Joyce Morgan: Martin Sharp

Martin Sharp: cover image.

‘Martin wore tight pants that were striped red, white and blue, like a Union Jack, and an embroidered Afghan vest. In front of his face he carried, like a lollipop, a smile on a stick. As he went, he bowed to passers-by. Even on King’s Road, he stood out.’

Martin Sharp’s art was as singular as his style. He blurred the boundaries of high art and low with images of Dylan, Hendrix and naked flower children that defined an era. Along the way the irreverent Australian was charged with obscenity and collaborated with Eric Clapton as he drew rock stars and reprobates into his world.

In this richly told and beautifully written biography, Joyce Morgan captures the loneliness of a privileged childhood, the heady days of the underground magazine Oz as well as the exuberant creativity of Swinging London and beyond.

Sharp pursued his quixotic dream to realise van Gogh’s Yellow House in Australia. He obsessively championed eccentric singer Tiny Tim and was haunted by the awful deaths at Sydney’s Luna Park. Charismatic and paradoxical, he became a recluse whose phone never stopped ringing.

Martin Sharp, “Young Mo”, poster, 1978. Thanks to the Estate of the late Martin Sharp.

There was no one like Martin Sharp. When he died, he was described as a stranger in a strange land who left behind a trail of stardust.


Nicholas Whitlam: Four Weeks One Summer

In the summer of 1936, over just four weeks, it all went wrong — for democracy and for Spain, even for the British royals. Politicians failed, and Hitler was emboldened to plan a new European war, and more.

Four Weeks One Summer, cover image

When some army generals sought to overthrow Spain’s elected government, Francisco Franco quickly emerged as their leader; Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy supported him with men and materiel; pusillanimous politicians in Britain and the United States, even in France, turned a blind-eye — and the Spanish Civil War was on. Edward VIII took a scandalous holiday cruise with Mrs Simpson, Berlin staged the greatest sporting event of modern times, the alternative Peoples’ Olympiad never came to be, and Barcelona was transformed into a unique workers’ paradise. All this in four weeks. It was an incongruous, at times brilliant, juxtaposition of events.

Nicholas Whitlam majored in history at Harvard. Four Weeks One Summer, his third book, is the product of a long-held interest in the Spanish Civil War, the Olympic movement and the politics of the 1930s.

Four Weeks One Summer: When It All Went Wrong is published by Australian Scholarly Publishing, at



Mark Colvin: Launch speech for Four Weeks One Summer: When it All Went Wrong

Paragraph 1 follows: 1:

WHEN I WAS A SMALL BOY at an English boarding school, our main history text was a small book by one of the masters, Harold Hartley, who made a tidy sum over the years as a result.


Mark Colvin, photo courtesy ABC Radio Australia.
It was mostly a book of significant events attached to their dates: events and dates which we were expected to learn by rote. The Battle of Plassey, 1757. The Diet of Worms, 1521. The defenestration of Prague 1617. No context. You learned them first, almost like your alphabet, and expected that eventually, perhaps in your fourth or fifth year, someone would explain what they actually meant. We learned the names of the Kings and Queens of England by means of the mnemonic rhyme:


Willy, Willy, Harry, Ste,
Harry, Dick, John, Harry three,
One, two, three Neds, Richard two,
Henries four, five, six — then who?

Edwards four, five, Dick the bad,
Harries twain and Ned the lad… and so on…


In general the whole approach was remarkably reminiscent of Sellars and Yeatman’s great satire 1066 and all that, with its sweeping pronouncements on how any given King’s actions were A Good Thing or A Bad Thing — in capitals — and its summings-up of massive historical shifts like the English Civil War in a sentence: ‘With the ascension of Charles I to the throne we come at last to the utterly memorable Struggle between the Cavaliers (Wrong but Wromantic) and the Roundheads (Right but Repulsive).’


Even when I was a teenager, history, though less simplistic, was understood as a series of texts by great authorities, who once they’d ruled on a subject could be taken as gospel. G.R. Elton, for instance, was then much more famous as the author of England Under The Tudors than as the father of the creator of Blackadder, and what he said could be faithfully paraphrased if you wanted an A for your essay.


There were the Whig and Tory theories of history, competing with the Marxists of course — this was the sixties — but they all seemed to exist in separate boxes and there appeared to be little real dialogue or debate, and overarching all of them was the Great Man theory. History — whether it was about Kings and Queens or Prime Ministers and Presidents — was mostly about important guys doing important stuff which changed the world.


A lot about the writing of history has changed in the intervening decades, thank heavens. There was a huge shift away from the great men, for one thing, and towards a perspective that looked at the lives of ordinary people — a shift which radically changed our view of the events surrounding the French Revolution, for example.


There was a minor movement towards the counterfactual — what would have happened if the Germans had won the First World War, for instance — which forced some historians to re-examine some of their assumptions. And there were small books of powerful storytelling which could give you a whole new window into a moment or a sweep of history. I would include in that category Dava Sobel’s Longitude, on the otherwise dry subject of timekeeping and naval warfare in the 18th century, Mark Kurlansky’s book Salt, in which the history of a single chemical illuminates much of human existence, and John Lukacs’ Five Days in London, which tells the story of how Churchill only narrowly defeated the appeasers and saw off Lord Halifax to become Prime Minister in May 1940, probably the single most world-changing political moment of the twentieth century.


It’s among that distinguished company — and in that category — that Nick Whitlam’s book comfortably fits. Because it takes history day by day, switching focus between places and people, it reads almost filmically. It is not just a book about the Spanish Civil War, or the rise of Fascism in Europe, the degree to which sport can ever be apolitical, or the responsibilities of a young man like Edward the Eighth within the confines of a modern constitutional monarchy.


It is — to borrow the title of a BBC Radio series — a book about ‘The things we forgot to remember’: a book about some things we think we know well and others we may never have heard or. Everyone remembers Jessie Owens’ wonderful victories at the Berlin Olympics and the challenge they presented to Hitler’s insane race theories — but who has ever heard about the Popular Olympics in Barcelona, the anti-Olympics if you like? I certainly hadn’t until I read Nick’s book.


Similarly we all know the name of Juan Antonio Samaranch, because it became synonymous with the corruption and authoritarianism of the International Olympic Committee. But where else but in this book can you find him as a 16-year-old fascist preparing to fight for Franco at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War, while in a parallel narrative, Avery Brundage is shepherding the American Olympic squad across the Atlantic by ship towards Hitler’s festival of Aryan supremacy?


