Ross Coulthart

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‘It’ s a treasure trove. It’ s previously unknown, candid images of our troops just out of the line. Men with the fear and experiences of battle written on their faces.’
— General Sir Peter Cosgrove

Investigative journalist Ross Coulthart, joint winner of the Prime Minister’ s Prize for Australian History 2015, brings together stunning images of Western Front diggers and the amazing stories behind them.

A trove of portraits taken in the tiny French town of Vignacourt just behind the frontlines was found a century later in an ancient metal chest in a French farmhouse.

The collection of detailed glass plates has been hailed as one of the most important First World War discoveries ever made. Haunting images show diggers enjoying a brief respite from the horror of the trenches: having their portraits taken for a lark, for a keepsake or to send to loved ones. For all too many, this would be their only memorial, and to gaze into the eyes of these men is to meet a lost generation.

This fully revised and expanded paperback edition (though warning: it’s large and heavy!) offers a wealth of fresh information including more soldiers newly identified with the aid of their families.

‘These stunning black and white photographs stand as mute, yet eloquent, witness to the courage of soldiers and the horror of war… Remarkably informative, beautifully illustrated and thoroughly researched…’
— Ross Fitzgerald, Sydney Morning Herald

Just released in Britain: The Lost Tommies
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An ancient metal chest in a French farmhouse. A treasure trove of previously unknown, candid photographs of troops just out of the line, many gathered for the Battle of the Somme…
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One of the most important First World War discoveries ever made. A glorious companion to The Lost Diggers: the book that made Ross Coulthart’s name. The Lost Tommies is now at the top of Amazon’s Historial #1 on Amazon.co.uk historical biographies! And here’s part of the Sunday Times (London) notice: ‘But most of what is said about those we euphemistically call “the fallen” seems hollow when placed in proximity to this book. “We will remember them”, for example, is clearly false. They have vanished like melted snow, and but for this astonishing cache of pictures, we should not even know how they once looked. Whatever ideas you have about the Great War, The Lost Tommies will change them.’
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Ross Coulhart (left) looks at the Thullier plates, watched by (L to R) Laurent Mirouze, Christian Thullier and Peter Burness (photo courtesy Brendan Harvey.)
Ross Coulhart (left) looks at the Thullier plates, watched by (L to R) Laurent Mirouze, Christian Thullier and Peter Burness (photo courtesy Brendan Harvey.)


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Stop Press: Sixty Minutes journalist Ross Coulthart had shared top prize in the history category at the Prime Minister’s literary awards for his investigative biography of one of Australia’s greatest war correspondents, Charles Bean. Ross shared the prize with David Horner, who wrote an unofficial history of ASIO called The Spy Catchers.

On the eve of the centenary of the Gallipoli campaign comes a long overdue new biography of this iconic Australian war correspondent, C E W Bean. Charles Bean’s wartime reports and photographs mythologised the Australian soldier and spawned the notion that the Anzacs achieved something nation defining on the shores of Gallipoli and the battlefields of western Europe. But did Bean tell the whole story of what he knew? In this new biography, Ross Coulthart explores not only the veracity of Bean’s post-war official history but also how closely his actual experience from his diaries and other first-hand accounts compares with what he actually wrote as a journalist during the conflict. Publisher: HarperCollins Australia.
Rights: World

coulthart-diggers-cvrThe Lost Diggers

“A fascinating and important record of First World War history. There’s an intimacy about these photographs I’ve never seen before… it’s like looking back into time, looking into the eyes of men who’ve just been in battle.” — Australian War Memorial historian and First World War expert Peter Burness. Publisher: HarperCollins Australia.
Rights: World

Catherine Cole

cathy-cole-2013-lores-1Catherine Cole’ new novel is titled The Cyclist, and is being considered by publishers.

Catherine Cole is Professor of Creative Writing, Creative Arts, University of Wollongong. She has published the novels The Grave at Thu Le, Skin Deep and Dry Dock, a memoir about A.D. Hope titled The Poet Who Forgot, and the non-fiction book Private Dicks and Feisty Chicks, an interrogation of crime fiction.

