Out today: 'Axiomatic' by Maria Tumarkin

We're thrilled to announce the official release of Maria Tumarkin's stunning Axiomatic – her first book in eight years. You can purchase a copy from any number of reputable bookstores, order it online or find a digital copy on Apple iBooks, Google Play, Amazon Kindle or Kobo.

Blending reportage, biography, sociology and philosophy, Axiomatic intertwines true stories from all walks of life, pushing the narrative non-fiction form to its limits.

Axiomatic will be launched in Melbourne on Saturday 19 May at 4pm at LongPlay. Check out our Facebook event for more details, including how to RSVP (it's free!)




About the book:

The past shapes the present - they teach us this in schools and universities. But the past cannot be visited like an ageing relative; the past doesn’t live in little zoo enclosures. Half the time, the past is nothing less than the beating heart of the present. So, how to speak of the searing, unpindownable power that the past—ours, our family’s, our culture’s—wields now?

Axiomatic is a boundary-shifting fusion of thinking, storytelling, and meditation. It takes as its starting point five axioms:

  • ‘Time Heals All Wounds’
  • ‘You Can’t Enter The Same River Twice’
  • ‘Give Me a Child Before the Age of 7 and I’ll Give You the (Wo)Man’
  • ‘History Repeats Itself...’
  • ‘Those Who Forget the Past are Condemned to Repeat It’

These beliefs—or intuitions—about the role the past plays in our present are often evoked as if they are timeless and self-evident truths. It is precisely because they are neither, yet still we are persuaded by them, that they tell us a great deal about the forces that shape our culture and the way we live.




Don't just take our word for it:

“Nobody can write like Maria Tumarkin: she charges headlong into the worst and best of us, with an iron refusal to soften or decorate; sentences bare of artifice, stripped back to the bone, to the nerve; fired by raging grief and love.”
Helen Garner

“Maria Tumarkin writes of difficult topics with utmost integrity. Axiomatic is a dark gift: heartfelt, painful, full of sorrowful compassion. From schools, courtrooms, prisons, refugee camps, Soviet spaces and more personal inner life, come stories that break open the silence of suicide and the mystery of spirited persistence.”
Gail Jones

“A brilliant kaleidoscope of arresting observations on suffering and innocence in modern times, Axiomatic is by turns illuminating, infuriating, engrossing and even amusing. I feel ambushed.”
Robert Dessaix







Maria Tumarkin is a writer and cultural historian. She is the author of three acclaimed books of ideas: Traumascapes, Courage, and Otherland. All three were shortlisted for literary prizes; Otherland, most recently, was shortlisted for the Victorian Premier’s Award, NSW Premier’s Award and The Age Book of the Year. Tumarkin’s essays have appeared in The Best Australian Essays (2011, 2012 & 2015), Griffith Review, Meanjin, The Monthly, Sydney Review of Books, The Age, The Australian, and Inside Story. Tumarkin is involved in wide-ranging artistic collaborations with visual artists, theatre makers and audio designers. She was a 2013–14 Sidney Myer Creative Fellow in humanities and is a member of the Melbourne Writers Festival’s programming committee. Maria teaches creative writing at the University of Melbourne.