The irrepressible Bani Adam is back! This time, as an Australian father murmuring home truths to the bundle of joy, the blasphemous new blood, that has arrived in his tribal life. Michael Mohammed Ahmad’s latest addition to his Western Sydney trilogy takes us into the explosive intimacy of race and religion in Australia. The Other Half of You is the body-bruising, soul-searing confessional letter to a child, that anyone who has had to wrestle with the fluid-oozing, flesh-tearing oppositional pulls of family and freedom, community and calling, conformity and mutiny, will recognise. This is the howl of an Australian voice striving to be heard among the “nips, fobs, wogs and lebs” who animate the Bankstown line from centre to periphery, who crave Kentucky Fried Chicken, eschewing indiscriminatingly the delights of Lebanese kousa and born-again veganism. We accompany Bani on his journey from the fabled corridors of a sandstone university, where his English literary idols tell him in a thousand ways how he does not belong, into the arms of Sahara, warrior princess and hirsute love of his life. But love is a myriad-hued jewel, as Bani will discover: it exists equally in the tender image of Fatima wanting her freedom to wear pink g-strings and glued-on belly button rings, as it does in the anti-Arab skin of the White woman for whom Bani will exile himself from the House of Adam. In Kahlil, the White Wog son of Oli, the “half-insider, half-outsider” descendant of Alawites, Bani will also find the voice that sings the brilliant aria of Australia today.