She also edited The Perfume River: Writing from Vietnam and Fashion in Fiction with Karaminas and McNeil. Her short fiction and poetry have appeared in national journals and collections including Best Australian Stories.

She has been a member of the Australian Research Council’s ERA committee for Humanities and Creative Arts, has judged some of Australia’s leading literary awards, and has received international writing residencies in Paris and Hanoi.

Rights: various

Dany Chouet with Trish Hobbs: So French

so-french-cvrPérigord-born Dany Chouet brought French cuisine to Australia in the 1970s, starting out at the much-loved restaurant “Upstairs”, before flying solo at “Au Chabrol” and “Cleopatra”.

Now, in her first book, So French, Dany shares the fascinating story of her life in food and hospitality as well as more than 60 recipes. These include signature dishes from her restaurants and timeless provincial favourites such as pissaladière, cassoulet, and apricot soufflé tart. Complemented by stunning images taken at her home in the South-West of France, this is truly a book to treasure.

Dany’s memoir/ cookbook begins its journey around Bordeaux in the fifties with a picture of a childhood in provincial France filled with tradition and the memories of a way of life which has largely disappeared. From Bordeaux she travelled to Paris and then on to Australia. Dany started up the first real French bistro in Sydney in 1970 called “Upstairs”. The more chic “Au Chabrol” followed in Darlinghurst, and then “Glenella” in the Blue Mountains, the first guest house praised for its great food. Then came “Cleopatra”, a guest house hailed not only for its outstanding food but for its beautiful interiors, becoming a pilgrimage site for foodies.

After a highly successful seventeen-year reign at “Cleopatra” Dany  returned to rural France, the gastronomic centre of Europe, to continue her life-long love affair with sensational cooking.

Both a cookbook and a memoir (and a work of art), Dany Chouet’s So French is beautifully published by Murdoch books.

Rights: World: Murdoch Books

Helen Caldicott

caldicott-nuclear-cvrDoctor, anti-nuclear activist, and author of three books on nuclear energy and the environment, Helen Caldicott is the founder of Physicians for Social Responsibility.

Her autobiography A Passionate Life was published by Random House in 1996.

She is writing a new book on the continuing nuclear arms race and the dangers of the anti-ballistic missile system now proposed for the United States. The New Nuclear Danger was published by Simon & Schuster in the United States and Scribe Publications in Australia in 2002.

Her latest work Nuclear Power is Not the Answer was released by Melbourne University Press in 2006.

Martin Sheen says ‘In a world where dark and dangerous forces are threatening our planet, Helen Caldicott shines a powerful light. This much-needed book reveals truths that confirm that we must take positive action now if we are to make a difference.’

Rights: various

John Bryson

John BrysonJohn lectures in law, literary journalism, and fiction, acts on advisory panels to government, NGOs, and universities, and on literary judging panels. At the end of the millennium, a Schools of Journalism panel included him in ‘The 100 Journalists of the Century’. He was awarded the Order of Australia in 2014.

John Bryson achieved international acclaim with Evil Angels, his celebrated book on the disappearance of Azaria Chamberlain. It was also released as a major film starring Meryl Streep and Sam Neill. Hodder Headline Australia released a new edition of Evil Angels in 2000.

chamberlain-and-photoWhen John followed the Azaria Chamberlain case through the early eighties, the moment of greatest shock for him came at the conclusion of the trial. Weeks of detailed evidence from the Defence had conclusively demonstrated the profound errors of procedure that the police forensic scientists had committed. However, the jury utterly ignored the facts, and found Lindy Chamberlain guilty of murdering her baby. It was this triumph of prejudice over truth, so nakedly revealed in the jury’s decision, that spurred John on to write the book Evil Angels. It became a turning point in public opinion. Not merely exposing the flaws in the conviction, it above all demonstrated that despite Australians’ belief in their sense of fairness, prejudice can overwhelm us. [Photo: the Chamberlains with a photo of Lindy and her baby.]

John Bryson’s novel, To the Death, Amic, was published by Viking/Penguin in Australia and the UK in 1994.

His Whoring Around was published by Penguin in 1981.

A collection of reportage, Backstage at the Revolution and Twelve Other Reports, was published by Penguin in 1988.

