'A young wife and mother watches a clock that seems forever stuck at three-in-the-afternoon. Her neighbour obsesses over the front lawn, and the women at the local beach chatter about knitting patterns. Her husband didn't come home last night.
'She lives for Tuesdays and Thursdays, when the baby is with Mother-in-law and she can escape to a less humdrum life. Jonathan, man about town, is Tuesday. Ben, a freethinking artist, is Thursday.
'But Jonathan is in serious trouble, and Thursdays are turning sour. Very sour.
'A brilliant, acerbic tale of a crack-up in stultifying suburbia, Blue Skies marked the emergence of a unique voice in Australian fiction.' (Abstract for 2011 publication from Text Publishing website.)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2011
'Meet Cliff Hardy. Smoker, drinker, ex-boxer. And private investigator.
When the wealthy Bryn Gutteridge hires Hardy to help his sister, it looks as if blackmail is the problem. Until the case becomes more brutal, twisted and shocking than even Hardy could have guessed.' (Text Classics blurb)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2012
'He straightened his spine, raised his head, and extended his gun arm towards me in a slow, vertical arc. I saw then what he was, and stood still in front of him, for he was here on business. He was a small, serious, stone-eyed angel of mercy.
'Janet is a skeptic, a journalist; Maxine revels in New Age fantasies; and Ray, a drifter, is a born-again Christian. The common ground is the house they share. But their fragile domestic balance is about to explode amid the smashing of ukeleles, the unexpected ascension of an angel, and a sudden shower of jonquils.' (Publication summary : Text Classics)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2012
'On hot days we jumped fully clothed into our bottomless beer glasses and pushed off from shore without a backward look. Heading for the deep, where it was calm and cool.
'Meat Man is a regular at the Southern Cross pub in Sydney. With his tribe he sits and drinks and watches as life spirals around him. David Ireland’s novel tells his stories, about the pub, its patrons and their women, about the brutal, tender and unexpected places his glass canoe takes him.' (Publication summary)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2012
'It could almost have been their own country: these sections with the gums briefly framed like a traditional oil painting by the slowly passing window. The colours were as brown and parched; that chaff-coloured grass, Ah, this dun-coloured realism. Any minute now the cry of the crow or a cockatoo; but no.
'Thirteen men and women travel the world on a package tour but wherever they go nothing is as it seems.
'Challenged by the unexpected, by differences and subtleties, Bail’s tourists are in turn repelled and attracted—and all are altered.' (Publication summary)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2012
'This is Albion Gidley Singer at the pen, a man with a weakness for a good fact. The first fact is always the hardest: you have to begin somewhere, and such is the nature of this intractable universe that the only thing you can start with is yourself.
'Dark Places, a companion novel to Lilian’s Story, is the tale of a man with a comically grand exterior who believes he has the right, and the duty, to conquer the mocking flesh of any woman. Even his own daughter.' (Publication summary)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2012
'For many years it was assumed that poetry came from England. Research now clearly demonstrates, however, that a great many of the world’s most famous poets were actually Australians.
'Possibly the most important anthology ever published. The definitive collection featuring key works by such famous Australian poets as Gavin Milton, Arnold Wordsworth, Sylvia Blath, Very Manly Hopkins, R.A.C.V. Milne and Dylan Thompson.' (Publication summary)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2012
'First published in two-volumes in 1814, this is the enthralling account of the circumnavigation of Australia, by the man who gave our country its name.
'Edited and introduced by Tim Flannery, Terra Australis is a vital step toward a new understanding of our own history. Flinders tells of meeting and communicating with Aborigines, of the scrub and wilderness. His descriptions of the difficulties that he and his sailors faced still bristle with energy and immediacy two hundred years later. This is Flinders’ story in his own words, neglected until now, but destined to be eagerly read by all ages.' (Publication summary : Text Classics)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2012
'Twenty years ago, when I first arrived on the plains, I kept my eyes open. I looked for anything in the landscape that seemed to hint at some elaborate meaning behind appearances.
'There is no book in Australian literature like The Plains. In the two decades since its first publication, this haunting novel has earned its status as a classic. A nameless young man arrives on the plains and begins to document the strange and rich culture of the plains families. As his story unfolds, the novel becomes, in the words of Murray Bail, ‘a mirage of landscape, memory, love and literature itself’.' (Publication summary : Text Classics)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2012
'The first Murray Whelan adventure
'The fiddle at the Pacific Pastoral meat-packing works was a nice little earner for all concerned until Herb Gardiner reported finding a body in number 3 chiller. An accident, of course, but just the excuse a devious political operator might grab to stir up trouble with the unions.
'Enter Murray Whelan, minder, fixer and general dogsbody for the Minister of Industry. Between playing of party factions and pursuing the kohl-eyed Ayisha, it’s all in a day’s work for Murray to hose down the situation at Pacific Pastoral.
'Then the lairy V8 turns up. And after that, it gets personal. Because don’t you just hate it when somebody tries to kill you and you don’t know who or why?' (Publication summary)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2012
'A coming-of-age story of a spontaneous heroine who finds herself ensconced in the rigidity of a turn-of-the-century boarding school. The clever and highly imaginative Laura has difficulty fitting in with her wealthy classmates and begins to compromise her ideals in her search for popularity and acceptance.' (From the publisher's website.)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2012
'I have been wronged and my mother and four or five men lagged innocent and is my brothers and sisters and my mother not to be pitied also who has no alternative only to put up with the brutal and cowardly conduct of a parcel of big ugly fat-necked wombat headed big bellied magpie legged narrow hipped splaw-footed sons of Irish Bailiffs or english landlords which is better known as Officers of Justice or Victorian Police…
'Outlaw, murderer, self-proclaimed victim, Ned Kelly is an Australian icon. But who was he? Kelly’s extraordinary achievement is to have provided his own answer to that question. The Jerilderie Letter is his remarkable manifesto and a startling record of his voice.
'Kelly delivered his letter, which Joe Byrne had diligently written out, on Monday 10 February 1879, immediately after his gang had held up the Bank of New South Wales in Jerilderie. He gives an impassioned defence of his actions, condemns those who have wronged him, and sends a chilling warning to those who may yet defy him.
'This illustrated edition, transcribed from the manuscript now housed in the State Library of Victoria, includes a fascinating new introduction by the historian Alex McDermott. The Jerilderie Letter remains one of the most astonishing documents in Australian history.' (Publication summary)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2012
'Set in the charming and deadly streets of Melbourne, this vivid and brilliantly plotted murder thriller tells the story of a crime committed by an unknown assassin. With its panoramic depiction of a bustling yet uneasy city, Hansom Cab has a central place in Australian literary history and, more importantly, it remains highly readable. ' (Publication summary)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2012
'My Brilliant Career was written by Stella Franklin (1879-1954) when she was just nineteen years old. The novel struggled to find an Australian publisher, but was published in London and Edinburgh in 1901 after receiving an endorsement from Henry Lawson. Although Franklin wrote under the pseudonym 'Miles Franklin', Lawson’s preface makes it clear that Franklin is, as Lawson puts it 'a girl.'
'The novel relates the story of Sybylla Melvyn, a strong-willed young woman of the 1890s growing up in the Goulburn area of New South Wales and longing to be a writer.' (Publication summary)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2012
'The drumming of the guns continued, with bursts of great intensity. It was as though a gale streamed overhead, piling up great waves of sound, and hurrying them onwards to crash in surf on the enemy entrenchments. The windless air about them, by its very stillness, made that unearthly music more terrible to hear.
