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Category Archives: Issue Eighteen


We Read To Know We Are Not Alone: Examining the Lack of LGBTQI Characters in Australian Youth Literature

‘We read to know we are not alone,’ – the character of C.S. Lewis says this line in William Nicholson’s play, Shadowlands. To know that someone else shares our embarrassments, fears, doubts, longings…or if not shares them, has at least had the thought flitter across their mind … Read more »

New to the Yabba: Into the Aussie Badlands

I find it very hard to write about Australia. This is partially a landscape issue. When writing fiction, I don’t open with the sunset. When I stare out over the canyon, my inner ear picks up no ambient string refrains. I will never publish a novel about … Read more »

The Uncomfortable Art of Influence: Hilton Als’ White Girls and Cultural Appropriation

The debate about the ethics of cultural appropriation was reignited recently when the Australian fashion label Perks and Mini (P.A.M.) were criticised for their use of African-themed designs in a fashion collection displayed in the Melbourne Now exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria earlier this year. … Read more »

Bethanie Blanchard in Conversation with Gary Shteyngart

The opening page of Gary Shteyngart’s memoir, Little Failure, begins with the young author standing in a now closed branch of New York’s famous bookstore The Strand, reading a page of St Petersberg:Architecture of the Tsars.

Silence Once Begun

    Image credit: Michael Coghlan    

After the Fires

The girls ran ahead of him. Jonas could hear them screaming with excitement as they struggled to keep up with their own legs. All the way down the steep, grey track towards the river, the air smelt of meat burning on the barbecues and the high, sharp … Read more »

The Other Railwayman: A Diagram of Disaster

The pages of the report pertaining to Inquest No. 51/1003 – ‘Inquisition before Coroner sitting alone’ – are held together by a split-pin fastener that’s been in place so long its rust has pressed into the paper. There are sixteen foolscap sheets including a doctor’s report and … Read more »

Muses on Fire: On Literature and the People That Inspire It

‘The only people for me,’ Jack Kerouac wrote in his autobiographical novel On the Road, ‘are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say … Read more »

I Guess You’re Only as Sick as You Feel: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Chemo

‘Well at this point, I guess you’re only as sick as you feel.’

An Uneasy Alliance: Tools and Our Age-Old Fear of Being Murdered by Them

A friend and I leapt aboard a combi that accelerated and slowed around Trujillo, a coastal city in northern Peru, moving farther out into the fringing districts until we had left the bustle behind. It turned down a narrow track; when it ended we clambered out and … Read more »