Australian politics, society & culture

George W Bush

Mitt Romney speaks during a campaign stop at the Family Table Restaurant in Atlantic, Iowa, 1 January 2012. © Brian Snyder/Reuters
Republicans and the US Presidential Race
By Julia Baird
Words: Shane Maloney | Illustration: Chris Grosz
By Shane Maloney and Chris Grosz
Jennifer Maiden - ‘Friendly Fire’, 2005
By Lisa Gorton
Words: Shane Maloney | Illustration: Chris Grosz
By Shane Maloney and Chris Grosz
Barack Obama takes one last look in the mirror, before going out to take oath, January 20, 2009. (Official White House photo by Pete Souza)
By Don Watson
'Hitch-22: A Memoir' by Christopher Hitchens, Atlantic Books, 352pp; $35.00
Christopher Hitchens’ 'Hitch-22'
By Dennis Altman
Illustration by Jeff Fisher.
By Alan Saunders
Peter Carey's 'Parrot and Olivier in America'
By Philip Hensher
Peter Carey said a decade ago: “My fictional project has always been the invention or discovery of my own country.” Whatever place he meant by those last three words may now have shifted. Oscar and Lucinda (1988), True History of the Kelly Gang (2001) and My Life as a Fake (2003) were wholly successful attempts to
Arundhati Roy's "Listening to Grasshoppers"
By Tim Soutphommasane
As a schoolboy in Sydney, I found that my summertime lessons would inevitably be drowned out by the clicking of cicadas. Many find the sound of cicadas somewhat soothing, but for me it was always an unbearable cacophony. Cicadas aren’t the same creatures, I understand, as grasshoppers. But even so, Arundhati Roy didn’
The 53rd Venice Biennale
By Sebastian Smee
Art that indulges anarchic impulses – even if the results are a little fatuous – is almost always preferable to art that signals its conformity to good taste. And yet making art is one thing. Choosing art is another. Directing a show as big and unwieldy as the Venice Biennale calls for the exercise of good
Homer’s "Iliad" & David Malouf’s "Ransom"
By Peter Conrad
Which of Homer's two narratives a writer chooses depends on the temper of the times. Romantic voyagers in the nineteenth century favoured The Odyssey. Goethe, visiting an aromatic garden in Sicily, said that for the first time the poem had become a "living truth" to him. As Robert Louis Stevenson crisscrossed the
Barack Obama at campaign rally in Cleveland, Ohio. Image: TonyTheTiger at en.wikipedia
Getting Elected in Zanesville, Ohio
By Don Watson
Oliver Stone’s 'W'
By Luke Davies
The Work of David Foster Wallace
By Malcolm Knox
The outcome, after some interrogation and cross-referencing, was a relationship with the writing of David Foster Wallace that has been life-changing, albeit less so than for Steve Beeson, whose life was literally changed by Wallace's 1996 novel, Infinite Jest. Some years ago, Beeson told a friend called Mike that
Annie Proulx’s ‘Fine Just the Way It Is’
By Amanda Lohrey
The celebrated American writer Annie Proulx is now in her seventies, and it's possible to look back on her impressive list of publications and identify two distinct genres at work. The first of these is the comic novel of baroque folksiness that documents the culture of a remote regional community, as in her
Patrick Cockburn’s ‘Muqtada al-Sadr and the Fall of Iraq’
By Tony Clifton
Soon after America's army had invaded Iraq and overthrown Saddam Hussein, an obscure Iraqi Muslim cleric was asked what he thought had just happened. Instead of exulting in the fall of a dictator who had almost exterminated his family, the 30-year-old Muqtada al-Sadr told his few followers, "The smaller devil has gone
Illustration by Jeff Fisher.
By Amanda Lohrey