'The Best Australian Essays 2012 presents the country's most eloquent voices at the peak of their powers. Helen Garner, Anna Krien and Romy Ash discuss animals; David Marr, Rhys Muldoon and James Button discuss those of the political variety. Peter Robb meets Akira Isogawa, J.M. Coetzee considers Les Murray's black dog, and Gillian Mears her award-winning novel. John Bryson reflects on the drawn-out, unnecessary agony of the Azaria case. With humour, Louis Nowra walks in the shadow of death, while Lee Kofman's teenage passions unfurl in a time of war. There's Andrew Ford on John Cage, Maria Tumarkin on food, Clive James on Pauline Kael, and Nick Bryant on Gina Rinehart. These are essays full of insight and wit, on the subjects that moved us in 2012.'