Reviews

 

Behind the Scene

Behind the Scene

Giselle Au-Nhien Nguyen
Reviewed: Raised by Wolves, Jess Ho, Affirm Press One of the great ethnic clichés is food as a love language, often used in place of verbal expressions of love. Not to say it doesn’t ring true, but it’s said enough to become almost redundant. It’s particularly the case with those from the Asian diaspora: my parents never say I love you, but they cut me slices of fruit, and so on. So it is in ...
Read More
Right Now and Not Later, Baby

Right Now and Not Later, Baby

Alex Gerrans
Reviewed: Everything Feels Like the End of the World, Else Fitzgerald, Allen & Unwin A digitised consciousness deletes all its memories of climate breakdown after the suicide of its human progenitor, except one memory of his husband ‘walking hand in hand [...] while a summer shower breaks over us, heat leaving the concrete under a fizz of rain.’ Else Fitzgerald’s debut short story collection, Everything Feels Like the End of the World, is about love ...
Read More
Whatever Wills It

Whatever Wills It

Jocelyn Deane
Reviewed: Exactly As I am, Rae White, University of Queensland Press In The Coming Community, recalling the scholastic definition of transcendentals, Giorgio Agamben affirms that ‘The coming being is whatever being’. The term used in Latin,  quodlibet ens, can mean ’whatever’ in the sense we recognise—indifference, unmattering—while pointing, crucially, to its opposite: Whatever, such that it always matters. ‘Whatever being’, such that whatever makes up this being is precisely indivisible, insoluble from how that being ...
Read More
Out-of-body Ambivalence

Out-of-body Ambivalence

Megan Cheong
Reviewed: Every Version of You, Grace Chan, Affirm Press In Grace Chan’s debut novel Every Version of You, it’s 2087 and the climate catastrophe is in full swing. The Yarra has dried up, yet even in the oppressive heat, Melburnians must wear full PPE to shield themselves from dust, illness and radiation should they choose to venture outside. More often than not, they don’t bother. Instead, they leave ‘meatspace’ behind and log onto Gaia, an ...
Read More
Diminished Patriarchal Dividend

Diminished Patriarchal Dividend

Dion Kagan
Reviewed: Losing Face, George Haddad, UQP Nineteen-year-old Joey’s fatal flaw is inertia. He floats around Western Sydney, working at Woolies and feeling ambivalent about the ‘wrong guys’ he hangs out with. His lethargy is apparent from the first page of George Haddad’s Losing Face, when he asks ‘for extra chilli in his bánh mì because it numbed his mouth and he liked numbness’. He finishes the roll, then lobs the scrunched-up paper bag into the ...
Read More
A Meta Murder Mystery

A Meta Murder Mystery

Sonia Nair
Reviewed: The Woman in the Library, Sulari Gentill, Ultimo Press The Woman in the Library is a book about a writer writing a book about a writer writing a book. Though much of the solitary act of writing is difficult to externalise let alone dramatise, Sulari Gentill’s thrilling, twisty, meta murder mystery is the glossy sheen through which we access the inner thoughts and motivations of two writers: bestselling Australian crime writer Hannah Tigone ...
Read More
Examples of the Form

Examples of the Form

Matilda Dixon-Smith
Reviewed: Women I Know, Katerina Gibson, Scribner What is ‘woman’? A performance, perhaps. Or a category into which some of us are sorted. Maybe it is a story—or stories—we are told, which through mere regurgitation have come to accept as real. In Katerina Gibson’s short story ‘Intermission II: On the Mythology in the Room (Field Notes)’, from her debut collection Women I Know, the narrator takes us on a guided tour through some iterations of ...
Read More
Our Lady of the Messy Heart

Our Lady of the Messy Heart

Imogen Dewey
Reviewed: big beautiful female theory, Eloise Grills, Affirm Press ‘I, too, am lured by confession, the light and heat of the memoirist striptease’, writes Eloise Grills. Her illustrated memoir, big beautiful female theory, has all the above: confession, light, heat, a body variously arranging and revealing itself. Painting, collage, reflections and poetry coalesce in a hybrid of critical theory guide, comic and zine. Dreamy illustrations burst from sad blue and grey into peach, green, yellow; ...
Read More