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Issue Details: First known date: 2021... vol. 80 no. 1 Autumn 2021 of Meanjin est. 1940 Meanjin
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

Australia is the fourth biggest country in the world for QAnon social media content and discussion, and its fans are a wide ranging group, from celebrity chef Pete Evans to federal MP's like George Christensen. Margaret Simons wonders what brings them all together, why ideas like the theories promoted by QAnon have appeal and how social media and the collapse of much traditional journalism has fuelled the breakdown of a coherent idea of 'the public' Plus:Omar Sakr, Mark McKenna, Declan Fry, Elizabeth Flux, Paul Daley, Rodney Hall, Yen-Rong Wong, Maria Tumarkin, Gregory Day, Shakira Hussein, Paul Barratt, Steve Dow and Australia In Three Books from Giselle Au-Nhien NguyenNew fiction from Briohny Doyle, Rose Michael, Melanie Cheng and Dawn NguyenNew poetry from Shey Marque, Steve Brock, Dzenana Vucic, Madeleine Dale, Diane Fahey, Toby Fitch, Christian Bok and more. Reviews from Timmah Ball, Andy Jackson, Darlene Silva Soberano, Max Easton, Claire Cao, and Dion…' (Publication abstract)


  • Contents indexed selectively.


* Contents derived from the 2021 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
Eye-Bones in Your Throat, Omar Sakr , single work column

'I’ve been shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards, one of the largest book prizes for authors in Australia; the ceremony is on 10 December, and I don’t want to go. You only need to attend one award ceremony to know why they’re best avoided. First, there is the ugly tension in the room, swirling around a cadre of utterly oblivious rich people for whom this is simply a party at which to display their level of sophistication. Then there is the fantasy mantra invariably doled out, by video montage of previous winners, or sometimes in person, that everyone there is a winner, there are no losers.' (Introduction)

Left-Handed Crochet, Matilda Dixon-Smith , single work column
The Holotypes, Stephen Orr , single work essay
Bad Character, Laura Phillips , single work

'In 2020 Melbourne experienced one of the longest COVID-19 lockdowns in the world. Spending increased time at home during this period focused Melburnians’ attention on the utility of where they live. The suburbs have been praised for providing a safe haven in self-isolation, but not all suburbs are created with equal access to green spaces and essential services. A recent study found 340,000 Melburnians have little or no parkland within five kilometres of their homes. So, who has access to the well-connected inner and middle-ring suburbs, and who is kept out?' (Introduction)

Up Into the Mountains and Down to the Countryside, Nicole Jia Moore , single work prose

'On 19 August 1975, after three anxiety-riddled nights of waiting, six hours of cross-country travel, and another sleepless night squashed into a single bed with her two parents, Jia was finally ready to say goodbye. Not just to her family, she realised, but also to the last remnants of her home, her city and her entire life so far. As she stood at the village’s edge and watched the cars dwindle beyond the glassy landscape of rice paddies and distant mountains, she steeled herself against all remaining fear and doubt. For my mother, this was her chance to contribute to Mao’s revolution and the future of her beloved China.' (Introduction)

Australia in Three Books, Giselle Au-Nhien Nguyen , single work review
— Review of Looking for Alibrandi Melina Marchetta , 1992 single work novel ; Room for a Stranger Melanie Cheng , 2019 single work novel ; Stranger Country Monica Tan , 2019 single work autobiography ;

'I was a bookish child with a voracious hunger for stories. At the age of four, I would hold a tiny torch under my blanket at preschool during nap time so I could keep reading. I devoured all the books and demanded more. In those early days, the books that captured my imagination were about magical, impossible things: fairies, pixies, kindly moon folk. I pored over Australian kids’ books such as Animalia, Possum Magic and Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, losing myself in colourful illustrations of strange creatures, rather than anything rooted in the real.' (Introduction)

Justice for Elijah or a Spiritual Dialogue With Ziggy Ramo, Dancing, Declan Fry , single work essay
Canberra, Mark McKenna , single work essay

'On November 2018, the Icelandic composer and ‘multi-instrumentalist’ Ólafur Arnalds walked onstage at Canberra Theatre and offered his first impression of the city before a packed house. ‘As we landed in your elusive capital,’ he began, ‘I wondered if we’d arrived in the right place. It felt as if we were in the middle of nowhere.’ Clearly enjoying himself, Arnalds grinned, before declaiming with one arm raised: ‘It’s such a beautiful place but it doesn’t look like a capital city.’ The audience erupted in laughter.' (Introduction)

