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Henry Reynolds & Marilyn Lake – Non-fiction, Australian history

Melbourne University Press have published a book on race titled Drawing the Global Colour Line,, by two of Australia’s most respected historians. World rights, excluding Aust/NZ, have been contracted to Cambridge University Press.

Drawing the Global Colour Line has won two Australian national history prizes: the Queensland Premier’s History Prize (awarded at the 2008 Queensland Writers’ Festival) and the Ernest Scott prize for the most distinguished book in Australian and New Zealand History presented at the annual conference of the Australian Historical Association on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland in 2009. This last is perhaps Australia’s most prestigious history prize, as it is because judged by peers.


Andrew Riemer — Memoirs, translation, essays on cultural topics

Andrew Riemer

Andrew Riemer

A scholar, essayist and cultural journalist, Andrew was born in Budapest and arrived in Australia in 1947. The first volume of his memoirs, Inside Outside — Life Between Two Worlds, won the NSW Ethnic Affairs Commission Prize in 1992. This was followed by The Habsburg Café (1992); America with Subtitles (1995); and Sandstone Gothic (1998). In his latest book, Between the Fish and the Mudcake, he reminisces on writers, books, food, music and places.
      Andrew’s biography of Robert Hughes, Hughes: End of Modernism, was published by Duffy & Snellgrove in 2001.
      He has recently turned to the translation of French literature. His translation of Ce Que Racontait by Catherine Rey was published by Giramondo.
      A new non-fiction title, My Family’s History of Smoking, was published by Melbourne University Press in 2008.


Mark Roeder: Economic analysis

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This book will change how you think the world works

Recent discoveries by economists and scientists suggest that momentum exerts a far stronger influence on our world than previously assumed — and that its impact is increasing. The integration of communications, technology and markets has accelerated the velocity at which events unfold, and generates momentum on a massive scale.

In The Big Mo Mark Roeder tells the fascinating story of how and why people become swept along by this momentum, which then takes on a life of its own. He argues that Big Mo was the real driver of the recent global financial crisis, and that this mysterious force is also at work in spheres as diverse as the media, religion, politics and the environment.

Mark Roeder

Mark Roeder

This timely and provocative book charts the rise of Big Mo. Drawing on the latest research and real-life examples, it shows how easily people and organisations can succumb to the flow, and discusses how we can deal with it.

The Big Mo is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the new dynamics that are reshaping our world.

Mark Roeder is an author, cultural commentator and corporate executive. He was global head of advertising at UBS, one of the largest banks in the world. Currentlv he works with David Hale Global Economics and lives in Sydney and Zurich.


Leigh Sales — Journalism, non-fiction

Detainee 002: The Case of David Hicks

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Leigh Sales is the ABC’s National Security Correspondent. She visited Guantanamo Bay twice during her recent four-year posting as the network’s Washington correspondent. In 2005, she won a prestigious Walkley Award for her coverage of the Guantanamo military commissions and was nominated again in 2006 for her reporting of Hurricane Katrina.

Detainee 002 is a chilling reminder that, in a war with ever-changing rules and no end in sight, there are no limits. If you care about the Australia you live in, you must read this book.

Leigh’s most recent title is Doubt, a substantial essay published by Melbourne University Press in their essay series.

“This is the story that Canberra didn’t want us to know —
it is scrupulously fair and a brilliant yarn.”  — Ray Martin

In a remote American military base at Guantanamo Bay, 385 enemy combatants sit waiting for their day in court. Among them is David Hicks, who was detained for five years until the March 2007 hearing where he pleaded guilty to the charge of providing material support for terrorism.

Photo: Leigh Sales

Detainee 002 reveals in unprecedented detail how an Australian citizen wound up in the War on Terror. Based on more than five years of reporting and dozens of interviews with insiders, Leigh Sales explains the intricacies of Hicks’s case, from his capture in Afghanistan, to life in Guantanamo Bay, to the behind-the-scene establishment and workings of the military commissions.

Leigh Sales’ impeccable research takes us from top-secret negotiations at the White House and Pentagon to the domestic fallout Hicks’s incarceration has had on his family, to the campaign that Major Michael Mori, the marine who becomes his greatest advocate, waged on his behalf.

David Hicks’s case is emblematic of some of the greatest challenges facing the world today: the rise of Islamic extremism, terrorism and the accountability of governments towards their citizens. It is a chilling reminder that, in a war with ever-changing rules and no end in sight, there are no limits.

Published by Melbourne University Publishing. Photo: Leigh Sales.


