Cover of Deja Vu

Susan Fraser — Fiction

is an Australian living in France. Her first novel, Déjà Vu, is a beautifully written account of a couple who get another chance at life. The novel opens with Annie and Marc driving through the pouring rain. They are having a row and have decided the best solution would be to separate. When they arrive home they hear their son upstairs on the computer. The door bell rings and the son, Charlie, races downstairs to answer it. A poiceman is standing in the doorway. He tells the boy there has been a car accident and both his parents are dead. And so begins a journey back in time to see if the course of their lives can be changed.
      Susan trained as a lawyer. She taught French and English in Sydney and later in Paris. She now lives in Northern France with her son and her French husband. Déjà Vu has been sold into Germany, Russia and Turkey.


Pamela Freeman — Children’s and young adults fantasy and non-fiction

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Pamela’s new book is Princess Betony and the Unicorn.

Princess Betony’s mother is a dryad, and misses the Wild Magic of the Dark Forest. When the princess sees her mother running into the forest, Betony is worried she will never return.

Humans are forbidden to enter the Forest. Betony doesn’t care. She has to find her mother, no matter what.

But first she must catch a unicorn!


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Her previous book was Ember and Ash:

Cursed by blood, damned with fire…

The Old Ones will have their revenge

Two peoples have been fighting over the same land for a thousand years. Invaders crushed the original inhabitants. and ancient powers have reluctantly given way to newer magics. But Ember was to change all this with a wedding to bind these warring people together until her future goes up in flames. Ember’s husband is murdered by a vengeful Power, who sees peace as a breach of faith. Set on retribution, she enlists the help of Ash, son of a seer. Together they will pit themselves against the Powers of Fire and Ice in a last attempt to end the conflicts that have scarred their past.

They must look to the present, as old furies are waking to violence and are eager to reclaim their people.

 

Praise for Pamela Freeman:

‘There is nothing predictable about Freeman’s storytelling… I was completely hooked’
 — Good Reading Magazine
‘An impressively different fantasy novel’ — Sydney Morning Herald
‘A wonderfully satisfying series’  — Aurealis Xpress

Pamela’s delightful fable Victor’s Quest was shortlisted for The Children’s Book Council of Australia Award in 1996 and The Centre of Magic was shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Award in 2000.
     Allen & Unwin published the Floramonde Trilogy, which consists of The Willow Tree’s Daughter, Windrider and The Centre of Magic. This highly imaginative trilogy has secured Pamela a position as one of Australia’s leading writers of fantasy for children.

Pamela Freeman

Pamela Freeman

     The illustrated fairytale Cherry Blossom and the Golden Bear was released by Omnibus in February 2000. Pamela is also completing a series of titles for Koala Books. Those already published include The Hair of the Skeleton, Scum of the Earth and Trick of the Light.
     A work on the early life of Mary McKillop titled The Black Dress was published by Black Dog Books. It won the 2006 New South Wales Premier’ Prize for History.
     Pamela’s Blood Ties, the first book of her new adult fantasy sequence for adults, The Castings Trilogy, was published in 2007 by Hachette Livre, and Deep Water, the second book, in 2008. The final book Full Circle was published in 2010. The trilogy has also been sold to Orbit in Britain and the US. American film producer John Flavin has recently optioned Blood Ties.

 

Nobel Prize for Literature 2000

Gao Xingjian — Novels, plays (in Chinese and French)

Gao Xingjian

Gao Xingjian

Gao Xingjian was born in China but now lives in France. It was there that his novel La Montagne de L’ame or Soul Mountain was originally published and became a best-seller, going into three editions. Mabel Lee’s English language translation of the novel was first published by HarperCollins Publishers Australia in July 2000 (see below). Mabel Lee is represented by Australian Literary Management, and ALM is the lead agent for the English language translation of Soul Mountain.

