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Following her 2016 Stella Award winning novel The Natural Way of Things, CHARLOTTE WOOD wanted to write something completely different. The result was The Weekend, a look at friendships and ageing that is as sharp as it is tender. MAX LEWIS writes.
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Articles in this issue

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Archive Discoveries

  • Kit, only 19 years old, works for Shen Corporation
as a phenomenaut – a person who projects their consciousness into the bodies of animals bred for research purposes. This is the strange and intriguing premise of The Many Selves of Katherine North. ANGUS DALTON puts some questions to EMMA GEEN, author of this new novel. Read on >
  • Stretching across generations and set on the Atherton Tablelands where she lives, the latest novel from prolific Australian author BARBARA HANNAY is a saga of loss, love, secrets and salvation. She tells MAUREEN EPPEN 
about her writing life, and how The Grazier's Wife evolved.   Read on >
  • As a teenager, GAYLE FORMAN was so obsessed with ‘80s movie star Molly Ringwald that she started to imitate the actress’s trademark nervous lip bite – and now she has a permanent scar. After seven bestselling YA novels and a successful movie adaption of one of her books, she talks with ANGUS DALTON about her first book for adults, Leave Me. Read on >
  • CATHY BURKE is the CEO of The Hunger Project Australia, an organisation that aims to end hunger in every part of the world by 2030. She has raised tens of millions of dollars to help empower people in Africa, India, Bangladesh and South America to feed themselves. We asked Cathy about the books that she has enjoyed reading and which have shaped her life, and we also talk about her own book, Unlikely Leaders. 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 >
  • RICHARD ROXBURGH has been extraordinarily versatile over the
decades of his acting career. The Albury-born actor has played both Sherlock Holmes and his nemesis, Professor Moriarty, appeared as Count Dracula in the 2004 movie Van Helsing and played the lead role in Rake, a TV show he co-created. But he’s just as talented
on the page as he is on screen and stage; Roxburgh has written and illustrated a new kids’ book, Artie and the Grime Wave. We asked him about his influences and what lead him to this new project. Read on >
  • Recent research has revealed the astonishing capabilities of dogs. We know that they can help vision- impaired people, but they can also sniff out cancer and even help to locate missing people. CAT WARREN in What the Dog Knows recounts how she adopted an unruly German shepherd puppy, Solo, who is eventually trained to locate human corpses. Read on >
  • FIONA CAPP is the internationally published, award-winning author of three works of non-fiction, including her memoir That Oceanic Feeling – which won the Kibble Award – and five novels, including Gotland, which was shortlisted for the 2014 Queensland Literary Awards. Fiona lives in Melbourne and works as a freelance writer and reviewer. Her latest novel, To Know My Crime, is a story of blackmail, risk, corruption, guilt and consequences set on the Mornington Peninsula. We asked Fiona to tell us about the books that have shaped her view of the world. 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 >
  • The changing moral code and shift in gender roes of World War II provide the backdrop for JENNIFER RYAN's debut novel The Chilbury Ladies' Choir. She tells MAUREEN EPPEN about the people and events that inspired the story. Read on >

Book Reviews in this issue

  • Like many young women with ambitious career plans, Bernadette Agius hadn’t exactly factored a child into her life plan when she fell pregnant. The usual anxieties of motherhood were only further compounded when, moments after giving birth, she was told that her newborn son, Richard, had Down syndrome. Read on >

  • Colin Thompson has written this story so subtly and emotionally. I’ve turned the pages many times to look at the incredibly sensitive, detailed and sometimes fun illustrations. Five stars is not enough for this book. It is a work of art. Read on >

  • This picture book is irresistible as it’s all written in verse with big, full-page real-life illustrations. And the story of this earthquake is added which helps to make the whole incredible story real. My problem is, how did those cows keep their balance? Read on >

  • The children will love this book as Diane Jackson Hill tells the story through a baby Shearwater called Hope. Hope has a little metal band on her leg so Ranger Phil and his team can track her flights. The beautiful illustrations by Craig Smith bring the whole remarkable story to life and we are left to wonder how these little birds find their way by just using their own instincts on the same day every year. Read on >

  • This book, with its exquisite illustrations, is an excellent introduction to Aboriginal people’s culture and language. Read on >

  • This is an insightful study of a family affected by mental illness and the effect would be similar no matter what the family’s ethnicity or cultural background. Of course, there are some permutations that are distinctive to people of Chinese heritage, and Wai Chim beautifully captures these in warm and sensitive ways. Read on >

  • This is a confronting and challenging story which describes the pain of growing up gay in a small, conservative small-town community. It doesn’t matter whether the reader is straight or gay; it gives an important insight in what it’s like to grow up ‘different’. There are some explicit sex scenes, which might shock some readers and which pushes the book into the much older teenage category. However, the characters are believable and one can’t help being moved by their tragic circumstances. Sheppard has given us a brave book which deserves attention. Read on >

  • This is a joyous romp, in which mayhem is piled upon mayhem and Tom, his family and friends, find themselves in all sorts of ridiculous situations. Reed’s illustrations add to the fun. It’s a story guaranteed to make you laugh out loud. Read on >

  • Robertson skilfully synthesises the moral and legal aspects of this debate to make a fervent plea for the return of stolen treasures to their homelands, and also provides a legal framework for how museums and looted nations might approach reparations. Read this book and you’ll see some cultural institutions in a darker, bloody light. You’ll also hope that the stolen Marbles will soon find their way home to Athens. Read on >

  • These 28 Australian stories of summer, sun and swimming will stir many memories. Mine were of the municipal pool in my Far North Queensland hometown which hosted cane toads when it was emptied to just a puddle. And after having unkempt curly hair following early morning training in the pool, I stood in front of a mirror at home, wet my hair, then cut it so it looked good wet (and of course, looked vile when dry!) Read on >

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