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Author Archives: S.A. Jones


‘Weather is never just weather’: Sophie Cunningham’s Warning: The Story of Cyclone Tracy

We’ve had national disasters in the forty years since Cyclone Tracy, but Tracy’s iconic status in the national consciousness endures. Read more »

A writing guide for the time poor

With so many taxes on my energy and attention, getting the writing done is not easy. These are some of the lessons I’ve learnt about snatching writing from the jaws of real life. Read more »

MUBAs and Shakers: The 2013 Most Underrated Book Award

The Small Press Network hosted the Most Underrated Book Awards of 2013 last Friday night. From the start, the equivocal nature of ‘underrated’ was under the microscope. As ebullient MC Mary Masters put it, the award could be interpreted as the literary equivalent of ‘that shirt is divine … Read more »

What are we watching here?: Pleasure and pain in Lovelace

Lovelace is about two alternative narratives of the same event: the production and aftermath of Deep Throat. Deep Throat is such a pop culture staple it needs little introduction. However, if you have been marooned on an island and would miss the joke if I described the … Read more »

The Revolutionary Jesus: Reza Aslan’s Zealot

  The backlash to Reza Aslan’s book Zealot: the Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth confirms the old adage that, in polite circles, it’s best to steer away from religion, politics and sex. Aslan has virtually nothing to say about sex, but plenty about religion and politics. … Read more »

It’s love and it’s Australian and it’s here: an interview with Donna Ward

I married eight weeks ago. Earnestly searching for the right words at the right moment with the right man, I pleaded help from poetry aficionado and friend Donna Ward. Donna, in turn, asked Mark Tredennick – a poet I had met when we were co-panellists at a … Read more »

Upon my honour

July is upon us:  the month that strikes fear into the hearts of viticulturalists everywhere as me, and others like me, give up their favourite tipple. Give up all tipples in fact. Despite the fact that this is my third consecutive year of Dry July I still … Read more »

The E.P. Thompson of historical fiction: Amanda Curtin’s Elemental

Amanda Curtin is rapidly becoming one of my favourite authors of historical fiction. Unlike, say, Hilary Mantel or Anna Funder, Curtin is interested in the people that History tends to sweep over: the labouring poor, marginalised women, and those who evade categorisation as ‘male’ or ‘female’. Curtin … Read more »

The terrible power of ‘echidna books’: Julienne Van Loon’s Harmless

When I was in primary school there was a book I simultaneously loved and feared. It was a picture book featuring Australian bush animals one of whom, the echidna, was ostracised by the others because of his appearance. Determined to overcome the other animals’ hostility the echidna … Read more »

The epic in the everyday: Iris Lavell’s Elsewhere in Success

  It is always a delight to uncover a wonderful piece of debut fiction such as Iris Lavell’s Elsewhere in Success. This character-driven novel is about Harry and Louisa, two re-partnered baby boomers leading ordinary suburban lives in the suburb of Success in Western Australia. Louisa holds … Read more »