'First published anonymously in 1929 because its language was considered far too frank for public circulation, The Middle Parts of Fortune was hailed by T. S. Eliot and Ezra Pound, by Lawrence of Arabia and Ernest Hemingway, as an extraordinary novel. Its author was in fact Frederic Manning, an Australian writer who fought in the Battle of the Somme in 1916, and who told his story of men at war from the perspective of an ordinary soldier.' (Publication summary : Text Classics)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2012
' Handsome, proud, reprehensible, misunderstood. Dominic Langton is the dark heart of A Difficult Young Man. His brother Guy can scarcely understand where he fits into the pattern of things or what he might do next. Martin Boyd’s much loved novel is an elegant, witty and compelling family tale about the contradictions of growing up.' (Publication summary)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2012
'Who the hell’s Nino Culotta. That’s what you asked yourself when you first picked up this book, wasn’t it? Well I’m Nino Culotta. My father baptised me Giovanni—John—well Giovannino is like Johnny, and Nino is an easier way of saying it. Or a lazier way, if you like.
'Just off the boat from Italy—the north—Nino Culotta arrives in Sydney. He thought he spoke English but he’s never heard anything like the language these Australians are speaking.
'They’re a Weird Mob is an hilarious snapshot of the immigrant experience in Menzies-era Australia, by a writer with a brilliant ear for the Australian way with words.' (Publication summary : Text Classics)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2012
Wake in Fright is the harrowing story of a young schoolteacher, John Grant, who leaves his isolated outback school to go on holidays to Sydney (and civilization). Things start to go horribly wrong, however, when stays overnight in a rough outback mining town called Bundanyabba. After a drink fuelled night, in which he loses all his momey, Grant finds himself both broke and stuck in the town with means of escape. He subsequently descends into a cycle of hangovers, fumbling sexual encounters, and increasing self-loathing as he becomes more and more immersed in the grotesque and surreal nightmare that is 'the Yabba.'Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2012
'It’s the Great Depression. Six-year-old PS is an orphan. He lives in Sydney with his Aunt Lila. But all that is about to change. Now his Aunt Vanessa has decided to take proper care of him.
'Careful, He Might Hear You is one of the most extraordinary portraits of childhood in Australian fiction.' (Publication summary : Text Classics)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2012
'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)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2012
'Breaking their poses like trees snapping branches, the women urgently regarded each other, cleared away all signs of work in an instant, examined their souls for defects, in a sense crossed themselves, and waited.
'After Laura and Clare are abandoned by their mother, Felix is there to help, even to marry Laura if she will have him. Little by little the two sisters grow complicit with his obsessions, his cruelty, his need to control.
'Set in the leafy northern suburbs of Sydney during the 1940s, The Watch Tower is a novel of relentless and acute psychological power.' (Publication summary)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2012
The Fringe Dwellers is set in a remote area of Western Australia. It is the story of Noonah and Trilby, two sisters of Aboriginal decent, who live in a family camp on the fringe of society.
Melbourne City : Text Publishing , 2012
'Down on his luck and hard up for cash, Carl works in the kitchen of a seedy rock 'n' roll joint in ethnically diverse Brunswick. The bouncers and bosses terrify him, he's desperately in love with a much younger Greek waitress, and to make matters worse his mother has come to stay with him. Then a dead body turns up.'
Source: Trove. (Sighted: 24/1/2014)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2012
'A Woman of the Future, first published in 1979, was David Ireland’s best-selling sixth novel and his third to win the Miles Franklin Award.
'An imaginative tour de force, it is the story of the young life of Anthea Hunt—from conception to sexual awakening. It is controversial and brilliant, and unlike anything else in Australian literature.' (Publication summary : Text Classics)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2012
'Bush Studies is famous for its stark realism—for not romanticising bush life, instead showing all its bleakness and harshness.
'Economic of style, influenced by the great nineteenth-century Russian novelists, Barbara Baynton’s short-story collection presents the Australian bush as dangerous and isolating for the women who inhabit it.' (Publication summary : Text Classics)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2012
'Julia is a photographer, Chantal edits a fashion magazine, Helen is a feminist academic and Philippa is a writer. These four friends haunt the cafés of inner-city Sydney, eyeing the passing talent and swapping outlandish tales. Sexy, intelligent, predatory, they are women of their time—but can we believe their wild and wicked descriptions of their erotic exploits?' (Publication summary)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2012
'A passionate and controversial novel set in turn-of-the-century Europe
'Henry Handel Richardson’s debut, published in London in 1908, is set in the music scene of Leipzig, a cosmopolitan centre for the arts drawing students from around the world—among them Maurice Guest, a young Englishman, who falls helplessly in love with an Australian woman, Louise Dufrayer. Maurice Guest is the story of this overwhelming passion.
'The novel was deemed too controversial to be published as Richardson intended, and she was forced to cut twenty thousand words from the original manuscript and tone down its language.' (Publication summary)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2012
'Ruth Park’s Miles Franklin-winning novel brilliantly evokes Australia in the midst of the Great Depression.
'Growing up in an Australian country town before World War I, Jackie Hanna and Cushie Moy are carefree and innocent in their love for each other. But Jackie is a dwarf, and his devotion to the beautiful Cushie is condemned by her parents. This is the story of their lifelong odyssey, and of the triumph of a special kind of courage.
'Written with warmth and affection, this is a powerful story about human nature and the strength of an unlikely love. Ruth Park brilliantly captures the mood of Australia in the first part of the twentieth century.' (Publication summary)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2012
'Between the publication of The Home Girls, in 1982, and her death, Olga Masters was acclaimed as one of Australia's finest writers. Her short stories, distinguished by their acute observation of human behaviour, drew comparison with the finest exponents of the form, such as Chekhov.
'The Home Girls is a collection of candid, witty stories about rural and suburban life. Set in the mid-twentieth century, these are tales of ordinary people and domestic life. Masters was, as the Advertiser remarked, 'a natural storyteller'. ' (Publication summary)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2012
'Sharply observed, bitter and humorous, The Long Prospect is a story of life in an Australian industrial town.
'Growing up neglected in a seedy boarding house, twelve-year-old Emily Lawrence befriends Max, a middle-aged scientist who encourages her to pursue her intellectual interests. Innocent Emily will face scandal, suburban snobbery and psychological torment.' (Publication summary : Text Classics)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2012
Arguably the most popular book of poetry ever produced in Australia, The Songs of a Sentimental Bloke was first published in October 1915. Its success was immediate and unprecedented for a book of Australian verse. The first edition of 2,480 copies sold out within weeks, and by the end of February 1916 the book had reached a fifth impression and was still selling well. Tongue firmly in cheek, C. J. Dennis informed his publishers Angus and Robertson that the work's 'success [was] becoming monotonous'. There was more monotony to come, however: the book sold more than 100,000 copies in the first five years after its publication, and was rarely out of print in Dennis's lifetime. Added to this, there were film, stage, and musical versions of the work, as well as recitals given by popular entertainers. In many respects, 'The Sentimental Bloke' became a phenomenon of popular culture that took on a life of its own.
Dennis later claimed that the idea for 'The Sentimental Bloke' came from a 'racy' young man from Melbourne he had met in Toolangi. According to Dennis' wife Margaret Herron, the young man had fallen in love with a farmer's daughter, but the farmer disapproved and forbade her from having anything to do with him. The Melbourne man was said to have complained to Dennis, 'what sort of bloke do they think I am? Blimey, anyone would think I was a crook! Ain't a bloke got sisters of his own?' In Dennis's imagination, this frustrated love affair eventually became a story in which a tough, streetwise young larrikin gives up his dissolute ways for domestic happiness with his sweetheart. A crucial factor in the success of Dennis's 'Sentimental Bloke' verse was that it was narrated from the point of view of 'the Bloke', employing a slang idiom appropriate to the character. In his correspondence with his publishers, Dennis noted that 'the stuff, while not having any considerable literary merit, is, I believe, extremely popular'.Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2012
The Fortunes of Richard Mahony was 'first published as a sequence. Australia Felix, the first volume, which covers twelve years of Richard Mahony’s life from the early 1850s, was published in 1917; The Way Home, which deals with his subsequent eight years, appeared in 1925; and Ultima Thule, the final volume covering his last four years, in 1929. The novel was first published as a trilogy in 1930.'