You can read the first chapter of Soul Mountain on this website, as well as Mabel’s perceptive and informative Introduction to the book, and the Swedish Academy’s bibliographical note published on the occasion of the 2000 Nobel Prize:

Soul Mountain - Chapter One
Mabel Lee - Introduction to Soul Mountain
Swedish Acedemy - bibliographical note

"On the traveller’s journey to Soul Mountain he visits a nature reserve, listens to toothless old men and women squatting along the river banks, hears atrocious stories which make up the history of the country: women violated by outlaws of the Red Army, women who know how to embroider but who have guns hidden under their clothes, women with flashing eyes hungry for love, young women singing for the festival of the boat dragons, women who threaten their unfaithful lovers with a knife. Portraits of these admirable women punctuate the journey in the form of temptations towards drunkenness, nostalgias and violent sexuality." (Le Figaro, 11/1/96)

Gao’s second novel One Man’s Bible focuses the political horrors of the twentieth century through the lens of desire and memory. It has received rave reviews in the US.
     Gao has also released a beautiful collection of short stories Buying a Fishing Rod for my Grandfather, HarperCollins 2004.
     The Case for Literature, a collection of Gao Xingjian’s essays, including his Nobel Laureate address, was released by HarperCollins Australia in 2006 and has been contracted to Yale University Press.
     ALM represents the English language translations of Gao’s novels internationally.
     Gao Xingjian is also known as a painter with a strong yet subtle style. You can view some of his watercolors on the website of the Art Gallery La Tour des Cardinaux in France, at http://www.cardinaux.com/site_eng/gao_eng.htm


Mabel Lee — Translation from the Chinese

Mabel Lee

Mabel Lee

After a distinguished academic career in South-east Asian studies at Sydney University, Mabel Lee turned to literature.
   HarperCollins Australia published her translation of Soul Mountain in June 2000. It won the NSW Premier’s Prize for Translation in 2001. HarperCollins released Soul Mountain in hardcover in the US and printed 85,000 copies to meet demand in the first two months of publication. HarperCollins UK released their edition early in 2001.
   Mabel’s translation of Gao’s next novel, One Man’s Bible , was published by HarperCollins in the US, UK and Australia in 2002. Buying a Fishing Rod for my Grandfather, a beautiful collection of Gao’s short stories, was translated by Mabel and published by HarperCollins in Australia, the U.K. and the U.S.A. in 2004.
   


Leon Gettler — Organisations Behaving Badly

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Modern corporations, like the mythical hero and king Oedipus Rex, are often afflicted with a refusal to acknowledge the truth. A strange power seems to draw company directors, managers and accountants into a grotesque and deadly dance of collusion and self-deception...

Why else would Arthur Anderson, a venerable but now failed accounting firm whose integrity was once an industry benchmark, happily approve the accounts associated with some of the biggest company disasters the world has ever seen?

How was Hollinger International able to be looted of virtually 440 million US dollars over a seven-year period? Was everyone asleep?

Greed, hidden unconscious forces and disaster!

Combining an understanding of the tragedies of Sophocles with the psychoanalytical insights of Freud and others, journalist Leon Gettler explorers a litany of corporate disasters from the 18th-century South Sea Bubble to the rich stew of present-day scandals.

Published by John Wiley and Sons.


Glenda Guest

Siddon Rock

“… best first book, 2010 Commonwealth Writers Prize”

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When Macha Connor came home from the war she walked into town as naked as the day she was born, except for well-worn and shining boots, a dusty slouch hat, and the .303 rifle she held across her waist.

Macha patrols Siddon Rock by night, watching over the town’s inhabitants: Brigid and Granna and the melancholic men of the Aberline clan; Sybil Barber, scrubbing away at the bloodstains in her father’s butcher shop; the tailor, Alistair Meakins, with his elegant fantasies; Reverend Siggy, afraid of the vast landscape and the district’s strange saltpans; silent Nell with her wild dogs; publican Marge, accompanied as always by her cloud of blue; and the inscrutable new barman, Kelpie Crush.

It is only when refugee Catalin Morningstar and her young son Josis arrive and stir up the town that Macha learns there is nothing she, or anyone, can do to keep the townspeople safe. Siddon Rock is an ordinary outback town made extraordinary by a remarkable new Australian voice.

