Australian politics, society & culture

Books

Verse Chorus Press; $29.95
By Anwen Crawford
Harvill Secker; $32.99
By Anna Goldsworthy
David Malouf’s extraordinary musings on life and art
By David Marr
Julia Gillard was sworn in as the 27th prime minister of Australia on 24 June 2010 and served in that office until June 2013. She was the first woman to serve as Australia’s prime minister. Her memoir, My Story, is a fascinating account of her time in office and the life she is now making for herself as a professor
Set in a polio clinic in Perth in 1954, The Golden Age tells the story of 13-year-old Frank Gold, his parents and his fellow patients. Told with Joan London’s quiet grace and exquisite prose, the novel is a triumphant story about love. Join her in conversation with Steven Gale at Adelaide Writers’ Week 2015.
Is it possible that the world’s songbirds all come from Australia? Yes, according to biologist Tim Low in his fascinating ornithological history of Australia, Where Song Began. Low’s wonderfully readable book literally turns the map upside down and makes a compelling case for the origin of birds in the antipodes. Join
With his new book, Born Bad, historian James Boyce has turned his mind to the history of original sin. What Boyce discovers is a legacy of guilt that shadows us in the West even today – and not the guilt of doing wrong, but of being wrong. Join this controversial thinker in conversation with Dee Michell at Adelaide
With the publication of her debut novel Past the Shallows, Favel Parrett established herself as a major talent. In When the Night Comes, Parrett has again written a wonderfully evocative Tasmanian summer set against a harsh Antarctica. This time she tells the story of a family recently decamped from the mainland, one
For the 40th anniversary of one of Australia’s worst natural disasters, Sophie Cunningham has written a fascinating history of the event, Warning: The story of Cyclone Tracy. Drawing from eyewitness accounts of those who experienced the devastation, Cunningham has created an exhilarating and deeply compassionate
Martin Edmond has long written about artists, and his book Battarbee and Namatjira is an account of the artists’ lengthy friendship. Erik Jensen’s Acute Misfortune: The life and death of Adam Cullen is an intimate portrait of the artist’s troubled life. Join them in conversation about the lives of
Don Watson’s The Bush is one of the finest accounts of Australia ever written. The beauty of Watson’s prose sits against the brutality of his story, and together these elements create a story far richer than the myths of Australia we’ve so long preferred. Watson speaks to Jane McCredie at Adelaide Writers’ Week
HarperCollins; $29.99
By Gretchen Shirm
Faber & Faber; $29.99
By Kevin Rabalais
Clive James’ ‘Sentenced to Life’ and Les Murray’s ‘Waiting for the Past’
By Justin Clemens
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love) joins Michael Cathcart from RN Books and Arts to talk about the enthralling story of love, adventure and discovery in her novel The Signature of All Things. Spanning much of the 18th and 19th centuries, this is the story of Alma Whittaker, born into the Age of Enlightenment but
There is a jarring disconnect between social media–fuelled activism and general disenfranchisement with politics. How are journalists bridging the divide?   Madonna King (journalist and biographer of Joe Hockey), Mary Delahunty (author of Public Life, Private Grief and Gravity: Inside the PM’s office

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