Griffith Review


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Edition 63

Writing the Country

Place. Land. Country. Home. These words frame the settings of our stories.

As the natural environment changes radically, Writing the Country examines the unique beauty of the world around us, and asks impassioned questions about what we can do to treasure, nurture, preserve and enhance the earth we share – as well as consider the consequences that might unfold as the climate crisis escalates.

Edited by Ashley Hay, Griffith Review 63: Writing the Country features key writing from Tony Birch, Claire G Coleman, Kim Mahood, David Ritter and Andrew Stafford.


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Edition 61

All Being Equal

Griffith Review‘s sixth annual Novella Project, edited by Ashley Hay, explores the texture of equality, bringing to life the big issues in the national narrative and the stories around them.

Novella winners Miriam Sved, Erin Gough, Daniel Young, Holden Sheppard and Lucy Neave join Griffith Review Queensland Writing Fellows Rosie Funder, Anne Richards and Victoria Carless, and poet Anthony Macris, in Griffith Review 62: All Being Equal – The Novella Project VI.


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Edition 61

Who We Are

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s grand claim that Australia is ‘the most successful multicultural nation in the world’ is important to the nation’s sense of identity and belonging, but at times it seems that multiculturalism is more an article of faith than a work in progress. What it really means in the twenty-first century is the focus of Griffith Review 61: Who We Are, which examines both the opportunities offered and the complexities involved.

The nation’s population has virtually doubled since 1975, and in recent years the rules around migration have been altered significantly. Those who have chosen to make their home here in the past have changed Australia, and waves of new arrivals continue to transform the country. Yet the apparent certainties of Australia as a permanent settler society are giving way to the precarious churn of temporary migration.

Who We Are, co-edited by Julianne Schultz and Peter Mares, gives voice to... Read more

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Edition 60

First Things First

After more than two hundred years of largely unresolved disputes, Australia needs to hear the voices of Australia’s First Nations – and act on them.

First Things First delivers strong contemporary insights from leading First Nations people, complemented by robust non-Indigenous writers. It provides a unique opportunity to share transformative information, structural challenges and personal stories, and aims to be an urgent, nuanced chorus for genuine consideration of Makarrata beyond the symbolic.

With this special edition, co-edited by Julianne Schultz and Sandra Phillips, Griffith Review will excavate history and re-imagine the future, while not forgetting the urgencies of the present.

Contributors include: Stan Grant, Marcia Langton, Tony Birch, Melissa Lucashenko, Alexis Wright, Bruce Pascoe, Kathy Marks, Megan Davis and many more.

Griffith Review 60: First Things First is published with the support of QUT and Australia Council for the Arts.

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Edition 59

Commonwealth Now

At the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in April athletes from countries that were once a part of the British Empire will battle for gold – but is the Commonwealth of Nations more than a legacy of another age?

At a time of geopolitical uncertainty, the Commonwealth is poised to play a major role as a values-based network that represents a third of the world’s population. Whether this group can exercise real power and influence will be determined in 2017. It is clear that the old empires are long gone, but in the wake of Brexit and the rise of China and India, the shape of a new world order remains unclear. Yet there is a shared history and legacy.

Commonwealth Now, co-edited by Julianne Schultz and Jane Camens, features writers from around the world who explore the contemporary experience of Commonwealth citizens – confronting new challenges, reconciling the past, creating a... Read more

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Edition 58

Storied Lives – The Novella Project V

Every life offers a unique story – but some lives stand out so distinctly they leave their mark on the world. How do some people make such a difference – and trigger change both at large and close to home?

Griffith Review 58: Storied Lives – The Novella Project V focuses on people who have effected a change in the world. It looks at the lives of others – real and imagined – that have created a narrative that resonates.

Their stories, personal, political, scientific or cultural, help map change, and illustrate how an individual life can coalesce with history to leave an enduring mark. For the first time, Griffith Review‘s Novella Project combines both fiction and non-fiction in order to highlight the rich diversity of writing talent in Australia.

Contributors include Kristina Olsson, Laura Elvery, Chris Somerville, Frank Moorhouse, Cassandra Pybus, Biff Ward, Krissy Kneen and Heather Taylor Johnson.