Australia Felix 'begins the story of Richard Mahony, a 28-year-old medical graduate of Edinburgh University and now the keeper of a general store in Ballarat'. Part one of the novel 'follows Mahony’s career until his marriage; the second part deals with the Eureka Stockade, the growth of the varied society of Ballarat and legal hearing in Melbourne'. It 'concludes with Mahony’s decision to start a practice in Ballarat instead of returning to England'. In parts three and four, 'Richardson extends her panoramic picture of a dynamic colonial society in which individuals are subject to great reversals or advances of fortune'.
The Way Home begins with Mahony’s 'arrival in England and concludes with his final, second return to Australia, as a ruined man. In the intervening years he grows disillusioned with English society, returns to Australia to find his investments have made him suddenly rich, attempts to settle into the wealthy community of Melbourne and becomes the father of three children'. His sojourn in England leads to the discovery that he is uncomfortable with the ‘offensive and cramping’ English social hierarchy.
Ultima Thule picks up the story with Mahony’s 'return to Australia, his attempts to establish himself as a medical practitioner, first in Melbourne and then at Barambogie, a small town in northern Victoria'. When Mahony’s skills as a doctor as increasingly questioned, the family moves to the coast and later to Gymgurra where Mahony’s wife, Mary, 'secures a position as postmistress'. Mahony is moved to a private nursing home, then to a government asylum and finally returns home. He is 'devotedly cared by Mary, until paralysis incapacitates his body. After his death he is buried in the local cemetery, within sound of the sea'.
Source: The Oxford Companion to Australian Literature. 2nd. ed. Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1994: 294-295.Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2012
'The Odd Angry Shot is the seminal account of Australian soldiers in the Vietnam War.
'Brief and bracing, tragic yet darkly funny, it portrays a close-knit group of knockabout SAS fighters: their mateship, homesickness and fears; their practical jokes, drinking and fighting. The enemy is not just the Vietcong they’ve been sent to fight, but their superiors, the mud and torrential rain, and boredom.' (Publication summary : Text Classics)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2013
'Four English orphans—Cherry, Nigel, Brick and Nippy—migrate to Tasmania, to the care of their Aunt Jandie on her farm outside Hobart. Their arrival is greeted with enthusiasm by young farm boy Tas, and weeks of exploration and good times follow before Aunt Jandie goes to hospital, leaving the children in the care of Ma and Pa Pinner, her foreman and housekeeper.
'A few days of tyrannical treatment by the Pinners forces the children to seek refuge in a secret cave, where they set up home to await the return of Jandie. Despite Pa’s repeated efforts to recapture them, the children stay, fending for themselves in the bush, until Nigel’s secret trip to town uncovers a plot by the Pinners to abandon the farm and swindle Aunt Jandie.' (Publication summary : Text Classics)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2013
'Our minds are like those maps at the entrance to the Metro stations in Paris. They are full of unilluminated directions. But when we know where we want to go and press the right button, the route is illuminated before us in electric clarity.
Diana von Flugel warned her husband: a piece of toast that hard could break a tooth. When Diana goes to Melbourne to have the tooth fixed, Wolfie is far too concerned with finding inspiration for his musical compositions to realise the chain of events he has just set in motion. On Collins Street, Russell Lockwood catches a glimpse of his childhood friend and knows at once that she is a rare woman…
Now Diana and Wolfie’s marriage is under threat, the Great War is approaching, and no one quite knows where their hearts belong. First published in 1957, the third novel in Martin Boyd’s celebrated Langton Quartet is a beguiling comedy of manners about the outbreak of love in inconvenient places. ' (Publisher's blurb)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2013
'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).Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2013
'Trespassing in Mr Lovett's secluded garden was a welcome escape for sixteen-year-old Catherine. A haven away from the parents who didn't understand her moodiness and from her pretty, even-tempered sister, Diana, who she resented. It was a place to be alone.
But this all changes when Catherine is confronted by Mr Lovett and, realising he is blind, decides to confide in him. And so begins a remarkable friendship.
Unexpectedly, a third person appears in the garden: an intruder. Terry, abrasive and sullen, menacing even—has a claim to make on the garden. It is a piece of land he feels should belong to his own family. In his plan neither Mr Lovett nor the garden are safe and it is up to Catherine to stop him but in Terry, she recognises something of herself.
A complex and gripping novel of human relationships from one of Australia's foremost authors for young adults.' (Publisher's blurb)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2013
'What was Puroil? At Clearwater it was a sprawling refinery, an army of white shirts, a fleet of wagons, a number of apparently separate companies, dozens of monolithic departments protected from each other by an armour of functional difference and jealousy. On the refinery site it was two hundred and fifty shabby prisoners, a heavy overload of foremen, supervisors, plant controllers, shift controllers, up to the giddy height of section heads (popularly miscalled Suction Heads, a metaphor deriving from pumps) who were clerks for the technologists; project and process engineers and superintendents who were whipping-boys for the—whisper it!—the Old Man himself, the Manager, who was actually only a Branch Manager and a sort of bum-boy for Head Office in Victoria, which was a backward colonial outpost in the eyes of the London office, which was a junior partner in British-European Puroil its mighty self, which was the property of anonymous shareholders.
'On the shores of Botany Bay lies an oil refinery where workers are free to come and go—but they are also part of an unrelenting, alienating economy from which there is no escape. In the first of his three Miles Franklin Award-winning novels, originally published in 1971, David Ireland offers a fiercely brilliant comic portrait of Australia in the grip of a dehumanising labour system.' (Publication summary : Text Classics)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2013
'The getting away was terrible.
Kathleen was very white and Patricia buried herself in the corner of the couch and cried quietly like a grown-up. Lebby had a fever and May had put her into the double bed under the speckled eiderdown. It was ironic that May should spare Lebby from witnessing the departure, since she was the one least troubled by it.
When Amy came into the kitchen with her luggage, Patricia made for the corner of the couch and Kathleen ran to Gus and clung to his leg. He lifted her up, with a brief look of hate towards Amy, across Kathleen's tangled head...
Abandoned by her feckless husband during the Depression, Amy decides to leave her country town—and her three infant children—and try her luck in the big smoke.
Life in wartime Sydney is far from easy, but for Amy there are the hard-won satisfactions of an office job and a house of her own. Until her eldest, Kathleen, appears needing a home while she attends high school. And Amy falls in love with a married man...
Enlivened with note-perfect observations of the everyday, wrenching in its portrayal of a young woman struggling to succeed yet often wilfully ignorant of her own children, Olga Masters' second and last novel is a triumph. At its centre is Amy, one of the great characters in Australian literature. ' (Publisher's blurb)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2013
'‘She’s going now,’ said Henry Watter if he said anything at all. Or, ‘It’s a tricky place, the world. You’ve got to be sharp to manage it.’‘Leave her be. She’ll be back,’ said Mrs Watter. ‘This is her home. She knows that.’
Lark Watter had always planned to run away from her stifling suburban life in 1960s Sydney. At university she encounters an American, Tom, and with him the promise of escape. Following Tom to the other side of the world by freighter is a journey to freedom—but the adventure Lark has embarked on isn’t quite what she had anticipated. Not on the way there, and certainly not in New York…
A picaresque journey across the high seas and through the extremes of the ’60s, Dancing on Coral was Glenda Adams’ second novel and established her international reputation. (Publisher's blurb)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2013
'The final book by Sumner Locke Elliott, the award-winning author of Careful, He Might Hear You.
Drawing heavily on Locke Elliott's own experiences, Fairyland charts the life of Seaton Daly, an aspiring writer coming to terms with his homosexuality in the repressive atmosphere of inner-city Sydney during the 1930s and '40s. Lonely and naive, Daly dreams of escaping to the 'promised land' of the United States.