In a quirk of history it’s Brundage of course, who goes on to create the massive international rort of International Olympianism with its quasi-State privileges, tax untouchability and group of leaders whose greed became unquenchable — and Samaranch to whom — if you’ll pardon the expression — he passes the Olympic torch.


If you believe in genetics, probably no-one but Nick Whitlam could have written this particular book. It begins with a story about his late father and a certain characteristic finickiness about the title of the Duchess of Windsor, and it goes on to be — unmistakably — the book of someone who grew up surrounded by politics in practice and in theory.


But it’s also the book of someone whose mother swam for Australia in the British Empire Games, and swam despite an infection for which there were then no antibiotics. If she’d been a couple of years older in other words, Margaret could well have been there in Berlin or Barcelona. With Margaret and Gough, twenty years after the events in this book, he watched the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne.


It’s the book, in other words, of someone who has always combined his interest in politics with a fascination with sport.


This is also a book which forces you to ruminate on history’s turning points. It occurs in the year after Mussolini has gone to war in Abyssinia, a few months after Hitler has taken the Rhineland. The decisions taken by the German and Italian dictators at this time, supporting the Francoists, and by France’s Prime Minister Leon Blum, supporting the Republic, were in retrospect early signs of the long manoeuvring that led up to the Second World War.


Similarly, Britain’s inaction, obsessed as the Government was with the Abdication crisis, provides a melancholy foretaste of the moment less than two years hence when Neville Chamberlain would dismiss Hitler’s invasion of Czechoslovakia as a ‘quarrel in a far away country between people of whom we know nothing’.


That reminds me of another anniversary which we’ve just commemorated — Moscow’s crushing of the Hungarian Revolution, exactly sixty years ago, which they were able to get away with because the world was focussed on the spectacular bungle being committed by France and Britain in Egypt over Suez.


Having just myself put out a book which begins and ends with the Cold War, I’m particularly conscious at the moment of the idea that there are eras with defined beginnings and endings.


I never for a moment subscribed to Francis Fukuyama’s theory of the ‘End Of History’, but I confess we had moved from one fairly lengthy era into another. It seemed to me until quite recently that the end of Marxism had catapulted us back into a period that would be much more like the late nineteenth century: great powers manoeuvring fairly cautiously around each other, perhaps in a new version of the Great Game: certainly a return in economic debate to the great Victorian era standoffs of free trade versus imperial protection or mercantilism.


The parallels I didn’t see coming were the ones with the Thirties, in particular the return of a type of populist nationalism to which you can give many labels. Let’s face it, the American term ‘alt-right’ is a euphemism for a host of nasties, from racism to straight out fascism.


We’ve long been warned against comparing anyone too easily to Hitler, and mostly rightly. But it’s not hysterical to note that authoritarians who run up against economic difficulty tend to react by military adventurism. Mussolini invaded Abyssinia — Putin invaded Crimea.


It’s not too much to note that Hitler came to power with considerably less than a majority of the popular vote, and that the establishment fatally miscalculated that it — and the institutions of the State — could control him.


It’s not too much to note either that a leader who comes to power on an authoritarian platform — as Franco did and as Trump has if we take many of his speeches literally — will not necessarily bring about his own downfall through war or incompetence. Franco came to power in the Spanish Civil War and he remained in power, playing a canny game on the national and international stage, for nearly four decades.


And he died in office, untroubled by opposition because he had crushed all opposition. I remember writing his obituary for [radio station] Double J, forty one years ago last month.


They say all great quotes end up being attributed to Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw, Albert Einstein or Mark Twain. Twain, it turns out, did not say ‘History doesn’t repeat itself but it sometimes rhymes’: no-one’s quite sure who did. What he did write, though slightly less pithy, was this ‘History never repeats itself, but the Kaleidoscopic combinations of the pictured present often seem to be constructed out of the broken fragments of antique legends.’


This is a book of kaleidoscopic combinations.


It is constructed, eighty years being several generations, from what might seem to us at first to be broken fragments of antique legends.


But in Nick’s work, this piece of history suddenly speaks to us as if it were yesterday or today.


Draw your own conclusions, draw your own parallels, but I urge you at least to read it. You will be, to borrow a phrase from the ABC Charter, ‘educated, entertained and culturally enriched’.

Judy Osborne

Memoirs of an Anzac, cover image
Memoirs of an Anzac, cover image
Against his mother’s wishes, John Charles Barrie joined the Australian army in 1909. Five years later, he was on his way to Egypt as an officer with the Australian Imperial Force. He survived the war to write his memoirs, which were kept by his family for 80 years.

Made public for the first time, this book gives first-hand accounts of Barrie’s wounding at Gallipoli on that fateful first Anzac Day, his recuperation in England, and the friendships he made there. It chronicles his escape from rehab so that he could return to the war in France, and his fighting for days on end, waist-deep in mud in the trenches.

Memoirs of an Anzac tells of the horrors of war, but it is also lightened with the good humour that resulted from thousands of young Australian men being thrown together in dire circumstances.

This is not a history textbook, nor is it a series of diary notes and letters — it is a gut-wrenching, heart-warming true story that will move you. This very personal memoir has been made available by John Barrie’s grand-daughter, Judy Osborne, and Introduced and Annotated by Ross McMullin.

Valerie Lawson: Mary Poppins, She Wrote

Valerie Lawson: Mary Poppins, She Wrote

Mary Poppins She Wrote cover image
Mary Poppins She Wrote cover image
The story of Mary Poppins, the quintessentially English and utterly magical children’s nanny, is remarkable enough. She flew into the lives of the Banks family in a children’s book that is now hailed as a classic, then became a household name when Julie Andrews stepped into the starring role in Disney’s hugely successful film. Now she is a musical sensation all over again in ‘Mary Poppins’, the musical. But the story of Mary Poppins’s creator is just as unexpected and outstanding.

The fabulous nanny was conceived by an Australian, Pamela Lyndon Travers, who in 1924 left Sydney for London, where her career as a writer blossomed.

She travelled in the elite literary circles of the time and, most famously, clashed with Walt Disney over the adaptation of her books into film. Disney accused her of vanity for ‘thinking you know more about Mary Poppins than I do’. This struggle formed the center of the recent movie “Saving Mister Banks”, starring Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson.

Like her mysterious character, Travers remained inscrutable and enigmatic to the end of her ninety-six remarkable years. Valerie Lawson’s illuminating biography provides the only glimpse into the mind of a writer who fervently believed that ‘Everyday life is the miracle’.