He originated the production and wrote the courtroom scenario for the TV special Secrets of the Jury Room for SBSTV 2004.

Rights: various

Colin Bisset: Not Always to Plan (ebook only)

bisset-plan-cvrDeath and marriage, money and love: this family is about to find out what happens when their lives collide with the unexpected.

The Dorman family lives a humdrum existence in a surfing suburb of Sydney until they are rocked by upheaval. Change is inevitable, but is it welcome? All that is certain is that each member of the family will have to confront new truths about themselves, some less comfortable than others. Set against a backdrop of Sydney’s stunning beaches, the architecture of Europe and the enchanting beauty of southern India, this warmly humorous book tackles what happens when life doesn’t go exactly to plan.

Colin Bisset was born in the UK and studied History of Art at the University of East Anglia. Since moving to Australia in 1996, he has discovered a love for astonishingly noisy bird life, brilliant sunshine and ocean breezes while never quite shaking off that British ability to find fault in absolutely everything.

Would you like to buy the book? Try any of these: A Momentum e-book, available from: Amazon (Kindle), Amazon UK (Kindle), Booki.sh (Any connected device including Kindle), iBookstore (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch), and Kobo (All devices except Kindle). family / general fiction / women’s fiction; ISBN 9781743342053; Release Date: 1 April 2013, Ebook RRP $4.99 AUD

Rights: World: various (ebook only)

Scott Bennett: Pozières: The ANZAC Story

bennett-scott-pozieres-cvrIn 1916, one million men fought in the first battle of the Somme. Victory hinged on their ability to capture a small village called Pozières, perched on the highest ridge of the battlefield. After five attempts to seize it, the British called in the Anzacs to complete this seemingly impossible task.

At midnight on 23 July 1916, thousands of Australians stormed and took Pozières. Forty-five days later they were relieved, having suffered 23,000 casualties to gain a few miles of barren, lunar landscape.

Despite the toll, the capture of Pozières was heralded as a stunning tactical victory. Yet for the exhausted survivors, the war-weary public, and the families of the dead and maimed, victory came at such terrible cost it seemed indistinguishable from defeat.

Genre: History

Rights: World: Scribe at http://www.scribepublications.com.au/

Katrina Beikoff

Katrina Beikoff

May Tang: A New Australian
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Born in the Year of the Snake, May Tang is like flowing water when she should have more fire. A dreamer, she will never be sensible and obedient like her elder sister Jie Jie or clever like her brother Peter, studying in Australia. But her parents are worried by rumoured events in China, and May finds herself on her way to a new life in Sydney. It is so different that May wonders if she will ever be able to love this new country.

Genre: Young Adults

Rights: Australia and New Zealand: Scholastic.


No Chopsticks Required:
‘Do they have spaghetti in Shanghai?’ I asked. ‘Do they have olive oil, cereal or nappies?’

In 2008, award-winning journalist Katrina Beikoff accepted a one-year job on the English language newspaper the Shanghai Daily. Katrina, her partner and their young family dived into a bustling Shanghai without a plan or, frankly, a clue as to what to expect. No Chopsticks Required is Katrina’s account of her startling year in contemporary China and her best efforts to forge a life as a foreigner.

beikoff-chopsticksIn what would prove to be a tumultuous year Katrina witnessed a range of major events: a massive, once-in-a-lifetime snow storm, a devastating earthquake which killed over 80,000 people, the Tibetan uprising, the Beijing Olympics, the melamine-tainted milk scandal, government censorship of the media and the Chinese response to the beginnings of the global financial crisis.

Alongside these international news-making events Katrina describes her attempts to look after her family while overcoming a multitude of quirky and unusual occurrences that made up Shanghai daily life. Katrina’s personal observations of China and its people are as insightful and amusing as they are fascinating.

