'The 2018 Horne Prize was awarded to this unique account of intergenerational trauma. By Daniel James.'
A visit to the home of artist Wendy Whiteley.
'When The Saturday Paper launched in March 2014, we chose to experiment with publishing book reviews anonymously. As with everything else, we wanted to test the orthodoxy of our culture. More correctly, these reviews have been pseudonymous, with writers retaining a consistent set of initials. We wondered, in light of the country’s highly concentrated literary community, if bylined reviewers – particularly when authors themselves – could be candid in their assessment of others’ work when faced with frequent professional and personal contact. Were reviewers pulling their punches so as to avoid awkward encounters with publishers or fellow panellists at writers festivals? Were we missing out on the expertise of writers shy of such discomfort? Were we missing honest assessments of new writers, in the interests of being supportive, or established writers, in the interests of not challenging the reputational status quo? And does anything say “cosy scene” like being unsure of whether to give a review credence if you don’t know the identity of the person who wrote it?' (Introduction)
'No Friend But the Mountains, the electrifying “memoir of ideas” by the refugee journalist-philosopher Behrouz Boochani is my book of the year. Boochani defied every attempt of successive governments to deny refugees such as him a voice, transmitting the manuscript via text and WhatsApp messages from a smuggled-in phone to his translator and interlocutor, Omid Tofighian. Such heroic defiance alone would make it a worthy book. But this is a great book, with a voice, as The Saturday Paper review had it, that is “acerbic yet compassionate, sorrowful but never self-indulgent”.' (Introduction)
'Noel Pearson says there are three narratives that make Australia – the story of the longest continuous living culture on Earth; the tale of the British colonial project and the institutions that have helped shaped our society; and the narrative of the most successful multi-ethnic, multicultural nation on the planet.' (Introduction)