The Northern Territory news Sat 16 Apr 2022
The Northern Territory news; NewspaperNT
Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.
News Corp Australia
Copyright. Made available by the publisher under licence.
News Corp Australia
32 WEEKEND Saturday April 16 2022 NTNE01Z01MA - V1 Fiction The Fish Lloyd Jones: Text Publishing, $33 This reads like a dark fable, about a mentally disturbed woman who gives birth in a shabby caravan to a son, the fish, a physically disabled boy with no neck, some sort of gills and a gulping mouth with rubbery lips. The baby, Colin Montgomery, is cared for by the womans family, particularly his young uncle who tells the story, but Colin who smells like rancid seawater has no friends, no social life and worse, he is an atrocious speller in a family of wordsmiths. Scenes of the grandfather and uncle driving in the night looking for the fishs addicted mother are desperately sad but Jones, a New Zealand writer, rescues the story with lyricism and the tender determination of the family to love and care for a creature they do not recognise. PENELOPE DEBELLE hhhhj Fiction A Solitary Walk on the Moon Hilde Hinton: Hachette Australia, $33 This is a happy-sad-funny book about nothing and everything all at once. Its about how the littlest things in life are so often the biggest, and how the biggest things in life often come down to the smallest. Evelyn runs a laundromat and pays attention to her community not in a nosy way, but in a gently curious, open to putting things right if she can kind of way. Thats how she knows to guide a forgetful gentleman safely home without stealing his dignity, take the time to research a little boys weekly list of why questions over bakery treats, shore up a struggling mum beset with hidden pain, and to fill the heart of a smiling man with lonely eyes. Hinton has gifted us a tale of community, wisdom and beautiful heart. LEANNE EDMISTONE hhhkj Non-fiction The First Astronomers: How Indigenous Elders read the stars Duane Hamacher: Allen&Unwin, $33 Astronomers have made incredible leaps in determining the age of our planet and its place in the solar system and galaxy, but there is so much more to learn. Astrophysicist Hamacher has spent a long time researching Indigenous knowledge from around the world. Thousands of years of careful observation of the movement of the sun, moon and stars meant they could hunt, fish, plant and travel thousands of kilometres on land and sea. Its not quite an open book; much of the knowledge is held in trust by elders who hold it as a sacred trust. But its an engrossing review which reminds us how completely Indigenous people lived with their environment. ROBYN DOUGLASS hhhhj Fiction The Grass Hotel Craig Sherborne: Text Publishing, $30 Novel cum memoir, told in a sometimes comic, sometimes abrasive wild poetry, The Grass Hotel makes a triptych with Sherbornes autobiographical Hoi Polloi and Muck. The nameless main character, the Sherborne-like son, is a man who relates better to horses than people, to Sock and Boy, the equine guests in his grass hotel. His story is told in the second person, addressed to him by a mother fading in and out of dementia. Through her expressive, erratic, often bitter consciousness we witness the death of her husband, her own strenuously resented hospitalisation and her own death and post-death valediction but not before her son has orchestrated a movingly inarticulate and idiosyncratic farewell gift. KATHARINE ENGLAND hhhhj How has being a molecular biologist, quality control chemist, TAB operator and door-to-door aluminium siding salesperson prepared you for life as a novelist? Its given me lots of jobs for my characters, and the discipline to sit at my desk every day. Is Dinner with the Schnabels the escapist read we need right now? I hope so. Laughing and feeling joyful are vital for our mental health, and help us feel more connected to other people and our best chance of survival as a species is by cooperating with others. Humour is a weapon against the kind of despair that leads to giving up. Is there a book that made you love writing? Every book I read makes me want to write more: the good ones, because they give me inspiration, and the bad ones, because they give me confidence. Whats the best book youve read? Emma, by Jane Austen. The point-of-view technique is mindblowing. I cant begin to comprehend her genius. I think her brain actually worked differently from other people alive back then. A book that had a pivotal impact on your life? At eight, I was obsessed with Enid Blytons Faraway Tree series. My real life seemed less vivid than the books. The book you couldnt finish? Gasp. I always finish. Its true that sometimes I dont connect with a book, or find Im not enjoying it, but I persevere these are the books that raise so many interesting questions for me. Why dont I like it? If I were writing it, what would I have done differently? Im always thinking of ways to become a better writer and I can learn a lot from books like those. A book you wish you had read but havent got to? I have a towering TBR pile but I keep 2666 by Robert Bolano aside in case I ever break my leg and need something to keep me busy for a month at least. The book you are most proud to have written? There are two: Nine Days is partly historical with nine different narrators in non-chronological order. It was so difficult to construct, like writing a Rubiks cube. And my new book, Dinner with the Schnabels, because you have to be brave to label a book a comedy. Its almost daring someone to say: But I didnt find it funny. Your earliest reading memory? Poems to Read to Young Australians, by Mary Gilmore and Lydia Pender. What book do you re-read? So many. All the Austens, Middlemarch, some Zadie Smith, some Franzen, and Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons. Books on your bedside table? Other Houses by Paddy OReilly; The Natural History of Love by Caroline Petit; The Very Last List of Vivian Walker by Megan Albany. What are you writing next? Im not finished with the Schnabel family yet. Next is a book about the oldest sister, Kylie. Dinner with the Schnabels: Hachette, $33, out now Toni Jordan Multiple early work choices paved the way for an award-winning writing career
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