Dr Michael Valenzuela: Maintain Your Brain

Dr Michael Valenzuela: Maintain Your Brain

Valenzuela Cover Image
Valenzuela Cover Image

Within 30 years, dementia is set to overtake heart disease as the number one cause of death in Australia. Yet the main forms of dementia affecting people today are not genetic — and there are practical steps you can take right now to help prevent it. Based on years of first-hand research and experience, leading Australian expert Dr Michael Valenzuela covers everything you need to know to look after your brain, including the latest thinking on: Blood pressure, Diet, Cholesterol, Mental activity, Physical exercise… Featuring simple tips, summaries and even recipes, Maintain Your Brain is essential reading for anyone who wants to enjoy a healthy, active and happy life well into old age.
This updated edition of It’s Never Too Late to Change Your Mind includes important new discoveries on the physical impact of exercise on the brain.

Andrew Main

Andrew Main
Andrew Main
Andrew Main

Andrew has been a financial reporter since 1979, albeit with a brief but exciting interlude as an institutional stockbroker in Sydney, Paris and London between 1987 and 1992.


Other People's Money, cover image
Other People’s Money, cover image

He spent about 14 years with the Australian Financial Review as a senior reporter between 1993 and 2007, having previously done his cadetship at The West Australian and moved to the Sydney Morning Herald in 1984.

He’s written a book on the collapse of HIH Insurance and a biography of stockbroker Rene Rivkin, and was also part of the AFR team that won the 2004 Gold Walkley Award.

Rivkin biography, cover image
Rivkin biography, cover image
In his own words, he ‘tries to make business comprehensible and interesting’ and does that as Business Editor for The Australian as well as in his regular spot on 702 Mornings on ABC Radio with Deborah Cameron, Tuesdays after the 9am radio news on the ABC.

Paula Weston

The Rephaim

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.

Haze is the second in the trilogy The Rephaim.

The third volume, Shimmer, will be released in July 2014.

The series has also bee sold to Tundra Books in Canada.

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

Amanda Webster

webster-tear-cvr Born into privilege and wealth, Amanda Webster is a sixth generation Australian descended from white settlers and the third generation to grow up in Kalgoorlie. When she turned five Amanda started school and became friends with Aboriginal children fromthe nearby Kurrawang Mission. At that time the lives of the Aboriginal people were controlled by the Chief Protector and his local representatives, one of whom was Webster’s very own grandfather.

Forty years later, Webster returns to her hometown. She confronts her racist blunders, her cultural ignorance and her family’s secret past. And so begins her journey of reconcilication and friendship, taking her into a world she hardly knew existed.

A Tear in the Soul is a frank, beautifully written account of Webster’s personal journey towards the relisation that she, like generations of Australians, grew up with a distorted and idealised version of the past.

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?


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.

Amanda Webster, photo Karl Schwerdtfeger

World rights: Text Publishing

Christine Wallace


Christine’s 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.

Prior work

Her controversial biography of Germaine Greer, The Untamed Shrew, was published in 1997 in Australia and was released in the USA and the UK.

Christine Wallace is a Canberra press gallery journalist of long standing.

Murray Waldren


Photo, left: Murray Waldren.

Christopher O’Doherty, aka Reg Mombassa, has infiltrated our culture for more than thirty years with a unique, laconic view of our world. 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.

mombassa-cvrYet long before he became a Mental or transformed Mambo 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-wolvesBut 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.

See Reg Mombassa’s page.

Prior works

Dining Out With Mr Lunch, a collection of literary profiles, was published by the University of Queensland Press in 1999.

Murray’s 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.

Mark Wakely

Sweet Sorrow: a beginner’s guide to death

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.

Prior work

Dream Home: Houses and the Imagination

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 is a Sydney-based writer, and a journalist with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Radio National.

Adam Wakeling: The Last Fifty Miles

‘They were fifty miles to victory and defeat, fifty miles to collapse and renewal, and fifty miles to a new place for Australia among the nations of the world. They were among the most significant fifty miles in our history.’

March, 1918. The young Australian nation is struggling to cope with the Great War, now in its fifth year — the strain of maintaining huge armies halfway across the globe, the bitter divisions over conscription, anxiety from the rise of Communism in Russia, and the creeping influence of the War Precautions Act. And, above all, the country-wide grief over the death of its men on a scale never before seen or even imagined. The five Australian divisions have recently been combined into an all-Australian Corps, fighting as one unit in France. They need a commander and Major-General John Monash is a leading candidate, but he rose through the ranks as a part-time militia officer rather than as a professional soldier, and is of German-Jewish background at a time when xenophobia is at its height. Before the issue can be settled, German supreme commander Erich Ludendorff resolves to launch a massive offensive, seize Paris and win the War…

The Last Fifty Miles is the riveting account of how, when it mattered most, Australia stood up to play a critical role in one of the most decisive victories of World War One. Told with immediacy, lyricism and a clear-eyed focus by a brilliant new talent in history writing, it relives an extraordinary, neglected chapter of Australia’s past. Published by

Julienne van Loon

vanloon-portrait-2004-loresJulienne van Loon 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.

Her latest novel is Harmless:

“With the right kind of mindfulness, William Blake tells us, one can behold infinity in a grain of sand. In the grainy bush tracks of the outer eastern suburbs of Perth, the whole canvas of contemporary Australian life — its ethnic diversity, its violence, its growing divisions of class and economic status, its convoluted history of linkage with South East Asia — is made vivid and visible in this remarkable novella. In sensual prose, van Loon presents a gallery of characters whose lives are as grim as they are compelling, whose small acts of resistance and resilience loom large and beautiful and heroic.”
— Janette Turner Hospital

Photo: Julienne van Loon, 2004.

Peter Twohig

twohig-torch-cvrThe Torch Melbourne, 1960: Mrs Blayney and her twelve-year-old son live in South Richmond. At least, they did, until their house burnt down. The prime suspect – one Keith Aloysius Gonzaga Kavanagh, also aged twelve – has mysteriously disappeared. Our narrator, the Blayney kid, sets off on a covert mission to find young Keith, whom he privately dubs ‘Flame Boy’, to save him from the small army of irate locals (not to mention his mother) who want to see him put away.

Flame Boy has not only made himself scarce, but he’s done so with a very important briefcase of secrets, which the kid is keen to get hold of for his grandfather, a shady character who has some secrets of his own. But the kid has got a lot going on: he’s also organising a new gang of kids; coping with the ups and downs of having a girlfriend (who likes to kiss – a lot); trying to avoid Keith’s dangerous prison-escapee father, Fergus Kavanagh, who is suspected of selling secrets to the Russians; and all the while wondering how he can get his hands on the most beautiful object in the world – the Melbourne Olympic Torch.