Fairyland is an intimate, affecting, sometimes harrowing portrayal of a lifelong search for love. Sumner Locke Elliott's 'coming out' novel, it was first published in 1990, the year before his death.' (Publisher's blurb)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2013
'On a fateful day in Hills End, a timber-milling town in the mountains of Victoria, seven children and their teacher set off to explore caves in the nearby mountains said to contain ancient Aboriginal rock art. While they are deep inside the mountain caves a storm of tremendous violence all but sweeps the town away and threatens to leave them stranded on the mountain.
'Tackling flooded creeks and washed out paths and fallen trees, the children make their way back to Hills End injured and exhausted, only to face a new battle to survive in the denuded town. ' (Publication summary)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2013
'Born to deaf parents, John James ("JJ") has always been more at home in Sign language than in spoken English. Recently divorced, he returns to school to teach Sign. His pupils include animal liberationists Clive Kinnear and Stella Todd, foster-parents to a very unusual daughter who is not deaf, but dumb. It's not long before JJ meets the beautiful, sensitive and highly intelligent 'Eliza', and is drawn into a bizarre chain of events..' (Publication summary)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2013
'It’s 1981 and Evie is sixteen. She has left school but can’t find work, and her family has just moved into the run-down inner Sydney suburb of Newtown. Noel lives in the adjoining terrace house. He’s fifteen, not taking school seriously and fed up with looking after his ancient bed-ridden grandmother.
'As a friendship grows between Evie and Noel, the past is set back in motion, and the events of the 1930s Depression era begin to play out in the high-unemployment times of the early 1980s, and the house again is the centre of the Sydney anti-eviction campaign of 1931.
'Based on historical fact, meticulously researched, The House that Was Eureka is a critically acclaimed novel about a history we all share.' (Publication summary)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2013
'Adrian Sherd is a teenage boy in Melbourne of the 1950s—the last years before television and the family car changed suburbia forever.
'Earnest and isolated, tormented by his hormones and his religious devotion, Adrian dreams of elaborate orgies with American film stars, and of marrying his sweetheart and fathering eleven children by her. He even dreams a history of the world as a chronicle of sexual frustration.
'A Lifetime on Clouds is funny, honest and sweetly told: a less ribald, Catholic Australian Portnoy’s Complaint.' (Publication summary : Text Classics)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2013
'Lillipilly Hill is the story of Harriet Wilmot and her family, who have come to live in an inherited house in the New South Wales town of Barley Creek at the end of the nineteenth century.
'Harriet is in awe of Australia, despite the heat and unconventional schooling, and much prefers it to dreary old London. Not all of the Wilmots agree however and Harriet breaks rules and expectations in her efforts to convince her family to stay in this new and exciting land.
'Following an altercation with another boy Harriet's brother Aidan even attempts to walk, in the middle of the night, to the harbour. Battling the kind of darkness you only get in the country and impenetrable swampland Aidan comes across a mysterious young man with a dog who will change his perspective on Australia and even life itself.
'Lillipilly Hill is a delightful coming-of-age story that is all at once sweet and adventurous, sensitive and exciting. ' (Publication summary)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2013
Such is Life: Being Certain Extracts from the Diary of Tom Collins. Joseph Furphy's title gives an indication of the complexity of the narrative that will unravel before a persistent reader. In chapter one, the narrator, Tom Collins, joins a group of bullockies to camp for the night a few miles from Runnymede Station. Their conversations reveal many of the issues that arise throughout the rest of the novel: the ownership of, or control of access to, pasture; ideas of providence, fate and superstition; and a concern for federation that flows into descriptions of the coming Australian in later chapters. Each of the characters provides a portrait of bush types that Furphy uses to measure the qualities of squatters and others against popular ideas of the 'gentleman'. Furphy's choice of a narrative structure to create a 'loosely federated' series of yarns is itself a critique of popular narratives populated by stock characters who are driven by action that leads to predictable and uncomplicated conclusions. Tom Collins, the unreliable narrator, adds further complications by claiming to 'read men like signboards' while all the time being unknowingly contradicted by circumstances that become obvious to the reader.
In each subsequent chapter Tom Collins leads the reader through a series of experiences chosen from his diaries. In chapter two, Collins meets the boundary rider Rory O'Halloran and his daughter, Mary, a symbol of the coming Australian whose devotion to her father will have tragic consequences in chapter five. There are many links between chapters like this one that remain invisible to Collins, despite his attempts to understand the 'controlling alternatives' that affect our lives. In chapter three Tom loses his clothes crossing the Murray River and spends the night wandering naked until he is able to steal a pair of pants after diverting attention by setting fire to a haystack. In chapter four Collins helps an ailing Warrigal Alf by deceiving several boundary riders who have impounded Alf's bullocks. In chapter five, among other yarns of lost children, Thompson completes the tragic tale of Mary O'Halloran, connecting with the events of chapter two. Chapters six and seven take Tom Collins back to Runnymede Station where he attempts to avoid an unwelcome union with Maud Beaudesart. He also meets the disfigured boundary rider, Nosey Alf, whose life story Furphy has threaded throughout the narrative, signs not perceived by Tom Collins. When Collins returns to Runnymede at the end of the novel, Furphy ties up more loose narrative threads, but Tom Collins, the narrator, remains oblivious to the end.
In short, Such Is Life 'reflects the preoccupations of [the 1890s]: contemporary capitalism, ardent Australian nationalism, the difficulties of pioneering pastoralism, and speculation about a future Australian civilization. It was instantly seen as a major example of the "radical nationalism" of the time and praised for its realistic representation of life on the frontier in the 1880s. But it was forty years before many readers realized that the novel was also a subtle comment on fiction itself and that within it were hidden stories that revealed a world of "romance" within its "realist" representation of life. Such Is Life can be read as the first experimental novel in Australian literature and the first Australian literary expression of a twentieth-century sensibility of the provisionality of life and reality.' (Julian Croft, 'Joseph Furphy.' in Dictionary of Literary Biography Vol. 230.)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2013
'It's hot, dry and sweaty on Ash Road, where Graham, Harry and Wallace are getting their first taste of independence, camping, just the three of them. When they accidentally light a bushfire no one would have guessed how far it would go. All along Ash Road fathers go off to fight the fires and mothers help in the first aid centres. The children of Prescott are left alone, presumed safe, until it's the fire itself that reaches them. These children are forced to face a major crisis with only each other and the two old men left in their care.
'The best selling Ash Road is an action-packed adventure story, so evocative of rural Australia you can taste the Eucalyptus.' (Publication summary : Text Classics)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2013
'Shortlisted for the Booker Prize, this brilliant novel from Madeleine St John, author of The Women in Black, is a comic and tender look at the vicissitudes of love and relationships.
'Nicola should never have stepped out to buy that pack of cigarettes, because the man she discovers in her living room when she returns is not the adorable, straightforward, devoted Jonathan with whom she has been sharing her life.
'That Jonathan would never have unilaterally decided that she should, as he abruptly put it, ‘move out’.
'A shocked Nicola packs her bags and sets out bravely on the bumpy course that will take her from the end of an affair to the essence of the thing.' (Publication summary : Text Classics)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2013
'The wind from Siberia as announced by the BBC came down Bayswater Road from the direction of Marble Arch…Searing skin, and petrifying metal and wood, it took possession of London and this early day of the new year. Gently, somehow sympathetically, with a secret sort of throb, my ears ached against it, but rather more drearily and with a sense of injustice my eyes watered as I narrowed them at the steely dark sky and swirling smoke. The centre of the universe! The brilliance of the winter season!
'Twenty-five-year-old Clemency James has moved from Sydney to a chilly bedsit on the other side of the world. During the day she studies for the bar by correspondence; in the evenings she gives French lessons to earn a meagre wage. When she meets Christian, a charismatic would-be actor, she can see he’s trouble—not least because he’s involved with an older woman who has children. She is drawn to him nonetheless: drawn into his world of unpayable debts and wild promises.
'First published in 1960, The Catherine Wheel is Elizabeth Harrower’s third novel and the only one of her books not set in Australia. In it she turns her unflinching gaze on the grim realities of 1950s London, and the madness that can infect couples.'
