Craig Sherborne


21 ENTRIES Craig Sherborne is the author of the highly acclaimed memoir Hoi Polloi, and its sequel Muck, which won the Queensland Literary Award for Non-Fiction. He has written two volumes of poetry, Bullion and Necessary Evil, and two novels, The Amateur Science of Love and Tree Palace.


Family and relationships

A mother’s crime

They said you committed infanticide, but you don’t remember a thing. You were a loving mother before it happened. Postnatal depression, said the experts. It swept into you and one night five years ago you “snapped”. You fractured your son’s skull …

Where there’s smoke

How the Morwell coal mine fire has made unlikely allies

‘The Return to Nazareth from Egypt’ (1734), Francesco Conti


To Hell with Self-help

JM Coetzee’s ‘The Childhood of Jesus’

Illustration by Jeff Fisher.


The quest for Muslim Jedis

John Safran’s new ABC TV project

A tempting prospect, the Milford Track. © Richard Hamilton Smith/Corbis


The sound of silence

Hiking the Milford Track, New Zealand

Illustration by Jeff Fisher.


Sinking sandbanks

When bankers fly in to Kiribati, a fine evening spread is put on at the main hotel. Blue-cardboard ironies are erected: squat sandwich boards and billowy banners advertising ANZ home loans. Yes, home loans, in a place global warming is meant to be washing …


Unhappy families

Sonya Hartnett’s ‘Butterfly’


Coup-coup land

Life under Fiji’s interim government

Illustration by Jeff Fisher.


The ring cycle

“How do I look?” my mother asks. “You look beautiful,” say the nurses. “Quite the stunner, young lady.” She looks every day her 84: crumpled paper for skin, red blue eyes in a pucker. Dementia is never about telling the truth. …

Illustration by Jeff Fisher.


Trivial pursuit

You miss out on medicine by five points and so you dedicate your life to trivia. Don't get eccentric on us, with your pointy bald head and smart-arse grin - we don't like those sorts of antics, mister. This is Melbourne, Australia, not England. But you, …

Illustration by Jeff Fisher.


Repo man

You might have missed it a few months ago, this amusing aside in the daily news: during the auction of a flash rural property in the old-money recesses of the northern ranges outside Melbourne, two beefy blokes turned up, nosing about the place as if …


Not all black & white

Inside New Zealand’s social laboratory


Free house

Humans love getting something for nothing. Failing that, next to nothing. Picking up a $1-million inner-city Melbourne house for a $15,000 outlay, for instance. No, not by gambling, not in some casino's high-stakes spin-the-wheel game. There's a loophole …



To be unforgiven is no great shame. A cramp of nausea your bowels can’t clear. Sweat itches your hairline, stains your pillow. Take heart - you’re not going to wither in your bed. Your eyes soon open on a blue, breathing day. Your taste for food …


The Usual

Nose down in the froth of his clover beerthe grey horse sups alone.He ignores a butting calf with its patched coat,and the flitting tarts the wagtails - how he must hate their chirpy songs;they can't really hold a tune,only some pitiful, high-pitched …