Author: Emily Paull

Emily Paull is a former bookseller and a future librarian. Her debut book, Well-Behaved Women, was released by Margaret River Press in 2019.
Anne Tyler

Book review: Redhead by the Side of the Road, the latest novel from Anne Tyler is short and delightful

July 22, 2020

For those of you not familiar with Anne Tyler, Redhead by the Side of the Road is her 23rd novel. She is a former Pulitzer Prize winner, has been shortlisted for both the Booker Prize and the Women’s Prize for Fiction, and  was a participant in the Hogarth Shakespeare project which also saw the likes […]

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Tara June Winch wins the 2020 Miles Franklin Literary Award in special online event

July 16, 2020

Tara June Winch has taken out the top prize in Australia’s most prestigious literary award for 2020 for her stunning novel, The Yield.  The Miles Franklin Literary Award was announced during a live Youtube broadcast hosted by ABC Radio Sydney/ The Bookshelf‘s Cassie McCullagh. The virtual event was another of the many examples we have seen in […]

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The Vanishing Half

Book Review: Brit Bennett’s The Vanishing Half is every bit as good as promised

July 9, 2020

The release of Brit Bennett’s The Vanishing Half early last month was met with great excitement, with the book quickly becoming a bestseller. Bennett’s sophomore novel is the story of the Vignes twins, Stella and Desiree, who grow up in an American town called Mallard during the 1960s. There are two things to know about Mallard […]

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Necessary People

Book Review: Necessary People is an underwhelming portrait of ambition and jealousy in the world of TV news

June 18, 2020

Anna Pitoniak’s new novel Necessary People has a blurb quote from Stephen King on its front cover, and one from Lee Child on its back. In fact, the first couple of pages of the book are devoted to quotes from publications like Refinery29 and Marie Claire, exclaiming how much their reviewers loved this book. Yet Pitoniak’s second […]

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Conjure Women

Book Review: Afia Atakora delivers a cautionary tale about the narratives of history in Conjure Women

June 11, 2020

Set in the years immediately preceding and immediately after the American Civil War, Afia Atakora‘s debut novel Conjure Women is an exploration of both what it meant to be a woman and what it meant to be a slave in the Antebellum South. Conjure Women is the story of Rue, a ‘conjure woman’ in a small community made up […]

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Melting Moments

Book Review: One woman’s life tracks gently alongside the pull of history in Anna Goldsworthy’s Melting Moments

May 26, 2020

It is hard to believe that Melting Moments is a debut novel. Not only is the name Anna Goldsworthy a familiar one in the Australian literary scene, but the writing inside this novel is so accomplished that it feels effortless to read. Melting Moments is the story of Ruby, following her from her days as a young woman, […]

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Fauna

Book Review: Donna Mazza makes a spectacular return with Fauna

May 1, 2020

It’s been thirteen years since WA writer, Donna Mazza, won the prestigious City of Fremantle T.A.G. Hungerford award for her novel, The Albanian. But her second book, Fauna, out earlier this year through Allen and Unwin was certainly worth the wait. Set in 2037, in an Australia which shows only subtle differences from our own, […]

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The Women’s Prize for Fiction announces 2020 longlist

March 3, 2020

The longlist for the 2020 Women’s Prize for Fiction was announced at midnight GMT on March 3rd, with many avid UK booklovers staying up in anticipation of the announcement. Now in its 25th year, the prize was previously known as the Orange Prize for Fiction and until recently was the Bailey’s Prize for Fiction. It […]

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Wild Fearless Chests

Book Review: Mandy Beaumont’s Wild Fearless Chests is a visceral tour de force

March 1, 2020

The line between short stories and poetry is thin in Mandy Beaumont’s debut collection, Wild Fearless Chests, which was published earlier in the year by Hachette, off the back of a shortlisting in both the Richell Prize and the Dorothy Hewett Award run by UWA Publishing. The collection readers were promised was a catalogue of […]

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Book Review: The Secrets We Kept is a thrilling account of the Zhivago affair

February 12, 2020

According to the end matter in her debut novel, The Secrets We Kept, author Lara Prescott was named for the heroine of Boris Pasternak‘s Nobel Prize winning novel, Doctor Zhivago. It was not until the CIA declassified 99 documents pertaining to the real story behind the publication of the Russian classic, however, that her interest […]