Source: Publisher's blurb (Text ed.).
Set in the eccentric backwater of Karakarook, New South Wales, this is the story of Douglas Cheeseman, a shy and clumsy engineer who meets Harley Savage, a woman who is known for being rather large and abrupt. Harley Savage is a plain, rawboned woman, a part-time museum curator and quilting expert with three failed marriages and a heart condition. Douglas Cheeseman is a shy, gawky engineer with jug-handle ears, one marriage gone sour, and a crippling lack of physical courage. Seeming to be incompetent was something Douglas did to protect himself, just as having a "dangerous streak" served the same purpose for Harley. Douglas is there to pull down a quaint old bridge and Harley aims to foster heritage. They are clearly on a collision course - but when they meet they are unaware that something unexpected is going to happen. (Source: Trove)
'Brownie and Lola are young and in love. But the odds—not to mention their mothers, the cops, welfare officers and the stifling conventions of 1950s Brisbane—are against them. When they are forced to face adult responsibilities, will they rise to the challenge, or fall apart?
'The Delinquents, Criena Rohan’s classic novel of rock and roll, youthful rebellion and big dreams, is a love story for the ages.'
Source: Publisher's blurb.
'This was life: no sooner had you built yourself your little raft and felt secure than it came to pieces under you and you were swimming again.
'Born into a world without welcome, Isobel observes it as warily as an alien trying to pass for a native. Her collection of imaginary friends includes the Virgin Mary and Sherlock Holmes. Later she meets Byron, W.H. Auden and T.S. Eliot. Isobel is not so much at ease with the flesh-and-blood people she meets, and least of all with herself, until a lucky encounter and a little detective work reveal her identity and her true situation in life.' (Publication summary)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2014
'Everyone was very casual about it—carefully laconic. For the old soldiers it was another move—there had been plenty like this before—they knew what was coming.
'But the new men could sense the breath of the unknown and mysterious enemy—the shadows of the long green shore—and violence and death they did not know but had often dreamed about.
'Written in 1947 but not published until 1995, John Hepworth's debut novel is a gripping account of Australian soldiers fighting in New Guinea at the end of World War II.
'The product of Hepworth's own experience, The Long Green Shore recounts the lives—and deaths—of a group of soldiers battling the Japanese in the rain-soaked jungle. In sublime prose, it captures the terror and the monotony of war.
'On its publication The Long Green Shore was met with immediate critical acclaim. It was recognised as one of the world's great war novels.' (Text Classics blurb)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2014
'No one had talked about fuel; what was the use of talking, anyway? But they all knew that engines which run on fuel have to run out of fuel sometime, and that the Egret just couldn’t keep on going for ever. They seemed to have been sitting in this plane, imprisoned, for days, waiting to die. Gerald just flew on and on as though he wanted to fly away to another world, almost as though he didn’t want to go down, almost as though he didn’t know how to go down.
When the Egret’s pilot dies suddenly mid-flight six teenagers, the only passengers on board, face a terrifying situation. Gerald has had some flying lessons, but he has never flown alone, and he has never landed a plane. Lost and afraid, they fly on as the fuel gauge drops and night closes in. Will they find a clear landing place? Could they land in the sea? If they do somehow land safely how will they find their way back to civilisation?'
Source: Publisher's blurb (Text Publishing edition).Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2014
'At the outbreak of World War I, Dominic Langton leaves his wife on a remote sheep farm in New South Wales to enlist in the British Army. What he experiences in the trenches changes him forever; his return home sees him cast off his past and find his own integrity. He has seen the true nature of war–the senseless waste of life, the millions of young men condemned to pointless slaughter–and has emerged a wiser, but troubled, man.
'When Blackbirds Sing is a masterful recreation of the vanished world of 1914, and a moving and powerful testament to the devastation of war. In this final instalment of Martin Boyd's celebrated Langton Quartet, Boyd confirms his reputation as one of the most outstanding novelists Australia has ever produced. ' (Publication summary)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2014
'To an Australian writer visiting Heidelberg, the brilliant young philosophy student Wolfi is a compelling character. From the start, the details of Wolfi's life are curious - from his inquisitorial father and passionate mother to the grandmother who pays for his sexual initiation with a prostitute and to his connections with the outlandish rogue Karl.
'As we are lured by Wolfi's obsession into the mysterious and erotic maze of this novel, we find nothing is as it appears.
'What in fact is fact and what in fiction is fiction?' (Publication summary)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2014
'I’m only telling you this to let you know what a silly thing it is to live like I do. What it was, I got sacked from my seventeenth job for fighting or gambling—I don’t know which—and because I was hardly ever there. I was gambling all right, but someone called me a cheat and swung at me, I moved my head and swung back and this kid went in to one of the bosses with blood coming out of his mouth saying I was a standover man.
'The Chantic Bird is the confession of a teenage anarchist, who combines a contempt for contemporary society with a great tenderness and warmth for his younger siblings and for Bee, the girl who looks after them.
'The first of David Ireland’s masterful novels, The Chantic Bird contains the same characteristic indictment of the bovine mindlessness of collective humanity, and the home-owning wage slaves.
‘It has been my aim to take apart, then build up piece by piece, this mosaic of one kind of human life…to remind my present age of its industrial adolescence.’ David Ireland
'This edition of The Chantic Bird comes with a new introduction by Geordie Williamson.' (Text Classic summary)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2015
'Isobel Callaghan is struggling to make a career as a writer in Sydney. She is isolated, poor and hungry, and fears she’s going mad. Leaving her room in a boarding house in search of food, she has a breakdown on the way to the corner shop.
'Waking in hospital, Isobel learns that she will be confined to a sanatorium in the Blue Mountains. There, among the motley assortment of patients, and with the aid of great works of literature, she will confront the horrors of her past. But can she find a way to face the future?
'Confronting and compassionate, profound and funny, the second Isobel Callaghan novel is every bit as brilliant as its much-loved predecessor. It confirmed Amy Witting as one of the finest Australian writers of her time.' (Text Classic summary)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2015
'Late at night Lloyd Fitzherbert, police reporter with the Sydney Gazette, is picked up by his man in CIB for a ‘last-minute job that won’t take a minute’ at the morgue. A body has been found in the harbour. Irma, a beautiful young woman who fled persecution in Nazi Europe, is dead.
'She was Fitzherbert’s lover. And, though the police don’t know it yet, he killed her.
'Gripping and atmospheric, The Refuge is a murderer’s confession—a tale of wartime Sydney, with its paranoia about communism and spies. Kenneth Mackenzie’s last novel is utterly different to his lauded debut, The Young Desire It, yet it shares that book’s psychological acuity and mastery of language.' (Text Classic summary)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2015
'While living in Central Australia Arthur Groom fell under the spell of our harsh and fascinating country, captivated by its limitless distances and unbelievable colour. Hermannsburg, the home of artist Albert Namatjira and of other well-known painters, became Groom’s headquarters, and from there he made numerous expeditions into wilder and more inaccessible regions.
'Travelling on foot with an Indigenous guide and a team of camels, Groom explored the Macdonnell and Krichauff ranges, the desert country past the salty Lake Amadeus, Uluru and the Olgas. Based on the notes and photographs he took as he travelled, I Saw a Strange Land is Groom’s wonderful record of his extensive journey through the heart of our continent—our ‘strange land.’' (Publication summary)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2015
'Fear Drive My Feet is Peter Ryan’s enduring account of his time patrolling isolated regions of New Guinea during World War II.
'Far from his fellow Australians and with Japanese forces closing in around him, the eighteen-year-old Ryan endures the hardships of the jungle, overcoming loneliness, fatigue and fear with quiet courage. He finds beauty in the rugged mountain landscapes of New Guinea, and admires the charm and resourcefulness of its people.