A madcap, brilliantly shambolic and irresistibly fun novel about loss, discovery and living life to the full, The Torch is a ripper of a ride.


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. 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.

Peter Twohig was born in Melbourne in 1948. 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

Kirsten Tranter

Kirsten Tranter, Hold

‘Sensual, spooky, and utterly beguiling: Hold is an enormously powerful work of art, an intimate portrait of grief and betrayal.’  — Ceridwen Dovey, author of Only the Animals

Three years ago, Shelley’s lover, Conrad, died in a surfing accident. Now, still in a state of subdued grief, Shelley has just moved into an old Victorian terrace in Paddington with David, her new partner, trying for a new beginning. At home one morning, Shelley discovers a door to a small intriguing room, which is not on the plans. There is a window, a fireplace and a beautiful chandelier. But nothing else. When Shelley meets a man who seems to be Conrad’s uncanny double, the mysterious room begins to dominate her world, becoming a focus for her secret fantasies and fears, offering an escape which also threatens to become a trap. A waking dream of a novel, Hold is spellbinding, sensual and unsettling.

Hold is an uncanny tale and a compelling story of unresolved grief in a structure so perfectly calibrated that it’s like being at the centre of an unfolding flower. Written with great delicacy and restraint, Hold is intensely evocative of Sydney and its disorienting subtropical strangeness.’ — Amanda Lohrey

Praise for The Legacy

‘[Kirsten Tranter’s] first novel, The Legacy, shows her to be a novelist with a commanding talent — a tough plain-stylist who can people her fictional world with characters of great vivacity and vigour … Full of suave and stunning evocations of Sydney and Manhattan, this sparkling and spacious novel captures the smell and sap of young people half in love with everyone they’re vividly aware of, and groping to find themselves… like the answer to an erotic enigma’ — Peter Craven, The Monthly

‘This hypnotic debut from Australian author Tranter pays homage to Henry James’s A Portrait of a Lady while offering a suspenseful story line worthy of Patricia Highsmith… While Tranter’s sedate pacing avoids typical thriller antics and conventional crime plot twists, she raises some wickedly keen questions about art world wheeling and dealing’ — Publishers Weekly

‘An intelligent and engaging novel that is dense, intricate, detailed, 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

‘The Legacy never lacks self-assurance or narrative drive’ — Sydney Morning Herald

‘[Tranter is] an innovative revisionist unafraid of challenge and more than up for the risks, tempering the satisfaction of the known with the surprises of the new … The Legacy is an entertaining literary thriller that skilfully describes the almost pleasurable pain of love and life denied’ — Weekend Australian


They were originally 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

tranter-kirsten-2008-150wPrior work

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.
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.

‘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.

The Legacy: Australia/New Zealand rights: Harper Collins Australia

World rights other than Australia/New Zealand rights: Simon and Schuster

US: The Legacy was published in the US under the Atria inprint in 2010

UK: Quercus published The Legacy in the UK in 2011.

Kirsten Tranter completed a PhD in English (on English Renaissance poetry) at Rutgers University and has divided her time between New York, Sydney and Berkeley for the past ten years. You can follow Kirsten’s internet diary at

John Tranter

‘Tranter may now be Australia’s most important poet.’
— US Publishers Weekly , 2007

 John Tranter’s two latest books Urban Myths: 210 Poems: New and Selected (2006) and Starlight: 150 Poems (2010), have together won six major Australian awards.

tranter-by-anders-hallengren-2009-02-11-200wHe received a Doctorate of Creative Arts from the University of Wollongong and is an Honorary Associate in the University of Sydney School of Letters, Arts and Media. He has given more than a hundred readings and talks in various cities around the world, has published more than twenty collections of verse, and has edited six anthologies, including The Best Australian Poetry 2011 and The Best Australian Poetry 2012 (Black Inc.)

He founded the free Internet magazine Jacket in 1997 and granted it to the University of Pennsylvania in 2010, he is the founder of the Australian Poetry Library at which publishes over 40,000 Australian poems online, and he has a Journal at, a vast homepage at, and he founded the wildly successful Journal of Poetics Research in 2014.

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.)

In 2014 two volumes of his poetry will be published in the United States of America by BlazeVox Books: a North American version of Starlight: 150 Poems, and a new volume Heart Starter: 101 Poems, which will also be published in Australia by Puncher and Wattmann.

 Photo of John Tranter by Anders Hallengren, 2009.

Andrew Tink

Australia 1901-2001 — A Narrative History

Andrew Tink’s superb book tells the story of Australia in the twentieth century, from Federation to the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

It was a century marked by the trauma of war and the despair of the Depression, balanced by extraordinary achievements in sport, science and the arts. And it witnessed the emergence of a mainly harmonious society, underpinned by a political system that worked most of the time.

Tink’s story is driven by people: prime ministers, soldiers, shopkeepers, singers, footballers and farmers, be they men or women, Australian-born, immigrant or Aboriginal. He brings the decades to life, writing with empathy, humour and insight to create a narrative that is as entertaining as it is illuminating.

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.

NewSouth, 309pp, $45 (HB)

Prior works

Lord Sydney: The Life and Times of Tommy Townshend
Just who was the man whose name is proudly borne by Australia’s oldest city, and by another city in Canada? 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

William Charles Wentworth,  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.

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.

Peter Timms

timmsThere are things in his past that Harry Bascombe definitely doesn’t want to remember. But when a nosy journalist with a taste for scandal turns up out of the blue, be is forced to confront his memories…

An uncertain and diffident boy, Harry struggles to survive a suburban upbringing in the 1950s — the era of Menzies and the menace of Reds under the bed, the excitement of the Melbourne Olympics and the arrival of television in Australia. Family life is complicated for Harry, and school no easier. However hard young Harry tries to stay out of trouble, it seems he is always ‘asking for it’ — or so his teachers and schoolmates seem to think. Unwittingly, Harry becomes trapped in a spiral of violence and intimidation that he can neither understand nor resist.

timms-asking-cvr-loresDarkly funny and brutally frank, Asking for Trouble is a surprisingly tender and moving novel about the corrosive power of secrets and the consequences of standing up to bullies.
Asking For Trouble is a witty and assured debut. Peter Timms’s stylish novel offers a coming of age story that is also a perceptive exploration of the darkness in a nation’s soul.” — Michelle de Kretser

Prior work

In 2008 Peter completed a book on history of Hobart, In Search of Hobart, for the University of New South Wales Press.