Glenda Guest

Glenda Guest

In April 2010 Siddon Rock was announced as the winner of the £5000 (A$8,250) best first book award in this year’s Commonwealth Writers Prize. The judges praised Siddon Rock for its rich cast of odd characters and blending of the everyday with fantasy. “Behind every door in town lurk secret desires and wild imaginings. The novel,” they concluded, “deftly delves into the hauntings and disjunctions of settler Australia, and in its fable-like quality captures the laconic mannerisms of the Australian outback.” Guest, whose debut novel has also been longlisted for the Miles Franklin award in Australia, said the award was “verification that this is any good, that I can actually write”. Now in her 60s, Guest said: “Although I started to write late in my life I always knew that I would become a novelist. I am stunned to be receiving this attention which is a huge boost to my confidence and will help me to press on with writing my next novel. This shows that it’s never too late to start a new endeavour”.

Meredith Curnow, publisher of the Vintage imprint at Random House Australia, said the team was “thrilled”. “Particularly so for Glenda whose journey to writing this remarkable book is a tale in itself”.

Siddon Rock has also been shortlisted for the Glenda Adams/ UTS/ Best first novel award and the NSW Premiers Prize.

Glenda Guest grew up in the wheatbelt of Western Australia, and that landscape still influences her writing. Since leaving the west, she has lived in cities and country towns in Victoria, New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory and south-east Queensland, all experiences that add to the richness that writers draw on for their fiction. She is currently living in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney.

 

Hampson Olive Sisters cover

Amanda Hampson — Fiction:

The Olive Sisters
and
Two For the Road

“A moving novel of journeys, family and finding yourself — by an exciting new Australian author.” — Bryce Courtenay

“I open the gate and walk into the field… As the sun pours a river of light down this valley, I realise there are hundreds and hundreds of trees and I’ve seen those silver leaves before, not here in Australia, but shimmering in the groves that grace the terraced hillsides of Tuscany!”

When Adrienne’s marketing company goes down, her lifestyle does too. She retreats from the city to the beautiful, abandoned olive grove once owned by her Italian grandparents. A ‘tree change’ isn’t what Adrienne has in mind, however, and life in the country delivers some surprises as she confronts the past and learns the secrets of the Olive Sisters… Old loves, new loves, warm toast and rich traditions are all part of the delicious blend of this absorbing story.

You can read an excerpt from the book on Amanda’s Internet site at http://www.amandahampson.com/, as well as a Q&A with Amanda, and a discussion for reading groups.

The Olive Sisters was published by Penguin in 2006 and has been contracted to Heyne in Germany.

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Two For the Road

When Cassie Munrow fled her hometown of Bilkara to follow the charismatic Dan to the other side of the world, she never expected to return. Now, devastated by revelations of Dan’s betrayal and the news of a brutal attack on her father, she returns home with nothing left to lose.

Against her better judgement, she finds herself battling to save the family business. In the midst of her struggle, Cassie is reunited with her first love, Mack, who forces her to confront a guilty secret and the tragic past they share.

 

Christine Harris — Young adults, illustrated children’s books, public speaking

Christine Harris, 2008

Christine Harris, 2008


Christine is a prolific and popular author for young readers. Her young adult novel, Foreign Devil(Random House, 1999), won an Aurealis award for best novel in the horror genre.

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Random House published her collection of witty anecdotes Oddballs in 1998 and have also recently released Warped, a bizarre collection of short stories. An illustrated book I Don’t Want to go to School, with Craig Smith, was released by Random in January 2000 and has proved very popular.



Her new book is Raven Lucas 1: Missing.

Raven Lucas appears to have everything.

But something is missing from her life. Her father. He has disappeared, suddenly, mysteriously, with no words of goodbye. Has he simply left his family and didn’t have the courage to explain why? Is he dead, either by his own hand or another’s?

Has he been kidnapped? But why has there been no ransom demand? Raven is determined to find out what happened to him. Even if it kills her.

And it just might.

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The Little Book of Elephants was published in March 2000 by Hodder Headline, who have also published a three-book series, Brain Drain, Windbag and Psycho Gran. Christine’s other titles include Hairy Legs, Sleeping In and Jamil’s Shadow. Christine’s series Spy Girl, made up of four volumes, has been published by Scholastic in Australia, Britain, the US, Japan and Brazil.

Christine’s latest series, Audrey of the Outback, has been published by Little Hare. The first volume has been short-listed for the year’s Children’s Book Council awards. The second volume, Audrey Goes to Town, was followed by Audrey’s Big Secret.

