Book Review — We Need New Names (2013) by NoViolet Bulawayo

This review is part of the No Man’s Land Reading Project, an attempt to right a gendered imbalance in my reading and a general imbalance in the availability of reviews (by men, especially) of works by female authors. You know when you finish a book and spend the immediately proceeding half-hour sitting completely still, staring at nothing, the physical book forgotten but still in your lap, pulling … Continue reading Book Review — We Need New Names (2013) by NoViolet Bulawayo

Book Review — The Shipping News (1993) by Annie Proulx

This review is part of the No Man’s Land Reading Project, an attempt to right a gendered imbalance in my reading and a general imbalance in the availability of reviews (by men, especially) of works by female authors. There are some rare books that people seem almost universally to agree are excellent. Because of just such agreement, I thought I was in for a sure thing … Continue reading Book Review — The Shipping News (1993) by Annie Proulx

Book Review — The Slow Natives (1965) by Thea Astley

This review is part of the No Man’s Land Reading Project, an attempt to right a gendered imbalance in my reading and a general imbalance in the availability of reviews (by men, especially) of works by female authors. A couple of months ago my boss went to see James Patterson talk at Sydney Town Hall. He came back rather enamoured, and mentioned something Patterson had said that … Continue reading Book Review — The Slow Natives (1965) by Thea Astley

Book Review — The Strays (2014) by Emily Bitto

This review is part of the No Man’s Land Reading Project, an attempt to right a gendered imbalance in my reading and a general imbalance in the availability of reviews (by men, especially) of works by female authors. When I think of friendships between young women in novels, it takes me a minute to come up with really solid ones, and I’ll say right out … Continue reading Book Review — The Strays (2014) by Emily Bitto

Book Review — The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (1848) by Anne Brontë

This review is part of the No Man’s Land Reading Project, an attempt to right a gendered imbalance in my reading and a general imbalance in the availability of reviews (by men, especially) of works by female authors. I haven’t read many English novels from the mid-19th century. I’ve never read a work by Dickens, for instance, although others come to mind: George Eliot (Silas … Continue reading Book Review — The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (1848) by Anne Brontë

Book Review — The Secret History (1992) by Donna Tartt

This review is part of the No Man’s Land Reading Project, an attempt to right a gendered imbalance in my reading and a general imbalance in the availability of reviews (by men, especially) of works by female authors. There is a moment in most readers’ lives that changes the way they think of first-person narrators: the moment they’re introduced to the idea of an unreliable one. (The … Continue reading Book Review — The Secret History (1992) by Donna Tartt

Book Review — The Handmaid’s Tale (1985) by Margaret Atwood

This review is part of the No Man’s Land Reading Project, an attempt to right a gendered imbalance in my reading and a general imbalance in the availability of reviews (by men, especially) of works by female authors. When I first read Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own (1929) in 2014, I put it down feeling that I’d been done a disservice. Not by Woolf – … Continue reading Book Review — The Handmaid’s Tale (1985) by Margaret Atwood

Book Review — The Autograph Man (2002) by Zadie Smith

This review is part of the No Man’s Land Reading Project, an attempt to right a gendered imbalance in my reading and a general imbalance in the availability of reviews (by men, especially) of works by female authors. Unsympathetic male characters have never been a great draw for me. Making them intelligent, stupid, anarchic, suburban, idiosyncratic, neurotic, eccentric, romantic – it never really makes a … Continue reading Book Review — The Autograph Man (2002) by Zadie Smith

Book Review — The Watch Tower (1966) by Elizabeth Harrower

This review is part of the No Man’s Land Reading Project, an attempt to right a gendered imbalance in my reading and a general imbalance in the availability of reviews (by men, especially) of works by female authors. Until last year, The Watch Tower (1966) was Elizabeth Harrower’s last book. She attempted to write another, abandoned the project and retired from writing permanently. Then, in 2014, after producing a new … Continue reading Book Review — The Watch Tower (1966) by Elizabeth Harrower

Mos Def, aka Yasiin Bey — Supermagic ::

It seems fitting, after Michael Brown, and Walter Scott, and Freddie Gray, and with the Baltimore Uprising in full swing, to post this. I love this album, I think it’s one of the best ever made, and it opens with a quote you’ll hear if you play the song, a quote from Malcolm X, which, sadly, becomes more and more relevant: … you’re living at … Continue reading Mos Def, aka Yasiin Bey — Supermagic ::

Book Review — The Tall Man (2008) by Chloe Hooper

This review is part of the No Man’s Land Reading Project, an attempt to right a gendered imbalance in my reading and a general imbalance in the availability of reviews (by men, especially) of works by female authors. ‘Australian classic’ is a term I wouldn’t play around with. Mostly because I don’t think many exist. Those that have been branded as such, which spurred me into … Continue reading Book Review — The Tall Man (2008) by Chloe Hooper

Book Review — Housekeeping (1980) by Marilynne Robinson

This review is part of the No Man’s Land Reading Project, an attempt to right a gendered imbalance in my reading and a general imbalance in the availability of reviews (by men, especially) of works by female authors. I hated waiting. If I had one particular complaint, it was that my life seemed composed entirely of expectation. I expected—an arrival, an explanation, an apology. There … Continue reading Book Review — Housekeeping (1980) by Marilynne Robinson

Book Review — The Compass Rose (1982) by Ursula K. Le Guin

This review is part of the No Man’s Land Reading Project, an attempt to right a gendered imbalance in my reading and a general imbalance in the availability of reviews (by men, especially) of works by female authors. In Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s short story collection, The Thing Around Your Neck (2010), there is a great sense of continuity and wholeness. The stories are tied together … Continue reading Book Review — The Compass Rose (1982) by Ursula K. Le Guin

One hundred words on a village community’s relationship with water ::

In the northern foothills of the Alborz mountains, bordering the Caspian Sea, a small village community once existed. It thrived temporarily on the artificial water systems provided to it by a government that lasted not all that long, water pumped from the great dams that watered Tehran on the southern slopes of the mountains, water that ceased to be pumped when certain people ceased to … Continue reading One hundred words on a village community’s relationship with water ::

Book Review — Cranford (1853) by Elizabeth Gaskell

This review is part of the No Man’s Land Reading Project, an attempt to right a gendered imbalance in my reading and a general imbalance in the availability of reviews (by men, especially) of works by female authors. A fly-on-the-wall narrator is a dangerous device. In some cases, most notably F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, it is a boon, because the narratorial voice, the … Continue reading Book Review — Cranford (1853) by Elizabeth Gaskell