Sjón: Red Milk

Red Milk, the most recent work by the Icelandic writer Sjón, begins and ends with the death of the same young man, Gunnar Kampen. The original title was Korngult hár, grá augu, which means, ‘Corn-gold Hair, Grey Eyes’ and describes Gunnar. I’m not quite sure of the significance of Red Milk, although he is receiving a glass ‘brimming with red milk’ in the last page of the book. Continue reading Sjón: Red Milk

Regina Porter : The Travelers

In 2019 Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo was, with Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments joint winner of the Booker Prize, but there was another book written by an African American woman published in 2019 that was very little known or reviewed here in Australia. That book was The Travelers written by Regina Porter a talented playwright and graduate of the Iowa Writers Workshop. It only came into my hands via someone who read it in Ireland. Continue reading Regina Porter : The Travelers

Helen Garner : Everywhere I Look


We gave each other gifts this New Year, the reading women in my family. And because we all have an embrasse of books, we committed to giving each other a book we had already owned and read. I scored four widely different books; The Travellers by Regina Porter, Australian Short Stories No. 23, What I Loved by Siri Hustvedt and Everywhere I Look by Helen Garner. Continue reading Helen Garner : Everywhere I Look

Wang Wei : In a Bamboo Grove

A new year is beginning. May it be a vast improvement on 2022  in terms of our health and freedom.

May the conflict and animosity with which we foolish beings waste our time come to an end.

And when it all seems too much, go into the bamboo grove and reflect.

Sitting alone in a bamboo grove

Plucking a zither, whistling along

Deep in the forest, in a spot unknown

Waiting for a bright moon to come


Wishing all our readers a peaceful and productive New Year.

The Gerts