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Barbara Santich: Cuisine

In Bold Palates, Professor Barbara Santich describes how, from earliest colonial days, Australian cooks have improvised and invented, transforming and ‘Australianising’ foods and recipes from other countries, along the way laying the foundations of a distinctive food culture. What makes the Australian barbecue characteristically Australian? Why are pumpkin scones an Australian icon? How did eating lamb become a patriotic gesture?

Bold Palates is lovingly researched and extensively illustrated. Barbara Santich helps us to a deeper understanding of Australian identity by examining the way we eat. Not simply a gastronomic history, her book is also a history of Australia and Australians.

Barbara Santich

Barbara Santich

‘Australia’s leading culinary historian… both a scholar and passionate practitioner of food writing.’  — Professor Donna Lee Brien, Central Queensland University

Barbara Santich is an internationally acknowledged authority on food history. Her book Looking for Flavour won the Food Media Club’s best softcover food-related book in 1996 and is a teaching text in Australian and New Zealand universities. In 2001 In the Land of the Magic Pudding: A Gastronomic Miscellany was a finalist in both the World Food Media Awards and the World Cookbookfair Awards. Barbara Santich teaches courses in food writing and food history and culture at the University of Adelaide.

Australian / New Zealand Rights: Wakefield Press.


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Margaret Simons — Novels, journalism

Journalism at the Crossroads

Our mainstream press is in crisis, and the future of journalism is uncertain. In response to plunging sales and profitability, and an inexorable increase in online and social-media platforms, the Fairfax and News Limited organisations have embarked on major cost-cutting and restructuring exercises. Hundreds of journalists’ jobs will be shed, printing plants will close, and The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald — our formerly iconic broadsheet dailies — will soon be downsized to a tabloid format. Meanwhile, a corporate predator is hunting Fairfax, and News Corporation internationally is splitting its newspaper operations from its much more lucrative entertainment businesses.

In Journalism at the Crossroads, journalist, educator, and media commentator Dr Margaret Simons explores these challenges, and discusses the opportunities they might represent. Simons considers the role of the journalist in this new media landscape, why we still need quality news reporting, how new technologies can enhance traditional reporting, ways in which journalists and citizens can work together to break stories, and how media organisations can reinvigorate their newsrooms by engaging directly with the community.

The imperative to think about new ways of journalism has arrived, and it is time for all of us — citizens and journalists alike — to become involved in this vital debate.

World rights: Scribe

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Malcolm Fraser: The Political Memoirs by Malcolm Fraser and Margaret Simons has won the Book of the Year award in the 2011 New South Wales Premiers’ awards

Her first novel The Ruthless Garden won the Angus and Robertson Bookworld prize for new novelists in 1993. Her last novel was The Truth Teller. A collection of her gardening columns, titled Wheelbarrows, was published by New Holland in 1999.
    Margaret’s investigate book on the inner workings of the parliamentary press gallery in Canberra, Fit to Print, was released in 1999 by UNSW Press.
    In 2003 Hodder Headline released The Meeting of the Waters: Secret Women’s Business
    Australia is the world’s oldest continent. The Murray is its longest river. The Meeting of the Waters is the story of what happened at the mouth of the Murray, when modern western European culture met older indigenous ways in a dispute about the building of a bridge. This is a story — part investigative journalism, part spiritual journey — about conflicting narratives of the land, and the fragility of European attempts to belong in the so-called ‘new world’.
    Margaret’s most recent title is Resurrection in a Bucket, a book on the philosophy and implications of composting, published by Allen & Unwin.
    Margaret has also completed a Quarterly Essay for Black Inc. on Mark Latham.
    Her biography of Malcolm Fraser was published by Melbourne University Press in 2010 and won the Book of the Year award in the 2011 New South Wales Premiers’ awards.


Jo Spurrier: Fantasy

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Original, dramatic and unputdownable, Winter Be My Shield is the first in an epic fantasy trilogy from brilliant new Australian talent Jo Spurrier.

Sierra has a despised and forbidden gift — she raises power from the suffering of others. Enslaved by the king’s torturer, Sierra escapes, barely keeping ahead of Rasten, the man sent to hunt her down. Then she falls in with dangerous company: the fugitive Prince Cammarian and his crippled foster-brother, Isidro.

But Rasten is not the only enemy hunting them in the frozen north and as Sierra’s new allies struggle to identify friend from foe, Rasten approaches her with a plan to kill the master they both abhor.

