Book Review: Towards the End, by Ali Alizadeh

[A version of this was published in the Mascara Literary Review earlier this month] While it was a mainstay of early 20th century writing, the styles, tendencies, and structures of social realist literature went out of vogue fairly quickly. Perhaps it is because of the proselytising nature of such texts, or because works of only […]

GIRAR, INTERLUDE: The Abebayehosh (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia)

September 11th, 2020:   [This is an excerpt from a work in progress. More details can be found at this post:] The Queen of Sheba was the jewel of the land. When she came back from her visit to King Solomon, she was welcomed not by the dusts of the deserts – which had […]

Book Review: The Harp in the South, By Ruth Park

The mid 20th century was a time of much promising Australian writing. While a lot of people from other countries can’t probably think of a single novelist of Australian origin penning great books, Patrick White dazzled the capacities of literature with his still and smouldering style, and Christina Stead brought a much-needed playfulness and liveliness […]

Book Review: The Hate Race, by Maxine Benaba Clarke:

Book Review: The Hate Race, Maxine Benaba Clarke:   There is a question that those who are born out of multiple heritages and nationalities often rue. It is a question often uttered from a place of genuine curiousity, as well as a desire to understand a person based on their appearance, which, in the mindset […]

Book Review: Picnic at Hanging Rock, by Joan Lindsey

It is first and foremost a thrill when one picks up a novel, and immediately spots out immaculate language. It is like rubbing a plum in the market, to notice that the consistency is firm, and the ashy dots on its colours are speckled throughout. It is practically assured that the first taste, if not […]

Book Review: The Slap, by Christos Tsiolkas

Crudeness, un-refinedness, unkemptness; what does it mean when literature represents characters not in a moral light, not necessarily even in an amoral light, but in a light that is simply vulgar. And not in the vulgarity of caricature, either; I mean just to represent humans with all of the earnestness of realism, but with the […]

Book Review: Poor Fellow My Country, by Xavier Herbert

There are those vast forms that have informed the cultures of entire nations, but because they are cultures that are rarely discussed in the mainstream, they tend to be relics of a time and history which are often forgotten. As I began Poor Fellow My Country, the Miles Franklin winning novel of Xavier Herbert, I […]


[This is an excerpt from a work in progress. More details can be found at this post:] A time of change, a time of passing; this was the time of Songkran, the Thai New Year. Normally one felt Songkran in the streets. People who normally slept in for most of the day would wake […]

Book Review: No Friend But the Mountains, by Behrooz Boochani

The seamlessness of borders, and the seamlessness of bodies; these are one in the same in the opening words of No friend But the Mountains. For, as we begin this book, after what appears to be many months of pointless fleeing, on foot, by truck, we are on a boat, in Boochani’s mind, along with […]

BOOK REVIEW: New & Selected Stories, by Steven Millhauser

The 20th century American short story is a gem of a form. Call it formulaic, call it of a certain type, but the best short story writers are able to conjure up an entire feeling of a moment and time period in the space of ten pages. Certain writers like John Cheever or Raymond Carver […]