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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

Sicily’s tide of misery

It’s early evening in Catania, Sicily, and the central station is once again thronged with African asylum seekers. Every night they come here—their meagre possessions in tow, seagulls wheeling madly overhead—to catch buses and trains to other parts of Italy,

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

The little blue bird has flown: how Twitter lost its value as a news source

A little over a week ago, as I was preparing for bed, I heard through the grapevine that there had been an explosion in Turin, Italy, where fans of Juventus FC had been watching their team play Real Madrid on

Revellers dance, march and sing through the tear gas at Sicilian anti-G7, anti-Trump protest

The party ended the way these things tend to: with the police rocking up and telling everyone to go home. Of course, the police were at the anti-G7 march in Giardini Naxos, Sicily, before the party had even begun, and

On the eve of the G7, protesters and security forces square off under an uneasy Sicilian sun

At first glance, Giardini Naxos, Sicily, doesn’t appear to be on the brink of anti-globalist chaos. Families gallivant on the beach. Men with torsos the colour of burnt umber play volleyball nearby. Tourists debate the relative merits of dinner and