Australian politics, society & culture



Who’s the boss now?. Image of Bruce Springsteen
Arts & Letters / Music

Who’s the boss now?

Bruce Springsteen is the consummate live performer
Anwen Crawford
A German comedy?. Still from Toni Erdmann
Arts & Letters / Film

A German comedy?

Maren Ade’s ‘Toni Erdmann’ is one of the most misread movies of the year
Shane Danielsen
The Monthly Essays

The character business

What does the deluge of political biography and memoir say about politicians and readers?
Mark McKenna

‘The Undoing Project’ by Michael Lewis

Allen Lane; $45
Michael Lucy
Arts & Letters / Books

Climax isn’t the point

Emily Witt’s ‘Future Sex’ and Sheila Rowbotham’s ‘Rebel Crossings’ approach the concept of free love from different perspectives
Anwen Crawford
Arts & Letters / Books

This storied land

Mark McKenna’s ‘From the Edge’ tells four fascinating stories of Aboriginal and settler interaction through the history of place
Frank Bongiorno

Most Popular

  1. The Nation Reviewed
    Lee Lin’s double life
    Lee Lin Chin’s rise from SBS newsreader to queen of satire
    Benjamin Law
  2. The Monthly Essays
    Does writing matter?
    Richard Flanagan delivers the inaugural Boisbouvier Lecture
    Richard Flanagan
    Does writing matter?. Image of Nauru
  3. Noted
    ‘Transit’ by Rachel Cusk
    Jonathan Cape; $32.99
    Kevin Rabalais
    ‘Transit’ by Rachel Cusk. Cover of Transit
  4. Music
    Lost women found
    The discovery of Vashti Bunyan, Sibylle Baier and ‘Connie’ Converse
    Robert Forster
  5. Noted
    ‘The Undoing Project’ by Michael Lewis
    Allen Lane; $45
    Michael Lucy
    ‘The Undoing Project’ by Michael Lewis. Cover of The Undoing Project


The art of biography. Image of Patrick White
The Monthly Essays
The art of biography
The author stays out of the picture, and other personal rules of writing
David Marr
The narrator. Zadie Smith
Arts & Letters / Books
The narrator
In Zadie Smith’s new novel ‘Swing Time’, identity is always under construction
Helen Elliott
‘A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women’ by Siri Hustvedt. Cover of A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women
‘A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women’ by Siri Hustvedt
Sceptre; $32.99
Kevin Rabalais
‘Born To Run’ by Bruce Springsteen. Cover of Born To Run
‘Born To Run’ by Bruce Springsteen
Simon & Schuster; $49.99
Anwen Crawford


Towards joy. Image of Prince
Arts & Letters / Music
Towards joy
Pop music is more than lyrics on a page
Anwen Crawford
Arts & Letters / Music
A survival guide for outsiders
Australian hip-hop artist Tkay Maidza brings a lifetime on the move to her debut album, ‘Tkay’
Anwen Crawford
Please stand. Singing the French national anthem at a demonstration at the Champs-Élysées, Paris, 1959
Arts & Letters / Music
Please stand
National anthems reflect all the complexities – and oddities – of the countries they represent
Andrew Ford
The party goes on. Image of Frank Ocean
Arts & Letters / Music
The party goes on
Frank Ocean’s ‘Blonde’ bemuses but rewards
Anwen Crawford


Seeing visions. Still from Collisions
Arts & Letters / Film
Seeing visions
Lynette Wallworth’s ‘Collisions’ brings virtual reality to the Western Desert
Quentin Sprague
Powerless agents. Still from American Honey
Arts & Letters / Film
Powerless agents
Andrea Arnold’s ‘American Honey’ is an exuberant, if meandering, trip
Luke Davies
Off the grid. Still from Captain Fantastic
Arts & Letters / Film
Off the grid
Matt Ross’ ‘Captain Fantastic’ is a portrait of a family in the wilderness
Luke Davies
Arts & Letters / Film
Who’s up, who’s down
Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg’s documentary ‘Weiner’ charts the fall of a congressman who can’t keep out of the spotlight
Leigh Sales