Sierra is forced to decide what price she is willing to pay for her freedom and her life…

Jo Spurrier was born in 1980 and has a Bachelor of Science, but turned to writing because people tend to get upset when scientists make things up. Her interests include knitting, spinning, cooking and research. She lives in Adelaide and spends a lot of time daydreaming about snow.

Australian and New Zealand Rights: Harper Voyager


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Laurie Stiller — Children’s fiction

In 1997 Random House published Laurie’s first children’s book Charlie Carver Stacks It! with brilliant illustrations by Jeff Raglus. The sequel, Packing it!, was released by Hodder Headline in February 2000. His illustrated children’s book Princess Max was released in 2000 by Random.


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Susan Swingler: The House of Fiction:
       Leonard, Susan and Elizabeth Jolley

One daughter, two wives, and the man they all loved...

The House of Fiction is a memoir about a daughter’s quest for her absent father. It sheds a new and surprising light on one of Australia's most important writers — and the complex fabrications Elizabeth Jolley spun in her personal life across time.

Leonard Jolley and Monica Knight

Leonard Jolley and Monica Knight

Susan Swingler was born in Birmingham, UK, and lives in rural Gloucestershire. Her jobs have ranged from freelance photographer to gardener, university lecturer to curator and researcher. She and her husband travel widely and have made regular visits to Australia since the late 1970s.


Horses racing

Helen Thomas – Non Fiction

Helen Thomas has worked as a journalist for more than thirty years in both radio and print, and is an experienced presenter and producer. She is the manager of ABC NewsRadio as well as being a thoroughbred horse breeder and racehorse owner.

Helen’s great passion is for horses and racing and this has spawned a number of highly successful and entertaining books on the subject. Past the Post: What Great Horses do When they Leave the Race Track – ABC Books 2004. A Horse Called Mighty – Random House 2007. 42 Days at the Races – Allen and Unwin 2008.

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As a youngster, So You Think caught the eye of Australia’s legendary trainer Bart Cummings.

He liked the future he saw in his gangly frame, and So You Think soon captivated Australasia with his brilliance, strength and rockstar good looks. At just his fifth race start, he led all the way to win the prestigious W. S. Cox Plate. A year later, he became the only horse to win the race as a three- and four-year-old.

So You Think was so good, in fact, the racing world took notice — with breeding giant Coolmore eventually making an offer too big to refuse. But in a move that stunned his fans, the sale saw the horse transferred from Bart’s stable in Melbourne to Aidan O’Brien’s famous yard in Ireland.

Now retired to stud, he is the most successful Australasian thoroughbred to grace the international stage, racing in six different countries for a final tally often Group One victories, five in each hemisphere.

But wherever he goes, and whatever he achieves as a stallion, So You Think will always be the horse that Bart built.



Life With Rosie

She was born in the wind, on a farm not too far from home, and on an unusually warm Sunday morning. In no time at all, we saw that this was a foal who wouldn’t need much nudging, or urging, or hurrying along.

Within half an hour, she was up and tottering across the straw on unsteady pirate’s legs, making her way straight for the safety webbing, even before she had taken her first all-important gulp of milk. Her already steady gaze taking in her new world.

And so life with Rosie began.

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Helen Thomas has long had a passion for racehorses. As a teenager, her first high school overlooked Melbourne’s most picturesque racecourse; she clipped tales of racing courage from the newspapers and dreamed of being part of the racing world. When she finally becomes the proud owner of Poetic Waters, the broodmare repays her leap of faith with a little foal called Rosie. A foal Helen hopes will one day make the grade as a racehorse.

But it’s a tough, winding road from paddock to track and, despite the attention of stellar trainer Robbie Griffiths, Rosie’s trek is marked by frustration as mutch as triumph.

Life with Rosie charts the blossoming of a young thoroughbred — and Helen’s rite of passage as one of thousands of owners across Australia hoping that all the hard work, and just a little bit of luck, will lead her horse to racetrack success.


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Jared Thomas — Young Adults

Dallas is angry when he has to visit his family’s land instead of going to the footy. Then he learns just how important his knowledge of the land is...

“Alright, we’ll go find a bull ants’ nest and an old fire pit. Get your torches out, guys, and let’s look!”
“A bull ants’ nest?” said Christopher.
“A fire pit?” asked Nicole.
“Yeah, that’s what we need,” I said.
I guessed I must have sounded crazy.

Jared Thomas is a Nukunu person of the Southern Flinders Ranges who grew up in Port Augusta. Jared lectures communication and literature at the University of South Australia. Dallas Davis, the Scientist and the City Kids is based on the way his family works with many people, including scientists, to protect Nukunu traditional lands.

