No Friend But the Mountains (Picador 2018) by award-winning Kurdish-Iranian journalist and advocate Behrouz Boochani is a distressing and horrific must-read account of Australia’s treatment of refugees in offshore detention prisons. Who are we, as a people, that we allow this to occur? Where is our humanity?
Shirl (Affirm Press 2020), the debut short story collection by Wayne Marshall, is quirky, imaginative and funny. The stories explore Aussie masculinity and culture, the dynamics of relationships between men, and fears around illness and mortality. All blur the line between fiction and truth.
Elephants with Headlights (Transit Lounge Publishing 2020), by Bem Le Hunte, is an entertaining and wise Indian story about tradition and spirituality versus modern culture, and the clash of familial expectations against the ideals of the younger generation. Highlights the power of the ‘sacred feminine’; shot through with a seam of magic realism.
Gulliver’s Wife (Simon and Schuster 2020), by Lauren Chater, reimagines the lives of the women in Lemuel Gulliver’s life – his wife Mary and his teenage daughter Bess – when he reappears from his astonishing and unbelievable travels in 1702. The narrative includes midwifery, murder, madness and magic through a tale of love, desire, birth and death.