Arts & Letters

Words: Shane Maloney | Illustration: Chris Grosz
By Shane Maloney and Chris Grosz
By Clive James
The nickname ‘Diamond Jim’ fitted James McClelland the way ‘Big Julie from Chicago’ fitted the gangster in Guys and Dolls who rolled spotless dice, with the difference that Diamond Jim wasn’t acting. He was really like what his nickname said: spruce...
By Martin Flanagan
“You should write about Uncle Malcolm,” Lenny Clarke told me one day. Lenny’s a Kirrae Wurrung man. He lives on his traditional lands, opposite the Framlingham forest, outside the Victorian town of Warrnambool. Fraser got to know the Clarke family...
By Michelle Griffin
The waiters at Lentil As Anything, a homely 28-seat vegetarian joint on Blessington Street, St Kilda, never tell you how much to pay for your meal. There are no prices on the wall. You pay what you feel the meal was worth. Twenty dollars for a...
By Clare Barker
Most people are familiar with the concepts of the Yummy Mummy – the gym-toned career woman with child who manages to stay fanciable – and the Glamorous Grandmother, a vast cross-section of mature lipsticked women whose most prominent member is Lady...
By John Harms
In the Cricketers Bar at Melbourne’s Windsor Hotel, shortly after the Swans’ AFL grand final victory, a bloke from Sydney told me the ABC was doctoring the weather. He claimed he had heard from an impeccable source that some towns never ever appear...
By Malcolm Knox
“The event that dislocated our period from the last was September 11.” “Oh-one. Twin Towers. Splatter patterns. It’s raining men, hallelujah ...” “Hush. The event to which you refer merely amplified the existing order, even accelerated its actions....
Freedom, order and The Golden Bead Material: a parent’s dilemma
By Amanda Lohrey
In the years since then, I’ve observed with enduring fascination the many parents I’ve known who have agonised over their children’s schooling. Is there any decision that causes more angst and sleepless nights? Will the child be happy and make...
A Te Aroha cowboy and his secret part in training the 1985 Melbourne Cup winner
By Craig Sherborne
A sweetheart should have made him stay in England, where he came from, should have said to him: “My darling, New Zealand is the other side of the world. I love you. Don’t break my heart and your heart too by going there and dying a failure.” You can...
By Janette Turner Hospital
On one night, the worst one, and the last one before Katie ran away, there were eighteen of those calls. They were not all the same. If our mother answered, there would be heavy breathing and silence. “Why are you doing this?” our mother would ask...
By Robert Forster
When mention is made of a new Rolling Stones album the mind immediately races back to their golden period, that evocatively named series of records from Beggar’s Banquet in 1968 to Exile on Main St. in 1972. Before that were the singles: “...
By Kerryn Goldsworthy
“Why are you wasting your time watching that appalling trash?” asked the music critic I recently got into a conversation with about Australian Idol. When I say “music critic” I mean someone who goes regularly to the high-end stuff, to recitals and...
‘Shalimar the Clown’ by Salman Rushdie
By Delia Falconer
Toward the beginning of A Satanic Affair, his analysis of the furore caused by The Satanic Verses, Malise Ruthven tells the following story. A month or so into the publicity for the novel, Rushdie was invited onto BBC radio’s Desert Island Discs. He...
'Paradise Now'
By Helen Garner
Hip politics at the Sydney Museum of Contempory Art
By Justin Clemens
Recent laboratory work on locusts has shown that they can be turned from their harmless “solidarious” phase to a predatory “gregarious” one simply by tickling their hind legs with a paintbrush. Something similar happens with invitations to big art...
By Zora Simic
In his latest novel Bret Easton Ellis introduces a narrator, also called Bret Easton Ellis, whom we are encouraged not to trust for any number of reasons. He’s a writer, he cheats on his wife, he’s estranged from his son, he drinks too much, he...
By James Ley
Vikram Seth’s great-uncle and aunt were a mismatched couple. Shanti Seth was a short Hindu dentist with one arm; Hennerle Caro, tall and slender, was a German Jew. This alone suggests the story of how they came to be happily married is likely to be...
Words: Shane Maloney | Illustration: Chris Grosz
By Shane Maloney and Chris Grosz

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