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Her new book: Raven Lucas 2: Dead Wrong

Raven Lucas is searching for her missing dad, Elliott. But the clues don't add up and Raven knows now that her father had dangerous enemies.
      A journalist with a grudge, a relentless relative, kidnapping, and a mysterious car crash add to the threats. Raven needs all of her courage and ingenuity to follow the trail where it leads. Especially when any step could be dead wrong.

“believable and engaging… a high-tension storyline, full of surprises… a strong new series” – Australian Bookseller and Publisher

Australian/New Zealand Rights: Scholastic/Omnibus

You can visit Christine Harris’s website at: www.christineharris.com.au

 

Vicki Hastrich — Novels

Vicki Hastrich

Vicki Hastrich

A new author with a great gift for humour and characterisation. Vicki’s novel, Swimming with the Jellyfish, evokes an Australian country town through the eyes of an eccentric woman, still coming to terms with the disappearance of her mother twenty years ago. The novel has a fantastic cast of characters: the pale, body-pierced librarian; the retired football hero with an interest in local history; and the socialite wife who escapes the seaside town for night-time window shopping in the city. A fresh, original voice, filled with wonderful ironic touches. Swimming with the Jellyfish was published by Simon & Schuster Australia in 2001.
     Her second novel, The Great Arch, was inspired by real people and events involving the construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge which began in the 1920s. The Reverend Ralph Cage becomes obsessed. He sets out to minutely chronicle the building of the great arch and to draw himself into the orbit of its human and spiritual grandeur. But Ralph is tragically ill-equipped for his own mighty task. A social bungler, and helpless when confronted by the demands of everyday, Ralph presides ineptly over his diminishing parish, finds himself in trouble with church authorities, and struggles to meet the needs of his long-suffering wife Stella and their four children. As the Bridge rises up to loom over their parish, and the great Depression takes its toll on their lives, Ralph’s parishioners live an altogether different life than that promised by Ralph’s idyll.
      This ambitious novel is a deeply, moving and emotional journey. Vicki Hastrich’s language is surprising and rich, the writing energetic and compelling, and her characters are funny, heartbreaking and human in a way that is truly memorable.


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M.J. Hearle: Winter’s Light

BLAKE IS GONE.

He sacrificed himself to save Winter, leaving her alone, unprotected… hunted.
      An ancient enemy is rising, but Winter is no longer the innocent girl who was fated to die at Pilgrim’s Lament. She will not wait to be saved. She will do what she must to survive, even accept an unsavoury alliance with those who destroyed her love.
      In the gathering darkness, the enemy of an enemy is not always a friend, and Winter must find the strength to stand alone and fight for the one she loves. For she is the key to unlocking the secrets beyond the veil of shadows.
      And she is Blake’s only hope.

The spellbinding sequel to Winter’s Shadow.

‘Dark and haunting. A stunning tale of love, loss and hope that kept me reading well into the night.’
JESSICA SHIRVINGTON

Australian / New Zealand Rights: Pan Macmillan Australia


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Annette Henderson

Wild Spirit

How a year in the African rainforest
changed an Australian woman's life

This well-written memoir tells how a country captures a woman’s heart. It describes anthropologist Annette Henderson’s time in the mountainous forests of Gabon, West Africa, living among gorillas, and the events that change her own life and the lives of some of the world’s most magnificent animals. The book was published in 2009 by Random House.

There was no precedent in my life for this moment. I was approaching an eight year old male gorilla who had never seen me before. He already had the strength of several men. All I had to rely on was Hugo’s assurance that he was gentle. In seconds, I took in everything about him: his round-topped head, not yet mature enough to have the sagittal crest that would mark him as a mature male; the leathery texture of his fingers and face; the pushed in shape of his nostrils; the cleanness of his thick black hair, and the intensity of his gaze. His body language conveyed a deep calmness. His movements were relaxed and deliberate. He was not afraid — so, taking my cue from him — nor was I.

This is just one of the life-changing African experiences which would resonate with her for all time — “the day I looked into Ikata’s eyes and glimpsed eternity.”

Annette Henderson with young gorilla

Annette is a committed conservationist. Her articles on Australian birds and reptiles have appeared in Wildlife Australia Magazine. Annette and her husband share seven acres of bushland near Brisbane with koalas, wallabies, powerful owls, over 100 species of native birds and their dog Bentleigh. She is a classically trained singer, enjoys regular workouts at the gym, and runs half marathons.

