March 2023

Essays  Right arrow

Federal politics

Robodebt and the empathy bypass

The rolling revelations of the robodebt royal commission reveal much about how the Morrison government campaigned against its critics

Robodebt and the empathy bypass
The great stock ’n’ coal swindle

Climate Change

The great stock ’n’ coal swindle

Australian climate policy has been reverse-engineered to protect the interests of the fossil-fuel industry

Being John Hughes

Books

Being John Hughes

How did an acclaimed Australian author become one of the most prolific literary plagiarists in history?

The Nation Reviewed  Right arrow

Jacinda Ardern leaves parliament surrounded by journalists and MPs

Politics

More than a feeling

The “hard decisions” of our political leaders too rarely emerge from a belief in our shared humanity

Illustration by Jeff Fisher

Society

On senses: Sight unseen

Our series about the senses continues with a neurodivergent painter who cannot hold images in her mind

Illustration by Jeff Fisher

Indigenous Australia

Tracking country

Warlpiri elders and expert trackers are leading a program in northern Australia to teach younger generations how to read Country

Illustration by Jeff Fisher

Music

Scored earth

The National Museum of Australia’s grand courtyard has been transformed with a constantly changing soundscape

Vox  Right arrow

The Vox Owl

Three dollars, 25 years and three conversations

The author on the inspiration behind his novel ‘Three Dollars’, and the reception of its neoliberalism critiques by prominent figures

Arts & Letters  Right arrow

Dancing performers in ‘Manifesto’ at the Sydney Festival, with drummers on risers behind

Dance

Movers and shakers: Dance at the Sydney Festival

While Sydney Festival director Olivia Ansell’s program appeared dance-heavy, it revealed rich developments in collaboration across art forms

Brendan Fraser in ‘The Whale’

Film

Body horror: Darren Aronofsky’s ‘The Whale’

The American director’s latest film rehashes well-worn tropes on fatness, and confuses sympathy with empathy

Headshot of Beth Spencer

Books

Matters of life and Beth: Beth Spencer

The Australian author of ‘The Age of Fibs’ shares with Elena Ferrante and Annie Ernaux the desire to write truthfully of ordinary women’s lives

Bill Nighy seen through train window tipping bowler hat in ‘Living’

Film

Public works: ‘Living’ and ‘All the Beauty and the Bloodshed’

Bill Nighy as a lifelong bureaucrat seizing the day upon receiving a cancer diagnosis, and a documentary on artist Nan Goldin’s fight to remove the Sackler family’s name from galleries

Noted  Right arrow

Natasha Lyonne wielding squeegee at dog inside car, in ‘Poker Face’

Television

‘Poker Face’

Rian Johnson’s throwback to easygoing episodic crime drama is a joyously unbingeable vehicle for Natasha Lyonne

Cover of Eleanor Catton’s ‘Birnam Wood’

Books

Eleanor Catton’s ‘Birnam Wood’

The Booker winner’s new novel is a satirical romp taking on human frailty, and both action and inaction in the face of ecological collapse

Life sentences Right arrow

Flowers being watered

‘The past is a foreign country...’

How a novel’s opening line reflected the author’s dissonance as a teenage reader, and remains an apt tribute to the enduring power of fiction