December 2019 – January 2020

Arts & Letters

Bodak moment: Pop’s decade of superstars

By Anwen Crawford
Cardi B delivered the song of the decade as a new league of superstars overcame the significance of bands

Anwen Crawford

Anwen Crawford is The Monthly’s music critic.

Cardi B

December 2019 – January 2020 edition cover

December 2019 – January 2020

From the front page

Not that Kean

The Coalition has a woeful track record on climate and energy, and NSW is the worst

Image of a woman’s hands

Is elder abuse avoidable?

Our current aged-care system makes it difficult to deliver care in its truest sense

Illustration by Jeff Fisher

Big man energy

At the Menergy retreat, men tackle anger, address emotional resilience and dance like wild women

Image of Julian Barnes’s ‘The Man in the Red Coat’

Julian Barnes’s playfully incisive ‘The Man in the Red Coat’

This biography of a suave Belle Époque physician doubles as a literary response to Brexit


In This Issue

Image of Scott Morrison and Donald Trump

The middle of nowhere

Australia’s political leaders have lost their bearings in a changed world

Conversion on the way to Damascus by Caravaggio

Damascene subversion: Christos Tsiolkas’s ‘Damascus’

The literary storyteller’s latest novel wrestles with the mythology of Christianity’s founder, Paul the Apostle

Illustration by Jeff Fisher

Cap in hand

An unprecedented twist in the Walkley Award–winning story of the David Eastman murder case

Cover of Peter Pomerantsev’s ‘This Is Not Propaganda’ [detail]

Agents of chaos: Peter Pomerantsev’s ‘This is Not Propaganda’

The Russian expat journalist wonders if democracy can survive the internet, as social media is used to promote feelings over facts


More in Arts & Letters

Photo of Liam Gallagher

Don’t look back in anger: Liam and Noel Gallagher

As interest in Oasis resurges, talking to the combative brothers recalls their glory years as ‘dirty chancers, stealing riffs instead of Ford Fiestas’

Conversion on the way to Damascus by Caravaggio

Damascene subversion: Christos Tsiolkas’s ‘Damascus’

The literary storyteller’s latest novel wrestles with the mythology of Christianity’s founder, Paul the Apostle

Cover of Peter Pomerantsev’s ‘This Is Not Propaganda’ [detail]

Agents of chaos: Peter Pomerantsev’s ‘This is Not Propaganda’

The Russian expat journalist wonders if democracy can survive the internet, as social media is used to promote feelings over facts

Image of Jia Tolentino

Radical ambiguity: Jia Tolentino, Rachel Cusk and Leslie Jamison

The essay collections ‘Trick Mirror’, ‘Coventry’ and ‘Make It Scream, Make It Burn’ offer doubt and paradoxical thinking in the face of algorithmic perfectionism


More in Music

Photo of Liam Gallagher

Don’t look back in anger: Liam and Noel Gallagher

As interest in Oasis resurges, talking to the combative brothers recalls their glory years as ‘dirty chancers, stealing riffs instead of Ford Fiestas’

Image of Archie Roach

A way home: Archie Roach

The writer of ‘Took the Children Away’ delivers a memoir of his Stolen Generations childhood and an album of formative songs

Detail of Yanni Florence photograph

Losing yourself

How can we be transformed by music if online platforms mean we will always remain ourselves?

Photo of Lil Nas X

Happy trails: Lil Nas X’s ‘Old Town Road’

The gay country-rapper exposes the complex play of identity, algorithms and capitalism


Read on

Image of a woman’s hands

Is elder abuse avoidable?

Our current aged-care system makes it difficult to deliver care in its truest sense

Image of Julian Barnes’s ‘The Man in the Red Coat’

Julian Barnes’s playfully incisive ‘The Man in the Red Coat’

This biography of a suave Belle Époque physician doubles as a literary response to Brexit

Image from ‘Atlantics’

Mati Diop’s haunting ‘Atlantics’

The French-Senegalese director channels ancient fables and contemporary nightmares in this ghostly love story

Image of Nasty Cherry

‘I’m with the Band: Nasty Cherry’

This Netflix series pays lip service to female empowerment in the music industry, but ultimately reinforces its limits


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