Peter compiled an anthology of essays on gardening titled The Nature of Gardens, released by Allen & Unwin in 1999. 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.

 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.

Christie Thompson


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!

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

Photo: Christie Thompson

Helen Thomas

Cover image of Moods book.
Cover image of Moods book.

In March 2016 Peter Moody, the man who took his ‘good mare’ Black Caviar to an unprecedented 25 straight victories, walked away from racing. Suspended for six months after he was found to have presented a horse on race day with an illegal level of cobalt in its system, the trainer made the drastic decision to close down his Caulfield stables altogether. How had it come to this?

In Moods, respected journalist Helen Thomas traces Moody’s extraordinary career, and shines a spotlight on the cobalt scandal that engulfed him. Through interviews with family, colleagues and friends, and with Peter Moody himself, Thomas explores the horseman’s life and achievements: from his time with turf legend T.J. Smith to the day he first noticed the bay filly who grew up to become Black Caviar, and the inquiry that led him to quit the job he loves.

Articulate yet reticent, tough yet sensitive, Moody is an intriguing character. For the first time, discover what drives the man who will always be remembered as Black Caviar’s trainer, and a true Aussie legend.

HELEN THOMAS has worked as a journalist for more than thirty years in both radio and print. She is the manager of ABC NewsRadio as well as being a thoroughbred breeder and racehorse owner. For her books, see below.

thomas-helen-horse-bart-cvr-loresThe Horse that Bart Built

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

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.

Prior work

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.

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.

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 weaved in her personal life across time.


Photo, right:
Leonard Jolley and
Monica Knight
(later Elizabeth Jolley),
late 1930s-early 1940s.

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.

Jo Spurrier

North Star Guide Me Home

is the third book in an epic fantasy trilogy from brilliant new Australian talent Jo Spurrier.


Some things are broken beyond mending:

Grievously wounded in battle, Isidro’s life hangs in the balance, but the only person who can help him is the man he can never trust. Sierra is desperate to rebuild shattered bonds with her old friends, but with Isidro incontrovertibly changed and her own wounds still fresh, things can never be as they once were.

Burdened by all he’s done at Kell’s command, Rasten knows he cannot atone for the horrors of his past. But when their enemies in Akhara follow Cam’s small clan back to Ricalan, carrying a thirst for vengeance, the skills Rasten swore he would renounce may be their only hope for victory…

Praise for Winter Be My Shield, Children of the Black Sun Book One:

‘Unlikely heroes, villains you will cheer for, and cold that eats your bones. Winter Be My Shield will take you to an unforgiving place, but you won’t want to leave it’ – Robin Hobb

‘the drama and intensity keep ratcheting up’ – Courier Mail

Shortlisted for Best Fantasy Novel in the 2012 Aurealis Awards

Australian and New Zealand Rights: Harper Voyager

Jo Spurrier was born in 1980 and has a Bachelor of Science degree. Her interests include knitting, spinning, cooking and research. She lives in Adelaide and spends a lot of time daydreaming about snow.

Margaret Simons

simons-stokes-cvr-loresKerry Stokes: Self-Made Man

Kerry Stokes came into the world with no advantages. Unlike his rival magnates, he built his empire from nothing. But what has he discarded along the way?

Prior works

Journalism at the Crossroads

The Australian mainstream press is in crisis, and the future of Australian 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.

World rights: Scribe

Margaret Simons’ first novel The Ruthless Garden won the Angus and Robertson Bookworld prize for new novelists in 1993.
A collection of her gardening columns, titled Wheelbarrows, was published by New Holland in 1999.
Her last novel was The Truth Teller.
Margaret’s investigative 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.
A 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.

Mark Roeder

Is Darwin’s theory of evolution out of date?

‘A fabulous book about human destiny’ — Rob Brooks, evolutionary biologist

roeder-geeks-cvr-loresIn Charles Darwin’s thesis, only the fittest of the species —  the alpha males and females — would lead the pack, enabled by their physical strength, social ability and strong genes. But in an increasingly man-made world, those are no longer the traits which take people to the top. As the laws of the jungle change, a new class is on the rise, a class which employs lateral thinking, multitasking and the ability to bend systems to their will. The geek class.

Among the geeks, it is figures like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Google’s Sergey Brin and Larry Page, Microsoft’s Bill Gates or Apple’s Steve Jobs, people who are often physically slight and socially awkward, who have succeeded. In doing so they have turned the laws of natural selection on their head.

As Mark Roeder (author of The Big Mo) documents, this has profound implications. Man is no longer shaped by the environment; he is actively shaping it. And the world he creates is radically changing how we evolve.

US edition released in 2014:


Unnatural Selection paints a compelling picture of human adaptability, identifying new traits within all of us that are helping us to survive and succeed in a world dominated by information. This is not just wishful thinking for geeks—technology is changing the landscape of society, and Roeder describes how humanity is changing along with it” — Daniel H. Wilson, New York Times bestselling author of Robopocalypse and Robogenesis

“Everyone knows that the kinds of people that would have been rejected as social outcasts in the 1950s—the shy science nerds, persnickety math geeks, obsessive recluses who turned their parents’ garages into labs—have transformed the way we live in the past twenty years, quietly rising to positions of great power in the process. In this provocative book, Mark Roeder explains how they have become a social force driving a new kind of human evolution.” — Steve Silberman, editor, Wired magazine

“Roeder’s excellent book is thought provoking and enjoyable—it provides a fresh perspective on human progress.” —Simon Baron-Cohen, professor of developmental psychopathology, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, director of the Autism Research Centre, and Fellow of Trinity College

“An entertaining and engrossing read. Roeder smartly integrates evolution, genetics, and cognitive science to show how the rise of the geek is inevitable—and well under way. It’s a fabulous book about human destiny.” — Rob Brooks, professor of
evolutionary biology and prize-winning author of Sex, Genes & Rock n Roll: How Evolution Has Shaped the Modern World

“It is becoming evident that our great technical achievements have far outstripped our capacity to evolve socially and emotionally. In Unnatural Selection, Mark Roeder has brought scholarship and prescience to understanding this dehumanizing challenge and in then finding a ‘middle way’ to use technology for our benefit and not be used by it. This is a most important book for our times.” — Peter A Levine, PhD, bestselling author of Waking the Tiger, Healing Trauma, and In an Unspoken Voice: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness

Andrew Riemer


A scholar, essayist and cultural journalist, Andrew was born in Budapest and arrived in Australia in 1947. In his latest book, Between the Fish and the Mudcake, he reminisces on writers, books, food, music and places.

