Fiction

 

The Inquisitors

The Inquisitors

Thomas Keneally
So that next morning Maitland was firmly persona grata again. He was glad. To live in that grey elephant of a house on any other terms would have been a test of sanity he did not wish to undergo. Yet ...
Uncle Ben's Choice

Uncle Ben’s Choice

Chinua Achebe
LAGOS In the year nineteen hundred and nineteen I was a young clerk in the Niger Company at Umuru. To be a clerk in those days is like to be a Minister today. My salary was two pounds ten. You ...
A Social Occasion

A Social Occasion

Patrick White
'The third occasion on which he came in contact with the Feinsteins Waldo knew there was no escaping something that was being prepared. Mrs Feinstein's formal note deliberately arranged it for the Saturday. So that you are able to introduce ...
Being Kind to Titina

Being Kind to Titina

Patrick White,
First mother went away. Then it was our father, twitching from under our feet the rugs, which formed, he said, a valuable collection. We were alone for a little then. Not really alone, of course, for there was Fraulein Hoffman, ...
Unreported Interview — The Successful Independent

Unreported Interview — The Successful Independent

Ian Lasry
Good afternoon. You are the successful candidate for the Federal seat of Adam, in the recent election? That is so. And you were the only Independent elected at that election? Quite true. Our readers are interested in the manner in ...
Last Day of Summer

Last Day of Summer

Frank Cusack
Probably it was much the same as any other summer’s day—the paddocks bleached; the hills blue as grapebloom; the sun burning down through the still, slow afternoon. And the car that rattled past raised a slanting plume of dust that ...
Tourmaline

Tourmaline

Randolph Stow
I SAY WE HAVE a bitter heritage, but that is not to run it down, Tourmaline is the estate, and if I call it heritage I do not mean that we are free in it, More truly we are tenants: ...
Cooney's Cutting

Cooney’s Cutting

Paul Carroll
He seemed uncomfortable as he stood in the cab gangway. Sometimes he absently watched my mate, Jack Regan, handling the controls of the locomotive. But mostly he stared thoughtfully at the edge of the permanent-way running swiftly beside our train; ...
The Death of Palfreyman

The Death of Palfreyman

Patrick White
Fragment of Voss, a novel. So the party entered the approaches to hell, with no sound but that of horses passing through a desert, and saltbush grating in a wind. This devilish country, flat at first, soon broke up into ...
Walking up Castle Street

Walking up Castle Street

James K. Baxter
I walked up Castle Street, a fat man in sandals, at two in the afternoon. The engines in the station yard sighed and shunted behind me like hot asthmatic bisons. A raiding gull riding high on the harbour wind crossed ...
The Diamonds

The Diamonds

AC Black
Someone pressed a button and the whirring and fangling of the power shears broke the comparative quiet of the truck shop. For a few minutes the noise filled the long narrow building, then the big wheels slowed and it was ...
Fear

Fear

Gladys McMinn
The child was afraid. She sat beside the creek casting pebbles one after another into the stream. —If I can hit that log it mightn’t happen, she said to herself. Maybe in ten throws I can hit the log. Six, ...
Rag-Time

Rag-Time

Anaïs Nin
The city was asleep on its right side and shaking with violent nightmares. Long puffs of snoring came out of the chimneys. Its feet were sticking out because the clouds did not cover it altogether. There was a hole in ...
Absentee

Absentee

Mona Brand
Now what does the clock show? Only three! Still two hours of it! Two hours that are like a hill you have to climb over with a ton on your back. Don’t let the hours be piled into a hill—let ...
The Man Who Bowled Victor Trumper

The Man Who Bowled Victor Trumper

Dal Stivens
Ever hear how I bowled Victor Trumper for a duck ? he asked. —No, I said. —He was a beautiful bat, he said. He had wrists like steel and he moved like a panther. The ball sped from his bat ...