Australian Fiction reviews

Friends and Dark Shapes by Kavita Bedford

In Kavita Bedford’s quietly hypnotic debut, an unnamed narrator in her late 20s roams the suburbs of Sydney trying to process her grief. A freelance writer, she lives in a Redfern share house with th…

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The Performance by Claire Thomas

In The Performance, three woman are waiting in a Melbourne theatre for a production of Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days to begin. It has been a day of extreme heat, and bushfires around the state continue…

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New Animal by Ella Baxter

Ella Baxter’s debut novel New Animal introduces a gritty, honest and complex protagonist in the form of Amelia, an embalmer working as a make-up artist at her mother’s mortuary. Exposed to other peop…

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Hold Your Fire by Chloe Wilson

Chloe Wilson’s brilliant debut collection of short stories, Hold Your Fire, is an absolute delight to read. Contained within you’ll find a mix of witty and deadpan flash fiction and short stories of …

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A Room Called Earth by Madeleine Ryan

Here’s the plot pitch: in a first-person stream-of-consciousness narrative, a young woman describes her preparations for a night out at a party. She goes to the party; she meets some people; she come…

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O by Steven Carroll

Almost 70 years ago, a slim little book was published by a small French publishing house, sans publicity or fanfare, its author a previously unheard-of woman by the name of Pauline Réage. The Story o

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The Imitator by Rebecca Starford

In writing this review I simply can’t ignore the fact that 2021 will mark the 70th anniversary of the defections of Soviet agents Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean across the Iron Curtain. Both were hig…

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The Spiral by Iain Ryan

I could tell you that Iain Ryan’s The Spiral is an immersive, captivating crime book, but that wouldn’t be enough to explain it. I could say it’s a twisted, psychological fever dream, but that’s not …

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The Speechwriter by Martin McKenzie-Murray

It is a funny old time to be writing political satire. I mean, satire is everyday reality in our year 2021. And so, when a political satire comes along, I am eager to see where it can possibly go. Th…

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The Price of Two Sparrows by Christy Collins

In a Sydney beachside suburb in early 2004, a block of land next to a bird sanctuary has been purchased by members of the Muslim community to build a mosque. The mosque has been designed by talented …

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