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A novel idea

A novel idea

Books , Criticism Jun 29, 2017

In her celebrated 2008 essay, ‘Two Paths for the Novel,’ Zadie Smith set out to define exactly what it said on the label. There was Joseph O’Neill’s Netherland, with its lyrical realism and “authentic story of a self,” and Tom

Louis Nowra’s paean to a suburb

It’s a rare profile of Sydney writer Louis Nowra that fails to mention his long-term patronage of the Old Fitzroy Hotel in Woolloomooloo. It’s an easy journalistic go-to (and, as he reveals at one point in Woolloomooloo: A Biography, an

Stranger than fiction: Donald Trump and ‘The Plot Against America’

No author of speculative fiction wants to be proven right. To be proven right in the spec-fic game is to see the worst come to pass. No, speculative fiction is written as a warning, and the crow of “I told

Fran Bryson a traveller with a nose for social injustice

Brazil is in the news again. Just as FIFA World Cup celebrations two years ago were marred by popular protests in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and elsewhere in response to exorbitant public spending on the event, while public services

Sandor Jaszberenyi’s ‘The Devil is a Black Dog’ fires on reporters

At what point should a journalist transmute first-hand experience into fiction? Where does one draw the line between what can be reported as fact and what should probably be reported some other way, even if one has seen it with

In praise of the humble hostel library

When I departed Australia for Spain last year, I had my Kindle packed and ready. My reading had been planned in advance: Booker winners and Russian classics and theses on the nature of democracy—a library’s worth of books at my