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BRUCE PASCOE dislikes the term ‘bush tucker’. The phrase, says the Yuin, Bunurong and Tasmanian man, affirms the colonial myth that First Nation peoples were opportunistic hunters and gatherers, who neither owned nor made utility of the land. It’s a version of our history that most Australians have grown comfortable with, that is, until the release of Pascoe’s groundbreaking bestseller Dark Emu in 2014, that shook us awake to the rich and sophisticated history of Indigenous agriculture. The celebrated author and historian maintains this momentum with his latest book Salt, a collection of fiction and non-fiction that distills the greatest writings of his career. EMMA HARVEY tells us more.
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Articles in this issue

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Archive Discoveries

  • 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 >
  • 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 >
  • 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 >
  • 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 >
  • 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 >
  • 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 >
  • 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 >
  • 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 >
  • 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 an officious woman named Constance Kopp. This discovery catalysed her historical crime-fiction series, set in New Jersey in 1915, based on Constance and her two sisters. As the second instalment in the series, Lady Cop Makes Trouble, is released, ANGUS DALTON finds out more. Read on >
  • ARMANDO LUCAS CORREA is the Editor-in-Chief of People En Espanol,  the top-selling Hispanic magazine in the U.S. Here he writes of his personal connection to a group of Jewish refugees that departed from Hamburg, Germany in 1939 seeking refuge in Cuba. His novel The German Girl is a fictional account of the doomed voyage. Read on >
  • Communicating the most exciting new developments in science to non-scientific readers can be a challenge. But Know This: Today’s most interesting and important scientific ideas, discoveries, and developments, takes up the challenge and lets dozens of eminent scientists tell us what they think are the most interesting recent developments in science. Here are two extracts from the book. Read on >

Book Reviews in this issue

  • When one’s choices are so limited, can one be blamed for the choices one makes? Koe’s first novel is primarily focused on three characters: the anti-Nazi German actress, Marlene Dietrich; the German actress-director, Leni Riefenstahl (whose films were supported by Hitler); and the Chinese-American actress, Anna May Wong. Though the book’s historical gaze may have been sharpened if its length was shortened ( perhaps by limiting some of its tangential narratives), this novel is undoubtedly a stunner. Read on >

  • I loved this stunning book so much. Augusta and Parfait learn that home isn’t necessarily the place where we’re born. Sometimes you must leave your home behind to find your real home. Both Augusta and Parfait blame themselves for the tragedies that occur in their lives and wonder if they could have done more to prevent them. But life can’t be rewound and they must continue on, overcoming their grief and finding joy again. Augusta is a captivating narrator and this is a story of hope and love as much as loss, with the characters lingering in your mind long after you finish the book. Read on >

  • The Blue Rose is a guilty pleasure; it offers much and asks for little in return. I imagine it would be the perfect summer read – when these cold days give way to lazy afternoons on the beach, The Blue Rose will be a perfect companion. Read on >

  • There is a wonderfully generous Australian flavour to this novel. The characters are authentic, there’s Henry Lawson poetry quoted during public speeches, and there’s even an optimistic ending. Read on >

  • As psychological thrillers go, this is clever and fastpaced. At the beginning I was unsure I would like it, as seemingly the twist in the tale (Abbie’s artificial intelligence) is sprung at the very beginning. But Abbie’s uncertainty about her former life and what she doesn’t remember gives the novel a fine sense of suspense, and the ethics of replacing someone with a robot is very interesting. Read on >

  • Lippman has forged a sublime, suspenseful tale that flows along so wonderfully that it perhaps obscures its own genius. A stylish, rich novel from one of crime’s very best. Read on >

  • This book is justifiably receiving massive hype. It’s unlike anything I’ve read before and it’s utterly engrossing. You may empathise with these women or you may disagree with their choices but you will be swept up in their stories and not be able to forget them. Read on >

  • It’s strong stuff, as are his unflinching descriptions of his gay sexual encounters during his travels in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, India, Vietnam and the Philippines; his own violence; suicidal tendencies and psych ward notes, right to the end of the book. He’s a fine writer, making this book equally fascinating and depressing, but definitely not for sensitive souls. Read on >

  • Hertmans advises the book is a mixture of detailed research and enthusiastic imagination. Hamoutal’s story is in the documents,. The author has imagined what she was like with some reverence and interspersed his own adventures in retracing her steps. This was a time when society was in a great deal of flux, and it doesn’t always make for easy reading, but it is very well done. Read on >

  • This story is of a road-trip that takes place over 10 days. Daphne, the central character and narrator, is close to an emotional breakdown and, on a whim, abandons her stable life and heads for the Californian desert with her toddler, Honey. Early on, we learn that her husband, a Muslim who had been legally living in America, has been sent back to Turkey by the American immigration authorities and Daphne’s efforts to secure his return have stagnated in opaque bureaucracy. Read on >

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Books for Boys