Katrina Beikoff is a Walkley-award winning journalist, columnist, communications consultant and mother of two. In 2000 she won Australia’s top journalism award for exposing CJ Hunter, America’s world shot-put champion and the husband of disgraced sprint champ Marion Jones, as a drug cheat. She now lives with her family on Queensland’s Gold Coast writing for various publications not owned by the Chinese Communist Party

Genre: memoir

Rights: Australia and New Zealand: Finch Publishing at http://www.finch.com.au/
 


Melissa Ashley

The Birdman’s Wife

Resplendent Quetzal (Pharomachrus mocinno) Artist: Elizabeth Gould. From John Gould, Monograph of the Trogonidae, or Family of Trogons (1830-1832). Image courtesy of the Queensland Museum Library. Photograph courtesy of Vikki Lambert.
Resplendent Quetzal (Pharomachrus mocinno) Artist: Elizabeth Gould. From John Gould, Monograph of the Trogonidae, or Family of Trogons (1830-1832). Image courtesy of the Queensland Museum Library. Photograph courtesy of Vikki Lambert.

Artist Elizabeth Gould spent her life capturing the sublime beauty of birds the world had never seen before. But her legacy was eclipsed by the fame of her husband, John Gould. The Birdman’s Wife at last gives voice to a passionate and adventurous spirit who was so much more than the woman behind the man.

Elizabeth was a woman ahead of her time, juggling the demands of her artistic life with her roles as wife, lover, helpmate, and mother to an evergrowing brood of children. In a golden age of discovery, her artistry breathed wondrous life into hundreds of exotic new species, including Charles Darwin’s famous Galapagos finches.

In The Birdmans Wife, the naïive young girl who falls in love with a demanding and ambitious genius comes into her own as a woman, an artist and a bold adventurer who defies convention by embarking on a trailblazing expedition to collect and illustrate Australia’s ‘curious’ birdlife.

In this indelible portrait, an extraordinary woman overshadowed by history steps back into the light where she belongs.

Norfolk Island Kaka Nestor productus Artist: Elizabeth Gould. From John Gould, The Birds of Australia (1840-1848) Volume 5, Plate 6. Image courtesy of Special Collections, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas Libraries.
Norfolk Island Kaka Nestor productus Artist: Elizabeth Gould. From John Gould, The Birds of Australia (1840-1848) Volume 5, Plate 6. Image courtesy of Special Collections, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas Libraries.

Melissa Ashley is a writer, poet, birder and academic who tutors in poetry and creative writing at the University of Queensland. She has published a collection of poems, Hospital for Dolls, short stories, essays and articles. What started out as research for a PhD dissertation on Elizabeth Gould became a labour of love and her first novel, The Birdman’s Wife. Inspired by her heroine, she studied taxidermy as a volunteer at the Queensland Museum. Melissa lives in Brisbane.

Julia Baird

 Victoria, the Queen

Julia Baird, “Victoria the Queen”, cover.
Fifth in line to the throne at the time of her birth in 1819, Victoria was an ordinary woman thrust into an extraordinary role. Born into a world where women were often powerless, Victoria went on to rule the most powerful country on earth with a decisive hand. As a teenage queen, she eagerly grasped the crown. She loved sex and delighted in power. She was outspoken with her ministers. She gave birth to nine children and survived eight assassination attempts over the course of her lifetime. And as science, technology, and democracy were dramatically reshaping the world, Victoria was a symbol of steadfastness and security—queen of a quarter of the world s population at the height of the British Empire’s reach.

It’s Baird’s gift as a storyteller, her knack for human detail and the idiosyncrasies of the era, that makes this book so superb. Through her eyes, the stolid Victoria we thought we knew comes thrillingly alive. An extraordinary story, told with brilliance and tenderness by one of Australia‘s most perceptive writers. — Annabel Crabb

Julia Baird makes this remarkable, complex woman absolutely come alive. Only an Australian — and one with Julias vivid storytelling abilities — could write this fresh, unafraid and completely compelling biography. — Lisa Wilkinson


Julia Baird is a journalist, broadcaster and author based in Sydney, Australia. She hosts The Drum on ABCTV and writes columns for the Sydney Morning Herald and the International New York Times. Her writing has appeared in a range of publications including Newsweek, The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Guardian, the Good Weekend, The Sydney Morning Herald, the Sun-Herald, The Monthly and Harper’s Bazaar. You can follow her at http://www.juliabaird.me/about/