'The frank and intimate journey of self-discovery by author, critic and arts commentator Robert Dessaix. Confronting, revealing and candid, the book traces his life from adoption towards the end of World War II, to a most unusual childhood on Sydney's North Shore, to his fascination with Russia and his time spent studying in Cold War Moscow, and to his years spent criss-crossing the globe from Kashmir to Peru on various study trips. But a life that might have been exciting to others, to Robert was empty at its core. Constantly haunting him was the realisation that there was a "shaft of silence" running through his being - the question of who his natural mother was and what his origins were. A story of coming to terms with a new identity.' (Publication summary)Sydney : HarperCollins , 2014
'Against the backdrop of Darwin, that small, tropical hothouse of a port, half-outback, half-oriental, lying at the tip of northern Australia, a young and newly arrived southerner encounters the 'maestro', a Viennese refugee with a shadowed past. The occasion is a piano lesson, the first of many... ' (Publication summary)Sydney South : HarperCollins , 2014
'Totally convincing and enjoyable ...[Adams] can sketch characters in a dialogue or two, extract entertainment from ordinary situations, and she captures the mood of suburban Australia.' Sunday Times 'It took William Badger some time to understand that he was going to be left behind, deliberately abandoned, what seemed like a thousand miles from home. His mother had simply asked if he would like a nice seaside holiday, and he had said yes.' When William Badger is ten years old his mother Rose takes him to a boarding house in Manly - Seven Miles from Sydney, and a Thousand Miles from Care. Left there, abandoned by the glorious Rose, who once danced and twirled on her little pointy shoes, William sits in the hedge and waits for her return. But the Rose he longs for never returns; the mother who comes back is much too angry to twirl. The only clue William has to this bewildering change is the name on a document he sees in the dining room sideboard: Longleg, the perfect name for an imaginary friend, or an alter ego...In this imaginative tour de force, Miles Franklin award winner Glenda Adams explores with tenderness and grace the life of a man who seems destined to find his mother in all other women. Winner of the National Book Council Banjo Award. Winner of The Age Fiction Book of the Year Award.' (Publication summary)Sydney South : HarperCollins , 2014
'At the end of the 1920s Christina Stead had left Australia and was poised to write Seven Poor Men of Sydney. In London Miles Franklin was producing her first Brent of Bin Bin book and would soon return to Australia. Katharine Susannah Prichard was enlarging her view of black and white in outback Australia, and the team writing under the name M. Barnard Eldershaw had published its first novel and won the Bulletin prize. Gathering these writers into a network by her support and criticism was the influential Nettie Palmer. In the mid-1930s these women and other writers such as Eleanor Dark, Jean Devanny, Dymphna Cusack and Betty Roland faced the impact of fascism and another war. The platform and the writing desk had different and often conflicting appeals; and the Depression underlined the already precarious existence of the woman writer. This immensely readable work by one of Australia's most respected writers of today is a fascinating insight into the lives of these significant literary figures, and into the creative process itself.' (Publication summary)Sydney South : HarperCollins , 2014
'On a hot summer's night in the 1950s, the old and the new, diesel and steam, town and country all collide - and nobody will be left unaffected.
'As a passenger train leaves Spencer Street Station on its haul to Sydney, a family of three - Vic, Rita and their son Michael - are off to a party. George Bedser has invited the whole neighbourhood to celebrate the engagement of his daughter. Vic is an engine driver, with dreams of being like his hero Paddy Ryan and becoming the master of the smooth ride. As the neighbours walk to the party, we are drawn into the lives of a bully, a drunk, a restless girl and a young boy forced to grow up before he is ready. The Art of the Engine Driver is a luminous and evocative tale of ordinary suburban lives, told with an extraordinary power.'
Source: Publisher's blurb.Sydney South : HarperCollins , 2014
'Lowell tries not to think about the past, about the hijacking that killed his mother. Samantha, on the other hand, cannot let go. As a child she survived the hijacking of Air France 64, and as an adult she obsessively digs for answers, seeking a man called Salamander whom she believes holds key information.
'It is the death of Lowell's father, and his legacy of a blue sports bag crammed with documents and videotapes, that finally brings Lowell and Samantha together and unravels the interconnections between victims and perpetrators, saved and damned.
'But in this murky world of endless aliases and surveillance, who can be trusted? When does the quest for truth become a dangerous obsession? And what difference can the truth make?
'Janette Turner Hospital has crafted a taut and confronting novel that propels us into the chaos of terror and the cruelty - and unexpected hope - of survival. ' (Publication summary)Sydney South : HarperCollins , 2014