Feature Articles posts

Read an extract from The Friend by Sigrid Nunez

by Sigrid Nunez

American author Sigrid Nunez’s The Friend is a moving meditation on friendship, loss, literature and memory, which revolves around the magical bond that develops between a grieving writer and her Great Dane. The book won the 2018 National Book Award for fiction, and is now available in a paperback format. This is an edited extract from the book.

During the 1980s, in California, a large number…

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Read an extract from Trace by Rachael Brown

by Rachael Brown

Trace: Who Killed Maria James? is ABC broadcast journalist Rachael Brown’s gripping account of her investigation into a 38-year-old cold case, which became the Walkley and Quill Award-winning podcast, Trace, and led to the re-opening of the case. This is an edited extract from the book. April 2016

1.00pm Coroners Court w Ron
Diary note, 21 April 2016

I wince at Maria’s bruised face in the …

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Read an extract from The Year Everything Changed

In this edited extract from the preface of The Year Everything Changed: 2001, author Phillipa McGuinness asks whether everything really did change after 2001?

On New Year’s Eve, 31 December 2001, we buried our son. His name was Daniel. My husband Adam, his father and my sister stood alongside me in Singapore’s Chua Chu Kang Lawn Cemetery and we watched a small, white coffin go into the ground.…

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A spotlight on a brilliant new Australian crime novel

by Jock Serong

Mark Brandi’s debut novel is more than atmospheric: this is visceral Australian noir. Jock Serong introduces us to the next big thing in Australian crime fiction.

Brandi is a writer who pays close attention to the physical; to the shapes and smells and sensations of the human body, set in vivid contrast to the torpor of a dead-end town. Wimmera is the story of two best friends, Ben and Fab, gr…

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Australian YA: the quiet achiever

by Emily Gale

Professionally, you’d have to be a little short of Earth logic to give your heart away to young adult (YA) fiction in this country. The challenges come from all sides.

You’re up against industry snobbery, for a start, despite the fact that children’ and YA books as a category is that rare beast: a print publishing and bookselling growth area. Martin Amis skimmed us a casual slur in 2011, summing…

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Thoughts on Go Set A Watchman

by Nina Kenwood

I’ve finished reading Go Set A Watchman.

Whew! What a relief! Now I can read all those reviews, opinion pieces, hot takes and tweets safe in the knowledge that I have read the book, and my opinion, should I choose to comment on an article (I won’t) is somewhat qualified. If anyone ever says to me, ‘Well have you actually read the book?’, I can say, ‘Yes, I read it within a day of release,’ and t…

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Rebecca Starford on writing Bad Behaviour

by Rebecca Starford

I studied creative writing at university. I loved almost everything about the course: the teachers were inspiring, the readings insightful and provocative, and the workshops were a safe and temperate space.

But the exercises I hated the most – which left me sitting under the fluorescent lights, mouth agape, my mind utterly blank – were on memoir.

‘Write about your childhood,’ our tutor instruct…

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On stories of motherhood

by Emily Harms and Chris Gordon

Emily Harms and Chris Gordon discuss two new anthologies, Mothers & Others and Mothermorphosis, featuring women writing about their experiences of being – and not being – a mother.

Chris: Reading two books about women’s experiences of motherhood back-to-back was quite engulfing. I found myself reflecting on my kids’ birth stories quite a lot. Essentially the stories and experiences, even the s…

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Miriam Sved on Janette Turner Hospital

by Miriam Sved

I am teaching a creative writing subject this semester about short fiction. I’ve tutored in this subject a few times over the years, and I love it. Lots of grist in the reader: Chekhov, Faulkner, Garner, Munro. I can keep coming back to these stories and finding new ways into them. And short fiction is good to teach: literary techniques jump right out at you, there’s nowhere for them to hide. In …

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Rebecca Harkins-Cross on Hilton Als

by Rebecca Harkins-Cross

‘I come from the Stanislavski school of writing,’ said Hilton Als, delivering a keynote on ‘The Role of the Critic’ in 2010. ‘You become the subject.’

A theatre critic for the New Yorker since 2002, it’s no surprise that performance metaphors abound in Als’s essays too. But the notion of the non-fiction writer embodying their subject as an actor would is radical, profoundly shifting the way we d…

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