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

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

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

Book Review — We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves (2013) by Karen Joy Fowler

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. The first thing I said when I finished Karen Joy Fowler’s immensely popular, critically acclaimed, Man Booker Prize shortlisted seventh novel, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, … Continue reading Book Review — We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves (2013) by Karen Joy Fowler

The No Man’s Land Reading Project

A few months ago I read an article by a female author who described the experience of signing her books for men who, as she signed, told her the book was for their mother, sister, girlfriend, wife, daughter, niece, and so on. They did also say they’d enjoyed the reading she’d given beforehand, but the fact that none of them was (admitting to) buying her … Continue reading The No Man’s Land Reading Project