Aust/NZ Rights: Random House Australia.


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Sally Henderson

When an elephant saved Sally Henderson’s life in Botswana, it was to change her irrevocably. A passion to conserve this majestic species was ignited, and in 1990 she left Australia to join an elephant research project in the wilds of Zimbabwe. What follows is a remarkable journey into the world of Africa’s elephants, and a deeply personal memoir of one woman’s awakening and the choices she makes to follow her calling. Sally paints a rare and unforgettable portrait of a herd and its matriarchs, and the perils they face in an unforgiving landscape further torn apart by civil strife.

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But it is the daily pleasures of being in their mighty presence that gives her story its countless wonders. Beautifully written, Silent Footsteps is a love letter to the spirit of Africa and a jubilant portrayal of the lives of elephants.

Silent Footsteps has sold to Limes/Blanvalet in Germany.
Rights in UK and US territories are available.

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Sally Henderson’s long love affair with Africa and its elephants was brought to life in the bestselling Silent Footsteps. Her new book Ivory Moon continues that affair in one of the most inhospitable landscapes on the planet…

When Sally and her husband Jer volunteer to run a remote safari camp in the parched Namib Desert where existence depends on the life-giving fog from the Skeleton Coast, she has no idea if it is heaven or hell that awaits her. Sally is tested by the camp staff, who come from many different tribes, and challenged by the intractable men’s men who make Africa their hunting ground.

Vivid and immediate, Sally’s depiction of the wildlife that rules Africa is unparalleled. Ivory Moon takes us into the heart of a strange desert world where nothing is as it seems.


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Karen Hitchcock — fiction

Fresh and new and full of shocking beauty, Karen Hitchcock’s debut collection of thirteen short stories Little White Slips was published by Pan MacMillan in 2010 and has been shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Literary Award (Glenda Adams Award for new writing) and for the Dobbie Award for a first published work by a woman author of fiction or non-fiction classifiable as “life writing”, part of the Nita B. Kibble Literary Awards.
      Karen’s stories are painful to read in their honesty, and yet they are also at times hilarious and crazy. The narrative moves at an exhilarating pace and just when you think it will spin out, deftly turns a corner and becomes quietly gratifying and beautiful.

Karen Hitchcock

Karen Hitchcock

Karen is a medical registrar at the John Hunter Hospital and a lecturer in Medicine at the University of Newcastle, and has also completed her PhD in English/Creative Writing at the University of Newcastle. Her intelligent, wry and frequently surprising stories often draw on her background as a doctor, giving her work idiosyncratic insights that make for compelling reading.

Karen is currently working on a novel that is set in an inner suburb of a large city, to be completed in 2010.

Australia and New Zealand rights: Pan Macmillan


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Sarah Hopkins

Sarah Hopkins has worked in the area of social justice and prisoner rights for 15 years. She is currently working as a lawyer with the Aboriginal Legal Service in Sydney.

Billy Fish is granted parole. After serving three years for a violent robbery he walks out of the prison gates. His life has revolved around drugs, crime and custody, while his sister Rose has lived a structured existence working and caring for her son. When Rose's life unravels after a tragic accident, it is up to Billy to leave his crimes behind him and to find the strength to save his sister.

World rights: ABC Books

 
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Her new novel Speak to Me was released by Penguin in May 2010.

Michael, a psychiatrist, is trying to put his life together after a brain tumour. His lawyer wife Elizabeth is wrestling with her new role as breadwinner. Their children are acting out the chaos their parents refuse to confront. This is the story of a troubled daughter who cannot talk to her mother, a mother who does not know how to listen, a father who listens but cannot see, and a son who will only talk to God. Over the course of one week, events will threaten to tear this family apart — but also bring them from the brink of darkness towards a kind of redemption. From one of Australia’s most acclaimed new novelists, Speak to Me is a compelling tale of love, loss and survival.

 

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Lyn Hughes — Novels

Lyn’s fourth novel, Flock (HarperCollins Australia), takes as its background the world of wallpaper, as it interweaves the story of the talented Sprigge family with that of four young conservators who come together to restore an historic house and find themselves in turn restored. Flock ranges freely between the French Revolution, Victorian England and the Blue Mountains as it explores the nature of love and the joys and challenges of living a creative life. The book was published in March 2011.

