Adam Rivett is a Melbourne-based writer. He has written for The Lifted Brow, The Age, The Australian, Island, Fireflies and Seizure.
Uncertainty sits at the heart of Chloe Hooper’s writing. The lovers and mistresses who populate her novels operate under premises and promises that shift on them in a second. To the prosecuted figures at the centre of her nonfiction, Hooper extends a nervous sympathy, inviting the reader to question culpability while never denying the scale of the crimes. The challenge across all her work is this: how to perceive truth and exercise fair judgement without surrendering to inflexibility and simplicity.
While her concerns have remained constant, the approach has shifted. Consider two moments in her work – one old, one new – both arriving late in their respective book.
In A Child’s Book of True Crime, Hooper’s first novel, published in 2002, the narrator, Kate, strikes a sceptical note while pondering the merit of a true crime potboiler written by her lover’s...