The books of life: By the Book by Ramona Koval

This feature interview was first published in The Big Issue no. 421. Text Publishing 9781922079060 November 2012 (buy hardcover, ebook) Ramona Koval’s enthusiastic explorations of literature would be familiar not only to those who enjoyed her long-running ABC Radio National program, The Book Show, but also to audiences at writers’ festivals around the world. As an interviewer, … Continue reading The books of life: By the Book by Ramona Koval

Trauma, kindness & starting with a bang: Jessie Cole on Darkness on the Edge of Town

Fourth Estate, 2012 9780732293192 (buy paperback, ebook) A woman crashes her car outside Vincent's house. Vincent attempts to help the woman, and the baby in her arms, which may not have survived the crash. Rachel is her name and her arrival will have repercussions for Vincent and his daughter Gemma, and will draw attention (and judgment) … Continue reading Trauma, kindness & starting with a bang: Jessie Cole on Darkness on the Edge of Town

The Australian Women Writers Challenge 2012: how did I go?

After completing the recent survey on the Australian Women Writers Challenge website I decided it was time I looked at my reading and reviewing of books by Australian women writers in 2012. On the Overland website Jane Gleeson-White has declared 2012 the year of Australian women writers, and has provided a fantastic summary of the year in relation to … Continue reading The Australian Women Writers Challenge 2012: how did I go?

The alpha brother: Annabel Smith on Whisky Charlie Foxtrot

Fremantle Press, November 2012 9781922089144 (buy paperback, ebook) Whisky and Charlie are identical twins, but they couldn't be more different. Whisky is in a coma after a serious accident, and Charlie has to face up to the kind of brother—and person—he's become. Whisky Charlie Foxtrot moves between the brothers' earlier lives and their difficult present. It's a great … Continue reading The alpha brother: Annabel Smith on Whisky Charlie Foxtrot

Review of All the Way Home by Kristin Henry on Cordite

My latest review for Cordite Poetry Review is of Kristin Henry's compelling, neatly written verse novel All the Way Home. It's about Jesse, the son of a travelling salesman, who falls in love and takes his small family to go live on a commune in NSW. The book is full of tension, music, and careful imagery. Read the full … Continue reading Review of All the Way Home by Kristin Henry on Cordite

Dignified survival: Courtney Collins on The Burial

Allen & Unwin September 2012 9781743311875 (buy paperback, ebook) When Courtney Collins' debut novel The Burial landed in my pile last month, it went straight to the top. Set in the early C20th, it's inspired by the story of Australia's last bushranger, Jessie Hickman. Jessie has done something she can't turn back from, and spends the majority … Continue reading Dignified survival: Courtney Collins on The Burial

Home, strange home: Fishing for Tigers by Emily Maguire

Picador, 9781742610832 September 2012 (buy paperback, ebook) A version of this article was originally published in The Big Issue no. 415. Somewhere around the six-week mark of Emily Maguire’s 2008 visit to Hanoi, she realised she was in love: 'Actual love—the kind where you wake up smiling in anticipation, and you fall asleep deeply, deeply happy every … Continue reading Home, strange home: Fishing for Tigers by Emily Maguire

20 classics #13: The Fortunes of Richard Mahony by Henry Handel Richardson

I’m reading 20 classic, modern-classic or cult books. Read more about this project here. See the other classics here. Why did I want to read it? I haven’t yet reviewed an Australian classic in this series, and The Lifted Brow also asked me to choose one of the Text Classics range to introduce for their October issue. There was a … Continue reading 20 classics #13: The Fortunes of Richard Mahony by Henry Handel Richardson

Parsley and blood: Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth

April 2012 Random House 9781741668452 (buy paperback, ebook) I love a good historical novel: the ability to contrast past and present, to be absorbed in a world that’s (mainly) unfamiliar, and to experience vastly different circumstances, pressures, and social customs. Kate Forsyth allows us to taste, smell and feel 16th Century Italy and late 17th … Continue reading Parsley and blood: Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth