A retouched photo of Mary (Mollie) Dean from Sydney newspaper Truth (1 February 1931). Dean, who was murdered in Melbourne in 1930, was the subject of two Australian books published in 2018.
Public domain/The Conversation
True crime-related storytelling has shrugged off its former low-brow baggage. Two recent Australian books show how victims' stories can be told sensitively and humanely.
Natalie Christie Peluso in The Children’s Bach. The opera is based on Helen Garner’s novella of the same name.
It is rare to have a new production of an Australian opera - a vivid new performance of The Children's Bach was refreshing to see.
Cynthia Banham with Kevin Rudd in 2008. Banham’s memoir explores both the trauma she experienced during a plane crash in 2007 and her family’s history.
In her fragmentary family memoir, Cynthia Banham interweaves narratives of war and migration with her own traumatic plane crash - ultimately reclaiming her identity in the process.
Man Out of Time is an affecting portrait of a family rocked by the patriarchal figure’s long-term depression.
Stephanie Bishop's latest novel demonstrates a sophisticated approach to the relationship between time and narrative: novelists and aspiring writers would do well to look closely at her achievement.
Leigh Sales at a memorial service of journalist Mark Colvin in 2017. In her recent book, Sales demonstrates the importance of journalistic empathy and disclosure.
Part memoir, part investigation, Leigh Sales's recent book Any Ordinary Day provides rare insight into the journalistic craft.
Les Murray at the National Gallery in Canberra in 2002. He was often seen as an unofficial Australian poet laureate.
Les Murray's signature style was a potent mix of ordinary language, specialist vocabulary, and eccentric syntax. His poetry made us see things anew.
A collection of essays, personal stories, pictures and poetry reflects on the challenges for women who speak out about assault in the age of #MeToo.
A new anthology collects the voices of 35 contributors on #MeToo in Australia. The book wades into all the difficult areas, from sexual assault to the culture that enables it.
Vicki Laveau-Harvie has won the 2019 Stella Prize for her memoir The Erratics. With rare honesty, the book shatters expectations of what a mother should be.
Debut memoir The Erratics possesses a rare honesty, exploding socially sanctioned ideas about mothers and families.
This year’s Stella Prize shortlist is difficult to sum up or pin down - but the experiences of young people are a recurring theme.
Stella Prize/The Conversation
The six books shortlisted for this year's Stella prize cover diverse subject matter and make risky aesthetic choices; they are serious and thoroughly unsentimental.
Sue Smith’s play recreates wild years spent on the island of Hydra, which became an artist’s refuge.
A new play tells the story of George Johnston and Charmian Clift's time on the Greek island of Hydra, which ultimately led to the novel My Brother Jack - but not without sacrifices.
George Stubbs, ‘The Kongouro from New Holland’ (1772), oil painting, detail of head.
Ashley Van Haeften/Wikimedia Commons
Kangaroos are a national icon, but Australian authors seem determined to kill them off.
Reading fiction about scientists can help us to think differently about science.
Scientists can be under-appreciated in Australian culture. Here are eight great fictional scientists to get you thinking about labs, test tubes and bold experiments.
In his new book The Rosie Result, author Graeme Simsion is not afraid to confront many of the issues surrounding perceptions of autism.
The final instalment to the Rosie Project trilogy points to greater awareness about neurological differences such as autism.
The beach is a common setting for Australian novels, which often capture its darker side.
While tourism campaigns often portray the beach as an idyllic, isolated haven, many of our beach stories depict it as a darker, more complex place. Here are ten worth reading.
Gerald Murnane has long been recognised as one of Australia’s finest writers.
This award to a long neglected writer shows that there is still a place in Australian life for works of art that challenge us to think.
A memorial in Kukenarup to the massacre that took place in the area, in which 30-40 Aboriginal men, women, and children were killed.
Kim Scott, whose novel Taboo is shortlisted for the 2018 Miles Franklin award, circles around colonial violence in his work.
The Miles Franklin authors with their novels, clockwise from top left: Felicity Castagna, Eva Hornung, Kim Scott, Michelle de Kretser, Catherine McKinnon and Gerald Murnane.
Courtesy Perpetual/ Copyright Agency/ Martin Ollman/Timothy Hillier. Eva Hornung image: Noni Martin.
For many years, the Miles Franklin award was a bastion of monoculture. But this year's stories are a diverse reflection of Australia.
Behrouz Boochani photographed on Manus Island.
Jason Garman/Amnesty International via AAP
Behrouz Boochani wrote his memoir of incarceration on Manus Island one text message at a time. Translating this work of 'horrific surrealism' from Farsi to English was a profoundly philosophical experience.
Guy Pearce as the Chandleresque private investigator Jack Irish: in the early years of Australian crime fiction, convicts and bushrangers featured prominently.
Australia's rich tradition of crime fiction is little known – early tales told of bushrangers and convicts, one hero was a mining engineer turned amateur detective – but it reveals a range of national myths and fantasies.
The study shared by Donald and Myfanwy Horne photographed in 2014.
Karl Schwerdtfeger Photography.
A new room will open at the NSW State LIbrary today, furnished with objects from Donald and Myfanwy Horne's study. Their daughter, Julia, reflects here on a writing partnership and the room that fostered it.