Non-Fiction reviews

City of Trees by Sophie Cunningham

Reviewed by Michael McLoughlin

Sophie Cunningham has written a collection of travel writing that grapples with the destructive nature of tourism. Or is it nature writing that never forgets its place within the machine that threate…

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Growing Up African in Australia edited by Maxine Beneba Clarke, Ahmed Yussuf & Magan Magan

Reviewed by Marie Matteson

In her introduction to Growing Up African in Australia, Maxine Beneba Clarke sets the scene for an anthology of great specificity. As she explains, this is an anthology that ‘would be an African dias…

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From Secret Ballot to Democracy Sausage by Judith Brett

Reviewed by Julia Jackson

Judith Brett’s latest offering, hot on the heels of her bestselling (and award-winning) biography of Alfred Deakin, is a tightly written history of Australia’s electoral system. Moreover, it reads li…

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Unlike the Heart: A Memoir of Brain and Mind by Nicola Redhouse

Reviewed by Elke Power

In this extraordinary memoir, the reader is taken into the confidence of Nicola Redhouse: writer, editor, reader and, above all, someone who constantly seeks to better understand the human condition …

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Witches: What Women Do Together by Sam George-Allen

Reviewed by Cindy Morris

Witches can be many things, but one thing is for sure: they are women of fearsome power. They are also women who have a tradition of helping other women. Witches are women on the margins, and in our …

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Beyond Words: A Year with Kenneth Cook by Jacqueline Kent

Reviewed by Ellen Cregan

In 1985, Jacqueline Kent was living in Sydney and working as a freelance book editor. At a dinner party, she met Kenneth Cook, author of classic Australian novel Wake in Fright. The two quickly fell …

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Accidental Feminists by Jane Caro

Reviewed by Cindy Morris

Accidental Feminists is a celebration of the women who came after the Australian women who won the right to vote. These secondwave feminists grew up earning money most of their lives, a fact that is …

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The Arsonist by Chloe Hooper

Reviewed by Alison Huber

In February 2009, the state of Victoria experienced extreme weather events that provided the perfect conditions for the bushfire catastrophe that has come to be known as Black Saturday. One hundred a…

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Through the Night by Ed Moreno & Caio Fernando Abreu

Reviewed by Deborah Crabtree

In 1990 Ed Moreno was given a death sentence: at just 25 years of age he tested HIV positive and doctors gave him five years to live, at best. Almost thirty years later, with the help of antiretrovir…

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The Dinosaur Artist by Paige Williams

Reviewed by Julia Jackson

Adapted and greatly expanded from her 2013 New Yorker article ‘Bones of Contention’, Paige Williams delves again, more deeply, into the heady and complex world of ‘commercial palaeontology’ and its i…

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