'An Inspector Bonaparte Mystery featuring Bony, the first Aboriginal detective. Why had Luke Marks driven specially out to Windee? Had he been murdered or had he,as the local police believed, wandered away from his car and been overwhelmed in a dust-storm? When Bony noticed something odd in the background of a police photograph, he begins to piece together the secrets of the sands of Windee. Here is the original background to the infamous Snowy Rowles murder trial.'Sydney : Pacific Books , 1961
'The flowers flared up from the ground unconquerable. The unrepentant gaiety of the weed, the burning blues and crimsons, set the hills glowing.
''It's a plant that's struck it lucky,' the Stray said thoughtfully. 'It hasn't got no right, but it's there.'
'The Battlers is the story of Snow, a drifter and wanderer, the waiflike Dancy the Stray, from the slums of Sydney, and the other outcasts who accompany them as they travel the country roads looking for work. Like the weed Patterson's Curse, they 'haven't got no right', but they are there. Based on her own experiences of life on the roads in the 1930s, Tennant tells the story of the motley crowd of travellers with compassion and humour. First published in 1941, The Battlers was awarded the Gold Medal of the Australian Literature Society and shared the S. H. Prior Memorial Prize. More than seventy years later, the book's message of survival against the odds is as relevant today as it was then. ' (Publication summary)Sydney : Pacific Books , 1967
'When Matthew Flinders, the first man to chart and circumnavigate Australia, set sail from England in July 1801, he left behind the intrigues of his homeland but also his young bride of only a few weeks, Ann Chappell. He didn't see her again for more than nine years. During that time he carried out incredible feats of seamanship and navigation, made the first charts of much of the coastline of Australia, and was shipwrecked and later held prisoner by the French on Mauritius.
'Meticulously researched and written with great insight and sensitivity, My Love Must Wait is both a tender portrayal of faithful devotion, and a stirring re-creation of the courage and endurance of one of history's greatest seamen. ' (Publication summary)Sydney : Pacific Books , 1961
'At the age of 13 Sidney Kidman ran away from home with only five shillings in his pocket. He went on to become a horse dealer, drover, cattle buyer and bush jockey and he also ran a coach business. Above all, Kidman created a mighty cattle empire of more than a hundred stations, fighting droughts, bushfires, floods and plagues of vermin to do so. His enterprise and courage won him a huge fortune and made him a legend. ' (Publication summary)Sydney : Pacific Books , 1961
'Twenty chests of minted Spanish gold in a sunken galleon—this is the lure that brings historian Renn Lundigan to a tiny island off Australia's Great Barrier Reef.
'Renn enlists islander Johnny Akimoto to teach him scuba diving, but soon realises there's a far greater danger in the reef than the sharks. Gambling den owner Manny Mannix has followed him to the island, and now he threatens not only Renn and Johnny, but also the beautiful young scientist Pat Mitchell.
'Gallows on the Sand is a fast-paced story of high adventure, with the rich characterisation that made Morris West one of the bestselling writers of his day.'
Source: Publisher's blurb (Allen & Unwin, 2017).Sydney : Angus and Robertson , 1963
Young warrior Red Kangaroo, by his mental and physical prowess, becomes a chief of his tribe - the revered and powerful Red Chief of the Gunnedah district. His story is handed down from generation to generation by its hero's tribe and given by the last survivor, Bungaree, to the white settlers of the district.Sydney : Pacific Books , 1965
'It was the end of an era; a year of ‘outlandish happenings’; a time when everything seemed to change for Charlie Reeve, a daydreaming lad growing up in a small town on the Mornington Peninsula.
'His teacher and dad are giving him a hard time, his neighbour Squid keeps getting him into trouble, and his best mate Johnno is busy seeing a girl—which leads Charlie to a nasty fight with Big Simmons.
'First published in 1965, and subsequently made into a popular ABC TV series, All the Green Year is the story of a boy’s journey towards adulthood—‘not only the humour of it but its drama and pain’, as the 96-year-old Don Charlwood writes in his revised afterword.
'This Text Classics edition of one of Australia’s most loved coming-of-age novels comes with a new introduction by Michael McGirr, author of the bestseller Things You Get for Free. (Publication summary : Text Classics)Sydney : Pacific Books , 1967
'Jonah, born a hunchback, is feared and revered in equal measure as the ruthless leader of the Push, a violent gang that terrorises the slums of Waterloo. Chook, a fellow member of the Push, is Jonah's loyal best friend. But after a chance encounter with his son, the result of a casual affair, Jonah decides to abandon the larrikin life and settle down. He marries Ada, the mother of his child, and takes advantage of an opportunity to open his own business. Chook, too, leaves the Push and finds love in the arms of factory worker, Pinkey. But can either man escape his awful past?'
