Text Publishing

Book Review: Helen Garner’s Yellow Notebook is an exhilarating look inside the writer’s mind

December 23, 2019

Helen Garner is a Virginia Woolf fan. This is especially apparent in her latest release, Yellow Notebook: Diaries Volume 1 1978-1987. Woolf once said, “Examine for a moment an ordinary mind on an ordinary day. The mind receives a myriad impressions – trivial, fantastic, evanescent, or engraved with a sharpness of steel.” This quote amply […]

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Book Review: Mary Costello’s The River Capture is an ambitious ode to James Joyce

December 15, 2019

Mary Costello’s first novel, Academy Street, was shortlisted for a number of awards, and won the Irish Book of the Year Award in 2014. It also shares a lot thematically with her latest work. However, in her second novel, The River Capture, Costello has used a very different narrative style, and although providing some real […]

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Gail Jones and Judith Beveridge amongst the winners at the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards for 2019

October 23, 2019

Today the Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher have announced the winners of the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards for 2019. These awards are given in recognition of the significant contribution literature, history and poetry make towards shaping our Australian identity. The Awards are presented across six categories: […]

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Book Review: Griffith Review 64: The New Distruptors is a sweeping look at new technology

October 16, 2019

The Griffith Review is known for its rich collections of thought-provoking writing and picture stories. The 64th edition, The New Disruptors is no exception. It is a deep dive into the world of technological change, from the recesses of the dark web through to those new opportunities for change. This instalment is edited by Ashley […]

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Book Review: Albert Woodfox’s Solitary is a searing indictment on “justice”

August 31, 2019

Twenty-three hours a day. Forty-three years. Three men. A six-by-nine foot cell. These are the all important numbers that form the basis of Albert Woodfox‘s memoir Solitary, which covers one of the biggest miscarriages of justice in U.S. history. This story is one that will enrage you so much you’ll want to throw the book at those […]

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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: Jocelyn Moorhouse’s memoir is proof that love is all you need

June 23, 2019

Jocelyn Moorhouse knows how to spin a great yarn. The Dressmaker director has had a rich career in film, and this forms part of her memoir, Unconditional Love. This book looks at her brilliant career, including her collaborations with filmmaker husband, PJ Hogan (Muriel’s Wedding). But, Moorhouse’s most intriguing chapters are about her experiences with […]

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Book Review: Gerald Murnane’s A Season on Earth shines new light on early classic for potential Nobel winner

April 14, 2019

It is rare that at the age of eighty and after publishing sixteen books – a mixture of novels, short story collections, and non-fiction – that an author comes into the light of the public consciousness and begins to find notoriety. But the works of Gerald Murnane have begun to garner considerable interest in recent […]

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Book Review: Janet Malcolm’s essay collection Nobody’s Looking At You prove that journalism is often skin deep

April 1, 2019

If there were a title for Grand Master of narrative fiction then the undisputed champion would be Janet Malcolm. This American author has been writing since the 1960’s when she first began with The New Yorker. The author of several books, her latest one, Nobody’s Looking At You, focuses on recent times by drawing together […]

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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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Book review: Freeman’s latest anthology brings power to the people

January 14, 2019

Power is a fundamental thing. A lack of it can render someone a wretched husk, and too much of it can make people go drunk and blind. Writer and editor, John Freeman knows all this, because he chose it as the topic for the latest instalment of Freeman’s Best New Writing; the anthology that includes exciting […]

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Book Review: Mads Peder Nordbo’s The Girl Without Skin marks the start of an impressive new crime series

December 18, 2018

When what appears to be the corpse of a mummified Viking is found, journalist Matthew Cave is first on the scene. But by the next day, the body is gone, and in its place lies the flayed corpse of the policeman left to keep watch. Silenced by the local constabulary as they investigate the crime, […]

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Book Review: Island Story: Tasmania in Object and Text is a tribute to everything visitors and locals alike love about Tasmania

December 17, 2018

Tasmania lies just below mainland Australia like a hidden jewel, with its rainforests still standing, cooler temperatures, a treasure for the foodies and art and culture are found on nearly every corner. Island Story: Tasmania in Object and Text provides a juxtaposition of text and images, allowing both elements of shine, but neither to dominate. […]

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Book Review: Olga Tokarczuk’s Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead is a murder mystery, but not as you know it

December 16, 2018

Janina Duszejko (though never call her Janina) lives just outside an isolated village. She spends her days tending to the empty holiday homes nearby, teaching at the local school, and mourning the disappearance of her two beloved dogs. But when prominent members of the local hunting club are found dead, Duszejko is on the case. […]

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Book Review: Toni Jordan’s latest novel The Fragments is a delight for bibliophiles

November 21, 2018

Standing in line for an exhibit on the life of novelist, Inga Karlsson, Caddie Walker meets a mysterious woman who appears to know more about Karlsson and her famous lost work than anyone could possibly know. Caddie, a Karlsson devotee, becomes obsessed with finding out who this woman is, and if it’s possible that she […]

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Five Books You Need To Read This Month: October

October 15, 2018

If you’ve stepped into any store over the last couple of weeks you’d probably have noticed that the countdown for Christmas is well and truly on. This also means there are no shortage of new books being released into the world. Earlier this month, on the so-called “Super Thursday” there were 544 new books released […]