Griffith Review 58: Storied... Read more

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Edition 57

Perils of Populism

The world is in the grip of profound political and social change. Leaders are rising to power who promise to respond to the voice of the people – people who are aggrieved and resentful, feeling the sting of inequality and the uncertainty of a new economic order. As the global economy continues to change, disruption and reaction become inevitable. As trust is further eroded, the desire to lash out is understandable.

Griffith Review 57: Perils of Populism examines the rise of populism across the world. It features several writers who won the Griffith Review Queensland Writers Fellowships, and explores the nuances of populism past and present – building a conscience, confronting sexual abuse, addressing climate-change deniers, navigating an obstructive bureaucracy, coming face-to-face with religious cults and discovering the enduring kindness of strangers.

Contributors include: Rodney Tiffen, Paul Ham, Andrew Stafford, Maggie Tiojakin, Bronwyn Adcock, Dennis Altman, Michael Winkler, Phillip Frazer, Cameron Muir, Tom... Read more

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Edition 56

Millennials Strike Back

Having come of age in the new millennium, gen Y is the most educated and connected generation ever, but the world they face is vastly different from the one their parents knew, offering few clear or established pathways to a secure future.

In Griffith Review 56: Millennials Strike Back, millennials address the issues they face and the world they see with insight and flair. They speak to their experiences: their jobs, housing, health, relationships and the discrimination they face.

YASSMIN ABDEL-MAGIED reflects on her experience of conflict and criticism as a social advocate in the public sphere to examine the importance of challenging the status quo and fighting for a better world, regardless of the consequences.

ANDRÉ DAO takes a sceptical look at the ambitious promises of new technology to offer solutions to society’s problems. He asks: is it realistic to believe that utopia can arrive via an app? Or do those who... Read more

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Edition 55

State of Hope

South Australia has a proud history of progressive thinking. It was the first Australian colony to allow separation of church and state; the first to give women universal suffrage; the first state to decriminalise homosexuality. It is a world leader in renewable energy, and South Australians proclaim dominance in the arts, viticulture and cuisine.

But as the state faces a severe jobs crisis — a function of the collapse in commodity prices, the end of a boom in engineering and construction projects, and the imminent closure of the automotive manufacturing industry — South Australia urgently needs a vision for the future. Will its history of progressive thinking continue?

In Griffith Review 55: State of Hope writers, journalists, academics, musicians and scientists draw on a rich history of reform and innovation to outline possible futures for the embattled state.

South Australia has a noble history of risk-taking. ROBYN ARCHER AO reflects on growing... Read more

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Edition 54

Earthly Delights: The Novella Project IV

Griffith Review’s annual showcase of the best Australian novellas features a rich diversity of voices, subjects and styles. The fourth novella collection from Griffith Review once again demonstrates the strength of Australia’s fiction-writing talent.

The judges of this year’s competition – Nick Earls, Aviva Tuffield and Sally Breen – were unanimous in their praise of the entries. ‘These pieces are a showcase for the strength of the novella form,’ said Nick Earls. ‘Each writer takes us deep into the inner workings of their characters.’ Aviva Tuffield commented. ‘I was impressed by the overall quality and by the range of themes, voices and styles on display.’

Numbed following the death of his wife, Evan finds himself reinvigorated when his daughter’s partner urges him to return to his long neglected talent for drawing. MELANIE CHENG follows the lonely old man’s fledgling efforts to reconnect with the world, but will Evan’s growing fascination with the... Read more

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Edition 53

Our Sporting Life

At a time when sport is under scrutiny like never before, this collection maps and examines how sport is located at the heart of contemporary debates about race, gender, violence and corruption. Barely a week goes by, it seems, without some new violation of socially accepted standards of behaviour. Our sporting bodies, players and administrators are increasingly vigilant and accountable; the wrong phrase at the wrong time can lead to a massive loss of sponsorship dollars.

GIDEON HAIGH delivers a forensic analysis of sports governance in Australia. At  a time when those charged with running our sports are under greater scrutiny than ever before, how are they faring? What changes are being instituted to bring sports administration into the twenty-first century, and what forces are opposing change?