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).

Andrew’s biography of Robert Hughes, Hughes: End of Modernism, was published by Duffy and 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.

Matt Peacock


James Hardie: the name, like the company, is a lie. The real James Hardie died a long time ago and had almost no connection to the Australian asbestos empire that grew under the Reid family, killing in its wake thousands of unwitting workers and customers.

For more than 20 years, Hardie chairman John Reid oversaw a strategy that ignored the dangers of asbestos and silenced Australia’s largest asbestos union and government health authorities, concealing the nation’s biggest peacetime disaster.

Reid’s eventual successor, Meredith Hellicar, defended Hardie’s move offshore until public campaigning by asbestos disease sufferers like Bernie Banton forced the company to adequately provide for its victims.

Matt’s book, Killer Company: James Hardy Exposed, was published by ABC Books in 2009. This book inspired the ABC1 mini-series Devil’s Dust, which aired in November 2012. It tells the inside story of how Matt and asbestos campaigner Bernie Banton brought the company to account, revealing the corporate tactics which allowed Hardie to conceal what is Australia’s greatest peacetime disaster.

Glyn Parry

In the summer of 1976, Frank and Laura travel down south to a cottage by the sea with their son Toby. Toby lays bare all that he sees. It is the summer Frank is called away and Laura meets a man in the street. It is a summer of fragile lives and uncertain times, of loss and longing, and secrets that can destroy. It is the summer where one phone call changes a marriage forever.

Published in 2007 by Fremantle Arts Centre Press.

Prior work

Glyn’s novels include Monster Man, LA Postcards, Radical Takeoffs, Stoked and Mosh.

Sad Boys and Scooter Boy were published by Hodder Headline in 1998 and 1999.

A recent title was Invisible Girl, published by Fremantle Arts Centre Press in 2003.


Glyn Parry is a highly talented award-winning writer for young adults. The Ocean Road is his first adult novel.

Fiona Palmer

The Family Secret

Fiona Palmer has well and truly earned her place as a leading writer of one of Australia’s much loved genres.’  — Countryman

Kim Richards is a creative woman of the land, a rural ambassador who’s renowned for her contribution to her community. But deep down, she’s lonely. She’s already watched the man she loves fall for someone else, and her dream of starting her own family feels like it’s slipping through her fingers.

Enter Charlie McNamara, an older man who’s arrived in Lake Grace on business. Sparks fly between Kim and Charlie, but he seems to have a hidden agenda and a past he’s trying to hide.

They’re both drawn to local hermit Harry, a Vietnam veteran who’s haunted by memories from the war. What ties these three lost souls together? Can they solve a long-held family mystery and heal fractures of the heart?

From one of Australia’s favourite storytellers comes a heartwarming story spanning three generations about when to fight and when to surrender — and how new love can heal old wounds.

‘Family, friendship, love and community with a thoroughly authentic Australian flavour.’ Goodreads

The Saddler Boys
‘Fiona Palmer just keeps getting better’ Rachael Johns
The Saddler Boys - cover image
The Saddler Boys – cover image

Schoolteacher Natalie has always been a city girl. She has a handsome boyfriend and a family who give her only the best. But she craves her own space, and her own classroom, before settling down into the life she is expected to lead. When Nat takes up a posting at a tiny school in remote Western Australia, it proves quite the culture shock, but she is soon welcomed by the inquisitive locals, particularly young student Billy and his intriguing single father, Drew.

As Nat’s school comes under threat of closure and Billy’s estranged mother turns up out of the blue, Nat finds herself fighting for the township and battling with her heart. Torn between her society life in Perth and the rural community that needs her, Nat must risk losing it all to find out what she’s really made of – and where she truly belongs.

‘Palmer’s passion for the land bleeds into the story, and her scenes are vivid and genuine, just as her characters are.’ Book’d Out

‘Fiona Palmer has well and truly earned her place as a leading writer of one of Australia’s much-loved genres.’ Countryman

The Sunnyvale Girls

Three generations of Stewart women share a deep connection to their family farm, but a secret from the past threatens to tear them apart.

Widowed matriarch Maggie remembers a time when the Italian prisoners of war came to work on their land, changing her heart and her home forever. Single mum Toni has been tied to the place for as long as she can recall, although farming was never her dream. And Flick is as passionate about the farm as a girl could be, despite the limited opportunities for love.

When a letter from 1946 is unearthed in an old cottage on the property, the Sunnyvale girls find themselves on a journey into their own hearts and across the world to Italy. Their quest to solve a mystery leads to incredible discoveries about each other, and about themselves.

Top Ten ROMANCE FICTION Source: Nielsen BookScan, week ending Nov22

1 CAPTIVATED BY YOU Sylvia Day, Penguin, $19.99
2 FIFTY SHADES OF GREY E. L. James. Arrow Books, $19.99
3 OUTBACK GHOST Rachael Johns, Mira, $29.99
4 SUMMER DAYS Nora Roberts, Harlequin Mills & Boon, $27.99
5 THE SUNNYVALE GIRLS Fiona Palmer, Michael Joseph, $29.99
6 BY WINTER’S LIGHT Stephanie Laurens, Mira, $24.99
7 AFTER Anna Todd, Gallery, $19.99
8 FIFTY SHADES DARKER E. L. James, Arrow Books, $19.99
9 FIFTY SHADES FREED E. L. James, Arrow Books, $19.99
10 DIRTY ROWDY THING Christina Lauren, Simon & Schuster, $17.99

Prior work

The Outback Heart

Indianna Wilson is a country girl, and she’ll do anything she can to save her beloved home town from disappearing off the map — even if she has to die trying. She entices Troy Mitchell to her tiny outback town, with hopes that he can bring a breath of fresh air to the Saints football club and lift the wider farming community.

The most heartfelt and moving novel yet from favourite Australian rural romance writer and bestselling author of The Family Farm.

“Fiona Palmer has well and truly earned her place as a leading writer of one of Australia’s much loved genres, rural romance.” Countryman

Rights: Penguin Australia

The Road Home

When your life is at a crossroads, how do you find the road home? Lara and Jack have a powerful attraction for each other, but are constantly at odds. Will their love of the same land keep them apart, or grow into a love of a different kind?
From the bestselling author of The Family Farm and Heart of Gold comes a heartwarming novel about finding your true place in the world, and the healing power of the land.