'Rarely out of print in the past four decades, Fear Drive My Feet is a classic memoir of the war in the Pacific, a major work of Australian war literature. For the work he describes in this book, Peter Ryan was awarded the Military Medal and mentioned in dispatches.' (Text Publishing 2015 edition)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2015
'Crispin Clare returns to his ancestral home in Suffolk to recover from a tropical disease he contracted while working in the Pacific. His life is now one of quiet mornings and peaceful afternoons spent in the garden. Suffering physically and psychologically, Clare turns to writing as a source of therapy. Intrigued by the local folklore he re-examines his life and the world around him through myth and legend. Ouija-board conversations, illness-induced fever dreams and strange voices in his head blur the lines between reality and these mythic tales. Clare's road to recovery is full of twists and turns. Weaving old-English legends with contemporary fables, Stow creates an imaginative landscape unlike any other. The Girl Green as Elderflower is an exceptional story of loss and exile.'(Publication summary)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2015
''When a succession of murders shatters the tranquillityof an East Anglian seafaring town, irrational suspicion spreads like a contagious plague. In the murky pubs and on the cobbled street corners gossip is rife. Could Frank de Vere have shot his own wife through the head? Could Greg be the mad-dog killer of his brother?'
Source: Blurb.Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2015
'Once prosperous, the town of Tourmaline in outback Western Australia is dying. The mines are drying up and the land is riddled by drought. Those townspeople left have little to do but wile away the hours with drink.
'Salvation of sorts arrives in the form of Michael Random, a mysterious water diviner who emerges from the desert. As the town's reluctant messiah Random begins to spread the word of Christ. Desperate for a reprieve, many of the locals are drawn to his teachings, but a stubborn few remain sceptical of their new leader.
'A post-apocalyptic parable, Tourmaline is Randolph Stow's most allusive and controversial novel. It remains a landmark in Australian literature more than half a century after its first publication.'
Source: Publisher's blurb (Text Classics).Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2015
'To the Islands concerns the ordeal of Stephen Heriot, an elderly, careworn, and disillusioned Anglican missionary who abandons his mission when he mistakenly believes he has accidentally killed one of his Aboriginal charges in a not entirely unprovoked confrontation. Heriot flees into the desert not to escape justice but to embrace its desolate beauty and its elemental purity as the one objective reality and the one certainty left available to him.
Heriot's flight and his embrace of the desert may be seen as his attempt, as a European Australian, to immerse himself in the landscape, to make himself one with the land. At this realistic level, the novel enacts the ontological and existential dilemma that confronts most — if not all — European Australians, the dilemma that Professor Hassall [in his introduction to the 2002 UQP Australian Authors version] defines as the continuing quest for psychic integration, for reconciliation with indigenous Australians, and with the land itself.'
Wells-Green, James. [Untitled Review.] JAS Review of Books 15 (May 2003)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2015
'Living on the seamier side of New York in 1941, Robert Grant is a middle-aged man to whom life is a game in which he makes his own rules. This is no more evident than in the pursuit of his only hobby: the search for, seduction and betrayal of women. His targets are always 'easy', the cheaper the better. He is constantly on the lookout for a new face, a new phone number, 'a little tea, a little chat'. While Grant gets a certain thrill from his intrigues, he receives little pleasure - and gives none, until he meets Barbara, the 'blondine', a large, goodlooking but sluttish woman of thirty-two. In Barbara, he meets his match. First published in 1948, "A Little Tea, A Little Chat" provides an irresistible, sardonic commentary on men and women on the make whose sexual appetites wickedly mirror the materialism of twentieth-century America.' (Publication summary)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2016
'The Hotel Swiss-Touring is the refuge for a group of cosmopolitan characters who come together in Switzerland after the Second World War. Their object is to conceal themselves from money-hungry governments and hostile master races. But their common purpose doesn't prevent a microcosm of jealousies, spitefulness, vindictiveness and mistrust from developing among the small group, all under the relentless eye of Madame Bonnard. ' (Publication summary)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2016
'A group of Jewish refugees are thrown together on board a dilapidated freighter charting a course for Australia. Fleeing terrible scenes of destruction in Europe, they are bound by a deep sense of loss and the uncertainty of their fate. As the ship lists, inner conflicts burst to the surface and romance, revenge, guilt and desperation fill the craft. There’s poignancy, drama and an abiding strength of humanity as the passengers’ lives play out in this unbearable hinterland between sky and sea.'
Source: Publisher's blurb.Between Sky and Sea Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2016
'In the late afternoon of a day in February, that hottest of Australian summer months, when a brutal sun stood bronze above the river flats which you may see from the dormitory windows of Chatterton, Charles came to the school with his mother, walking from the railway station to the gates by a private path across a burnt, untidy field, overhung with Cape lilacs that still drooped, dusty and melancholy…In the lower part of his belly fear kicked and pulsed like a child in the womb, ready to be born.
'Fifteen-year-old Charles Fox is sent away to boarding school, innocent, alone and afraid. There one of his masters develops an intense attachment to him. But when Charles meets Margaret, a girl staying at a nearby farm for the holidays, he is besotted, and a passionate, unforgettable romance begins. ' (Publication summary : Text Classics)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2016
'Abandoned in a big city at the onset of winter, a hungry four-year-old boy follows a stray dog to her lair. There in the rich smelly darkness, in the rub of hair, claws and teeth, he joins four puppies suckling at their mother's teats. And so begins Romochka's life as a dog.
Weak and hairless, with his useless nose and blunt little teeth, Romochka is ashamed of what a poor dog he makes. But learning how to be something else...that's a skill a human can master. Fortunately - because one day Romochka will have to learn how to be a boy.' (Publisher's Blurb)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2016
'John Egan is a misfit — "a twelve year old in the body of a grown man with the voice of a giant" — who diligently keeps a "log of lies." John's been able to detect lies for as long as he can remember, it's a source of power but also great consternation for a boy so young. With an obsession for the Guinness Book of Records, a keenly inquisitive mind, and a kind of faith, John remains hopeful despite the unfavorable cards life deals him.
'This is one year in a boy's life. On the cusp of adolescence, from his changing voice and body, through to his parents’ difficult travails and the near collapse of his sanity, John is like a tuning fork sensitive to the vibrations within himself and the trouble that this creates for he and his family.
'Carry Me Down is a restrained, emotionally taut, and sometimes outrageously funny portrait whose drama drives toward, but narrowly averts, an unthinkable disaster.' (Publication summary)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2016
'‘I can’t remember exactly when I said that I loved him, but it could have been there in the warehouse, on the far side of the Brooklyn Bridge.‘
'Take Me to Paris, Johnny is John Foster’s moving yet unsentimental account of the life of his partner, Juan Céspedes. It traces Juan’s youth in Cuba and his move to New York, where he struggles to make it as a dancer. There, in 1981—in ‘a chance encounter, much like any other’—he meets John, an Australian historian.
'What begins as just a fling becomes a dazzling six-year affair. The two travel between New York, Berlin and Melbourne, struggling with bureaucracy in their quest to gain Juan residency in Australia, then with the disease taking the lives of gay men around the globe. To the end, Juan—‘an exotic bird, the only one of his kind’ in Melbourne—is captivating, witty, headstrong.
'First published in 1993, not long before John Foster’s death, Take Me to Paris, Johnny is brilliant and unflinching, at once controlled and impassioned: a love story told with humour and unerring skill. This edition includes an introduction by Peter Craven and an expanded biographical portrait of the author by John Rickard.' (Publication summary, 2016 Text Classic)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2016
'Written with unerring skill and insight, The Dyehouse is a masterly portrait of postwar Australia, when industrial work was radically transformed by new technologies and society changed with it. Mena Calthorpe—who herself worked in a textile factory—takes us inside this world, vividly bringing to life the people of an inner-Sydney company in the mid-1950s: the bosses, middlemen and underlings; their dramatic struggles and their loves.