Photo of Lyn Hughes by Graham McCarter

Photo of Lyn Hughes by Graham McCarter


Lyn’s earlier novel The Bright House (Random House, 2000) is set in South Africa, and explores the devastation caused by a passion that crosses the borders of racial segregation and the trauma following the stillbirth of a child.

Born in Wales in 1952, Lyn spent eighteen years in South Africa before settling in Australia in 1982. Her first two novels were The Factory(1990), shortlisted for the National Book Council’s New Writers’ Award, and One-Way Mirrors (1993).

You can visit her web site here: http://www.lynhughes.com.au/.

 

John Hunt: Princess: The Miss Andretti Story

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This is the true rags-to-riches story of Miss Andretti, the horse from nowhere, bred from nothing, who cost nothing, who was originally trained by a nobody and yet conquered the racing world to become the greatest thoroughbred sprinter on earth. It is also the story of David Mueller, a rough-around-the-edges country boy whose mediocre career belied his burgeoning talent. In Miss Andretti he finds his muse and with the help of veteran trainer Lee Freedman and jockey Craig Newitt, the mare soars: five-time Group 1 champion, simultaneous holder of five track records, Australian Horse of the Year 2007 and more.

But as his ‘Princess’ rises to superstardom, Mueller’s marriage becomes strained and his daughter, chronically ill, faces death. Will he win all only to lose all? This lyrical, heart-wrenching saga will please both horseracing fanatics and newcomers alike and is sure to become a classic. It is not just a story ― it is a legend.

Author John Hunt

John Hunt

The author: Born in 1957, John Hunt became a broadcaster of thoroughbred racing, harness racing and greyhounds. For the last twenty years he was the West’s principle harness racing commentator and heard throughout Australia and in the USA. John also hosted radio sports shows and wrote and narrated numerous radio, television and DVD horse industry documentaries, accruing a plethora of awards, one of which was worldwide. He still works part-time as a voice-over professional.

John Hunt retired recently at age fifty-one, for the specific purpose of writing books.

 

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Scribe Publications

Neil James: Modern Manglish


‘It’s dog eat dog in this rat race’
‘We’ll burn that bridge when we come to it.’
‘I hope to come first or second, or at least win it.’

The information superhighway brings more text to our door than ever before. It’s just that most of it gets mangled along the way. Twenty years ago, Harold Scruby’s Manglish became an instant bestseller. This version expands on the consummate mangles of the original, with all-new Scrubyisms and recent classics from the shame files of the Plain English Foundation.

Modern Manglish explores the traditional linguistic traps of mixed metaphors and mispronunciation, new words and old cliches, and euphemisms, tautologies, and jargon. It also exposes the latest Manglish in serially offending professions such as politics, business, and the law.

Alongside these are the newest contenders for the Manglish crown, ranging from sports talk to silly signs, and from food speak to fancy-pants job titles. For your delectation — and perhaps chagrin — here are the worst excesses of Manglish, illustrated by Australia’s premier editorial cartoonist, Alan Moir.

Neil James completed a doctorate in English while working as an editor and a book reviewer. In 2003, Neil established the Plain English Foundation with Dr Peta Spear to improve the quality of Australian public language. The foundation has since trained some 10,000 professional people. The latest of his three books is Writing at Work, and he has published more than 60 articles, reviews, and essays on language and literature.

During Harold Scruby’s 25 years in the rag trade, he wrote two books: Waynespeak and Manglish. He spent eight years on Mosman Council as a councillor and dep­uty mayor.He is the executive director of Ausflag Limited, which wants the jack removed from the Australian flag. His favourite quip is one of Jerry Seinfeld’s: ‘I love the Australian flag… Britain at night.’

Alan Moir has been an editorial cartoonist for The Bulletin, The Courier-Mail and The Sydney Morning Herald. He has won the Stanley Award for Editorial Cartoonist of the Year six times, as well as the Walkley Award for Excellence in Journalism in 2000 and 2006.

