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When she was 16, MADELAINE DICKIE went to Denpasar, the capital 
of Bali, on a language exchange program.
 Since then she has been fascinated with Indonesia; she has lived and studied in our northern neighbour for three years and
 she speaks Indonesian fluently. Her first novel, Troppo, tells the story of Penny, an Australian expat who flees from her career- minded boyfriend in Perth to a seemingly carefree 
life of surfing in Indonesia. Madelaine tells us how she came to write the novel.
Read more...

Articles in this issue

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Archive Discoveries

  • 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 >
  • Marine biologist SHANNON LEONE FOWLER was embracing her fiancé, Sean, in the ocean off the coast of Thailand when a box jellyfish stung and killed him.Thai authorities tried to dismiss his death as a drunk drowning. Traveling with Ghosts follows the months Shannon spent on a strange trajectory through Eastern Europe, fleeing from the ocean and from grief. She tells us how her memoir came to be, 14 years after Sean’s death. 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 >
  • 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 >
  • Church attendance has been plummeting for decades, yet enrolments for church-based schools are soaring. Nearly all non-churchgoers say that they like having a church in their suburb – although they never go inside it. Leading social researcher HUGH MACKAY takes a look at our contradictory attitudes to religion in his new book, Beyond Belief. In this article, Hugh recounts a part of his own spiritual journey and how he came to write the book. Read on >
  • Serious social issues, including the plight of unwed mothers, domestic violence and the place of women in Australia's history are wrapped up in poignant romace in VICTORIA PURMAN's new novel, The Three Miss Allens. She spekas with MAUREEN EPPEN about the inspiration behind the family saga set on the South Australian coast. 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 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 >
  • ANGUS DALTON meets British historian, journalist and author L S HILTON as she publicises the most hotly anticipated thriller of 2016, Maestra. Read on >
  • Who would have thought that in the largely homogeneous country of China that there could be a group of people who could trace their lineage back to invading Romans? TONY GREY uncovered this intriguing bit of information while travelling in China, and here he tells how he came to write his historical novel, The Tortoise in Asia, which tells the story of Romans travelling along the Silk Road in ancient times. Read on >
  • PEPPER HARDING is the pen name of a writer from San Francisco. The Heart of Henry Quantum, Pepper’s new novel, follows a scatterbrained husband’s erratic journey through the streets of San Francisco as he hunts down his wife’s Christmas present – a bottle of Chanel No. 5. Along the way he runs into his former lover, Daisy. We asked the author about his new novel and the eccentric thought journeys that appears throughout its pages. 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 >

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