Review of The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion in The Australian

I reviewed The Rosie Effect, Graeme Simsion's follow-up to The Rosie Project for the Weekend Australian. It's a warm read, and a successful sequel. Following is an extract from the review. — As with the first book, these incidents are humorous and cause cringing; the reader observes the miscommunication, the unravelling, and longs to step in as an … Continue reading Review of The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion in The Australian

Craig Sherborne’s Tree Palace and Craig Sherborne, #555writers

Yesterday: The plane is just about to descend as I draft this. Craig Sherborne is sitting in the row in front and I've just finished his beautiful novel Tree Palace. I've been completely lost in the story of this family of itinerants, or 'trants', as they call themselves in the book. The family—connected by both blood … Continue reading Craig Sherborne’s Tree Palace and Craig Sherborne, #555writers

Review: Owls Do Cry by Janet Frame in Readings Monthly

I reviewed Owls Do Cry by Janet Frame (released with a new foreword by Margaret Drabble in the Text Classics series) for Readings Monthly, with the book still ringing in my head (hence the style of the review). When I read Frame I am reminded, too, that a writer might deliberately eschew grammar rules, in aid of rhythm or … Continue reading Review: Owls Do Cry by Janet Frame in Readings Monthly

Maria Takolander’s The Double

9781922079763 Text Publishing  August 2013 One of the best contemporary short story collections I've read, Takolander's fictions are intellectual, dark, strange and often dystopian. The tone is of casual realism, but what's described is beyond that: fantastical, nightmarish or just off; my favourite kind of fiction. If you like Kafka or Beckett, or MJ Hyland … Continue reading Maria Takolander’s The Double

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

Guest review: Raili Simojoki on The Amateur Science of Love by Craig Sherborne

Text Publishing, June 2011 9781921758010 (trade paperback, ebook) Reviewed by Raili Simojoki If you’ve read any of Craig Sherborne’s writing, you’ll know not to expect a rosy-eyed view of the world. The Amateur Science of Love follows the grim journey of a love affair gone wrong. Colin leaves the unglamorous environs of his parents’ farm … Continue reading Guest review: Raili Simojoki on The Amateur Science of Love by Craig Sherborne

Guest review: Imogen Baratta on Blue Skies by Helen Hodgman

Text Publishing 9781921758133, March 2011 (Aus) (also UK) Reviewed by Imogen Baratta Helen Hodgman’s Blue Skies tells the story of an unnamed young wife and mother living in the 'heart shaped island' of Tasmania. The agonising banality of her day-to-day life plays out within the confines of stark, suffocating suburbia, amid the manicured lawns and … Continue reading Guest review: Imogen Baratta on Blue Skies by Helen Hodgman