Source: Publisher's blurb (Text Publishing edition).Sydney : Pacific Books , 1967
Arriving in Capricornia (a fictional name for the Northern Territory) in 1904 with his brother Oscar, Mark Shillingworth soon becomes part of the flotsam and jetsam of Port Zodiac (Darwin) society. Dismissed from the public service for drunkenness, Mark forms a brief relationship with an Aboriginal woman and fathers a son, whom he deserts and who acquires the name of Naw-Nim (no-name). After killing a Chinese shopkeeper, Norman disappears from view until the second half of the novel.
Oscar, the respectable contrast to Mark, marries and tries to establish himself on a Capricornian cattle station, Red Ochre, but is deserted by his wife and eventually returns for a time to Batman (Melbourne), accompanied by his daughter Marigold and foster son Norman, who has been sent to him after Mark's desertion.
Oscar rejects the plea of a former employee, Peter Differ, to see to the welfare of his daughter Constance; Constance Differ is placed under the 'protection' of Humboldt Lace, a Protector of Aborigines, who seduces her and then marries her off to another man of Aboriginal descent. Forced into prostitution, Constance is dying of consumption when discovered by a railway fitter, Tim O'Cannon, who will take care of Constance's daughter, Tocky, until his own death in a train accident.
Hearing news in 1928 of an economic boom in Capricornia, Oscar returns to his station, where he is joined by Marigold and Norman, who has grown to manhood believing himself to be the son of a Javanese princess and a solider killed in the First World War. Soon after, he discovers his mother was an Aboriginal woman, and meets his father, with whom he will not reconcile until later in the novel. Norman then goes on a series of journeys to discover his true, Aboriginal self. On the second of these journeys, he meets and wanders in the wilderness with Tocky, who has escaped from the mission station to which she was sent after the death of O'Cannon. During this passage, she kills a man in self-defense, which leads to Norman's being accused of murder, at the same time his father is prosecuted for the death of the Chinese shopkeeper. At the end of the novel they are both acquitted, Heather and Mark are married, and Norman returns to Red Ochre, where he finds the body of Tocky and their child in a water tank in which she had taken refuge from the authorities. (Source: Oxford Companion to Australian Literature)
'Scarcely out of print since the early 1870s, For the Term of His Natural Life has provided successive generations with a vivid account of a brutal phase of colonial life. The main focus of this great convict novel is the complex interaction between those in power and those who suffer, made meaningful because of its hero's struggle against his wrongful imprisonment. Elements of romance, incidents of family life and passages of scenic description both relieve and give emphasis to the tragedy that forms its heart.' (Publication summary : Penguin Books 2009)Sydney : Pacific Books , 1969
'Seven Poor Men of Sydney is a brilliant portrayal of a group of men and women living in Sydney in the 1920s amid conditions of poverty and social turmoil.
Set against the vividly drawn backgrounds of Fisherman's (Watson's) Bay and the innercity slums, the various characters seek to resolve their individual spiritual dilemmas; through politics, religion and philosophy.
Their struggles, their pain and their frustrations are portrayed with consummate skill in this memorable evocation of a city and an era.' (Publication summary)Sydney : Pacific Books , 1971
'Bringing all the power and richness of his tale as a short story writer to this, his first novel, Brian James creates an unforgettable picture of a man who always did the right thing.
Spencer Button is a hero who completely lacks heroic qualities. At heart he is romantic and likes to cut a good figure; but he is conventional, careful and ambitious, and timidity and circumstance relentlessly mould him. The chief enemy to his development as a human being is, in fact, the Public Service - an ogre he has served since boyhood; and the assiduity with which he studies his advancement in the Department destroys him as a man. For Spencer Button is a State school teacher.
Iron humour and a fine sense of the ridiculous both make and heighten the tragedy that is Spencer Button. This is the unspectacular tragedy of everyday life, infinitely moving when realized. But upper-most is the irresistible humour of characters like Auntie May and Uncle Fred, of episodes like the inspection of Selkirk school and the coming of the new music master to Simmons Street.
Brian James has a penetrating grasp of character and an astonishing range of mood. Off-setting portraits of exquisite absurdity are scenes that are masterly in their macabre pathos: The downfall of Winnie Ogg, the object of Spencer's first romance; the disintegration of Mr Foll who sacrifices himself to his son's career. Spencer's courtship of Susie, their marriage and its formal banality, his discovery of the warmth and vitality he has missed - these are so acutely drawn as to be almost painful in their reality.
Pedagogic grievances and ambitions, jealousies and snobberies, eternal and never-changing, are shown against a panorama of Australian life from the nineties to the present day. It is an impressive picture of infinite variety, an arresting and challenging story that never fails as entertainment.' (Publisher's blurb)North Ryde : Pacific Books , 1974