'This powerful and affecting novel was first published in 1961, and is the hundredth book in the Text Classics series. The new edition comes with an introduction by Fiona McFarlane, acclaimed author of The Night Guest.' (Publication summary : Text Classic 2016)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2016
'In The Puzzleheaded Girl, made up of four thematically linked novellas, Stead’s unsurpassable skills of observation and social critique are on full display. ...' (Source: Tet Publishing website)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2016
'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)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2016
'In early 1941 Australian soldiers stormed Italy’s stronghold on the Libyan coast and took control of the port city of Tobruk. Heavily outnumbered, yet resourceful and defiant, the Australians then defended the garrison against sustained attack by German forces. For five months the ‘Rats of Tobruk’ held on, dealing a major blow to the Axis powers’ North African campaign. Tobruk 1941 is the pioneering ABC reporter Chester Wilmot’s on-the-ground account of the siege, a landmark work of war writing.' (Publication summary)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2017
'The Melling sisters and their mother are preparing for a wedding. Cathy is to be bridesmaid and her dress is a thing of awe and beauty, but not in Cathy’s eyes—she hates the idea of being a bridesmaid. Vivienne would love to wear it, and perhaps she will.
'Dresses of Red and Gold, the second book in the Melling Sisters Trilogy, is a warm and humorous story of four sisters—their rivalries and their loyalty and affection—growing up in an Australian country town in the 1940s.' (Publication abstract)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2017
'The Melling family has moved from Wilgawa to the city suburb of Lacey’s Bay. There’s a new school, a new place to live and new friends to make—this is exciting, but also terrifying, especially when the first potential friend Vivienne meets is large, bold and threatening.
'The Sky in Silver Lace is the third and final book in the Melling Sister’s Trilogy, Robin Klein’s humorous and heartwarming tale of four girls—Grace, Heather, Cathy and Vivienne—growing up in the Australia of the 1940s.' (Publication summary)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2017
'Amy Witting was a master of the short story, the genre in which she felt ‘most at home’. Her subjects—childhood and school, marriage and loneliness, the cruelty of men and women—are rendered in a crisp, understated style, at once compassionate and unsentimental. This new selection of twenty pieces from across five decades includes the acclaimed novella-length ‘The Survivors’ and the final appearance of Isobel Callaghan from I for Isobel.' (Publication summary)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2017
'When her husband of three decades announces he has a younger lover and wants a divorce, Ella Ferguson realises how protected her life has been—she has ‘seen no evil, heard no evil and spoken no evil’. Alone, enraged, she must come to terms with her failed marriage and her relationships with her adult children. A Change in the Lighting, Amy Witting’s third novel, is the compelling story of a woman cast adrift.' (Synopsis)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2017
'In The Visit—Amy Witting’s debut novel, first published when she was almost sixty—a group of Bangoree residents gather to read plays by Beckett and Brecht. But their literary pursuits, and their lives, take an unexpected turn after it is revealed that the late Roderick Fitzallan set some of his celebrated love poems in their small country town. Who is the local mystery woman who inspired Fitzallan’s verse all those years ago?' (Synopsis)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2017
'In January of 1788, the First Fleet arrived in New South Wales and a thousand British men and women encountered the people who will be their new neighbours - the beach nomads of Australia. "These people mixed with ours," wrote a British observer soon after the landfall, "and all hands danced together." What followed would determine relations between the peoples for the next two hundred years. Drawing skilfully on first-hand accounts and historical records, Inga Clendinnen reconstructs the complex dance of curiosity, attraction, and mistrust performed by the protagonists of either side. She brings this key chapter in British colonial history brilliantly alive. Then we discover why the dancing stopped...' (Source: Book Depository website)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2017
'Romulus Gaita fled his home in his native Yugoslavia at the age of thirteen, and came to Australia with his young wife Christina and their infant son Raimond soon after the end of World War II.
'Tragic events were to overtake the boy’s life, but Raimond Gaita has an extraordinary story to tell about growing up with his father amid the stony paddocks and flowing grasses of country Australia.
'Written simply and movingly, Romulus, My Father is about how a compassionate and honest man taught his son the meaning of living a decent life. It is about passion, betrayal and madness, about friendship and the joy and dignity of work, about character and fate, affliction and spirituality.'
Source: Publisher's blurb (Text Publishing).Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2017
"Take your seats for the most unusual tennis tournament in the history of the world. Paris has gone crazy, flags and banners are everywhere. Every hotel is booked out. Queues at the stadium are huge, and the worldwide television audience is tipped to be in the billions." "Each nation is fielding its great names: the American team boasts Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Amelia Earhardt and many others, while British stars include PG Wodehouse, Enid Blyton and James Joyce. 'Supertom' Eliot is on sadly indifferent form, 'Because I did not serve too well. / Because I did not serve'. Groucho Marx confuses Heidegger - 'By the third set Marx was running around his backhand. By the fourth set he was running around his accountant. He was trying to get his accountant to run around his backhand when the match finished.' You've never seen anything like it." (Publication summary)
Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2017
'‘So you want to know something about this funny old bowling of mine. Well, there’s nothing to it. It’s really very simple—in fact, at times, I do not know much about it myself.’
'In 1950, aged in his mid-thirties, ‘tall, shy, shambling’ Jack Iverson burst forth from obscurity in suburban Melbourne, ‘bowled like no man before’ and became a national sensation, then faded from view almost as swiftly. He died in obscurity, in tragic circumstances. In the enthralling Mystery Spinner, first published in 1999, one of the world’s best cricket writers goes in search of an enigma: an ordinary man in whom lurked the extraordinary.'
Source: Publisher's blurb (Text Classics)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2018
'Simon and Flora Beaufort have three perfect children and a comfortable, happy life in London. When Flora takes the children for a month-long vacation in France, Simon stays home to work on his latest film project ... what could go wrong?
'A Pure Clear Light examines a marriage at the moment it goes haplessly off-track: Simon succumbs to the temptation of his cool, blonde accountant and Flora heeds the cry of her reawakened faith. Ultimately, though, neither Simon nor Flora can escape the revelation that lies beyond excuses and remorse and candour, at the heart of the phenomenon called love.' (From Text Publishing's website.)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2018
'I told them to go into the scrub and disperse the tribe.
Disperse? That is a strange word. What do you mean by dispersing?
Firing at them.
'Two decades after a massacre of local Aboriginal people, the former residents of a Queensland town have reunited to celebrate the progress and prosperity of their community. Tom Dorahy, returning to his hometown, is having none of it: he wants those responsible to own up to their actions. A reckoning with oppression, guilt and the weight of the past, A Kindness Cup is one of Thea Astley’s greatest achievements.'
Source: Publisher's blurb.Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2018
'Tracing the lead-up to and aftermath of a bloody showdown when the superintendent of a Queensland mission goes on a murderous rampage.
'In 1930 the superintendent of a mission on a Queensland island, driven mad by his wife’s death, goes on a murderous rampage. Fearing for their lives, the other whites arm a young Indigenous man and order him to shoot Uncle Boss dead.
'The Multiple Effects of Rainshadow traces the lead-up to this bloody showdown and the repercussions in the years after - for Aboriginal people and the colonial overseers.' (Publication summary)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2018
'Belle's mother was a drummer in an all-women's group before she turned vegetarian and went to live in a shack in the hills. Her father was a trumpeter Belle met for the first time in a Manhattan jazz bar. She had a husband, too, briefly - an upwardly mobile deputy librarian searching for the perfect sauce.Belle even had a best friend once, whose ebullience was finally subdued in vermouth and leather sofas.Their selves were their centres, and Belle realized she'd have to research much further to find her own ...' (Publication summary)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2018
'In the dying town of Drylands, Janet Deakin sells papers to lonely locals. At night, in her flat above the newsagency, she attempts to write a novel for a world in which no one reads—‘full of people, she envisaged, glaring at a screen that glared glassily back.’ Drylands is the story of the townsfolk’s harsh, violent lives. Trenchant and brilliant, Thea Astley’s final novel is a dark portrait of outback Australia in decline.'