The Red Herring Issue of a Head of State, Rodney Hall , single work essay

'The release of the palace letters has put paid to any comforting assumption that the monarchy is above politics, or that the Queen as Australian head of state guarantees national stability. John Kerr’s correspondence with her private secretary Martin Charteris proved that royal impartiality, when put to the test, revealed itself as merely notional and without substance. Yet the disheartening truth is that this was not greeted with public outrage, which suggests the lesson hasn’t sunk in.' (Introduction)

Yellow Fever, Yen-Rong Wong , single work

'Yellow might be a simple colour—the third colour of the rainbow—but it means different things to different people. For some, it conjures up the image of daffodils, for others, the Kraft cheese singles wrapped in plastic that were the staple of every primary school kid’s lunchbox in the 1990s and early 2000s. For others still, it might be the doors of the Queensland Rail trains, ever slow to open, ever fast to close. In colour psychology, the right yellow can increase optimism, self-esteem, confidence, friendliness, creativity. However, the wrong yellow can result in feelings of fear, irrationality and anxiety.' (Introduction)

Fault Lines at the Australian War Memorial, Paul Daley , single work essay

'When contemplating the historical efficacy of this nation’s secular shrine, the Australian War Memorial, it is best to stand out front in the middle of Anzac Parade, look up towards Mount Ainslie and imagine what was originally intended.' (Introduction)

This Decade Will See Shocks and Flying Possum Shit..., Maria Tumarkin , single work essay

'I am a migrant on stolen land—this I cannot escape, this I don’t want resolved. To understand my family’s move to safety as the displacement of others is a lifelong project. I am not in the market for fantasies of innocence, I studied history. Giving up the idea that I am on the margins though—that’s hard. If I am on the margins in any sense it’s because being a writer in Australia is seen as an esoteric pursuit, certainly not a profession, a hobby maybe, an extracurricular thing. Australia doesn’t care about most kinds of artists but doesn’t care about its writers in particular. While this contempt must be fought in submissions and agitation and at universities and schools and kept visible like the sauce stain on a thousand-dollar suit, continually spreading, responding to it cannot be the defining fight of writers’ lives or our main conversation. It shouldn’t be how literature gets talked about to young people. Orienting ourselves to this contempt and to the struggle it invites us to join in is a deadend.' (Introduction)

Whoo-Hoo Thinking, Gregory Day , single work essay
My, How Things Have Changed, Paul Barrett , single work essay

'I joined the public service in the mid 1960s. The purpose of this essay is to review and reflect upon the changes that have taken place since in the way we are governed, and to hazard some thoughts about whether the way we are governed now is fit to meet the challenges we face.' (Introduction)

Indigenous Art, Beyond Stereotypes, Steve Dow , single work essay

'Throughout her stage and screen career, the actor Ningali Lawford-Wolf used the English she only began learning in earnest at about age 11 for diplomatic reasoning. She spoke three Indigenous languages too. Born circa 1967 in the large remote Aboriginal community of Wangkatjungka, 100 kilometres south-east of Fitzroy Crossing in the Western Australian Kimberley region, Lawford-Wolf would go on to appear in films such as Phillip Noyce’s Rabbit-Proof Fence, released in 2002, playing Maude, the mother of two of three little girls stolen from their families, based on a true story that chimed with her own: her father, who worked on a cattle farm, had forcibly been removed from his parents too.' (Introduction)

Doctored Results, Elizabeth Flux , single work autobiography
An Appointment with Nurse Apocalypse, Shakira Hussein , single work autobiography

'Nurse Apocalypse is a phlebotomist rather than a nurse, but I wasn’t familiar with that term when I first met him and I’m still not entirely sure how to pronounce it. Phlebotomist—bloodletter. But although the word doesn’t come naturally to my tongue, I’ve become very familiar with the process of phlebotomy over the past five years. I drink plenty of water ahead of time so that my blood will be easier to draw. I’ve exchanged personal histories with those staff at the pathology centre who are of visibly migrant background and have deflected the where-do-you-come-from question from most of the others.' (Introduction)

Wow! This Is So Metaphorical!, Dan Hogan , single work autobiography

'Filmmaker Bong Joon-Ho stands with four knights in the winners’ room. The knights are much shorter than him, standing at an imperial 13.5 inches or metric 34.29 centimetres tall. Unlike Bong, the knights are nude and electroplated in 24-karat gold, their crotches and navels provided a lean modesty by giant downward-pointing swords, hilts held in two hands against their bellies.' (Introduction)

The Weathermen, Briohny Doyle , single work short story
The Ninch, Rose Michael , single work short story

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Last amended 8 Apr 2021 10:32:46