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In his work KYLE PERRY encounters stories and journeys that would fill 100 books. Kyle’s mother grew up in the foothills of the Great Western Tiers, in Tasmania’s heartland, where his grandfather was called on for search and rescues in the mountains. Kyle himself has been lost in Tasmanian mountains twice, and once used ripped pages of a journal stuck on branches to find his way back out. He has also seen strange things in the bush that defy explanation and are best not spoken about. gr asks how he has woven his experiences into his debut novel, The Bluffs.

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Archive Discoveries

  • 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 >
  • 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 >
  • Read this and the ordinary world disappears,’ says Stephen King of
‘The Passage’ series. ANGUS DALTON talks with bestselling author JUSTIN CRONIN about his post-apocalyptic trilogy, the vampiric creatures he created to end humanity, and the last instalment of the series, The City of Mirrors. Read on >
  • Following on from her two-million-selling historical novel Orphan Train, CHRISTINA BAKER KLINE has delved into the backstory of a famous painting by Andrew Wyeth to write her new novel, A Piece of the World. ANGUS DALTON talks with the author.  Read on >
  • 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 >
  • 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 >
  • I switched on to watch ABC TV’s The Drum one evening and discovered Jodi Picoult sitting on the panel discussion.What a great performer she is – not only an impressive writer but also an impressive speaker.The discussion at the table was raging around whether a white author has the right, or could even have the understanding, to write about black characters. As a white woman, how could she really know what’s it’s like to be a black woman, let alone a black man? How could she write black characters and make them authentic without knowing how they feel? Read on >
  • In the early 1900s, the luminescent properties of radium – a highly radioactive metal – had just been discovered, and entrepreneurs were quick to identify its marketing potential. They flooded supermarket shelves with radium-based products, and thousands of young women in North America were hired to paint clock dials with radium. The girls would go home with their hands aglow, oblivious to the bone-destroying radiation they had been exposed to. We spoke with London-based author KATE MOORE about these workers’ stories, which appear in her new book, The Radium Girls. Read on >
  • Church attendance has been plummeting for decades, yet enrolments for church-based schools are soaring. Nearly all non-churchgoers say that they like having a church in their suburb – although they never go inside it. Leading social researcher HUGH MACKAY takes a look at our contradictory attitudes to religion in his new book, Beyond Belief. In this article, Hugh recounts a part of his own spiritual journey and how he came to write the book. 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 >
  • 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

  • This is an essential motif in the narrative. Darug words frequent the story. This is both wonderful and distracting. Every waibala reader should know Indigenous words, but taking the time to understand each word can disrupt the flow of the narrative. Don’t be put off by this, or that the depiction of waibala actions can make for uncomfortable reading. Swallow any misgivings and persist, because the need to know this colonial Australian history can’t be overstated. Read on >

  • Every day across Australia and around the world news broadcasts include reports of accidents and emergencies, often evoking an morbid curiosity among viewers. Fast-paced and fascinating, graphic yet never gratuitously so, The Application of Pressure is a perceptive examination of frontline emergency services, a homage to those individuals whose dedication and skills save lives every day, and a sensitive reflection on the restorative powers of friendship. Read on >

  • What’s Left of Me Is Yours is a commendable debut by Stephanie Scott. Set in Tokyo, the novel provides an in-depth look into the social and judicial workings of Japanese society in the 1990s. Scott carefully curates a world with immense nuance, integrating Japanese culture meticulously. While I thoroughly enjoyed her novel, I did find the running theme slightly unconvincing. Throughout her novel she explores the idea of whether love can justify acts of deceit, however I felt did not align with the tone of the ending. A beautifully written and executed novel. Read on >

  • Throughout our lives, we all have choices to make. Taryn Cornick made a bad choice. All of the characters, from either side of the reality curtain are forced to make choices. Faustian bargains are made. Only by disparate characters working together might satisfactory outcomes eventuate. This is a monster of a book on many levels, and outstanding … Absolutely outstanding. Read on >

  • This is a very entertaining novel, and quite the bodice ripper, but it is well done and, although it takes many liberties as many historical novels do, it feels a realistic narrative of Catherine’s entirely unlikely rise to power. She must have been quite some woman! Read on >

  • This is a simple story, full of the delights of mountain living, as well as its hardships. There is simple affection between the people, pleasure in preparing food from what they have grown and raised, and a pride in keeping yards and houses spotless. The village and its people may be ageing and dying, but there is more than a glimmer of hope for the future. Read on >

  • Love after Love starts with an act of domestic violence against Trinidadian Betty and her son, Solo. Betty’s husband dies shortly afterwards, falling down the stairs while drunk, saving the small family from further indignities. To help with the cost of living, Betty takes in a lodger, a man who states he will only stay a short while but ends up staying forever. Read on >

  • After ‘discovering’ what is now known as Botany Bay in 1770, Captain Cook and the Endeavour made an emergency stop on Guugu Yimidhirr land in far-north Queensland. On a Barbarous Coast tells a different story of what occurred there - a story where the balance of power between owner and invader is switched. With the 250th anniversary of Cook’s landing, this book is a great way to get an alternate perspective on the event. Read on >

  • Richard Ford is justifiably renowned for both his short and long-form fiction. This book has nine short stories of varying length, none of which is titled Sorry For Your Trouble. He might be apologising to his characters for their plight. Don’t think he’s apologising to his potential readers. That would be ridiculous. Reading Ford, in any length, is an unparalleled joy. Read on >

  • The Switch is a classic feel-good story. Although a little far-fetched at times, it had me laughing and smiling along with it. Set against the backdrop of Leena’s sister’s death from cancer, it has enough seriousness to feel raw and real, which had me tearing up but that is balanced by fun and light-heartedness. The Switch is a heart-warming, funny, romantic and a perfect distraction. Read on >

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