Recently read: The Fine Colour of Rust by PA O’Reilly & What the Family Needed by Steven Amsterdam

I'm fairly time-poor at the moment, but I wanted to at least make a small note about a couple of books I've read lately in preparation for the Sydney Writers' Festival next week! The Fine Colour of Rust, PA O'Reilly, Blue Door, 9780007434930, March 2012 (buy paperback, ebook) I'm a big fan of Paddy O'Reilly's … Continue reading Recently read: The Fine Colour of Rust by PA O’Reilly & What the Family Needed by Steven Amsterdam

Bellingen Readers & Writers Fest special: A Common Loss by Kirsten Tranter

In the lead-up to the Bellingen Readers and Writers Festival, I’ll be putting up a series of (short) reviews of books I’m reading in preparation. A Common Loss, Kirsten Tranter Fourth Estate, 2012 9780732290825 (paperback, ebook) This is a fabulous, understated thriller and character story. A group of friends, who met in college, catch up … Continue reading Bellingen Readers & Writers Fest special: A Common Loss by Kirsten Tranter

Bellingen Readers and Writers Festival 2012 special: The Sea Bed by Marele Day

In the lead-up to the Bellingen Readers and Writers Festival, I'll be putting up a series of (short) reviews of books I'm reading in preparation. The Sea Bed, Marele Day Allen & Unwin, 2009 9781741758412 (paperback, ebook) The Sea Bed is set around an island with a tradition of ‘sea women’, who, for generations, have dived, … Continue reading Bellingen Readers and Writers Festival 2012 special: The Sea Bed by Marele Day

Up in the air: an interview with Carrie Tiffany on Mateship with Birds

Picador, February 2012 9781742610764 (paperback, ebook) A version of this article was published in The Big Issue No. 399 Carrie Tiffany’s debut novel Everyman’s Rules for Scientific Living was published in 2005 to high praise. Now, her second novel Mateship with Birds—a compelling and elegant meditation on family, desire and country life—confirms the author’s attraction … Continue reading Up in the air: an interview with Carrie Tiffany on Mateship with Birds

Seduced by an island of sea-wives: Sea Hearts by Margo Lanagan

Allen & Unwin February 2012 (paperback, ebook) 9781742375052 I picked up this novel one morning from somewhere in the pile and was instantly drawn into its strange, contained world. The story is about the island of Rollrock, and the sea witch Misskaella who can draw forth human beings from seals. The novel is divided into … Continue reading Seduced by an island of sea-wives: Sea Hearts by Margo Lanagan

Melancholy tales of loss and gain: Inherited by Amanda Curtin

UWA Publishing 9781742582931 November 2011 (paperback, browser-based ebook) A version of this review was first published in the Sydney Morning Herald's Spectrum magazine on the weekend of 7-8 January. In Amanda Curtin’s atmospheric debut novel The Sinkings, as in her new collection, the past seeps into the present. In Inherited, each stunning story contains multiple layers … Continue reading Melancholy tales of loss and gain: Inherited by Amanda Curtin

Recently read: Foal’s Bread, White Noise + The Swimming-Pool Library

Foal's Bread, Gillian Mears, Allen & Unwin, 9781742376295 (paperback, ebook) A slow read – but think ‘slow’ as in that positive movement of slow food, slow travel – picked up each morning over breakfast. Set in Northern NSW, quite near where I grew up (and author Gillian Mears grew up) in the interwar and WWII … Continue reading Recently read: Foal’s Bread, White Noise + The Swimming-Pool Library