Bronte Coates

688df9553443e0aba9b49ae64bd14c33_bigthumb

Bronte Coates is the Digital Content Coordinator, as well as the Prize Manager for the Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction. She is a co-founder of literary project, Stilts.

Reviews

When the Floods Came by Clare Morrall

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

Set in a future imagining of Britain that is scarily believable, the latest novel from Man Booker Prize-shortlisted author Clare Morrall is a literary thriller that forces readers to consider questio…

Read more ›

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

A Harry Potter-esque romantic adventure story set in a boarding school from Rainbow Rowell? Yes please, thank you very much.

Like other fans of Rowell’s earlier books I’ve been very much anticipatin…

Read more ›

The Story of the Lost Child by Elena Ferrante

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

If you’re already reading Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels, you know why this author is considered a literary sensation by readers worldwide. Her books are shattering and enthralling, intimate and …

Read more ›

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

Described as required reading by Nobel laureate Toni Morrison, Ta-Nehisi Coates’ searing missive to his 15-year-old son Samori is one of the most powerful pieces of writing I’ve ever read. Through an…

Read more ›

Life Moves Pretty Fast by Hadley Freeman

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

If you’re looking for something fun and frothy to read as you snuggle under the doona this winter, Life Moves Pretty Fast would be an ideal pick. Hadley Freeman’s personalised handbook to North Ameri…

Read more ›

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

Funny, gruesome and thought-provoking, Smoke Gets In Your Eyes is Caitlin Doughty’s candid account of her early experiences working with dead bodies, first as a crematorium operator and then at morti…

Read more ›

The Green Road by Anne Enright

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

The latest novel from Man Booker Prize-winning author Anne Enright is a gorgeously raw and expansive examination of the Madigan family. Sprawling thirty years, The Green Road follows the four childre…

Read more ›

Mothermorphosis edited by Monica Dux

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

Religion, politics and money are usually cited as the top three topics to avoid at a dinner party, but surely parenthood trumps them all. To the uninitiated, the mysterious world of ‘tummy time’, ‘co…

Read more ›

On Immunity: An Inoculation by Eula Biss

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

Eula Biss’s elegant examination of our fear of vaccination opens with Achilles being dipped into the River Styx and closes with the metaphor of a garden. In between, Biss talks about milkmaids and sc…

Read more ›

Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay by Elena Ferrante

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels are relentless and ferocious, and wholly absorbing. With each new book, the story of Elena Greco and her friend, Lina Cerullo, intensifies, and in Those Who Leave a

Read more ›

How to be Both by Ali Smith

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

Two dual narratives form Ali Smith’s new novel. In one, George is a teenage girl grieving the sudden death of her mother and starting to explore her sexuality. In the other, Francesco is an Italian r…

Read more ›

Golden Boys by Sonya Hartnett

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

Reading Sonya Hartnett’s Golden Boys is unnerving, an experience akin to treading deep water. Everything above the surface appears calm, but there’s the lingering sensation that anything could be lur…

Read more ›

Upstairs at the Party by Linda Grant

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

The new book from the Orange Prize-winning, and Man Booker Prize-shortlisted, novelist Linda Grant is joyously bold. Our narrator Adele opens with: ‘If you go back and look at your life there are cer…

Read more ›

Only The Animals by Ceridwen Dovey

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

The animals who narrate the stories in Ceridwen Dovey’s collection have each been killed during a human conflict of the past century: Himmler’s dog is abandoned in the woods; a bear starves to death …

Read more ›

The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

Here, Meg Wolitzer has given us a delicious, utterly absorbing novel of epic scope, concerning six characters who meet as teenagers in 1974 at an exclusive summer arts camp. They ironically refer to …

Read more ›

Bark by Lorrie Moore

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

Lorrie Moore fans rejoice. Her first new collection of stories in 15 years is here and reading it will remind you of why you fell in love with her corrosive wit in the first place. Darker and more ov…

Read more ›

Stories We Tell by Sarah Polley

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

Canadian writer and director Sarah Polley has created a tender and unforgettable love letter to her parents with this documentary, a pastiche of dramatised retellings and ‘home videos’, genuine archi…

Read more ›

Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

Shot over just twelve days at Joss Whedon’s own home, Shakespeare’s classic comedy of sparring lovers Beatrice and Benedick (and sappy lovers Claudio and Hero) is given a modern twist in this film th…

Read more ›

Ashes in My Mouth, Sand in My Shoes by Per Petterson

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

Norwegian novelist Per Petterson writes beautifully – his prose slicing across the page in swift, clean strokes – and now English readers can take pleasure in his literary debut. First published in 1…

Read more ›

This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

In 2011 I saw Ann Patchett speak at the Brisbane Writers Festival. The Orange Prize-winning author was tremendous on stage: funny and smart, teeming with confidence, she seemed to have a natural grac…

Read more ›

The Electric Lady by Janelle Monáe

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

I’m crushing so hard on this album at the moment. Janelle Monáe’s music is fun and inventive and even though I know it’s too early to say this - I have a sneaking suspicion The Electric Lady is going…

Read more ›

The Hunt by Thomas Vinterberg

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

While I cry easily in films, I can attest to the fact that there are few which can somehow persuade me to curl up into the fetal position while in a cinema and let loose loud, wracking sobs that caus…

Read more ›

Warm Bodies by Jonathan Levine

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

Unapologetically sincere with a slightly gooey centre, Warm Bodies is currently my pick for feel-good film of the year - charming with solid performances and just a whole heck of fun.

