Skip to content

Anne Howell writer

I have worked as a journalist and arts editor for over 25 years in newspapers and magazines. I have a PhD in Creative Writing.

The Girl on The Train HIndi

The Girl on the Train

    As a novel, The Girl on The Train sure has an afterlife. Released in 2015, written by Paula Hawkins, the latest film it spawned was a 2021 Bollywood production (see pic). The amnesia thriller also inspired two other films. I look back on how the original novel became a phenomenon, not merely a runaway best seller, but a marker of the early move in popular fiction towards ‘domestic noir’. My interest lies in the memory loss factor the novel relies on for the telling of its story of ordinary women’s lives gone terribly wrong. The memory loss type? Alcohol induced.

    Surface new TV series on Apple TV


      TV series produced by Reese Witherspoon.Genre: psychological thriller.Released: July 29, 2022.Starring: Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Sophie, Oliver Jackson-Cohen as James, Stephan James as Baden.Country: US.Australian viewers: Apple TV.Rotten Tomatoes: A 53% approval rating with an average rating of 6.3/10, based on 17 critic reviews. Critics Consensus: “Gugu Mbatha-Raw’s captivating performance gives Surface some depth, but this… Read More »Surface

      Connie from Too Close

      Too Close

        Three-part TV miniseries 2021.Psychological thriller.Director: Susan Tully.Australian viewers: SBS OnDemand.Cast: Emily Watson as Dr. Emma Robertson, Forensic psychiatrist assigned to the Mortensen case. Denise Gough as Connie Mortensen, Robertson’s patient, is labelled the ‘yummy mummy monster’ in the press. Thalissa Teixeira, Vanessa, ‘Ness’ Jones, Connie’s friend. Risteárd Cooper, Si Robertson, Emma’s husband and a barrister.… Read More »Too Close

        Awake – Wa’eet

          TV series.Country: Lebanon.Released: 2021.Creator: Nadia Tabbara.Starring Patrick Chemali, Jacques Maroun and Marie-Lou Nahhas.Australian viewers: SBS on Demand.Note: Of the many productions called Awake, look out for the Arabic name Wa’eet. Awake is about a young woman, Dana who wakes up from a 12-year coma initially unable to speak or interact with others. Fortunately, Dana recovers… Read More »Awake – Wa’eet

          The Tourist series about character with amnesia

          The Tourist

            Six-part TV series.Genre: mix thriller drama/comedy.Released: Jan 2022.Starring: Jamie Dornan as The Man/Elliot Stanley, Danielle Macdonald as Probationary Constable Helen Chambers. Shalom Brune-Franklin as Luci Miller/Victoria, Ólafur Darri Ólafsson as Billy Nixon and Alex Dimitriades as Kosta Panigiris.Country: the UK, originally a BBC One series.For Australian viewers: HBO Max, Stan.Rotten Tomatoes: A 97% approval based… Read More »The Tourist



              Feature film.Director: Christos Nikou.Screenplay: Nikou and Stavros Raptis.Starring: Aris Servetalis as Aris, Sofia Georgovasili, Anna Kalaitzidou, and Argiris Bakirtzis. Production: Cate Blanchett serves as an executive producer with her production company Dirty Films. Released: 2020.Australian streaming: SBS OnDemand, select cinemas.Rotten Tomatoes: A 98% approval rating is based on 53 reviews, with an average of 7.4/10.… Read More »Apples

              The Answer to the Riddle is Me: a Tale of Amnesia

              The Answer to the Riddle is Me

                Behind the amnesia incident In 2002, David MacLean was a 28-year-old Fulbright scholar in the midst of a research trip to India for a novel when a severe, and sudden, case of amnesia struck. He’d been to India before with no hitches, but on this trip, his anti-malarial medicine caused him to lose his memory.… Read More »The Answer to the Riddle is Me

                Su Meck and her memoir of amnesia

                I Forgot to Remember

                  In 1988 Su Meck, a 22-year-old mother of two young boys, was at home in Texas when she swung her six-month-old son around playfully in the air. Unbeknownst to her, part of his body brushed against a precariously connected ceiling fan, which came crashing down on Su’s head, changing her life forever. This accident wiped… Read More »I Forgot to Remember

                  Guy Pierce as Leonard Shelby the ten-minute man, with anterograde amnesia


                    Happy Birthday, Memento! It’s 21 years since Memento came to Australian viewers as a masterpiece of cinematic subjectivity directed by Christopher Nolan. Once seen, it’s hard to forget the vengeful amnesiac, Leonard Shelby, played by an emaciated, strung out, heavily tattooed, Guy Pierce. The huge volume of reviews and scholarly work since its release gives… Read More »Memento

                    The Beautiful Fall is a novel about love and memory loss

                    The Beautiful Fall

                      The Premise Every 179 days, a young man named Robbie forgets everything about his past due to a rare neurological condition. Thus the premise of the novel thrusts us into fantasy amnesia, a whole sub-genre of amnesia fiction in itself, and fine by me. When we meet Robbie, he knows his condition exists because one… Read More »The Beautiful Fall

                      Room 15 a gripping thriller with amnesia at its core

                      Room 15

                        The Room 15 story Imagine you’re holding a party in summer one minute, and suddenly you’re alone in the street with snow falling, blood running from your neck and on your hands. What has happened in-between times, you have no idea. This is an early scene from Room 15. The reader sees the world from… Read More »Room 15

                        Lisa Genova's Still Alice

                        Still Alice

                          Alice Howland is a linguistics expert and professor teaching at Harvard University, thus when she forgets what the word ‘lexicon’ means while delivering a lecture, it is more telling than if someone else were to have forgotten it. So begins 50-year-old Alice’s downward slide into early-onset Alzheimers in the novel Still Alice, by Lisa Genova.… Read More »Still Alice

                          The Moostone cover by Wilkie Collins

                          The Moonstone

                            If you think the first English detective novel, written in Dickens’s day, would be too dated to bother reading, think again. The Moonstone remains to this day a cracking good yarn, offering engaging and colourful characters, a dark mystery tinged with the exotic and laden with social critique, plenty of suspense and an unexpected ending.… Read More »The Moonstone

                            The novel Pew by Catherine Lacey


                              As I read Pew my opinion of it swung wildly. One minute I thought it ground-breaking and brilliant, the next it disappointed. I do not usually have two minds about books, but then Pew is not your usual book. The premise The first-person narrator is an amnesiac with no idea of their past, their age,… Read More »Pew

                              The Bourne Identity Robert Ludlum

                              Me and Jason Bourne

                                Dare I compare myself with Jason Bourne? We may seem like an unlikely pair considering Jason Bourne is a sharp shooting fictional character in an American spy thriller and I am a pacifist woman living a quiet life in Australia. Yet what we share is waking up one time with no idea who we were,… Read More »Me and Jason Bourne