Jared has had novels and short stories published and plays produced, including in Kenya and Uganda. He is passionate about making reading, writing and learning fun for young people.

Rights: Australia and New Zealand: Oxford University Press


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Christie Thompson: fiction

Goon of Fortune is one of those games that people cracked out at parties when everyone is already too maggot to realise what a pointless game it is. A bunch of people circle the Hills Hoist and you peg a bladder of cheap wine to the line. People take turns spinning the clothes line and whoever the wine sack lands in front of has to scull for five seconds! ”

Jez is seventeen and lives with her alcoholic single mum in a government rental in Canberra’s outer suburbs, with little money or future prospects. As well as suffering from terminal boredom, Jez has got epic First World Problems: where is her next pill coming from, what will her first tattoo be, and how will she ever lose her virginity?

Recently Jez has been having weird feelings about her best friend, emo kid Lukey—is she just bored or does she really want him? And if she makes a move on him (how to make a move on him?), will that endanger their friendship? So when effervescent hipster Melbournite Laura moves to town and starts macking on with Lukey, what is Jez to do but seek guidance from sexually experienced next-door-neighbour stripper, Casey? At the same time, Jez’s mum hooks up with a local bartender, placing a strain on their already fragile relationship.

Christie Thompson

Christie Thompson

Over the course of one blazing summer, Jez runs a gauntlet of new experiences and discovers the real meaning of home. Filled with humour, brilliant observations and raw revelations, Snake Bite is a contemporary Puberty Blues, the coming-of-age story of a wild teenager in a Canberra you never dreamed existed. It will sink its fangs into you, inject you with its intoxicating venom, and never let you go.

‘There is a rush to reading this novel of suburban youth. The language has a ferocious energy; there is a real kick to it.’ – Christos Tsiolkas, author of The Slap

World Rights: Allen and Unwin


Peter Timms — Non-fiction, memoir, art writing

Peter Timms

Peter Timms

Peter was for many years the editor of the journal Art Monthly. In 1986 Oxford University Press published his definitive volume Australian Studio Pottery and China Painting.
    Peter compiled an anthology of essays on gardening titled The Nature of Gardens, released by Allen & Unwin in 1999.

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    Among the contributors to this lively and unique collection are Marion Halligan, Margaret Scott, George Sedden and Alan Saunders.
    His next book, Making Nature, combines personal memoir and natural history to explore Thoreau’s conviction that the whole world can be revealed in our own backyard. It was published by Allen & Unwin in 2001.
    What’s Wrong With Contemporary Art was published by the University of New South Wales Press in 2004.
    Australia’s Quarter Acre: The Story of the Ordinary Suburban Garden was published by Melbourne University Press in 2006, and Private Lives: Australian at Home Since Federation was published in 2008.
    In 2008 Peter completed a book on history of Hobart, In Search of Hobart, for the University of New South Wales Press.



Andrew Tink — Non Fiction

Following eight years at the Bar, Andrew Tink spent nineteen years in the New South Wales Parliament, including eleven as a Shadow Minister and three as Shadow Leader of the House. After stepping down in 2007, Andrew became a Visiting Fellow at Macquarie University’s Law School, where he concentrates on his writing.

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Air Disaster Canberra:
The Plane Crash that Destroyed a Government

At 11am on August 13, 1940, with Australia having been at war for almost a year, a dual-controlled Hudson bomber, the A16-97, crashed into a hillside near Canberra airport.

In what is still Canberra’s worst disaster in terms of loss of life, all ten aboard died, including the chief of the general staff, Cyril Brudenell White, and three of Robert Gordon Menzies’ closest cabinet supporters: minister for the army Geoffrey Street, minister for air James Fairbairn and information minister Henry Gullett.

Perhaps the luckiest federal parliamentarian at the time was the minister for commerce, George McLeay, who had been offered a seat on the Hudson but turned it down. However, unlike the other three politicians, McLeay was neither a member of Menzies’ inner war cabinet nor one of the prime minister’s trusted friends.

“Since turning to writing, Andrew Tink, a former NSW Liberal MP, has produced two well-received biographies: William Charles Wentworth: Australia’s Greatest Native Son and Lord Sydney: The Life and Times of Tommy Townshend. In this important new book he explains in detail how the loss of Street, Fairbairn and Gullett destabilised the Menzies wartime government and how, as a direct but delayed consequence, Labor leader John Curtin became prime minister in October 1941… Air Disaster Canberra, a fascinating, well written and thoroughly researched book, provides convincing evidence, at least to this reviewer, that at the time of the crash it was Fairbairn — an accomplished pilot but with no direct experience of Hudson bombers — who was flying the plane.” — Ross Fitzgerald, The Australian.

