Book cover of Courtney Collin's The Burial

Unearthing herstory: Courtney Collins’ The Burial

By Erin Handley.

Published by Crikey‘s literary blog, Liticism, on 27 February 2013.

“If the dirt could speak, whose story would it tell?”

In her debut novel The Burial, Courtney Collins supposes that the earth would favour the stories of those who are furthest from it, ‘the ones who are suspended in flight’. The dirt must long for these distant stories the way a child yearns for an absent mother. Collins chooses to literalise this longing; her fictional tale about the historical Jessie Hickman, Australia’s last bushranger, is told through the dead eyes of Jessie’s newborn child. Read article.


Woman in ballet outfit

Repositioning Lolita: Martha Schabas’ Various Positions

By Erin Handley.

Published by Crikey‘s literary blog, Liticism, on 19 March 2012.

It’s difficult to know what position to take with Martha Schabas’ debut novel, Various Positions.  On one hand, the plot is fraught with clichés connected to ballet and to ‘coming of age’ plotlines. On the other, it’s an ambitious homage to Nabokov’s Lolita that questions the nature of truth and responsibility. Either way, Schabas’ prose is beautiful, detailed and engrossing, and Various Positions is worth reading for this alone. Read article.