The Labyrinth – Amanda Lohrey

The Labyrinth – Amanda Lohrey

The Labyrinth (Text Publishing 2020) is a gorgeous literary novel by author Amanda Lohrey. Written in exquisite prose, the novel leaves so much white space for the reader to imagine what is going on in those spaces. Lohrey gives us a complex and intimate story, with...
The Rock – Aaron Smith

The Rock – Aaron Smith

The Rock (Transit Lounge 2020) by Aaron Smith is subtitled: Looking into ‘Australia’s heart of darkness’ from the edge of its wild frontier, and the book certainly lives up to this promise. Opening first with a quote from Oodgeroo Noonuccal: ‘Let no one say the past...
Bone and Beauty – Jeanette M. Thompson

Bone and Beauty – Jeanette M. Thompson

Bone and Beauty (UQP 2020) is an imaginative combination of history and literary fiction by Jeanette M. Thompson about the convict uprising at Bathurst in 1830, an event mostly forgotten but brought to life through Thompson’s highly accessible approach to history. In...
After Australia – Michael Mohammed Ahmad (editor)

After Australia – Michael Mohammed Ahmad (editor)

The cover of After Australia (Affirm Press 2020) is impressively distinctive: an old-fashioned picture, similar to those found in the Ladybird children’s books, shows a (white) nuclear family, but each of the faces has been scribbled over. It’s an image that is...
Emigree – Jane Ireland

Emigree – Jane Ireland

Jane Ireland’s novel Emigree (Shawline Publishing Group 2020) is the first in her planned trilogy The Crying Tree series. Set in the two decades following World War Two, in Brisbane and rural New South Wales, Emigree is a book that is difficult to define…part magical...