Heart of Gold

C J Wishart’s job as a wool classer is back-breaking, her family life is a disaster and, after a string of dating debacles, she has put men in the too-hard basket. When strong, handsome Lindsay arrives on the scene as their new shearer, C J can’t help but take notice. They have an undeniable spark, but can she handle the complications and potential heartbreak of falling in love?

Fiona Palmer lives in the tiny rural town of Pingaring in Western Australia. She received a mentorship for her first novel, The Family Farm. She has extensive farming experience, drives the local mail run, and was a speedway-racing driver for seven years. She currently works two days a week at the local shop, in between writing her next book and looking after her two small children.

For shearing information, pictures and video, please head to Fiona’s website at

Shirley Painter

When Shirley Painter’s first book was published, she was 83 years old. She was lucky to get that far: when she was four years old, she was so badly injured she was pronounced dead and taken to the morgue. The man who had beaten her almost to death was her father.

The Bean Patch is the story of how a young girl survived growing up in a volatile household in the 1920s and 1930s; how school, and later university, became her escape route from a family filled with secrets and violence.

It is also the story of how, as a mature woman and a mother herself, she came face to face with what happened to her as a child — how she found the strength to drag her terrible and long-buried memories into the light in order to move on.

Beautifully written, this is a disturbing, compelling and ultimately inspirational story.

Rights sold: Australia/New Zealand (HarperCollins Australia, Sept. 2002)

Kerrie O’Connor

Kerrie is a journalist turned fantasy writer.

Her first children’s book Through the Tiger’s Eye (Allen & Unwin) is a spellbinding story suffused with humour. Rights have been sold to Mondodori in Italy.

Book 2 in this trilogy, By The Monkey’s Tail, has just been released with Book 3 to follow.

Kerrie’s illustrated children’s book, Little Jingle Says No!, was also published by Allen and Unwin in 2006.

Amanda Ortlepp


Running Against the Tide

by Amanda Ortlepp

The past will always find you.

Erin Travers is running away from her life and taking her two sons with her to a small town on the ruggedly beautiful Eyre Peninsula. The close-knit township is full of happy childhood memories for Erin, but she’s bringing a whole lot of baggage with her.

When the peaceful community is disrupted by theft and arson, rumours fly about who is responsible. In a small town where lives are tangled too closely together, old grudges flare, fingers are pointed and secrets are unmasked.

From the bestselling author of Claiming Noah, Running Against the Tide is brimming with malice and threat, and cements Amanda Ortlepp’s position as one of Australia’s most compelling storytellers.

Praise for Claiming Noah: ‘Emotions run high… A gripping, emotionally charged story’ Herald Sun

‘A thrilling and morally fascinating read’ Good Reading

2016-06-24-claiming-noah-hb-cvr-200w A taut, emotional thriller about biology, ownership and love. Catriona and James are desperate for children, and embark on an IVF program. After a gruelling round of treatments, Catriona finally falls pregnant, and they donate their remaining embryo anonymously. Diana and Liam are on a waiting list to receive an embryo. Sooner than expected, they are thrilled to discover one is available.

After a difficult pregnancy, Catriona gives birth to Sebastian. But severe postnatal depression affects her badly, and quickly turns into deadly psychosis. For her protection and her baby’s, she’s admitted into psychiatric care. When she comes home, she again struggles to bond with her baby, but gradually life finds its own rhythm. Meanwhile, Diana has given birth to a beautiful little boy, Noah.
But when he is two months old Noah is abducted… and Diana and Liam’s nightmare begins.

Where is Noah?

Here’s part of a recent review:

CLAIMING NOAH   Author: Amanda Ortlepp   Simon & Schuster   RRP $29.99   Review: Monique Mulligan

Complex and thought-provoking, Claiming Noah is one of those books that invites opinions and discussions. In this case, the moral, legal and ethical aspects of embryo adoption come under the microscope as two mothers stake their claim on one little boy.  Who has the most right? Bet you already have an initial opinion!

Claiming Noah starts with the emotional rollercoaster of infertility, with Catriona and James embarking on an IVF program, hoping that one of their four embryos will take. The program is gruelling and, when Catriona falls pregnant on the third attempt, the couple decides to donate their remaining embryo. Going through it all again would be too much, they feel. For Diana and Liam, it’s an answer to prayer. Despite opposition arising from Diana’s Catholic upbringing, the couple chooses embryo adoption so Diana can carry a child in her womb. The two couples give birth a month apart.

The joy of motherhood eludes Catriona, who is unable to bond with Sebastian due to severe postnatal depression. After her illness develops into postpartum psychosis (or puerperal psychosis), she’s admitted into psychiatric care; eventually she returns home, determined to bond with her son. Meanwhile, Diana is loving motherhood, but when Noah is abducted at two months old, her world comes crashing down. When Noah is found two years on, the battle is on as both mothers fight to claim him as their own.

Joyce Morgan and Conrad Walters

Journeys on the Silk Road

When a Chinese monk broke through a hidden door in 1900, he uncovered one of history’s greatest literary secrets: a 1000-year-old time capsule of life along the ancient Silk Road. Inside the chamber on the edge of the Gobi Desert, documents were piled from floor to ceiling. The gem among them was the Diamond Sutra of 868 A.D., now recognised as the world’s oldest printed book.

The words of the Diamond Sutra have inspired Jack Kerouac, Aldous Huxley and the Dalai Lama. Its path from East to West has coincided with the growing appeal of Buddhism in the contemporary world. As the Gutenberg Age cedes to the Google Age, the discovery of the Silk Road’s greatest treasure is an epic tale of survival, a literary investigation and an evocation of the travelling power of the book.


Joyce Morgan has worked as a journalist for more than three decades in London, Sydney and Hong Kong. Joyce is a senior arts writer at The Sydney Morning Herald and a former arts editor of the paper. She has also worked as a producer with ABC Radio. Born in Liverpool, England, she has travelled extensively in Asia, including India, Pakistan, China and Tibet.

Conrad Walters was born in Boston, educated in Europe and the Middle East and has lived in seven countries. He has travelled widely through North America, Europe and Asia. He has a master’s degree in Creative Writing from the University of Technology, Sydney.

They live in Sydney with a vial of sand from the Taklamakan Desert on their mantelpiece.

Christopher Morgan


Currawalli Street
… reveals the echoes between past and present through the story of one ordinary street and its families, from the pre-war innocence of early 1914 to the painful and grim consequences of the Vietnam War.

