'Life is pretty complicated for Elizabeth Clarry. Her best friend Celia keeps disappearing, her absent father suddenly reappears, and her communication with her mother consists entirely of wacky notes left on the fridge. On top of everything else, because her English teacher wants to rekindle the "Joy of the Envelope," a Complete and Utter Stranger knows more about Elizabeth than anyone else.
'But Elizabeth is on the verge of some major changes. She may lose her best friend, find a wonderful new friend, kiss the sexiest guy alive, and run in a marathon. So much can happen in the time it takes to write a letter... ' (Publication summary)
Based on real life events that occurred in 1931, Rabbit-Proof Fence is the story of three mixed-race Aboriginal children who are forcibly abducted from their mothers by the Western Australian government. Molly (aged fourteen), her sister Daisy (aged eight), and their cousin Gracie (aged ten) are taken from their homes at Jigalong, situated in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, at the orders of the Protector of Aborigines, A.O. Neville, and sent to an institution at Moore River to be educated and trained as domestic servants. After a few days, Molly leads the other two girls in an escape. What ensues is an epic journey that tests the girls' will to survive and their hope of finding the rabbit-proof fence to guide them home.
Although they are pursued by the institution's Aboriginal tracker and the police, Molly knows enough about bush craft to help them hide their tracks. They head east in search of the world's longest fence - built to keep rabbits out - because Molly knows that this will lead them back to Jigalong. Over the course of nine weeks, the girls walk almost 2,400 kilometres before Gracie is captured attempting to catch a train. Molly and Daisy avoid capture but eventually collapse from exhaustion on the saltpans not far from Jigalong. When they wake, they see the spirit bird, an eagle, flying overhead. Its significance gives the girls the extra energy they need and they are able to make it back to their home.
'Nonna Katia, Christina and Josie are three generations of Italian-Australian women living together in a hothouse atmosphere of love, support...and drama on an operatic scale.'
Source: Screen Australia. (Sighted: 23/10/2012)
'Race against Time vigorously and clearly apprehends the facts of mortality while eschewing the conceit of human centrality. Even if hardly prolific, Lee Cataldi is nonetheless one of our wisest and most striking poetic voices, evoking a spontaneous, unforced engagement with life and death'. (McLaren, Greg. 'Race against Time.' Southerly 58.4 (1998): 219.
'Last century Charles Darwin set out on a voyage in the Beagle that would change forever the way human history was viewed. It was on this voyage that Darwin collected the information that gave birth to his controversial Theory of Evolution.
'This is a novel of scientific discovery, of religious faith, of masters and servants, and of the endless wonder of the natural world. But its greatest triumph is Covington himself, the boy who looked up at the beckoning figure of a yellow-haired Christian in the stained glass window in his boyhood church of Bedford, and sought to follow.
'He leaves Bedford as a lad of 13 and goes to sea with the evangelical sailor John Phipps and becomes one of Phipps' 'lads'. But Phipps' catechising can't repress Covington's passage into manhood, nor prevent him chasing the exotic native maidens of Tierra del Fuego. When next he returns to sea it is to serve on the Beagle.
'Mr Darwin's Shooter re-creates the voyage of the Beagle, where Covington spends time exploring – and collecting specimens – inland. And we travel on to the Galapagos Islands, with their huge turtles and armadillos and remarkable finches. Years later, in Sydney's Watson's Bay in beset middle age, Covington awaits the arrival of the first copy of Darwin's The Origin of Species, which contains the scandalous theory of evolution. What part of his life might be in it? What truths may it contain? How can one man absorb the meaning of Creation?' (Publication summary)
'Friendship is a slippery notion. We lose friends as we change and our friends don't, or as we form other alliances, or as we betray our friends or are ourselves betrayed ...
'Alice, Hartley, Mitsy and Jamie are kids growing up in Broome before the Second World War. Their lives, although very different, are bound by friendship. Hartley and Alice Penrose are the children of an uneducated pearling master and a cultivated, disgruntled mother. Mitsy Sennosuke is Japanese, the daughter of Zeke, a diver working for Hartley and Alice's father, and Sadako, who makes soy sauce in a tin shed factory. Jamie Kilian is the son of a local magistrate, recently moved north from the city. Together, they unconsciously cross the boundaries of class and race, as they swim, joke and watch films in the cinema in Sheba Lane.
'But these happy, untroubled times end when lives are lost in a terrible cyclone, Alice falls for a wealthy cattleman pilot, a young woman is assaulted, and Hartley and Jamie compete for the love of Mitsy. The Second World War brings further strain into their lives. The four friends are no longer children but old enough to fight for their country. As Japanese bombs begin to fall like silver rain on northern Australia, loyalties are divided and friendships take on an altogether different form …
'This thrilling and beautifully written new novel from Garry Disher evokes an era of Australia caught up in the events of war and its effects on people torn apart from all they know and hold dear in childhood.' (Source: Publisher's website)
One-woman play, written by and for Leah Purcell, which draws on her experiences growing up, her relationship with her mother, and the contrast between her country upbringing and city life.
'Melbourne writer, criminal lawyer and punk rocker Bram Presser has won three of the 12 categories in the NSW Premier's Literary Awards.'