NewSouth, 309pp, $45 (HB)

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I signify to your Lordships His Majesty’s Pleasure, that you do forthwith take such Measures as may be necessary for providing a proper number of vessels for the conveyance of 750 Convicts to Botany Bay ...

Just who was the man whose name is proudly borne by Australia’s oldest city, and by another city in Canada? When the British cabinet accepted his recommendation to send convicts to Botany Bay, Lord Sydney, as secretary of state, instructed the Treasury ‘forthwith’ to provide for the First Fleet.
      A John Bull figure, full of bumptious ambition and self-confidence, Sydney had a remarkable political career, largely in opposition. He had sympathised with rebellious American colonists while holding true to British interests, and in 1782 he led in settling the peace between Americans and Britons. As a peer he chose the name Sydney for his barony in memory of his distant uncle Algernon Sidney, beheaded in 1683 for writing ‘the people of England... may change or take away kings’. This very fine biography is a story to savour.

Australian Scholarly Publishing, 2011

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Andrew’s biography of William Charles Wentworth, his first published manuscript, will be released by Allen & Unwin in 2009. This is the story of the man Manning Clark described as ‘Australia’s greatest native son’. Best known as one of the first Europeans to cross the Blue Mountains, Wentworth led a life full of firsts. One of the first born Australians of European parents, the first Australian author to be published and co-founder of Australia’s first independent newspaper, Wentworth gave the colonists an Australian voice. One of Australia’s first barristers who fought for trial by jury, for the first Parliament in Australia and for self-government in an Act the British called ‘a legislative declaration of independence’ Wentworth was a physical and intellectual giant.

Ruthless when it suited him, he purchased the South Island of New Zealand for a pittance until a furious Governor made him give it back. With his rough charm, colonial cunning and English education, Wentworth was equally at ease addressing a rowdy meeting of ex-convicts as he was lobbying Ministers in the corridors of Whitehall. The son of a convict mother and a father who was the black sheep of a family which included a British Prime Minister, Wentworth was the first Parliament’s undoubted leader. More than once in his fight for self government, Wentworth threatened to block the Governor’s budget until the British Government gave in. Almost half a century before the Commonwealth was created, Wentworth led the fight for an inter-colonial legislature. Indeed Henry Parkes, the ‘Father of Federation’, later acknowledged Wentworth as his inspiration. Despite his achievements and his volcanic personality which was capable of deceiving friend and foe alike, this is the first comprehensive biography of Wentworth to be published.

John Tranter, Sydney, 2009, photo by Anders Hallengren

John Tranter, Sydney, 2009, photo by Anders Hallengren

John Tranter — Poetry, reviews

‘Tranter may now be Australia’s most important poet.’

US Publishers Weekly            

John has published more than twenty books, including the Penguin Book of Modern Australian Poetry (1992), co-edited with Philip Mead. He is the founding editor of the internationally popular literary quarterly Jacket, free on the Internet at

John recently edited the 2011 annual anthology of recent Australian poems for Black Inc Books. Here’s part of his introduction:

Each year (since 2003) Black Inc. has asked Australian poets to submit a selection of their work for this anthology. This year it was my turn to read through the two to three thousand poems that were sent in and choose the best.

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I’m not sure that we can trust the word ‘best’ when we’re talking about poetry — there are so many different kinds of poetry, from Homer to rock and roll, and then there are millions of readers with their individual tastes and prejudices — but in any case I chose a little over a hundred of what I felt were the most vigorous, varied and interesting poems for this book.…
      …what a rich, strange and diverse lot these poems turned out to be. Look at this list below, a gathering of some of the brightest images, transformations and unbelievable events that litter this collection. I suspect that these strange and potent imaginings can only have come into existence as fragments of dreams or nightmares…:

Bent hot-dogs talk to strangers. Still, the oak trees flower above us, a canopy of lust; an academic scholar talks about whoring his mind, a poetry editor apologises for not accepting a sentimental poem about a lost ant, a well-known fiction writer snoozes on the sofa, an empty brandy bottle in her lap, Boofhead’s Egyptian style of ambulation and a vast mural of Fred and Wilma are discussed, mothers wonder how tiger snakes got into the linen cupboards, an unknown baby skeleton, a word in Arabic that means a tree that befriends doomed travellers, the irony of green rain, the devil on holiday in Tasmania, Picasso’s one red eye, Ezra Pound’s brilliant rottenness, the Master of Stomachs, a skyscraper as a babel of crockery, dawn as the clock-face of the heavens, the feedback loop of amazing grace and dead birds, phantoms on the home stretch, a woman who’s doing the accounts with one hand and killing a snake with another while she gets an armful of wood…

…enjoy these fragments of dream-work, as Freud called it. And when you wake up tomorrow, if you’re lucky, you’ll have some dream-work of your own to think about.