Neil James

Writing at Work

Here Neil James talks about his book Writing at Work:
‘As someone with a love of words, I have an ideal job: I spend my days helping professionals to improve their workplace writing. This can be confronting because it usually means using a simpler and less formal style. Many professionals feel that this will diminish their status or the technical content, but they are delighted to discover that the opposite usually happens… We have so much work ahead of us, which is partly why I decided to write the book Writing at Work… Like many people, I had to make up for being part of the grammar-less generation. We stopped teaching grammar in the Australian school system for 20 years. This was a great mistake… Because writing is such a threshold skill, this is now affecting their careers. I’d also like to see civic rhetoric — the art of speaking and writing effectively and persuasively — restored to the curriculum. This is the classic craft of communication that was tossed out over 100 years ago, having been at the heart of education for centuries.’


Cover of Not Happy, John

Margo Kingston — Journalism and non-fiction

Margo is a Canberra-based journalist for the Sydney Morning Herald. Her personal account of Pauline Hanson’s 1998 election campaign, Off the Rails, was published by Allen and Unwin in 1999 and won the Dobbie Award for the most outstanding first book by a female author. Margot’s analysis of the Howard Government, Not Happy, John!, was published by Penguin in 2004 and went straight to the best-seller lists.

 

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Anne Kennedy

The Last Days of the National Costume

Anne Kennedy is a New Zealand author. Her first novel was an experimental work titled 100 Traditional Smiles (Victoria University Press 1988). She then went on to write Musica Ficta (UQP 1993) and A Boy and His Uncle (Picador Australia 1998). Her most recent work was the screenplay for The Monkey’s Mask, a highly successful film based on Dorothy Porter’s verse novel. Anne is also a well known and award winning poet.

Her new novel is The Last Days of the National Costume which is about illicit love, sewing, blackouts and Belfast. It is narrated by GoGo Sligo, who is one of the funniest, wisest observers of all time — with a unique and spellbinding voice.

In a minute she’d beg me to do anything I could to save the garment. That’s what they always did. Begged and pleaded. There was usually a lover involved, and a cheated-upon spouse. I, as the mender, would be saving their life. People had actually said I was worth my weight in gold…

But it wasn’t my skill the clients were grateful for. No. It was my collusion. What lies are worth: their weight in gold.

As GoGo listens and sews, she is also helping her fellow citizens cheat and lie to their husbands and wives. She’s covering their tracks so they won’t be found out.

A five-week blackout affects the city of Auckland and brings a drama to her doorstep. A lover, a wife, and finally the cheating husband all come to claim a vintage Irish costume that GoGo’s been mending. She can’t resist being drawn into the enticing web of the guilty husband’s deceit, into his story of heartbreak and death on the streets of Belfast.

When Jane Palfreyman (Allen and Unwin ) put in her bid for the book she wrote: “I was so thrilled to discover the genius of Anne Kennedy. What a fabulous writer she is and what a wise and compelling novel she has written. GoGo Sligo is the kind of irresistible character you can’t bear to say goodbye to. What a gorgeous, brilliant novel it is, and I’m sure it will have a very long life and become dear to many, many readers.”

Rights: US; UK/Translation: c/- Wenona Byrne at http://www.allenandunwin.com/.

 

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Malcolm Knox

Never a Gentlemen’s Game

Most people think of the early days of Test cricket as a time of gentlemanly competition and camaraderie, when any disputes were settled over a glass of port. But that wasn’t the case. Cricket in the early years was fraught with often violent Australian-English rivalry, gambling, match-fixing, cheating and bitter politics. It was cricket in the raw.
      Full of colourful characters and with a genuine affection for the legends of the day — players like WG Grace, Fred Spofforth and Victor Trumper are among those finely drawn by Malcolm Knox — Never a Gentlemen’s Game brings to life the crusades against chucking; the short and often tragic lives of many of the early Test cricketers; the riots on the field, and fisticuffs behind the scenes; and the lust for money on all sides.
      It was a time when the rules were still evolving, and the shape and form of modern cricket was being cast.

World Rights: Hardie Grant

Malcolm Knox

Malcolm Knox

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Malcolm Knox — Fiction, non-fiction, journalism

One of Australia’s most highly acclaimed and versatile writers, Malcolm Knox has published many books. The former literary editor of The Sydney Morning Herald, Malcolm won a Walkley award in 2004 for the exposé of fraudulent author Norma Khouri. He was runner up for Journalist of the Year 2004.

