December 2019 – January 2020

Arts & Letters

Damascene subversion: Christos Tsiolkas’s ‘Damascus’

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

James Boyce

James Boyce is a writer and historian. His books include Born Bad: Original Sin and the Making of the Western WorldLosing Streak: How Tasmania Was Gamed by the Gambling Industry and Van Diemen’s Land.

Conversion on the way to Damascus by Caravaggio, 1601 [detail].

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

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

Illustration by Jeff Fisher

Big man energy

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


More in Arts & Letters

Image of Cardi B

Bodak moment: Pop’s decade of superstars

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

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’

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 Books

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

‘Penny Wong: Passion and Principle’

‘Penny Wong: Passion and Principle’

Margaret Simons’ biography of one of the country’s most admired politicians

Image of ‘Sex in the Brain’

Our largest sexual organ: Amee Baird’s ‘Sex in the Brain’

We know surprisingly little about how our brains orchestrate our sex lives


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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