A moveable feast. Illustration
The Nation Reviewed
A moveable feast
What does it take to transform the National Gallery of Australia into the Palace of Versailles?
Quentin Sprague
‘Nude: Art from the Tate Collection’. Image of Hans Bellmer’s The Doll
‘Nude: Art from the Tate Collection’
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, until 5 February
Julie Ewington
A new world for the making. Image of Ram’s Head, Blue Morning Glory by Georgia O’Keefe
Arts & Letters / Art
A new world for the making
‘O’Keefe, Preston, Cossington Smith: Making Modernism’ brings together three giants of modernism
Julie Ewington
The bird on the floor. Illustration
The Nation Reviewed
The bird on the floor
Helen Pynor’s bio-art explores life after death
Rebecca Giggs


Culture crisis. Image of Force Majeure’s Never Did Me Any Harm
The Monthly Essays
Culture crisis
The arts funding cuts are just a symptom of a broader malaise in Australia
Alison Croggon
Magic and a one-woman show
Taking ‘Stories I Want to Tell You in Person’ to India
Lally Katz
The Nation Reviewed
Lighting the king
Nick Schlieper illuminates a Shakespearean tragedy
Darryn King
The Nation Reviewed
The return of the Tichborne Claimant
A recent play resurrects a 150-year-old case of imposture
Robyn Annear


The Nation Reviewed
Destiny’s children
Body Electric’s jazz ballet for adults
Nikki Lusk
The best of Australian arts 2014. Tammy Wynette (2014) by Linda Marrinon
The best of Australian arts 2014
Critics give their picks for the year’s top ten
The Monthly
First contact. Jasmin Sheppard as Patyegarang
Arts & Letters / Theatre
First contact
The secret history of Bangarra Dance Theatre’s ‘Patyegarang’
Steve Dow
Arts & Letters /
The best of Australian arts 2013
Critics give their picks for the year’s top ten
The Monthly


Murcutt’s mosque. Roof detail of the Australian Islamic Centre
Arts & Letters / Architecture
Murcutt’s mosque
The Australian Islamic Centre is notable for what it isn’t as much as for what it is
David Neustein
The Nation Reviewed
Compressed contemporary
Durbach Block Jaggers is a practice in argument
Erik Jensen
Twelve of a kind. Crown Sydney image
Arts & Letters / Architecture
Twelve of a kind
Why is Australia planning so many new casinos?
David Neustein
All the world’s futures. Fiona Hall, Vaporised 2014, Australian pavilion, Venice Biennale 2015
Arts & Letters / Art
All the world’s futures
Power and resistance at the 56th Venice Biennale
Julie Ewington


The artisan. Tanel Bedrossiantz, in a dress from the Jean Paul Gaultier Barbès collection, ready-to-wear, Autumn–Winter 1984–85
Arts & Letters / Fashion
The artisan
‘The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier’ at the National Gallery of Victoria
Karen de Perthuis
‘Modern Love: Fashion visionaries from the FIDM Museum LA’ . Sarah Caplan’s World Trade Center dress
Arts & Letters / Fashion
‘Modern Love: Fashion visionaries from the FIDM Museum LA’
At the Bendigo Art Gallery
Karen de Perthuis
The Nation Reviewed
RM Williams and haute couture
Karen de Perthuis
Arts & Letters / Masterpieces
Fashion masterpiece
Romance was born - ‘The Oracle’, 2011
Clare Press


‘Clade’ by James Bradley
Hamish Hamilton; $32.99
Michael Lucy
Josephine Rowe
The pencil and the damage done. Self-portrait with Easel and Mirror (1646), by Johannes Gumpp
Arts & Letters / Books
The pencil and the damage done
The perverse attraction of autobiographical fiction
Ceridwen Dovey
Arts & Letters / Noted
‘Golden Boys’ by Sonya Hartnett
Penguin; $29.99
Robyn Annear


Arts & Letters / Poetry
Late styles
Clive James’ ‘Sentenced to Life’ and Les Murray’s ‘Waiting for the Past’
Justin Clemens
Les Murray
Eating from the dictionary
Majesty and burning. The young Dylan Thomas
Arts & Letters / Books
Majesty and burning
A century of Dylan Thomas
Kevin Rabalais
Must we choose between climate-change action and freedom of speech?. Illustration
Must we choose between climate-change action and freedom of speech?
The science is clear, but the way forward is not
Judith Brett