Bradman’s War told how the 1948 invincibles turned the cricket pitch into a battlefield. The Australian and English Test cricketers who fought and survived together in World War II came home knowing the difference between sport and war. They planned to resume the Ashes in a new spirit of friendship. Australia’s legendary captain had something else in mind.

World Rights: Penguin Australia

 
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The Life

He looked into the Pacific and the Pacific looked back into him.
    Now bloated and paranoid, former champion surfer and legend Dennis Keith is holed up in a retirement village, shuffling to the shop for an ice lolly every day, barely existing behind his aviator sunnies and crazy OCD rules, and trying not to think about the waves he’d made his own and the breaks he once ruled like a god.
    Years before he’d been robbed of the world title that had his name on it — and then drugs, his family and the disappearance of his girlfriend had done the rest.
    Out of the blue, a young would-be biographer comes knocking and stirs up memories he thought he’d buried. It takes Dennis a while to realise that she’s not there to write his story at all.

book cover

Australian edition cover

‘For many years now when asked which are the contemporary Australian writers I admire, Malcolm Knox is always one of the first I name. His new novel, The Life, is alternately evocative and lacerating, tender and unflinching, a gloriously honest, brutal and moving story of a man who was at the top of his game and then pissed it all away. The voice in this novel is urgent, the pace propulsive and the experience of reading it is thrilling. This is the work of a master storyteller and writer, the work of someone who deeply cares and is committed to language. This is a book from someone at the top of their game. The Life is wonderful, and Malcolm Knox is one of the best novelists writing in the world today. That’s not opinion, that’s fact.’ — Christos Tsiolkas

‘Funny, heartbreaking and humane, The Life confirms what the Literary Review has known all along — Knox is, quite simply a fabulous writer’.’

Malcolm Knox is the author of eleven previous books including the novels Summerland, Adult Book, winner of a Ned Kelly Award, and Jamaica, winner of the Colin Roderick Award. His nonfiction books include Secrets of the Jury Room and Scattered: The Inside Story of Ice in Australia. Formerly literary editor of The Sydney Morning Herald, he has twice won Walkley awards for journalism and been runner-up for the Australian Journalist of the Year award. He lives in Sydney with his wife and two children.
The Life has been published by Allen and Unwin in Australia and Allen and Unwin/ Atlantic Books in the UK.

Jamaica, cover image

Malcolm was named as one of 2001’s Best Young Novelists by the Sydney Morning Herald for his first novel, Summerland, which was published by Random House in 2004 and sold into the U.K. and U.S.A by Picador. It was published in Germany, Italy, Argentina and The Netherlands.
Malcolm’s third novel, Jamaica, was published by Random House Australia in 2007.

The liveliest pages of this novel — and there are many — chart the absurd, sometimes terrifying adventures of these not-so-innocents abroad… His journalist’s ear, eye and attention to detail have stood him in good stead… The account of the great race and its unexpected aftermath is a tour-de-force. — Andrew Riemer, SMH, August 31, 2007, on Jamaica

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“As a remembrance of things past, Knox’s novel is exquisite, blending a lyricism and exuberance of language with subtle undertones that point towards the denouement… Summerland works on many levels and Knox is, quite simply, a fabulous writer.”  — Literary Review, UK

“This is one of the most intense depictions of family love and strife in Australian fiction (think Christina Stead)… The book is a dark, exacting triumph.”  — The Bulletin on A Private Man

Scattered, the terrifying story of ‘ice’ or “speed” in Australia, was published by Allen and Unwin in 2008.


Susan Kurosowa — Travel and fiction

Photo of Susan Kurosawa

Susan Kurosawa

Coronation Talkies: cover

Susan is an award-winning travel editor and columnist in The Australian newspaper. Her debut novel Coronation Talkies was published by Penguin in 2004.
      This is a rollicking romp of a story set in India and featuring the indefatigable Mrs Banerjee, whose obsession with the glamorous age of Hollywood has left her just a little divorced from the real world. A hilarious over-the-top novel, full of lies, lust and seduction, that will entrance all those who are familiar with the British Raj. A UK edition will be released in 2007.
      Susan is currrently working on a sequel to this book, which is also contracted to Penguin.

Rights available: US and translation.



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