Sport in Australia is still very much a man’s world, as FLETA PAGE explores. Recounting her own teenage love of football, to a career in sports... Read more

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Edition 52

Imagining the Future

It is time to envisage the future, without fear, as a landscape to be won through human striving and expression.

This year marks the 500th anniversary of the publication of Thomas More’s Utopia, making it an ideal time to consider how the world will look in the next fifty years – and if it will be a better or worse place for most people. Griffith Review 52: Imagining the Future features original writing by two Nobel Lauretes, as well as leading thinkers and writers who consider what shape the future might take. They illustrate the truism that the future is already here, just unevenly distributed. As global warming becomes real, automation transforms work, cities change the way we live and genetic science promises remarkable longevity, the roadmap of future progress becomes increasingly blurred. Innovation and agility may be the new political buzzwords, but if they’re to mean more than increased efficiency and wealth... Read more

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Edition 51

Fixing the System
(print edition now sold out)

With five prime ministers in five years, many feared that the Australian system was broken. How did a rich, well-educated society fail to live up to its early promise as a global leader with an innovative and egalitarian democracy? Griffith Review 51: Fixing the System brings together writers, thinkers and analysts who identify, with originality and verve, what is at stake. They provide fresh insights into how to fix the system, and why it matters.

The professionalisation of politics has crushed diversity within its ranks. PETER VAN ONSELEN and WAYNE ERRINGTON propose three simple, powerful principles for returning politics to the act of governing, rather than ruling.

Using historical examples from China and Russia, CARMEN LAWRENCE explores the cascading political side effects of airbrushing the past. She argues the endemic absolutism and sloganeering in modern Australian politics is stifling open thought, resulting in similar lack of relevance and nuance in public policy.

ANNE COOMBS explores the world of online... Read more

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Edition 50

Tall Tales Short – The Novella Project III

Novellas are the ideal fiction for our times: long enough to engage yet short enough to hold readers’ attention, the ideal length to enable authors to experiment. Griffith Review, with the active support of CAL’s Cultural Fund, has been at the forefront of reviving novellas in Australia. This movement is now gaining momentum, as publishers release novellas by their big name authors.

Earlier this year, we put the call out for our third volume of novellas and were overwhelmed by the interest. The web page was visited more than 13,650 times, and we received 271 entries. Our expert judges – Brian Johns, Jacqueline Blanchard and Cate Kennedy – read the novellas blind and were astounded by the diversity and quality. It was difficult, but five were finally chosen resulting in Tall Tales Short – The Novella Project III.

Tall Tales Short is a rich and varied collection that showcases the talents of... Read more

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Edition 49

New Asia Now

The Asian century is in full swing, generating unprecedented economic and social power. In coming decades this will profoundly change the world, and the lives of all those living in the world’s most populous region. Griffith Review 49: New Asia Now showcases outstanding young writers from the countries at the centre of Asia’s ongoing transformation. They write about the people and places they know with passion, flair and insight.

All born after 1970, our contributors are cultural agenda setters at home who explore issues of identity and belonging in the new world that is unfolding.

In a country where speaking out can land you in jail, MIGUEL SYJUCO asks, what can we do? What can a writer do?

In a sharply satirical short story by MAGGIE TIOJAKIN, two men attend an election rally for the Candidate in Indonesia.

explores how the internet is changing China and Chinese people –... Read more

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Edition 48

Enduring Legacies

Exploring the consequences of Australia’s involvement in war with a critical and inquiring eye, Griffith Review 48: Enduring Legacies assembles a team of scholars, non-fiction and fiction writers, journalists and broadcasters to pose hard questions about why we remember and what we forget. How did the wars shape Australia socially, economically and politically? How did they alter the understanding of Australia’s place in the world and in our region? Did Gallipoli mark the coming of age of the new nation, or did that war devastate its potential?

Peter Cochrane
 examines the ‘history war’ raging around Australia’s participation in twentieth century wars.

Writer and TV personality John Clarke presents a charming account of his friend, Ray Parkin, paying tribute to his simple wisdom, creative flair and indomitable spirit.

Celebrated historian Clare Wright reflects on the nature of historical memory: who we remember and what we choose – to our psychic and civic detriment – to forget.

Peter... Read more

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Griffith Review