International Fiction reviews

Monogamy by Sue Miller

The devil is always in the detail. Graham and Annie have been married for nearly thirty years, seemingly with great devotion. Graham is a bookseller. (Do I know him? I thought several times throughou…

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Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi

I loved God, my brother, and my mother, in that order. When I lost my brother, poof went the other two.

Yaa Gyasi’s sophomore novel is a study of relationships. With family. With God. With science.…

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Mayflies by Andrew O’Hagan

Everyone has that one friend who is so vibrant that when you’re with them, everything else dissolves to mere backdrop. And everyone has had those nights that seem to simultaneously last forever and b…

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The Lying Life of Adults by Elena Ferrante

Last year, when I heard that a new Elena Ferrante novel was imminent, I experienced palpable waves of excitement through my body. That’s the kind of writer Ferrante is – she inspires feverish devotio…

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What Are You Going Through by Sigrid Nunez

Sigrid Nunez’s The Friend is one of my highlights of recent reading years, and it has become so much a part of my own reading autobiography that it’s hard to believe that is has only been in my memor…

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Piranesi by Susanna Clarke

Published in 2004 and the winner of a slew of literary awards, Susanna Clarke’s debut Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell is one of those remarkable books that changes the landscape of an entire genre. F…

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The Abstainer by Ian McGuire

In my reading life, there are a handful of writers whose next novel I anxiously await. In 2016, I read the rollicking, adventure-filled historical thriller The North Water. With that, its author Ian …

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Betty by Tiffany McDaniel

I’m still a child, only as tall as my father’s shotgun.

So begins Betty’s story. Betty is a fictionalised account of the author’s own mother as she comes of age in Breathed, a town set in the footh…

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Jillian by Halle Butler

Halle Butler’s Jillian is a whole-body cringe, can’t-look-away experience of vicarious mortification. The second novel by Butler to be published in Australia, following The New Me which delighted Rea…

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Utopia Avenue by David Mitchell

David Mitchell’s new novel, Utopia Avenue, is a love letter to the music of the 1960s on both sides of the Atlantic. In it, the process of music-making is inhabited so convincingly, it made me wonder…

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