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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.
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Articles in this issue

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Archive Discoveries

  • 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 >
  • While researching for a non-fiction book about the botanical history of some of the world’s most popular alcoholic drinks, US author Amy Stewart stumbled across a gin smuggler’s altercation with a officious woman named Constance Kopp. This discovery catalysed her historical crime-fiction series based around Constance and her two sisters, set in New Jersey in 1915. As the second instalment in the series, Lady Cop Makes Trouble, is released, Angus Dalton finds out more. Read on >
  • It’s often said that whatever happens in our childhoods resonates throughout the rest of our lives – for good or for ill. This was certainly the case for TIM ELLIOTT, who grew up with a father who suffered from bipolar disorder. TIM GRAHAM spoke to him about the lingering effects of a tumultuous childhood and his memoir ofpaternal madness, Farewell to the Father. Read on >
  • A young woman named edie channels the dead through her work with the shady Elysian Society in a dytopian first novel from SARA FLANNERY MURPHY. The Oklahoma-based author tells EMMA STUBLEY about her encounters with ghosts and Greek mythology and how they influened The Possessions. 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 >
  • 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 >
  • The exact percentage of people with dyslexia is unknown, but it’s estimated at between 5 and 17 per cent of the population. And many people may not even be aware that they have the condition. There’s no cure for it, but now there’s a new way to help people overcome dyslexia – and it’s as simple as using a new font. 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 >
  • 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 >
  • The rugged beauty of England’s Lake District looms large in the latest psychological thriller by Perth-based author SARA FOSTER. She shares her passion for the natural world and her concerns about the potential impacts of electronic media with MAUREEN EPPEN. 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