August 2020

Arts & Letters

What are the odds?: Toby Ord’s ‘The Precipice’

By Anna Goldsworthy
The Australian philosopher’s rational exploration of existential risk is bracing but ultimately hopeful

Anna Goldsworthy

Anna Goldsworthy is a writer and a pianist. Her most recent book is Melting Moments, and her most recent album is Trio Through Time.

Cover of The Monthly, August 2020

August 2020

From the front page

Image of Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews

Called to account

Victoria’s second wave has landed a heavy blow

Image from ‘Hamilton’

America’s imperfect angels: Lin-Manuel Miranda’s ‘Hamilton’

Post Black Lives Matter, the hit musical already feels like a souvenir from a vanished pre-Trump America

Image from First Cow

Milk it: ‘First Cow’

Kelly Reichardt’s restrained frontier film considers the uneasy problems of money and resources

Image of Prime Minister Scott Morrison

A unitary theory of cuts

The Morrison government is using the COVID-19 crisis to devastate the public service, the ABC, the arts and tertiary education


In This Issue

Image of Prime Minister Scott Morrison

A unitary theory of cuts

The Morrison government is using the COVID-19 crisis to devastate the public service, the ABC, the arts and tertiary education

Cover of ‘Antkind’

‘Antkind’ by Charlie Kaufman

The debut novel from the screenwriter and director of ‘Being John Malkovich’, ‘Synecdoche, New York’ and more is the zippiest postmodern, self-referential doorstop you’ll ever read

Illustration by Jeff Fisher

The gendered pandemic

Coronavirus lockdown is undoing gains for women in employment, shared domestic labour and protection from family violence

Illustration by Jeff Fisher

Louisa Lawson, our first public feminist

The pioneer of publishing and women’s rights has been unjustly overshadowed by regard for her famous son, Henry


More in Arts & Letters

Image from ‘Hamilton’

America’s imperfect angels: Lin-Manuel Miranda’s ‘Hamilton’

Post Black Lives Matter, the hit musical already feels like a souvenir from a vanished pre-Trump America

Illustration by Jeff Fisher

Broadmeadows

Poetry from the author of ‘The Boat’

Still from ‘Contempt’

The death of cool: Michel Piccoli, 1925–2020

Re-watching the films of the most successful screen actor of the 20th century

Image of Ziggy Ramo

The heat of a moment: Ziggy Ramo’s ‘Black Thoughts’

A debut hip-hop album that calls for a reckoning with Indigenous sovereignty and invites the listener to respond


More in Books

Photograph of Malcolm Turnbull

Surrounded by pygmies: Malcolm Turnbull’s ‘A Bigger Picture’

The former PM’s memoir fails to reckon with his fatal belief that all Australians shared his vision

Cover of jenny Offill's ‘Weather’

Twilight knowing: Jenny Offill’s ‘Weather’

The American novelist brings literary fiction’s focus on the interior life to climate-change cataclysm

Image of Cecilia Klein, 1974

The fabulist of Auschwitz

Heather Morris’s bestselling novels ‘The Tattooist of Auschwitz’ and ‘Cilka’s Journey’, and the problem of truth in historical fiction

Image [detail] of Agency, by William Gibson

Days of future passed: William Gibson’s ‘Agency’

The cyberpunk pioneer’s latest novel continues his examination of the present from the perspective of a post-apocalyptic future


Read on

Image from First Cow

Milk it: ‘First Cow’

Kelly Reichardt’s restrained frontier film considers the uneasy problems of money and resources

Image of book cover of Summer by Ali Smith

The summer’s tale: On Ali Smith’s seasonal quartet

Addressing climate crisis and global pandemic, the concluding book in Ali Smith’s quartet reminds us that an ending is also a beginning

Image of shadow minister for agriculture and resources Joel Fitzgibbon during Question Time

Political maverick

Joel Fitzgibbon is starting to resemble Barnaby Joyce in his deliberate departure from the political mainstream

Image from Day in the Life by Karrabing Film Collective

MIFF 68 ½ at home

Films by Kelly Reichardt, Ulrike Ottinger, Ja’Tovia Gary and Djibril Diop Mambéty captivate, despite a radically different festival format


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