Here is a link to Black Inc’s Internet page for the book: [»»]

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In 2010 British critic Rod Mengham compiled a collection of a dozen essays from critics in Britain, the US and Australia: The Salt Companion to John Tranter (Cambridge: Salt Publications, 2010.) The blurb says:

“The essays published here focus on key works in Tranter’s career to date, emphasising the importance of his work as editor as well as poet, both in an Australian and in an international context. They include close readings of poems that illustrate the formal range of his work, assess the reception of his books in the context of his perceived role as symbolic representative of an urban, cosmopolitan, tradition in Australian culture, and provide fresh interpretations of his relationships with English, French and American literature.”

You can read the Preface here, on John Tranter's own internet site.

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John’s 2006 collection of poems, Urban Myths: 210 Poems: New and Selected, won:

No other collection of poetry has been so widely popular with the judges of so many different awards.

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His latest book is Starlight: 150 Poems (UQP, 2010). In 2011 it was awarded the Age Book of the Year award for poetry, and the Queensland Premier’s Prize for poetry. No other Australian writer has ever won six major awards for literature in five years.

Reading the 150 poems in this collection is to spend time in the company of a writer steeped (well-versed?) in the work of other poets, and able to assume different narrative voices at will. There are poems inspired by the French poet Baudelaire, American John Ashbery and T S Eliot. Infiltrating his work is a dry, laconic wit and a rich understanding of culture and history. In my opinion, Starlight saves the best till last. A particular pleasure was the lively sequence ‘At the Movies’, which ruminates on films of the past, and Tranter’s updated response to Baudelaire’s celebrated Les Fleurs du mal, which is every bit as wicked and visceral as the original.

 — Andrew Wilkins, Bookseller+Publisher

The Australian Poetry Resources Internet Library (APRIL) project, which John Tranter founded in 2004, has been funded with a major Linkage Grant from the Australian Research Council. Professor Elizabeth Webby and Creagh Cole, from the University of Sydney, in association with CAL (the Copyright Agency Limited), head a team of researchers building a wide-ranging library of resources on the Internet. You can check its progress here:


You can visit a homepage for John Tranter’s writing at a new, permanent address:, where you can read more than a thousand pages of poems, interviews, book reviews (including dozens of reviews of John’s various books), a biography and a bibliography, and links to dozens of other sites on the Internet that relate to his writing.


Kirsten Tranter: fiction

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They were originally five. Elliot. Brian. Tallis. Cameron. And Dylan — charismatic Dylan — the mediator, the leader, the man each one turned to in a time of crisis. Five close friends, bonded in college, still coming together for their annual trip to Las Vegas. This year they are four. Four friends, sharing a common loss: Dylan’s tragic death. A common loss that, upon their arrival in Vegas, will bring with it a common threat: one that will make them question who their departed friend really was, and whether he is even worthy of their grief.

A Common Loss is Kirsten Tranter’s follow-up to her critically acclaimed debut, The Legacy. Yet again, Tranter’s weave of watertight prose and literary sensibilities shows her to be a born writer with a precocious control of storytelling and style.

A Common Loss: Fourth Estate / HarperCollins

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The Legacy explores the complex workings of love and friendship, and asks whether it is possible to escape or to transform our scripted fate. Julia Alpers, a young woman from Sydney, travels to New York in August 2002 at the request of her friend Ralph to search for answers about their friend, his cousin Ingrid. Ingrid inherited a fortune when she was twenty-one and married Gil Grey, a charismatic dealer in the New York art world with a teenage daughter, Fleur, a child art prodigy. Ingrid has been missing since September 11, 2001, presumed dead in the destruction of the Twin Towers.

In New York, Julia is drawn into the networks of power and deception that characterize the underside of the art and academic worlds. As she grows closer to unearthing the disturbing truth about Ingrid’s life and death Julia is forced to confront her own conflicted feelings about her former friends, and make choices about how to shape her own future. A literary mystery, The Legacy reshapes the plot of Henry James’ novel The Portrait of a Lady into a study of ambivalence and desire, loss and possibility.

