Months before the release of Melbourne author Jennifer Down’s third book, Bodies of Light, the local literary scene was baited with breathless assessments of the book’s impact. Those fortunate enough to get their hands on Down’s tome shared poignant missives from their experiences reading what had come to be known as ‘The Big, Sad Book’. My favourite review comes courtesy of Down’s younger sister, whose text message Down shared on Twitter back in July: [https://twitter.com/jenniferdown/status/1414734955075096578] ‘bro…. this book is fucking sad as’ Bodies of Light, which is Down’s second novel (her second book, Pulse Points, comprises fourteen piercing short stories), […]
AFL is unavoidable in Melbourne. The state’s pastime, it’s a sport that transcends class and social boundaries, weaving its way into almost every community. Anyone from the shit-kicker to the CEO, from the tradie to the poet, can apparently get behind it. Everyone’s got a team, and if you don’t, you better choose one quick. Since moving to Melbourne in 2020, I’ve felt accosted by AFL culture. Unlike country NSW, where I moved from, footy-talk is everywhere. My first week in Melbourne a woman in a café remarked ‘you bloody tigers’ fan’; carelessly, I’d worn a black and yellow scarf […]
Two weeks ago, former NSW Premier Kristina Keneally officially announced that she will nominate herself to be Labor’s candidate for the seat of Fowler in Sydney’s south west at the next federal election. Her announcement effectively ended the political ambitions of a young Vietnamese-Australian lawyer named Tú Lê from Fairfield, who was campaigning to be Labor’s pick for the seat. The news that Kristina Keneally will be Labor’s candidate to represent the people of Cabramatta, Fairfield and Liverpool, has been received with much backlash, not only from young Vietnamese-Australians but also from fellow Australians with culturally and linguistically marginalised backgrounds. […]
We are delighted to publish the four finalists of the Melbourne Prize for Literature’s The Writer’s Prize 2021. Congratulations to Vivian Blaxell, Eloise Grills, David Sornig and Ouyang Yu. You can read the essays below. Nuclear Cats Vivian Blaxell The Fat Bitch in Art Eloise Grills Thirteen Men at the Sack of Troy David Sornig The Case for China or a Self-obituary Ouyang Yu Cast your vote at https://www.melbourneprize.org/vote-now/ for one of the finalists in the $15,000 Writer’s Prize or $60,000 Melbourne Prize for Literature 2021 to win the $3,000 Civic Choice Award […]
Tasmania has sometimes been derided as Australia’s smallest and poorest state, insular not only geographically but also culturally. However, in the twenty-first century, Tasmania gained respect for unexpected growth in upmarket international exports and especially in its long-established tourism industry. At the time of writing, tourism world-wide must find a way out of the devastation caused by COVID-19.
Jason was good at his job but he knew that wouldn’t mean anything today. There are times when a man is called to complete an impossible task, not necessarily because of any malice on the part of the one doing the calling—usually a higher power such as a god or a manager—but because the higher power needs this impossible task to be done for moral or legal reasons perhaps, and besides, they’ve earned the right to delegate this sort of thing.
I open my cabin door and see the island. We’ve come to map the islands. Four low wooded islands in the central northern Great Barrier Reef. Four of some 1000 islands that, together with 2900 individual reefs, make this vast land-sea-scape. These islands were mapped 45 years ago by Sarah’s grand-supervisor—her PhD supervisor’s supervisor—and 45 years before that by his grand-supervisor. We’re here to document change.
God was wrong—pink
is the colour of summer.
The shout of this flower,
its lashes batting down
on us beneath the meat
of this tree, my tongue
flummoxed by this fluster of
fruit. The bark you bit off,
the colour of beaten flesh.