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Book Review: Michelle Scott Tucker’s Elizabeth Macarthur is a love letter to a successful businesswoman in a fledgling colony

July 9, 2018

We so often read about history but what about her-story? At school many of us learned about the contributions of John Macarthur to Australia’s agricultural industry. But little has been said about his wife, Elizabeth Macarthur, another integral player in this story. Michelle Scott Tucker rectifies this  with her debut, the engaging biography: Elizabeth Macarthur: A Life […]

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Book Review: Tom Rachman’s The Italian Teacher is a lyrical look at the true price of art

April 26, 2018

If there was ever an author who had the ability to paint a picture with his prose it’s Tom Rachman. In his latest novel, The Italian Teacher, Rachman puts together a complex and often lyrical study of a man who has grown up in the shadows of his artist father’s genius. The result is a […]

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Book Review: Midas Dekkers’ The Story Of Shit is a cheeky look at our toilet habits

April 23, 2018

We all do it. But most of us don’t talk about it. What I’m writing about is defecation or shitting. Dutch biologist, Midas Dekkers knows all about this. He has put together his own utterly unique, bizarre and interesting take on this universal-yet-taboo topic. Dekkers is no stranger to writing about left-field and contentious subjects. […]

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Book Review: Follow an ageing reporter through the murky world of tabloid journalism in Craig Sherborne’s Off The Record

March 28, 2018

Callum Smith, the Wordsmith, ‘Words’ for short, is a journalist of the old school. An expert manipulator, he spends his days flirting, drinking, and chasing stories. But when his wife leaves him, Words’ devotion to the big story begins to spiral out of control. Desperate to keep her and his son in his life, he’ll […]

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Book Review: Daniel H. Pink’s When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing is an accessible volume about time & using it to our advantage

March 21, 2018

There are some people who believe that timing is everything. American author and speaker, Daniel H. Pink is someone who appreciates the importance of timing, as he describes in his new book – When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing. Pink believes that timing is not an art but a science, and has created a highly […]

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Book Review: John McPhee’s Draft No. 4 is all right for some, but not for everyone

March 20, 2018

Truthfully, I had no idea who John McPhee was when I picked up this book. I knew only a few things about the book at all- that it was about writing, that it was published by Text (a fabulous Australian publisher whom I trust with my reading material), and that it had a glowing quote […]

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Book Review: Lloyd Jones’ The Cage is an unsettling examination of the lengths we will go to for the truth

March 15, 2018

Two men, fleeing for their lives, arrive in a small country town. The townspeople, desperate to know where they have come from and what they have seen, assign a group of Trustees to find out more. But as the men prove unable to speak of their trauma, the town’s early hospitality is slowly withdrawn, replaced […]

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Book Review: Award-winning journalist Witold Szabłowski collects oral histories of Eastern Europe in Dancing Bears

March 3, 2018

For hundreds of years, Bulgarian Gypsies trained bears to perform. In the early 2000’s the practice was outlawed following the fall of communism, and the bears, who had only ever known their human family, were released into a reserve. Even now, years later, the bears still stand on their hind legs to dance whenever they […]

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The AU Review’s Top Ten Books of 2017

January 8, 2018

Happy New Year everyone. Now we’ve packed away the Christmas decorations and finished the last of the festive treats, we in the book review team at the AU thought it’d be a good time to look back at some of our favourite books of the last year. A veritable smorgasbord of great books were released […]

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Book Review: Lily Tuck’s Sisters is a searing novella about an insecure second wife

December 20, 2017

When The Four Tops sang about “Standing in the shadows of love” Lily Tuck’s Sisters wasn’t quite what they had in mind. And yet, this novella by a National Book Award recipient feels like it could use that track as an anthem. This story is a tense piece about a second wife who is obsessed […]

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Book Review: Bruce Beresford’s The Best Film I Never Made is a collection of warm, droll and personal essays from one of Australia’s leading directors

November 29, 2017

“I wanted to make films from time I saw my first films in the mid-1940’s. Unlike my school friends I had no interest in animated films (I still don’t) but was fascinated by narratives with actors. Somehow I realised while still very young, that the key person in all the films was not the leading […]

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Book Review: The Stranger by Melanie Raabe is a well wrought suspenseful thriller

November 21, 2017

She doesn’t know him. He knows everything about her. Philip Peterson, a wealthy businessman disappears without trace on a trip to South America. Seven years later he’s back. Or is he? The Stranger starts with a memory, and these flashbacks creep in throughout the novel. Not too far into proceedings ‘The Stranger’ is found, appearing amid […]

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Book Review: Claire Aman’s Bird Country is a debut collection with considerable weight

November 6, 2017

It is rare these days that a complete collection of short stories can sustain a sense of breathless wonder throughout each and every piece included in its pages. In a modern age of mobile phones and social media, short stories present us with an interesting challenge. While they are short enough to cater to our […]

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Book Review: Vengeance is Mine, All Others Pay Cash is a standout title, but falls flat

October 9, 2017

There’s something very appealing about translated fiction these days.  Whether it’s because more amazing novels from other languages are being translated than ever before, or whether the quality of those translations is better than it is ever has been is something an expert would need to weigh in on.  I can only comment on my […]

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