Australian politics, society & culture


Illustration by Jeff Fisher.
Fraser, Hawke, Keating and Howard in Retirement
By George Megalogenis
'As I was Saying: A Collection of Musings' by Robert Dessaix, Vintage Australia, 224pp;$27.95
In conversation with Robert Dessaix
By Gail Bell
People living with HIV and AIDS, Sydney Mardi Gras, 1990s. © William Yang
AIDS 30 Years on
By Gail Bell
Joan Didion alone with memories, 2005. © Kathy Willens/AP Photo
Joan Didion’s 'Blue Nights'
By Inga Clendinnen
Clive James, 2006. © David Levenson/Getty Images
A Correspondence with Clive James
By Paola Totaro
John Bell rehearsing 'King Lear'. Sydney Opera House, 2010. © Greg Wood/AFP
John Bell’s 'On Shakespeare'
By Louis Nowra
Buddy Holly singing at the Nurses Memorial Centre on St Kilda Rd, Melbourne, with Joe B Mauldin on bass and Jerry Allison on drums, 5 February 1958. Image courtesy of Roderick Jordan. © Roderick Jordan
'Rave On Buddy Holly'
By Robert Forster
Craig Sherborne’s 'The Amateur Science of Love'
By Drusilla Modjeska
In 2008 Craig Sherborne wrote an essay for the Monthly on the death of his first wife from breast cancer. The title was ‘Unforgiven’. In it, Sherborne tells the story of his years with Alex, whom he met in London in 1985 when he was a callow 22 year old. She came into the hostel where he was working – as a “lackey”
The view from Tufi Dive Resort, overlooking a fjord and out to Mt Trafalgar. © Don Silcock/Indo-Pacific Images
Drusilla Modjeska on Tufi, Papua New Guinea
By Drusilla Modjeska
Peter Weir’s 'The Way Back' and Leon Ford’s 'Griff the Invisible'
By Helen Garner
Mark Twain at home in New Hampshire, 1906. The writer penned the annotation as part of a series of narrative portraits. © Bettmann / Corbis
Mark Twain and his Autobiography: Volume 1
By Peter Robb
Protestors march in Hong Kong in support of Liu Xiaobo, January 2010. © Tyrone Siu / Reuters
Liu Xiaobo
By Linda Jaivin
John Howard and his wife Janette wave to the audience at the launch of the Liberal Party's doomed election campaign, Brisbane, 12 November 2007. © William West / AFP / Getty Images
Robert Manne on John Howard’s 'Lazarus Rising'
By Robert Manne
Film still from Andrei Tarkovsky's 'Stalker'. © Photos 12/Alamy
By Nicolas Rothwell
Nick Kent’s 'Apathy for the Devil: A 1970s Memoir'
By Robert Forster
To read the New Musical Express (NME) in the ’70s was one of the great joys of the decade. It was an insider’s choice and the seriousness of any new acquaintance’s enthusiasm for music could be instantly gauged by whether they read it or not. The readership of the London-based weekly was predominantly male and in the