“Ingrid’s New York life unravels in a satisfying mystery, yet The Legacy is much more sophisticated than a typical genre novel. Tranter’s characters are well-written, her prose sophisticated and rich (but never heavy handed, despite many literary references), and self-conscious in the right moments so that it never dips into cliché. This is the most satisfying novel I’ve read all year. I can’t wait to see what she does next.” – Hannah Francis, Australian Bookseller and Publisher

The Legacy was placed on the long list for the Miles Franklin Prize.

Follow Kirsten’s internet diary:

Kirsten Tranter

Kirsten Tranter

Kirsten Tranter recently completed a PhD in English (on English Renaissance poetry) at Rutgers University and has been based in New York and Sydney for the past ten years. This is her first novel.

“An intelligent and engaging novel that is dense, intricate, detailed and acutely observed and beautifully written in a voice that is measured and consistent from start to finish.”

 — Debra Adelaide, author of The Household Guide to Dying.

Australia/New Zealand rights: Harper Collins Australia
World rights other than Australia/New Zealand rights: Simon and Schuster
US: The Legacy will be published in the US under the Atria inprint in 2010
UK: Quercus will publish The Legacy in the UK in 2011.


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Peter Twohig — The Cartographer

Melbourne, 1959. An 11-year-old boy witnesses a murder as he spies through the window of a strange house. God, whom he no longer counts as a friend, obviously has a pretty screwed-up sense of humour: just one year before, the boy had looked on helplessly as his twin brother, Tom, suffered a violent death.

Now, having been seen by the angry murderer, he is a kid on the run. With only a shady grandfather, a professional standover man and an incongruous local couple as adult mentors, he takes refuge in the dark drains and grimy tunnels beneath the city, transforming himself into a series of superheroes and creating a rather unreliable map to plot out places where he is unlikely to cross paths with the bogeyman.

A bold, captivating and outrageously funny novel about a boy who refuses to give in and the numerous shifty, dodgy and downright malicious bastards he has to contend with on his grand adventure of loss and discovery, The Cartographer is an astounding, fresh and unforgettably poignant novel you’d be a mug to miss!

Peter Twohig was born in Melbourne in 1948 and grew up in Richmond and Dandenong. He survived a Catholic education, and worked in the Australian Public Service until 1992. He then moved to Sydney to become a naturopath and homoeopath. He has degrees in philosophy and complementary medicine. The Cartographer is his first novel.

Australia / New Zealand rights held by Harper Collins/Fourth Estate
Overseas rights available through ALM


Julienne van Loon — Fiction, essays

Julienne was the Winner of the 2004 Vogel Award. Her novel Road Story was released in 2005. In 2006 she completed a new novel Backtracking, set in and around Port Hedland in the inhospitable far North of Australia. This book was published by Allen & Unwin in 2008.


Michael Wagner

Michael Wagner

Michael Wagner — Young Readers

A prolific children’s author whose Maxx Rumble footy series has garnered a large fan base among young boys.

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A recent book: Ted Goes Wild, illustrated by Tom Jellett:

Fully equipped, superbly trained and afraid of nothing (well, almost), Ted has dedicated his life to saving and serving others. But will his rescue mission to the Wild Forest knock the stuffing out of him once and for all? And will he ever return to his loving owner, Oliver? Warm-hearted, thrilling and delightfully silly, this magical-adventure series will captivate young readers.

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Michael’s latest book: Ted Gets Lost, illustrated by Tom Jellett:

“Life’s no Picnic for this Teddy Bear!”

With only a day until Mum’s birthday, finding the best present ever seems impossible. But nothing’s impossible for Oliver’s fully-equipped and superbly trained stuffed friend, Ted. Finding treasure on a desert island — easy!

But will Ted survive crash-landing on a whale’s blowhole, swimming through a swarm of stingers and battling a blood-thirsty band of pirates? Or will the little guy end up marooned forever?

Warm-hearted, thrilling and delightfully silly, this magical adventure series will captivate young readers.

You can check out Michael’s new Web site here:


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Mark Wakely — Dream Home: Houses and the Imagination

Our homes occupy a central place in our imaginations. At the end of the day, they are where we cocoon ourselves and allow ourselves to dream.
    Mark Wakely takes the reader on a wonderful ride between womb and tomb as he looks at what our homes mean to us at different stages of our lives. Dream Home is a book for anyone who’s ever made a house a home, and for all readers who question the notion of home. It is a book of universal appeal with numerous international references.

