-life kidnapping of a camel, coming home to Victoria’s Bellarine Peninsula, and how she came to write Through a Camel’s Eye. Read on >
  • Lynda La Plante changed the face of crime fiction and television with Prime Suspect and its stoic lead character, DCI Jane Tennison. Her new series details how Tennison cut her teeth on London’s crime-ridden, gang-ruled streets in the 80s. We asked the queen of crime 10 questions ahead of her new book release, Hidden Killers. Read on >
  • Alison Evans is a genderqueer writer, lover of bad movies, and co-founder of the zine Concrete Queers. Here Alison tells us about her new spec-fic novel, Ida, and non-binary identities in YA fiction. Read on >

Book Reviews in this issue

  • 5 STAR REVIEW Ben and Grace Walker grew up surfing in an Australian coastal town. While Ben rode the swell all the way to surf sponsorships, Grace was always overshadowed by her twin.That is, until a wave comes crashing down on both of them, and Grace is left to wade in the ocean alone. Breathing Under Water is unequivocally Australian.  Read on >

  • 5 STAR REVIEW Imagine a perfect life where the great works of your career are acknowledged and you are given the status you deserve as a master of your craft. This is what any Chronicler would want and feel they deserved after writing what was considered to be one of the Great Tales. Read on >

  • It’s been a year since Tuesday’s father died, but the bleak cloud of gloom that settled on the house at that awful time has not yet lifted. Her mother’s typewriter is covered in dust and Tuesday’s notebooks lie unused. In the world of story, winter has come with a vengeance, covering everything with ice and snow. If something doesn’t happen soon, all the living creatures in that world, including Vivienne Small, will die of cold and starvation. Read on >

  • 4 STAR REVIEW Ona Vitkus is 104 years old and has accepted the fact that she won’t be alive for much longer. That is, until the boy starts visiting her. This child is, for all intents and purposes, a boy scout doing his bit for the community but who brings Ona so much more.  The boy’s life is centered on world records and, intrigued by Ona and her age, he decides that she needs to achieve her own world record. So begins an unlikely friendship that inspires Ona to start living again. Read on >

  • 4 STAR REVIEW Ye Xin is one of over 14 million high school graduates in Chine who were forced to leave the cities during the Cultural Revolution and work in rural areas, where they received re-education from the peasants. They were the zhiqing or ‘educated youth’. In the 1970s Ye Xin, along with masses of others, was allowed to return to his home city if he had no job in the rural area or if he were unmarried. He qualified, but others divorced their spouses and their children were left behind. Many of these zhiqing started new relationships in the city and kept their past lives undisclosed. Imagine the disturbance when, years later, a group of children come to look for their birth parents. Read on >

  • 4 STAR REVIEW Whisper to Me is written in the form of a letter from teenager Cassie to a boy she fell in love with over the summer but left broken-hearted. She is hoping her writing will redeem her and explain her behaviour. Always an outsider, Cassie has experienced a combinationof awkward social moments, accidents and bad luck that have firmly established her as a loner. But it’s the loss of her mother and the guilt Cassie carries around because of her death that triggers her descent into mental illness. Read on >