Casual fate: Taking Shelter by Jessica Anderson

Published in 1989, by Penguin Jessica Anderson (1916-2010) won the Miles Franklin Literary Award twice, for Tirra Lirra by the River in 1978 and The Impersonators in 1980. Taking Shelter is one of her less lauded novels (they all sound quite different). I picked it up mainly because of one of the cover blurbs: 'A provocative … Continue reading Casual fate: Taking Shelter by Jessica Anderson

Shortlist for Kibble and Dobbie Literary Awards announced

Need a recommendation for more great books by Australian women? Well the shortlists for the Kibble and Dobbie awards have just been announced. The Kibble Literary Award ($30,000) recognises the work of an established Australian female writer, and the Dobbie Award ($5000) is for the first published work of an Australian female writer. The shortlists … Continue reading Shortlist for Kibble and Dobbie Literary Awards announced

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

Choosing to fly: When We Have Wings by Claire Corbett

Allen & Unwin, 2011 9781742375564  (buy Aus paperback, ebook, US/Kindle)  The main theme, and dilemma, for the two main characters in When We Have Wings is an old one: how do we deal with technological progress, the divides it can create (between classes, between generations), and the power it may provide to a privileged few? More specifically, … Continue reading Choosing to fly: When We Have Wings by Claire Corbett

The isle of man: Sweet Old World by Deborah Robertson

Vintage, 9781741668254 March 2012 (buy paperback, ebook) This article was originally published in The Big Issue no. 402. Deborah Robertson’s latest book started out as a completely different project. The author of award-winning, bestselling novel Careless (2006) and the earlier short-story collection Proudflesh (1997) left her teaching position at Murdoch University—eventually relocating from Fremantle to … Continue reading The isle of man: Sweet Old World by Deborah Robertson

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