Mark Wakely — Sweet Sorrow: a beginner’s guide to death

Sweet Sorrow: cover image

Mark’s new book is remarkable: at times heart-breaking, at times humorous, it is dazzling for its profound honesty. Like most of us, Mark Wakely had always put death in the too-hard basket. He was curiously distanced from his own parents’ deaths. Thirty years later, he went on a journey to confront one of the most intensely personal yet universal experiences: our own mortality. With Mark as our guide, we are introduced to morticians and embalmers, rabbis and doctors, coffin makers and gravediggers. He reveals the fashions and the fads, the rituals and the deep emotion in a heartfelt and whimsical investigation into this timeless subject.
Mark Wakely is a Sydney-based writer, and a journalist with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Radio National.


Murray Waldren — Non-fiction

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Christopher O’Doherty, aka Reg Mombassa, has infiltrated our culture for more than thirty years with a unique, laconic view of our world ... and of his. His wit, sense of mischief and larrikin energy resonated in the songs and performances of one of Australia’s most beloved bands, Mental As Anything. His eye for the absurd and his unapologetic idealism captured another generation or three with his irreverent, frequently macabre and always distinctive designs for the original Mambo label.

Yet long before he became a Mental or transformed shirts into collector’s items, Mombassa was first and foremost an artist. From his idiosyncratic pop art to the delicately realised fine art landscapes and images that celebrate and elevate the suburban, his artworks are sought by collectors around the world. Who else could stage the biggest one-man art show in history at the Sydney Olympics? Who else could have Elvis Costello producing his records, or Johnny Rotten and Crowded House seeking his record cover designs?

Mombassa artwork: Wolves

But there is much more to Reg Mombassa, as fellow New Zealand-born writer and painter Murray Waldren shows in this illuminated journey, illustrated with over 300 artworks, photographs, posters and band memorabilia.

Murray Waldren

Murray Waldren

Murray Waldren’s other books: Dining Out With Mr Lunch, a collection of literary profiles, was published by the University of Queensland Press in 1999.

His analytical feature on the Moran trial, A Family Act, was shortlisted for a Walkley Award.

He then went on to write a book on the turbulent Moran family, Moran v Moran, which was published by HarperCollins Australia in 2001.


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Christine Wallace — Political and cultural journalism

Christine is a Canberra press gallery journalist of long standing. Her controversial biography of Germaine Greer, The Untamed Shrew, was published in 1997 in Australia and was released in the USA and the UK.

    Her latest title, The Private Don, based on a series of revealing letters by the normally reticent cricketer Sir Donald Bradman, was released by Allen & Unwin in late 2004.
    Christine is currently working on a biography of Julia Gillard, contracted to Allen & Unwin.


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Amanda Webster: Non-fiction

Do boys get anorexia?

People were often surprised when Amanda Webster told them her son Riche was not just a bit too skinny, but dangerously ill. Then they would ask, ‘How did he get it?’

That was the question Amanda asked herself. She had trained as a doctor. She knew that every disease has a cause. And if her eleven-year-old son had an eating disorder, surely the cause must be something she and her husband Kevin had done— or failed to do?

Quick to blame both Kevin and herself, worried about how her two other children were coping, Amanda also found herself at odds with a medical establishment that barely understood Riche’s illness, far less how to treat it. And as she embarked on the long, agonising process of saving her son’s life she found herself battling not just Riche’s demons but her own.

Amanda Webster, photo Karl Schwerdtfeger

Amanda Webster, photo Karl Schwerdtfeger

Amanda Webster grew up in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia.

She graduated from the University of Western Australia as a doctor, but left medicine to raise a family with her husband. Amanda turned to writing after her son’s illness; subsequently her work has appeared in several US literary journals. Amanda lives in Sydney with her husband and two of her three children.

World rights: Text Publishing


Paula Weston: Shadows

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It’s almost a year since Gaby Winters watched her twin brother die.
In the sunshine of a new town her body has healed, but her grief is raw and constant. It doesn’t help that every night in her dreams she fights and kills hell-beasts.
And then Rafa comes to town and tells her things about her brother and her life that cannot be true, things that are dangerous.

Who is Rafa?
Who are the Rephaim?
And who is Gaby?
The truth lies in the shadows of her nightmares.

Paula Weston lives in Brisbane with her husband, a retired greyhound and a moody cockateil. She reads widely, and is addicted to paranormal stories. Shadows, book one of the Raphaim series, is her first novel.

World Rights: Text Publishing


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