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Gwen John (1876–1939) was a Welsh artist who worked in France for most of her adult life. She became a model for famed French sculptor Auguste Rodin and eventually became his lover. Gwen, a novel by Perth author GOLDIE GOLDBLOOM, tells the story of the early life of this artist who was overshadowed by her brother, artist Augustus John. Her reputation has grown, however, since her death. In this edited extract, Gwen sneaks into the glittering, celebrity-studded sale of one of Rodin’s sculptures.
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Archive Discoveries

  • JOHN KINSELLA is the author of 30 books and is the three-time winner of the WA Premier's Book Award for Poetry. He's a fellow at Cambridge's Churchill college and the editor of international literary journal Salt. The self-described vegan/anarchist/pacifist tells Good Reading asked him about his new short story collection, Old Growth.   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 >
  • AOIFE CLIFFORD is the winner of the Scarlet Stiletto Award for one of her crime stories, but All These Perfect Strangers is her first novel. The Melbourne-based crime novelist talks with us about New Year’s resolutions, her Irish poet grandfather and the similarities between writing a novel and creating a papier-mâché puppet.  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 >
  • 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 >
  • This book might have the word ‘tax’ in its title, but don’t let that dreary term fool you. The Great Multinational Tax Rort tells the intriguing tale of how, for decades, multinational corporations have been slithering out of their obligations to pay their fair share of tax, leaving governments with shrinking funds to pay for essential services for their citizens. In this extract, MARTIN FEIL, also the author of The Failure of Free-Market Economics, outlines some of the techniques these business behemoths use to cunningly avoid paying tax – leaving us all the poorer. Read on >
  • The stories of SUSAN PERABO have been likened to the work of George Saunders and Raymond Carver. Her latest novel, The Fall of Lisa Bellow, kicks off when school student Meredith is kidnapped together with her nemesis, Lisa Bellow. Meredith is set free – but Lisa remains. We asked Susan to tell us about short stories versus novels, her love of baseball and writing advice she has received. Read on >
  • Thirteen-year-old gamer Beth loves fighting beasts and solving riddles in her favourite online game, Tordon. But she soon faces her own adventure when she and her gaming nemesis are sucked into a new adventure filled world where they have to fight for their own survival. Into Tordon is a collaborative novel by 9 authors, written under the pseudonym of Z F Kingbolt. Good Reading talks to Editor-in-Chief Zena Shapter about the collaborative writing process, gaming and the adventures in the real world that mimic those found on the screen. 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 >
  • 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 >
  • The BBC released a survey earlier this year in which they asked readers to name the books they had lied about having read. You can see the list below. I think I have read around half, as some I may have read in my youth that I’ve forgotten about (more about that later). How many of them have you read? The truth, please! Read on >

Book Reviews in this issue

  • The Most Beautiful Woman in Florence by Alyssa Palombo I enjoyed this novel tremendously. An enjoyable journey to another time and place, it’s witty, detailed and well researched. Read on >

  • Bloodlines by Nicole Sinclair What constitutes a family? This novel, by an author who has lived on one of Papua New Guinea’s islands and who now calls Western Australia home, explores the different combinations of people that are family. Read on >

  • The House at Bishopsgate by Katie Hickman The descriptions of 17th-century life were rich with detail, which also meant that careful reading was required, a commitment that detracted from the experience. But lovers of historical fiction will no doubt very much enjoy this tale of love lost and found, scheming and duplicitous relations and the return of a prodigal son. Read on >

  • Congo Dawn by Katherine Scholes It’s a ripping yarn based on hideous historical events in the Congo, which even now is not at peace. Read on >

  • Congo Dawn by Cory Doctorow This is an intricate and engaging novel of a plausible near future that may prove to be more true to life than we wish it to be. Read on >

  • American War by Omar El Akkad The prologue forewarns the reader: ‘This isn’t a story about war. It’s about ruin.’ Sarat’s involvement with the war does not glorify bloodshed and it doesn’t endorse facile categorisations of good and bad. But it clearly reveals the senseless destruction of war. Read on >

  • The River Sings by Sandra Leigh Price Price weaves a magical tale that is rich in history and atmosphere that will sing to your traveller’s soul. Read on >

  • The Baltimore Boys by Joel Dicker Mystery, drama and unrequited love reluctantly give way to violence, revenge and betrayal. We are voyeurs lulled into a false sense of contentment, only to experience despair and anguish soon after. The Baltimore Boys is a saga that will, I suspect, be the basis of a smash-hit television series. Read on >

  • The Burning Ground by Adam O’Riordan All the stories make for a strong collection, but some of them inevitably stand up to scrutiny better than others; the first three stories are the strongest. On the whole, this is a powerful debut that shows perceptiveness and an engaging insight into human nature. Read on >

  • The Children of Joscata by Natalie Haynes Classics lovers looking for an easy but satisfying read will enjoy this novel. It also provides a way in for those who haven’t studied classics or are unfamiliar with the tragedy. More detailed descriptions of the clothes, landscapes and architecture of Thebes would have been welcome, as the setting seemed somewhat generic. But overall it keeps you turning the pages as the inevitable tragedies unfold. Read on >

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