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Akin

Book Review: Emma Donoghue’s Akin is a historical story told from the present day

January 28, 2020

Akin is Emma Donoghue’s tenth novel for adults, but only her second set in the modern day. Known by most readers for her 2010 novel, Room, Donoghue has published countless novels which examine little known pockets of history, such as 2014’s Frog Music and 2016’s The Wonder. At first glance, Akin is something entirely different to Donoghue’s back catalogue, including […]

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Perth Festival’s 2020 Literature and Ideas program launches with a new curator and a minor revamp

January 18, 2020

Sisonke Msimang, the new curator for Perth Festival’s Literature and Ideas festival, delivered her full program for the late February event on Thursday night to an enthusiastic crowd at the Octagon Theatre. Her program, designed around the concepts of ‘Land, Money, Power, and Sex’ has been curated with a goal of inviting a new intake […]

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Book Review: Kathy O’Shaughnessy’s new work a novel approach to a biography of George Eliot

December 17, 2019

Kathy O’Shaughnessy‘s In Love with George Eliot is subtitled ‘A Novel’. Thank goodness for that, because if not, booksellers and librarians probably would not know where to shelve it. While readable and intensely interesting, the book reads more like a bibliomemoir, more akin to previous George Eliot studies like The Road to Middlemarch and last year’s […]

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Book Review: Debra Adelaide’s The Innocent Reader is a book lover’s delight

December 4, 2019

In her new collection of essays, through the lens of reflecting on her reading and writing, Debra Adelaide reveals much of her own story. An avid reader from a young age, Adelaide recounts her early encounters with Tolkien at the local library, laments her own inability to reduce the number of books in her home (no matter […]

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Book Review: Mother of Pearl shows there are many sides to the surrogacy debate

November 17, 2019

Angela Savage may be best known for her Jayne Keeney PI novels, or for her role as the Director of Writer’s Victoria, but in Mother of Pearl, she’s serving something different. Celebrating Savage’s love of Thai culture and customs, Mother of Pearl is a sensitive exploration of the issue of overseas surrogacy, told from multiple points of view, […]

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Book Review: Meg Mundell’s The Trespassers shows a dystopian future with links to Australia’s past and present

November 4, 2019

You might be forgiven for thinking that there are echoes of the past in Meg Mundell’s newest novel, The Trespassers, as a boatload of British folk board a boat bound for Australia to escape overcrowing, unemployment and disease at home. Instead, it’s the not-too-distant future. Among the passengers are our three protagonists: Cleary, nine years old and […]

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Book Review: Josephine Rowe’s Here Until August is a collection to savour

October 10, 2019

Josephine Rowe‘s newest collection of short stories, Here Until August is a slim but beautiful looking collection. It’s striking blue and purple cover makes you want to pick it up. And you should, because what is inside is just as fascinating as out. It begins with the story “Glisk” (winner of the 2016 ABR/Elizabeth Jolley Prize) […]

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Book Review: Lenny Bartulin’s Fortune is a cinematic romp through time

September 19, 2019

In 1806, after conquering Prussia with his armies, Napoleon Bonaparte led a procession into Berlin through the Brandenburg Gate. Watching in the crowd is an eighteen year old man named Johannes Meyer who will soon find himself swept up in the tide of history. Fortune is a novel which traces its way around the big […]

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Book Review: Dysfunction is rife in Ruby Porter’s engrossing debut Attraction

August 26, 2019

The unnamed narrator in Ruby Porter‘s Michael Gifkins Prize winning debut novel Attraction can’t seem to get her mind to focus. She and her girlfriend, Ilana, and her best friend, Ashi, are on a road trip to the narrator’s family beach house in New Zealand’s North Island. The trip is one of escape for our protagonist, but […]

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Book Review: Kathryn Hind’s debut, Hitch takes readers on a journey in more than one sense of the word

August 11, 2019

Canberra-based author Kathryn Hind‘s debut novel Hitch was published in June this year. The inaugural winner of the Penguin Literary Prize, Hitch tells the story of Amelia, a young woman of indeterminate age, who is hitchhiking her way to Melbourne. Her journey is an emotional one as well as a physical one, and throughout the book, there […]