Source: Publisher's blurb (Text ed.)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2018
'Two novellas about the deep connections we forge with the people we love, and the pain of breaking those connections.
'In Honour, Kathleen and Frank are amicably separated, in contact through shared parenting of their young daughter, Flo. But when Frank finds a new partner and wants a divorce, Kathleen is hurt. And Flo can’t understand why they all can’t live together.
'In Other People’s Children, Ruth and Scotty live in a big share house that’s breaking up. Scotty is trying to hold on, remembering the early days of telling life stories and laughter and singing—and when the kids were everyone’s kids. But now the bitterness has crept in and their friendship is broken. Ruth is ready to move on—and she’ll take her kids with her.' (Publication summary)
'On a sultry summer night Murray Whelan is in the Botanical Gardens tasting Salina Fleet's apricot lips. Meanwhile the body of an artist is being fished from the ornamental moat outside the Art Gallery. The papers called it suicide. The police say it's an accident.
'Political minder, brushed-off lover and art buff on the make, Murray goes looking for the big picture. He finds there's more than meets the eye among the self-made millionaires, ruthless culture vultures, and cool operators of Melbourne's art world. He learns that when you dabble with death there's nothing abstract about a loaded gun.
'Murray Whelan, the hero of Stiff, Shane Maloney's brilliant debut novel, is back at his richly futile best. A romantic comedy and drop-dead thriller, The Brush-Off mixes high art with low blows.' (Publication summary)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2018
Kangaroo, set in Australia, is D. H. Lawrence's eighth novel. He wrote the first draft in just forty-five days while living south of Sydney, in 1922, and revised it three months later in New Mexico. The descriptions of the country are among the most vivid and sympathetic ever penned, and the book fuses lightly disguised autobiography with an exploration of political ideas at an immensely personal level. His anxiety about the future of democracy, caught as it was in the turbulent cross currents of fascism and socialism, is only partly appeased by his vision of a new bond of comradeship between men based on their unique separateness. Lawrence's alter ego Richard Somers departs for America to continue his search.Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2018
'[A]n extraordinary and evocative account of the Australian Imperial Force and their achievements, and the first full published account of Australia's role in the Dardanelles campaign.'
Source: Publisher's blurb (Penguin edition).Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2018
'This first volume of Ruth Park’s autobiography is an account of her isolated childhood in the rainforests of New Zealand, her convent education which encouraged her love of words and writing, and the bitter years of the Depression.She then entered the rough-and-tumble world of journalism and began a reluctant correspondence with a young Australian writer.
'In 1942, Park moved to Sydney and married that writer, D’Arcy Niland. There she would write The Harp in the South, the first of her classic Australian novels. A Fence Around the Cuckoo is the story of one of Australia’s best storytellers and how she learnt her craft.'
Source: Publisher's blurb (Text ed.)
'Pat Carson’s old eyes were on me, looking for something.
‘Man is born unto trouble,’ he said.
I said, ‘As the sparks fly upwards.’
Deep lines at the corners of his mouth. ‘Know your Job. Soldier. Policeman. Haven’t been a bloody priest too, have you?’
'Anne Carson: fifteen, beautiful, wayward. Abducted.
'The rich Carsons have closed ranks and summoned Frank Calder, subject to strict instructions. This is not the first kidnapping in the Carson family and hard lessons have been learned.
'But are the two events connected? And is greed the motivation? Revenge? Or could it be something else? To find out, Frank Calder must go beyond his brief.
'And his every step into the darkness may end a girl’s life.'
Source: Publisher's blurb (Text ed.).Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2019
'The writer whom many of the critics call one of the greatest of novelists has here told the story of her own childhood and youth. When Henry (Ethel F. Lindesay Robertson) died she left all but completed a volume of autobiography concerned with her youth in Australia, her subsequent stay in Leipzig and the first years of her intensely happy marriage. Final details were available from the notes and diary of her husband, and these together with an essay on her work are added to complete the book.' (Publication summary)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2019
'After the war is over, a radioactive cloud begins to sweep southwards on the winds, gradually poisoning everything in its path. An American submarine captain is among the survivors left sheltering in Australia, preparing with the locals for the inevitable. Despite his memories of his wife, he becomes close to a young woman struggling to accept the harsh realities of their situation. Then a faint Morse code signal is picked up, transmitting from the United States and the submarine must set sail through the bleak ocean to search for signs of life.'
Source: Publisher's blurb (2009 Vintage ed.).Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2019
'Time Without Clocks is Joan Lindsay’s charming and evocative autobiographical novel. It tells the story of her marriage to Sir Daryl Lindsay, of their life in Melbourne in the twenties and thirties, of their travels in Europe, and above all the gentle world of ‘Mulberry Hill’, a house without clocks.
'Revealed in this delightful reminiscence is Joan Lindsay’s fascination with the ambiguities of time, seen by some as the key to the mysteries of Picnic at Hanging Rock.'
Source: Publisher's blurb (2020 Text ed.).Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2020
In Acland Street, St Kilda, there stands a cafe called Scheherazade and here we meet Avram and Masha, the proprietors of the cafe and hear the tales that they and their fellow storytellers have to offer. Of Moshe stalking the streets of Shanghai and Warsaw, of Laizer imprisoned in the Soviet city of Lvov and of Zalman marooned in Vina and Kobe. And we learn how Avram and Masha met and fell in love and came to create their Melbourne cafe together. (Libraries Australia)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2020
"The narrator of Youth, a student in the South Africa of the 1950s, has long been plotting an escape from his native country: from the stifling love of his mother, from a father whose failures haunt him, and from what he is sure is impending revolution. Studying mathematics, reading poetry, saving money, he tries to ensure that when he arrives in the real world, wherever that may be, he will be prepared to experience life to its full intensity, and transform it into art." "Arriving at last in London, however, he finds neither poetry nor romance. Instead he succumbs to the monotony of life as a computer programmer, from which random, loveless affairs offer no relief. Devoid of inspiration, he stops writing. An awkward colonial, a constitutional outsider, he begins a dark pilgrimage in which he is continually tested and continually found wanting" (Source: Viking publisher's blurb)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2020
'A young English biographer is working on a book about the late writer, John Coetzee. He plans to focus on the years from 1972 - 1977 when Coetzee, in his thirties, is sharing a run-down cottage in the suburbs of Cape Town with his widowed father. This, the biographer senses, is the period when he was finding his feet as a writer. Never having met Coetzee, he embarks on a series of interviews with people who were important to him: a married woman with whom he had an affair, his favourite cousin Margot, a Brazilian dancer whose daughter had English lessons with him, former friends and colleagues. From their testimony emerges a portrait of the young Coetzee as an awkward, bookish individual with little talent for opening himself to others. Within the family he is regarded as an outsider, someone who tried to flee the tribe and has now returned, chastened. His insistence on doing manual work, his long hair and beard, rumours that he writes poetry evoke nothing but suspicion in the South Africa of the time.
Sometimes heartbreaking, often very funny, Summertime shows us a great writer as he limbers up for his task. It completes the majestic trilogy of fictionalised memoir begun with Boyhood and Youth.' (Provided by the publisher.)Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2020
Coetzee has been reluctant to talk about himself. Now, revisiting the South Africa of a half century ago, he writes about his childhood and his own interior life. Boyhood's young narrator grew up in a new development north of Cape Town, tormented by guilt and fear. With a father he did not respect, and a mother he both adored and resented, he led a double life - at school the brilliant and well-behaved student, at home the princely despot, always terrified of losing his mother's love. His first encounters with literature, the awakenings of sexual desire, and a growing awareness of apartheid left him with baffling questions; and only in his love of the veld ("farms are places of freedom, of life") could he find a sense of belonging. Bold and telling, this masterly evocation of a young boy's life is the book Coetzee's many admirers have been waiting for, but never could have expected (Source: Libraries Australia).Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2020