AustLit logo
y separately published work icon Meanjin periodical issue  
Issue Details: First known date: 2019... vol. 78 no. 3 Spring 2019 of Meanjin est. 1940 Meanjin
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.

AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'In the lead essay UNEARTHED: Last Days of The Anthropocene, James Bradley writes compellingly on the urgent crisis of climate change. 'There is a conversation I do not know how to have, a conversation about what happens if we are headed for disaster. It is not a theoretical question for me. I have two daughters.'

'Miles Franklin shortlisted author Michael Mohammed Ahmad writes on how his thinking about literature, politics and race was shaped in Reading Malcolm X in Arab-Australia. In an accidental companion piece, This Vast Conspiracy of Memory, Khalid Warsame reflects on life and writing while making a complete reading of the works of James Baldwin.

'Among this edition's other authors are Glyn Davis, Karen Wyld, Fatima Measham, Maxine Beneba Clarke, Maria Takolander and Meg Mundell.' (Edition introduction)


  • Contents indexed selectively.


* Contents derived from the 2019 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
National Accounts : Love in a Time of Apocalypse, Fatima Measham , single work essay

'Is this not also the national founding story? Land being made to accommodate those whom society had failed—at least 165,000 British convicts on 806 boats in 80 years. Some were sent to Tasmania as placeholders for free settlement; pristine forests and wetlands making way for brutal prisons and slave industries.'(Introduction)

(p. 1-5)
Coming Out to Find Me, Corrie Chen , single work prose

'Everything I'm about to tell you is the truth. Or at least a version of very real lies I have told myself. All I remember is the rain. It's grey. I'm hunched over in my car, illuminated by my iPhone screen, furiously googling. It's only 4 pm but it feels like nighttime. Melbourne winters can do that.' (Publication abstract)


(p. 5-8)
Altogether to Hold, Marg Hooper , single work prose
'It could not have been more ugly. A grey Remembrance Parks no-brand urn. To cater for/cancel out all tastes. Trying so hard not to be what it so clearly was. Modern death is all about discretion. Your name and d.o.d. were printed underneath.'  (Publication abstract)
(p. 8-10)
Writing the River, Joanne Anderton , single work essay
''If I don't fall down and die it's safe to eat it.'
'Vera Deacon, 91 and impeccably dressed in a floral blouse and slim black skirt, tucks into the cake she has baked for our afternoon tea. It's a carrot cake, made with pineapple, spices, brown sugar and walnuts. 'I feel a bit better about it when it's got things like carrot in it.'' (Publication abstract)
(p. 10-13)
Indian Summer, Patrick Marlborough , single work prose

'If you drive down what was once ‘the old coast road’ that winds through the unravelling neo-suburbia of Cockburn, shadowed by McMansions and signs offering community and garage space, then on past the hold-outs of Hamilton Hill’s light-industrial district, and you glide to a stop at the traffic lights beside the old car wash that signals the entry point to South Fremantle, you’d have driven a rough reversal of the route C.Y. O’Connor took on 10 March 1902 when he rode his horse into the Indian Ocean and committed suicide by shooting himself in the head.'  (Publication abstract)

(p. 13-14)
Australia in Three Books, Lucy Treloar , single work essay
— Review of Midnite : The Story of a Wild Colonial Boy Randolph Stow , 1967 single work children's fiction ; Oscar and Lucinda Peter Carey , 1988 single work novel ; Questions of Travel Michelle De Kretser , 2012 single work novel ;

'Our lives are made up of different arcs—love, family, politics, geography, time and dislocation among them. One of the arcs that has exercised me most is my wondering about post-colonising Australia and its myths and mythmaking propensities, also about my family’s.

'Although my childhood was spent mostly in Melbourne, it was punctuated by our frequent pilgrimages to the promised land (aka South Australia) and inflected by the awareness that Melbourne was exile to my South Australian mother—feelings I do not share. She often reminded us of our ‘free settler’ heritage, and of our roots in the colonial era, no more than a blink of time ago in the face of 50,000 or more years of Aboriginal occupation; my horror has only grown with the intervening years.