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Book Review: Rohan Wilson’s Daughter of Bad Times presents a disturbing view of the future

August 5, 2019

Rohan Wilson’s latest novel, Daughter of Bad Times is a novel with an extremely global outlook, but this may just be its problem. The novel follows two protagonists, Rin Braden and Yamaan Ali Umair, two lovers from very different circumstances. Rin is the daughter of Alessandra Braden, the CEO of Cabey-Yasuda Corrections, a company which owns […]

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Book Review: Tony Birch’s The White Girl pushes beyond the limits of love in one family’s experience of the Protection Act

July 28, 2019

The town that makes up the main setting of Tony Birch’s new novel The White Girl is a fictional one, but it could have been anywhere in Australia. The novel tells the story of Odette Brown, an Indigenous woman who was raised on the mission in Deane separated from her family, and in particular her father. She lives on […]

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The 2019 ‘Booker Dozen’ revealed

July 24, 2019

The longlist for the 2019 Booker Prize is out, but readers will have to wait a little while to pick up copies of a few of the contenders, with books such as The Testaments not due out until September 2019. This list, hotly anticipated by bibliophiles everywhere, is notoriously difficult to predict, and 2019 is […]

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Miles Franklin Literary Award announces 2019 shortlist

July 2, 2019

Six Australian writers have been shortlisted for the 2019 Miles Franklin Award at a ceremony held this evening at the State Library of NSW. Among those shortlisted are debut authors, Michael Mohammed Ahmad (The Lebs) and Jennifer Mills (Dyschronia), and two-time Miles Franklin award winner, Rodney Hall (A Stolen Season). Gail Jones, whose book The Death of Noah […]

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Book Review: Amanda O’Callaghan’s This Taste for Silence marks the arrival of a quietly macabre talent

June 23, 2019

The body count is high in Amanda O’Callaghan’s debut short story collection, This Taste for Silence. From the very first story, death, murder and unexplained disappearances emerge as a dominant theme in this collection which has been described by Ryan O’Neill as ‘utterly haunting.’ Brisbane-based author O’Callaghan is an internationally acclaimed writer of short (and very […]

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Interview: Elizabeth Kuiper talks Little Stones, Zimbabwe, representation and creative journeys

June 13, 2019

Earlier this month saw the publication of Elizabeth Kuiper’s debut novel Little Stones. The novel, which draws upon Kuiper’s own childhood experiences, follows the story of Hannah, a young white Zimbabwean as she navigates everyday life in a country under the control of Robert Mugabe.  Following the novel’s release we sat down with Elizabeth to […]

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Book Review: No stone has been left unturned in Elizabeth Kuiper’s Little Stones

June 11, 2019

Little Stones might be the debut novel from Australian writer Elizabeth Kuiper, but it won’t be her last. The novel, of which an early version was long listed for the Richell Prize, published in Award Winning Australian Writing and received the Express Media Prize for the best work of fiction, marks the arrival of a new voice in Australian writing. One […]

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Book Review: Spotlight on the girl from Botany Bay in Meg Keneally’s Fled

April 22, 2019

Meg Keneally may have a literary giant for a father, but her career speaks for itself.  Beginning her working life as Junior Public Affairs Officer at the Australian Consulate-General in New York, she has worked as a sub-editor and freelance features writer in Dublin, as a journalist at the Daily Telegraph in Australia, as a talkback […]

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Book Review: Carrie Tiffany’s Exploded View presents a surprisingly feminist coming of age story

March 26, 2019

The unnamed protagonist of Carrie Tiffany’s new novel, Exploded View, lets us into her life by increments. Immediately, as readers, we are welcomed into her interior world– a place where the only things that make sense are cars, and engines. It is the late 1970’s, and the girl and her brother watch things like Hogan’s Heroes on the TV, careful […]

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8 events not to miss at Perth Festival Writers Week

February 13, 2019

It’s the event that kicks off the writers’ festival circuit every year, and Perth Festival’s faithful will tell you it’s one of the best in Australia. Under the stewardship of new program curator, William Yeoman, the Perth Writers Festival has seen some changes in the last two years- most notably a change of name to […]

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