Billed as a zo…

Read more ›

MaddAddam by Margaret Atwood

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

Ten years after the release of Oryx and Crake, the final instalment of Margaret Atwood’s dystopian trilogy is here, a slow-burning and wholly immersive, chilling delight. Once again we’re thrown into…

Read more ›

My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

I was recommended Elena Ferrante by a friend, along with cautionary advice that Ferrante was ‘close to the bone’, a phrase somewhat akin to James Wood’s description of her writing as ‘intensely, viol…

Read more ›

My Beautiful Enemy by Cory Taylor

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

Earlier this year I read Me and Mr Booker, regional winner of the 2012 Commonwealth Book Prize, and immediately fell in love with Cory Taylor’s writing. Sixteen-year-old Martha’s voice is fresh, wry …

Read more ›

All That Is by James Salter

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

On the page, James Salter is, quite simply, stunning. His crisp, exquisitely crafted sentences have a transient quality; his words seem to flood you with feeling and then melt away.

In All That Is, …

Read more ›

High Sobriety by Jill Stark

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

Some Melbournians might remember The Age article back in 2011 that sparked this book. Health reporter Jill Stark shared her experiences of giving up alcohol for three months as part of the Hello Sund…

Read more ›

Voiceless edited by J.M. Coetzee et al

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

Earlier this year, Voiceless announced a new project: a literary prize for Australian writing that explores the relationships between animals and humans. The shortlisted writing is gathered together …

Read more ›

Train Dreams by Denis Johnson

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

The history of this book is just a little bit amazing.

Originally published in The Paris Review in 2002 and also included in the renowned O. Henry Prize Stories collection in 2003, it earned a small…

Read more ›

News

Reimagined visions of Australia in YA books

by Bronte Coates

Last week, Marlee Jane Ward’s Welcome to Orphancorp was named the winner of the Prize for Writing for Young Adults as part of the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards. Set during Mirii’s last few days at an industrial orphanage, this punchy genre-busting debut presents a dystopian vision of our nation that is terrifying in its familiarity and fascinating in its strangeness. Ward’s re-positioning o…

Read more ›

Four books that broke my heart in 2015

by Bronte Coates

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

No piece of writing has ever made me cry as much as this raging, eloquent letter from Ta-Nehisi Coates to his 14-year-old son, Samori. In my review I wrote, ‘I read with my heart in my throat and for the final 50 or so pages I cried without stopping. Between the World and Me attests to the power of literature.’ Coates writes specifically about the e…

Read more ›

My favourite page-turners of 2015

by Bronte Coates

The Every series by Ellie Marney

I tore through Ellie Marney’s Sherlock Holmes-inspired YA detective trilogy in a single weekend. Smart, sexy, and suspenseful, these novels were dangerously readable and had me staying up late into the night. I loved spending time with Watts as she navigated being a teenager and intrepid investigator (the latter sometimes unwillingly). She goes through a scary …

Read more ›

A soundtrack to this year’s best fiction

by Bronte Coates

Pair… Preparation for the Next Life by Atticus Lish

With… Carrie and Lowell by Sufjan Stevens

Because… With its exquisitely crafted, stripped-back prose that leaves utter devastation in its wake, Atticus Lish’s story about the relationship between Zou Lei, an illegal Chinese immigrant and Brad Skinner, an Iraq War veteran, is a stunning debut. The book goes perfectly with Sufjan Stevens' lates…

Read more ›

A guide to Christmas albums for 2015

by Bronte Coates

Christmas albums from Australian pop stars

Kylie Minogue has just released her first ever holiday album, and Kylie Christmas is as warm and charming as you’d expect from the Princess of Pop. Highlights include a cover of The Waitresses' 80s classic ‘Christmas Wrapping’ with Iggy Pop (!) and ‘100 Degrees’, an original composition from Kylie and her sister Dannii Minogue. Human Nature, one of Aust…

Read more ›

A summer reading guide to OzYA books of 2015

by Bronte Coates

If your teen is looking for some reading material for the summer holidays, here’s a guide to some of the best YA fiction written by Australian authors this past year. Sci-fi and fantasy Illuminae: The Illuminae Files_01, from talented Melbourne duo Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, is the YA book that everyone is talking about right now. Set in the distant future (and space), the story is very …

Read more ›