Congratulations! You made it out of the smouldering rubble of 2017 and into the tranquil waters of 2018 where everything is going to be okay. We at TLB Online have likewise survived. We're bright eyed and eager to bring you a whole lot of new work on this website, new commentary, reviews and excerpts from our print magazine.
While most of us sat around over the summer break catching up on our 2017 reading, our Brow Books designers were hard at work creating covers for our 2018 publications. We’re thrilled to now share with you the covers for our first four titles of 2018: Apple and Knife (March), Pink Mountain on Locust Island (April), Axiomatic (May) and Balancing Acts: Women in Sport (May).
We love these covers so much – our designers Rosetta Mills and Brett Weekes are talented and hard-working surpremos. You know, they say it's wrong to judge a book by its cover – but we're happy for you to do so with these titles.
by Intan Paramaditha, translated by Stephen J Epstein (out March 2018)
Inspired by horror fiction, myths and fairy tales, Apple and Knife is an unsettling ride that swerves into the supernatural to explore the dangers and power of occupying a female body in today’s world.
Paramaditha's stories explore taboos and inversions, and sex, death, and forbidden relationships. Thematically linked by their references to traditional storytelling, and the role of women, these short fictions, set in the Indonesian everyday – in corporate boardrooms, in shanty towns, on dangdut stages – reveal a soupy otherworld stewing just beneath the surface.
These stories are full of pointed critiques, bloody mutilations, and an overwhelming atmosphere of abject horror. Australian readers will be given new insight into what life is like as a woman in Indonesian society, which might at first seem quite different from an Australian experience, and yet is maybe not so different after all.
This is subversive feminist horror at its best, where men and women alike are arbiters of fear, and where revenge is sometimes sweetest when delivered from the grave.
“Intan Paramaditha, who mixes fairy tales and gothic ghost stories with feminist and political issues, shakes up her readers, showing that her fiction is not beholden to a single interpretation. Her short stories reveal that the most terrifying thing in life is not one of the supernatural ghosts that populate her work, but human prejudice. As far as I’m concerned, only writers of genius are able to convey a layered and nuanced world, and Intan is one of them.”
Eka Kurniawan, internationally acclaimed author of Beauty is a Wound and Man Tiger, and Man Booker International Prize 2016 finalist
“In Apple and Knife, Intan Paramaditha has turned the fairytale on its head. Instead of helpless maidens, these fables are bursting with fierce and fabulous females, determined to exact justice in an unjust world. As the enigmatic title suggests, the writing is juicy and incisive. Every story is a gem and, as with all good fairytales, there are important lessons to be learned.”
Melanie Cheng, author of Australia Day, winner of the 2016 Victorian Premier’s Unpublished Manuscript Award
by Jamie Marina Lau (out April 2018)
Modernity, art, family, gender, drugs, music, adolescence, business, religion, internet cafes, food, strangers, aesthetics, vacations, fashion, desires, dreams, expectations, brown couches.
An unpredictable and innovative debut novel from a provocative new voice in Australian fiction. Embracing the noir tradition and featuring a prose style quite unlike any before – with references that will go both over your head and under your feet – Pink Mountain on Locust Island will flip readers upside down and turn your understanding of the world around you around.
Pink Mountain on Locust Island is:
- a subterranean noir of the most electric generation – the pink white bursts of a fifteen-year-old nomad;
- a fizzing of the New Wave underground art province, with its melting pot of noise bands and Phife, amnesiac and digitalised bossa novas, and art installations about art installations;
- a 24-hour Westernised yank between pulverised English, elastic Cantonese and the newest, digitalised dialect of transcultural landscapes;
- a short novel narrated via the lumps of Monk’s daydreams, her violent, claustrophobic encounters, and her staccato movements through a hyperreal pop culture world that could only belong to our 21st century;
- all of the above.
by Maria Tumarkin (out May 2018)
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, reportage and meditation. It takes as its starting point five axioms:
- ‘Give Me a Child Before the Age of Seven and I’ll Give You the (Wo)Man’
- ‘History Repeats Itself…’
- ‘Those Who Forget the Past are Condemned to Repeat It’
- ‘You Can’t Enter The Same River Twice’
- ‘Time Heals All Wounds’
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.
Edited by Justin Wolfers with Erin Riley (out May 2018)
A collection of non-fiction pieces from more than 20 contributors that explores women’s range of experiences with sport and sporting culture in Australia.
Focusing on a critically under-represented part of Australian culture—specifically the myriad ways non-male participants negotiate the traditionally male spectacle of athleticism—this collection interrogates the way sporting bodies and achievements are portrayed in Australian media and culture.
Understanding the term ‘sport’ in the broadest possible sense, and applying the definition of ‘women’ in the same way (to include trans, gender diverse, non-binary, intersex and otherwise non-cis women, as well as from and/or about queer, lesbian, and bisexual women), these essays examine the way women athletes’ experience are marginalised and under-reported, and attempt to de-centre the status quo of sports writing and commentary as dominated by male perspectives and expertise.
The pieces in the book take literary, historical, narrative, critical, experimental and personal approaches to their subject matter, as well as several that make use of reportage and interviews. Topics include:
- the sexualisation of women in surfing culture;
- the marginalisation of women in boxing;
- feminine performativity in ballet;
- life as an AFL spectator;
- structural disadvantage as experienced by a cyclist;
- social soccer's ins and outs;
- the power relations between female athletes and coaches;
- female-identifying athletes’ experience of homophobia;
- the aesthetics of televised sports.