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Long-time gr contributor, Ngaio Marsh Awards founder and certified crime fiction connoisseur, CRAIG SISTERSON, has poured his passion for all things criminal in the Southern Hemisphere into Southern Cross Crime, a comprehensive compendium of modern crime writing, film and TV. MAX LEWIS sat down with Craig to find out where his passion for crime began, hear his fondest memories of his times at festivals, panels and events and, most importantly, what his favourite Antipodean crime books are.

Articles in this issue

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Archive Discoveries

  • For many of us, the streets of London or New York are more familiar
than the towns and settlements of the remote north and centre of our own country. But non-Indigenous artist and writer KIM MAHOOD, who spent many years of her childhood on a cattle station amid Indigenous lands, knows these parts of Australia well. In her new book, Position Doubtful, she recounts
 her frequent journeys from her home in Wamboin, near Canberra, back to Indigenous communities in NT and WA. We caught up with Kim in Alice Springs just as she was preparing to head out on a 1000 km road trip. 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 >
  • We talk with PATRICK HOLLAND, a longlist nominee for the 2011 Miles Franklin Award for his novel The Mary Smokes Boys, about his new novel, One, which tells the story of the real-life Kenniff brothers. These two late-19th-century Queenslanders were Australia’s last bushrangers, and vPatrick questions the extent of their supposed villainy. Read on >
 BURKE is an
art historian,
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 >
  • GEORGIA BLAIN is a novelist and journalist who lives in Sydney. Her first novel, Closed for Winter, was adapted into movie in 2009. LEONIE DYER asked Georgia about her latest novel, Between a Wolf and a Dog. Read on >
  • Most of us think of Australia as a sunny land filled with straightforward, open and candid people. But in ANNA ROMER’s version of the country, it’s a place filled with secrets and people who will do anything to keep them concealed. She talks with ALEX HENDERSON about her new book, Beyond the Orchard, Victoria’s haunted Otway Coast and the power of fear. Read on >
  • Creativity is often thought of as a special gift bestowed on only a handful of lucky people. But as Australian novelist SUE WOOLFE points out, it’s a skill that you can cultivate. Here are five tips she used to create her latest collection of stories, Do You Love Me or What? Read on >
  • A Melbourne woman proud of her 7000-year-old Persian heritage shines a light on family violence in a memoir covering three generations. SOHILA ZANJANI, author of Scattered Pearls, speaks with JENNIFER SOMERVILLE. Read on >
  • In her latest novel, Melbourne author JANE RAWSON adds an air of otherworldliness to the story of her ancestor who survived a 19th-century shipwreck. She talks to MAUREEN EPPEN about history, aliens and the benefits of having been a ‘hack writer’ for 25 years.  Read on >
  • Australian novelist NICOLA MORIARTY is the youngest of six siblings, two of whom – Jacyln and Liane – are also accomplished novelists. Her latest novel, The Fifth Letter, examines the relationships of a group of friends after a letter-writing dare uncovers a festering cache of secrets andr esentment. ANGUS DALTON reports. 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 >

Book Reviews in this issue

  • This is a story of love, of beauty found in wretchedness, and of loss. There is also hope, though, in the form of the orange-bellied parrot appearing among all the disappearances. This novel is brilliant; Flanagan’s writing is exceptional and we should all be paying attention. Read on >

  • Eliza’s quest to uncover the truth about her family and background shows her that families come in many shapes and sizes and the families we create for ourselves are just as legitimate as those with blood ties. Eliza’s grief and unanswered questions have left a hole in her life that she starts to confront and heal. Her two godmothers are full of love for Eliza but carry their own secrets. A warm, funny novel about love, loss and families. Read on >

  • The editors are interested in the future of fiction and what it means to write, and particularly to write against the conventional centre. The ‘collisions’ are between the authors and their perception of the elusive centre. There is a freshness which comes from having an ‘outsider’ look at our society and our lived environment. Thankfully, this is a long way from a pale, stale, male view of the world. Read on >

  • Hidden in Plain Sight is the second book in a new series that Archer hopes will see William Warwick rise through the ranks to become Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police. It’s not just a detective story; it’s a story about a detective. Consequently, his family, friends and colleagues are fully developed characters. Archer, a first-rate storyteller, has a relaxed style that’s very agreeable with short, sharp chapters that are engaging. Read on >

  • There is no doubt that the 19th century was a time of great drama for Britain and its empire around the world. In this romance novel it was also a time of great melodrama. The novel’s plot zigzags between the unhappy young married couple, a good deal of guilt, something mysterious that happened in Delhi, forbidden love, scandal, a court hearing, and an unexpected ending. Read on >

  • Yes, this is another ‘war novel’, but it’s also quite a bit more. The time is 1941 and a New Zealand battalion begins preparations to enter World War II. Lieutenant Breen is a young soldier with a law degree behind him. Like most of the soldiers, he has little experience of the world, still trying to figure out who he might actually be. Read on >

  • This is a novel about music and sex, and the performance of both. The author nails her colours to the mast early. I use ‘mast’ advisedly: it’s a good phallic signifier. The author is not so coy. Her prose is transgressively graphic. Read on >

  • In 1930s Germany, Hetty is having a wonderful childhood. Adolf Hilter is in power and she admires him greatly, she has just moved into a marvellous, beautifully furnished apartment where the previous tenants have mysteriously left most of their things, and which is much nicer than her old family home. Her father is an important senior member of the SS and she joins the local branch of the female version of the Hitler Youth. Her only disappointment is the notion that she cannot be a doctor – women in the Reich are to be wives and mothers, first and foremost. Read on >

  • In Mayflies, O’Hagan documents the culture of my own youth, and reading about the music, films and books that held meaning for these charismatic characters was a bittersweet nostalgic experience. I was besotted from the first page to the last, and will be thrusting copies into the hands of discerning friends from my formative years. Read on >

  • This story revolves around rejecting the strictures of conformity and obedience, ubiquitous in Japanese culture. Society is ‘the Factory’, where it’s essential to be a proper component, both as a work tool and child-manufacturer. Once free of society, there are few boundaries and the ending is redolent of Süskind’s Perfume. The novel’s conceit works so well that it seems impossible to say they’re not aliens. They’re certainly not Earthlings. Read on >

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The Paris Collaborator