'We loved South Australia for our own reasons: for heat, our peerless great-grandmother, wild freedom and the beach. But an awareness of myth, of the stories we tell and the ways we frame present and past, was kindled. If there is an arc in this selection, it is that the postcolonial Australia that I first began to think about as a child—if only at the edges of my mind—is a myth. It always has been.' (Introduction)

(p. 15-19)
Into Our Thin Riversi"My father dies in the night", Jill Jones , single work poetry (p. 18)
Son of a Preacher Man, Maxine Beneba Clarke , single work autobiography

'For me, inspiration is everywhere, including in the ordinary. I don't have a muse. I'm not sure if I quite believe they exist. The drive to write, for me, is not a mysterious existential urge. Inspiration is literally everywhere. It was in my preschool playground in suburban Sydney; in my parents' migration to Australia in 1976; in the 2011 Tottenham riots, which spread like wildfire through the working-class suburbs of England; in the liner notes on the back of the records in my father's collection; in a Test match played 60 years ago by the West Indian cricket team; in love; in laughter; in hatred; in art; in the writers who and the words that came before me; in the work of Alice Walker, Nikki Giovanni, J. California Cooper and Maya Angelou; in the song lyrics of the Priscilla, Queen of the Desert movie soundtrack, circa 1994.' (Publication abstract)


(p. 20-27)
The Resurrectioni"Ashes in November. & the fanatic", Gavin Yuan Gao , single work poetry (p. 27)
Air Holes, Jemma Payne , single work short story (p. 28-35)
06:30 Fridayi"Another sun", Julie McElhone , single work poetry (p. 33)
Writing and Its Demons, Maria Takolander , single work autobiography
'I have always thought of myself as a good person, but I recently began to suspect that I have been kidding myself. What's more, I began to believe that my failure to be a good person is inseparable from me being a writer-an activity that has taken on the character of something diabolical.' 

 (Publication abstract)

(p. 36-43)
Unearthed : Last Days of the Anthropocene, James Bradley , single work criticism

'Last summer started early in Australia. In November a heatwave struck northern Queensland, pushing temperatures to record heights in many places. In Cairns the temperature reached 42.6 degrees, more than five degrees higher than the previous record for November. Over 12 days fire crews attended more than 1200 fires, including devastating blazes in rainforest areas that had always been regarded as natural firebreaks. In parts of Queensland, fire conditions were designated catastrophic, the first time the rating - which was only created in 2009 - had been used in the state.'  (Publication abstract)


(p. 44-56)
Villanelle of the Little Black Cormorant Treei"Dozens of little black cormorants daylight roosting", John Kinsella , single work poetry (p. 57)
Reading Malcolm X in Arab-Australia, Michael Mohammed Ahmad , single work essay

'Sand nigger. I was 15 years old the first time I heard this racial slur. An Aussie with long brown hair and pasty white skin, who was drunk, screamed at me from across the road while I was walking to the local manoush shop for breakfast. It was December 2001 and I was studying at Punchbowl Boys High School-a scrawny second-gen Leb growing up in the ethnoslums of Sydney. Three months earlier, two airplanes hijacked by Muslim terrorists had crashed into the World Trade Centre. Twelve months earlier, Australian news media had been dominated by reports of 'Lebanese-Muslim' gang rapists plaguing Sydney's streets. And three years earlier, I had seen the first reports in Australian newspapers and on TV news networks about local 'Middle Eastern' and 'Muslim' thugs involved in drugs, murders, theft and drive-by shootings. However, despite what the news headlines were saying about people like me at the time, I wasn't interested in terrorism, sexual assault and organised crime. I was interested in reading. I spent my evenings and weekends consuming the great works of Faulkner, Dostoyevsky, Nabokov, Hemingway, Joyce, Flaubert, Shakespeare, Austen, Charlotte Bronte and Mary Shelley. My teachers assured me that I would find myself within the pages.'  (Publication abstract)


(p. 58-83)
The Year List of Ur-Tabisii"The year the flies migrated south.", Peter Boyle , single work poetry (p. 79)
Uncut Cloth, Jocelyn Prasad , single work autobiography
'Dad took home a whole lot of Mum's clothes when we emptied out her room at the rest home. In his downstairs bedroom, where the curtains are always drawn, sagging cardigans hang alongside trackpants and a few musty salwar kameez. The sarees are presumably still at the bottom of the dresser in his bedroom upstairs, but it's hard to know for sure. We try to avoid going into the house. Dad, 94, worries we'll steal their things.'  (Publication abstract)
(p. 84-87)
Orvieto : A Short Historyi"Old men in a trattoria.", Anthony Lynch , single work poetry (p. 88-89)
Let's Talk Trojan Bee, Alex Cothren , single work short story (p. 90-99)
Wadingi"Bait fed out there, like jazz hands on the lagoon", Lucas Smith , single work poetry (p. 96)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Last amended 9 Oct 2019 13:30:24