Sara Knox teaches cultural history and creative writing at the University of Western Sydney . Her ongoing scholarly research is concerned with death, violence and representation. Her publications in this field include Murder: a Tale of Modern American Life (1998).
'The Orphan Gunner is an unconventional romance set in bomber command in Lincolnshire during the Second World War.
Evelyn and Olive grew up together in the Canabolas Valley near Orange. They are in England at the outbreak of war: Evelyn as a pilot in the Air Transport Auxiliary, Olive in the Women's Auxiliary Air Force. They're joined by Evelyn's brother Duncan, a novice gunner in Lancaster L-Love, flying bombing raids over Germany.
The raids take their toll on the crew, and the two women are drawn into a plot involving disguise and mistaken identity, to get the exhausted Duncan out of service.
The Orphan Gunner explores the seductions of passing, the licence granted by risk, and the selflessness - and selfishness - of sacrifice. The relationship between the two women is portrayed with subtlety and warmth, and an extraordinary sense of historical detail which brings its wartime setting vividly to life. (Publisher's blurb)