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The rehabilitation of the Bali Nine ringleaders, Andrew Chan, who became a pastor, and Myuran Sukumaran, who learned to paint, not only changed their lives, but the lives of everyone they came into contact with. Journalist CINDY WOCKNER came to admire the two men. Her book, The Pastor and the Painter, written in their memory, continues their campaign to end the death penalty.
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Articles in this issue

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Archive Discoveries

  • UK journalist and editor MARINA BENJAMIN looks at the joys, losses and opportunities of middle age in her new book, The Middlepause. In this extract she writes about the secret misogynistic history of HRT.   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 >
  • 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 >
  • Kentucky-based writer KAYLA RAE WHITAKER tells gr about her debut novel, The Animators, which follows the turbulent creative partnership between two indie animators in New York City. 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 >
  • 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 >
  • Adelaide writer STEPHEN 
ORR, whose book The Hands
 was longlisted for the 2016 
Miles Franklin Award, likes to
travel the world inspecting
 sites of literary interest – when 
he’s not writing about cattle 
stations and small towns. Here 
he recounts a recent journey to
 the British Isles and Germany on 
which he visited the homes and
 haunts of some of the world’s best known authors. Read on >
  • JANINE
 BURKE is an
 Australian
art historian,
author,
biographer,
photographer and
award-winning novelist.
Her latest book, Kiffy Rubbo,
which she has co-edited with Helen Hughes, collects contributions 
from leading figures in the artistic community that all focus on the dynamic figure of Kiffy Rubbo (1944-80), a pioneering curator
in Melbourne in the 1970s. We asked Janine to tell us about this new book and the books that have shaped her life. 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 >
  • 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 >
  • Think of the typical problem drinker, and we usually imagine alcoholics, drink-drivers, underage drinkers and the perpetrators of one-punch attacks. The brother of Brisbane writer ELSPETH MUIR was none of these things. But three days after a heavy night of drinking, he was found dead in the Brisbane River – his blood alcohol level was 0.25 at his time of death. Elspeth tells us about her memoir, Wasted, an investigation into Australia’s drinking culture, and what might have been done to prevent Alexander’s death.  Read on >

Book Reviews in this issue

  • A charming novel, its narration across characters and time is deft and often very moving. I thoroughly enjoyed it and shall look for other works by this author. Read on >

  • It is indeed a tribute to Murakami’s skill as a writer that he can keep deploying these same elements to create fascinating stories. He is nothing if not reliable. If you are a Murakami fan, this is well worth a look and if you are not familiar with his work this would not be a bad starting point. Read on >

  • Miss Burma opens during the titular contest in 1956, when the beautiful 15-year-old Louisa sweeps across the stage. There is something about Louisa, it could be her mixed heritage ( Jewish father, Karen mother), it could be her almost unnatural beauty or it could be something else. The narrative then shifts back in time to 1926 and to Louisa’s father, Benny. Read on >

  • The stories begin and end quickly, but still manage to be intimate and fulfilling. Some are easily digested – read, enjoyed and put aside. But a memorable few will sit in the back of your mind, asking to be untangled further. We leave behind the characters, feeling privileged to have known them, even for a short time, and hopeful for how their lives will unfold beyond the pages. Read on >

  • Tom Hope is broken-hearted, but as his name suggests, he is optimistic and carries on stoically. His wife, Trudy, leaves him after a short marriage. She hates living on his farm in Victoria and Tom doesn’t take enough notice when she regularly sighs and says, ‘Another day in Paradise’. He makes a second-chance list of 34 things to do if she comes back. Read on >

  • In 16th-century Carcassonne, 19-year-old Minou Joubert lives with her widowed father, caring for her two younger siblings and working in the family bookshop as her father’s health declines. There she receives an anonymous letter, sealed with a family crest that she does not recognise, that says simply, ‘She knows that you live.’ Read on >

  • When your life is ruined, you look for some sense of renewed purpose. This is what A Stolen Season is all about – three lives that demand re-examination. Each focal character takes their turn as narrator, and the book is sectioned into chapters around these, each interspersing through the other’s narrative. Read on >

  • Almost Love is an incredibly raw look at messy relationships and the way the people in our lives contribute to who we are. The book is shocking and sobering in the way O’Neill forces you to connect with Sarah and even find yourself relating to her in the most obscure ways. Almost Love is a challenging read, but not one that I regret reading. Read on >

  • This moving, engrossing story of a traditional Italian family enduring the worst of times is written by an Italian-Australian author now living in the UK, for whom migrants and migration have always been at the heart of her storytelling. Read on >

  • Despite being a little banal and wordy at times, this book is a fascinating look at an African country in different times. Read on >

See all Book Reviews for this Issue

The Paris Collaborator