Non-Fiction reviews

Close to Home by Alice Pung

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

Alice Pung arrived on the Australian literary scene with the 2006 publication of her memoir, Unpolished Gem. She has since gone on to write a second memoir, a series of children’s books, a young adul…

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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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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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Mad, Bad, Dangerous to Know by Colm Tóibín

Reviewed by Bernard Caleo

In his 2013 book New Ways to Kill Your Mother: Writers and Their Families, Colm Tóibín exposed a roster of famous writers behaving badly. With Mad, Bad, Dangerous to Know: The Fathers of Wilde, Yeats

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Heartland by Sarah Smarsh

Reviewed by Kara Nicholson

The product of multiple generations of teenage mothers, Sarah Smarsh was just a child and living below the poverty line in rural Kansas when she first heard a voice from within. This voice grew into …

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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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The World Was Whole by Fiona Wright

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

This is the second non-fiction book from acclaimed Australian writer Fiona Wright. In 13 essays, she delves into the spaces we inhabit – our bodies and our homes – and explores what it means when the…

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Diving For Seahorses by Hilde Østby & Ylva Østby

Reviewed by Leanne Hermosilla

The enticing introduction to Diving for Seahorses poses the question, if our cells constantly turn over, what are we? Our physical matter being temporary, maybe ‘we are our memories’. Diving into mem…

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Papa Goose by Michael Quetting

Reviewed by Tom Davies

In 2017, various institutes across Germany and Russia joined teams to form the International Cooperation for Animal Research Using Space, better known as ICARUS. The idea was to use satellites to tra…

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Boys Will Be Boys by Clementine Ford

Reviewed by Elke Power

Just as she did with the title of her first book, Clementine Ford has taken another well-known expression and repurposed it for the title of her second. Ford reclaimed Fight Like A Girl and framed th…

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