Books & Authors
A Spanner in the Works
The extraordinary story of Alice Anderson and Australia’s first all-girl garage by Loretta Smith
Sharing worlds of difference
‘It is not appropriate to stare at women, no matter how interesting their purple hijabs.” So says Khalid Mirza in Ayesha at Last, a novel by Canadian author Uzma Jalaluddin. Khalid, a devout Muslim, is an e-commerce project manager from a wealthy immigrant family in suburban Toronto. ..
A family’s survival through Cambodian genocide
“Our birth traumas mark us forever. We lug along behind us duffel bags full of somebody else’s memories.” So wrote Helen Motro, the child of Holocaust survivors ..
Uncovering my family's Holocaust history
After discovering a list of six names on a Holocaust memorial in Prague, journalist Juliet Rieden embarked on a long and challenging journey to learn about her father's history
Imagine yourself as the only child of parents who are only children themselves. You have no aunts or uncles or cousins that you know of. ..
Yes, indeed: inside the same-sex debate
‘We’re about to be given a number. A number that will sew itself into our skins. A number that will not let us go.” So said writer and poet Quinn Eades ahead of a turning point in Australian history a little more than 12 months ago. ..
Gloria Steinem talks feminism, Donald Trump and life on the road
At the stroke of noon, Sydney time, the phone rings. Gloria Steinem’s voice curls down the line, warm and resonant and a little hesitant: “Hel-lo?” You’re very punctual, I tell her, and there’s a small, puzzled laugh: why wouldn’t she be? ..
Two blokes walked on to a stage
At the time when Godot was first done, it liberated something for anybody writing plays ...
The Lives of Brian Sherman: entrepreneur, philanthropist, animal activist
Brian Sherman has lived a big life, or, as the title of his memoir suggests, several big lives. Reared the son of a shopkeeper in a South African mining town, he arrived in Sydney in 1976 ....
India’s art scene the backdrop to Anjum Hasan’s The Cosmopolitans
Qayenaat is the unlikely heroine of Anjum Hasan’s latest novel, The Cosmopolitans. Grandly named after the Urdu noun used to “describe all of God’s creation”, she is 53, underemployed, a failed artist, a hippie drifter afflicted with seesawing high blood pressure, restless, and raking over the coals of a stillborn romance from decades ago. ..
STC’s Cate Blanchett, Richard Roxburgh and co scale Chekhov’s heights
"In 1984, veteran Chekhov thespian Ian McKellen observed “actors climb up Chekhov like a mountain, roped together, sharing the glory if they ever make it to the summit”. ...
Why we can't get enough of the Handmaid's Tale
Margaret Atwood and her crimson handmaids are having a big moment in popular culture and politics.
Margaret Atwood will be 80 in 2019. In an interview on social news website Reddit, she described herself as in the “gold watch and goodbye phase of my career.”...
Careless people of F Scott Fitzgerald's Great Gatsby have a modern equivalent
'THEY were careless people, Tom and Daisy - they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made.'F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby ...
The one they call the female Rushdie
If Nawal El Saadawi didn't write, she says, she might wield an axe instead. Sharon Verghis reports.
Nawal El Sadaawi is a woman of forthright views. In the hierarchy of world religions, Judaism is more oppressive to women than Islam, she declares. George W. Bush is "a right-wing fanatic" , Osama bin Laden's milder doppelganger. If blood spills in the global battle against international capitalism, so be it...
Angel and beast
AS her famous book Tracks is filmed in the Australian desert, Robyn Davidson reveals her many faces. ..
Former Auschwitz prisoner tattooist's extraordinary tale of love and survival
Author Heather Morris tells Sharon Verghis how a meeting with an elderly Melbourne man led her to uncover the extraordinary survival story of the former prisoner tattooist of Auschwitz.
The frail old man sitting in his study in his Melbourne home opposite Heather Morris had a big secret to share – the keys which unlocked his story lay in the faded but legible strings of numbers inscribed in his arm: 32407...
Maids of Dishonour
Cate Blanchett and Elizabeth Debicki are eating lunch in a private room overlooking a bright blue slice of Sydney's Walsh Bay. ...
Haunted by the ghosts of good women with terrible tales to tell
Writing on the struggles of Chinese women has taken a heavy toll on Xinran Xue, writes Sharon Verghis.
Xinran Xue's sleep has been uneasy and ghost-filled since coming to Australia. She has dreamt of a fly gently tickling her skin, broken shoes and elegant Chinese ideograms, mothers and sons, floating worlds tethered by silk string. ...
Scholar Shereen El Feki storms sexual citadel of Arab world
FIVE years ago, Shereen El Feki set off on an extraordinary journey to chart the sexual topography of the Arab world. ...
Tahmima Anam’s Bones of Grace a carpet ride through Bangladesh
“What we do know is that the whale was first a coyote, then a water-curious amphibian, and finally, the creature that would rule the seas and become the stuff of our myth...
Craig Jurisevic: crossing the line
Craig Jurisevic, whe went to a war zone to treat the injured then joined the fighting, talks about his memoir, to be released this month....
The hijacked spring
SULAYMAN al-Bassam, the Kuwait-based playwright, is in the middle of a passionate dissection of the US presidential election when our phone conversation is interrupted by three sharp electronic bleeps. ...