In only three short generations, working horses and wagons are lost to cars, wood-fired ovens are replaced by electric stoves, and the lessons learned at such cost in the Great War seem forgotten. But despite all the changes, the essential human things remain: there will always be families and friends reaching out for connection; people will always have secrets to keep hidden from view; and desire and love are as inevitable as war and violence.

Christopher Morgan has been a singer in a French restaurant, an artificial tree builder, a kitchen hand, a fire brigade roster clerk and a printing factory storeroom worker. In 1996 Christopher was diagnosed with a brain tumour and found that the only thing that was improved by the tumour was his imagination and decided to put it to good use. His first novel, The Island of Four Rivers, was published in June 2006 by Scribe.

His children’s story Pirates Eat Porridge was published by Allen & Unwin in 2006 with a follow-up story Pirates Drive Buses in 2007.

Mary Moody

moody-sweet-cvrMary’s latest memoir, Sweet Surrender, was released in May 2009. Surrendering… to the process of ageing, to the pull of family, the influence of her parents, her husband and children who have shaped the person she now is.
Rights sold: Australia/New Zealand (Pan Macmillan Australia)

Prior work

Over a decade ago, Mary left her family and her busy Australian life behind for a  six month break away from it all in France, buying a dilapitated house in the small village of Frayssinet-le-Gélat in the Lot region. She turned the experience into a personal memoir titled Au Revoir which was released in 2001 by Pan Macmillan.

Mary and her husband David had lived in a beautiful old house in the Blue Mountains for over twenty years. Returning to Australia, she realised that farming was one thing she had always wanted to do. She and David discovered Yetholme, a beautiful old Federation house set on 28 acres near Orange, some 500 kilometers to the west of Sydney, and saw the potential to set up a French-style farm complete with potager garden and goose and duck breeding. So that took care of Australia.

But there was still France, with memories of wonderful times she’d had and a house waiting to be renovated. And a sister that she had not seen for over thirty  years who has come back into her life as a result of the publication of Au Revoir.

What resulted was the best-selling Last Tango in Toulouse, a moving, tender and at times hilarious account of farming and houses, marriage, lovers, and glorious, glorious food, and then the final part of her memoir, Long Hot Summer, which was released in  2005.

This was followed by a beautifully photo-illustrated book titled Lunch at Madame Murat’s (Pan Macmillan), a celebration of the local restaurant managed by Madame Murat in Frayssinet-le-Gélat.

Mary Moody is a prolific and popular gardening author, memoirist and television presenter.

Sarah Minns

Kath’s Miracle

minns-cvr“This book isn’t a manual on how to survive cancer or have your prayers heard… I’ve had five kids, been married twice, owned and lost a small business and a house. I’ve known what it is like to come close to death, and how to live again after that. I’ve been involved in the process of proving a miracle and making a saint. And I have discovered so much along the way… My hope is that you’ll find some comfort from my story.”

When Kathleen Evans was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer, she was given weeks to live. All she had left was prayer. She was sent a relic of Mary MacKillop’s clothing — she wore it, and friends and family joined in praying to the founder of the Sisters of Saint Joseph. Ten months later, the cancer had completely — miraculously — vanished. No matter what your religious beliefs, Kath’s message of hope and redemption will lift your spirit.

All Kathleen Evans’ royalties are donated to the Trustees of the Sisters of Saint Joseph.

Australian and New Zealand Rights: Penguin Australia

Kathleen Evans is mother to five and grandmother to twenty-one. When she isn’t on the road exploring Australia with her husband, Barry, she lives in Lake Macquarie on the NSW central coast.

Sarah Minns is a writer who lives in Sydney with her husband and three daughters. Kath’s Miracle is her first book.

Robert Milliken

Robert Milliken is an acclaimed international journalist. His latest work is Mother of Rock: The Lillian Roxon Story, a biography of Lillian Roxon, the fast-living Australian journalist who compiled the world’s first Rock Encyclopedia and who died tragically in New York in 1973 aged 41.

It was published by Black Inc. in Australia in 2002. US publisher Thunder’s Mouth Press (at released their edition in 2005, and a new edition was released by Black Ink in 2010.

A documentary on Lillian Roxon, inspired by the biography, premiered at the Melbourne International Film Festival in 2010, and was shown on SBS-TV. Film rights to the book have been sold to Decade Films.

In 1986 Robert published No Conceivable Injury (Penguin) regarded as the definitive account of the British atomic weapon tests at Maralinga, in the Australian desert.

David Marr and Marian Wilkinson

Dark Victory
In August 2001 a Norwegian cargo ship came across a sinking ferry off the coast of Australia. Those on board were mainly Afghans. The Captain of The Tampa picked up the people and tried to land in Australia but was refused permission, setting off an international incident.
tampa-the-ageDark Victory is the inside story of the Tampa crisis and the political strategy that powered it; of how the Prime Minister of Australia, John Howard, seized on the issue of ‘border protection’ to start a scare campaign and bring his party back from the politically dead.

Award-winning writer David Marr and Marian Wilkinson are accomplished investigative journalists, who burrow deep into the world of spin-doctors, bureaucrats and the military to unravel this extraordinary saga.

An updated version of this highly successful book has recently been released by Allen & Unwin.

Australia/New Zealand (Allen & Unwin, October 2002)

Photo of the Tampa courtesy the Melbourne Age.

David Marr

David Marr
David Marr

David Marr, Faction Man

‘Australians distrust Shorten almost as much as they distrust Abbott. That’s why this election will be fought on trust. It’s going to be dirty. At the heart of the contest will be Shorten’s character. All the way to polling day, Australians will be invited to rake over every detail of his short life and hidden career.’

David Marr, cover of Faction Man
David Marr, cover of Faction Man

David Marr is the author of Patrick White: A Life, Panic, The High Price of Heaven and Dark Victory (with Marian Wilkinson). He has written for the Sydney Morning Herald, the Age, the Saturday Paper, the Guardian and the Monthly, and been editor of the National Times, a reporter for Four Corners and presenter of ABC TV’s Media Watch. He is the author of four previous bestselling Quarterly Essays.

David Marr: Panic

Cronulla. Henson. Hanson. Wik. Haneef. The boats… Panic shows all of David Marr’s characteristic insight, quick wit and brilliant prose as he cuts through the froth and fury that have kept Australia simmering over the last fifteen years.

“all [these dispatches] grew out of my wish to honour the victims of these ugly episodes: the people damaged and a damaged country.” — David Marr

David’s first book was Barwick (Allen & Unwin), a biography of the former Chief Justice of Australia, which won the 1981 NSW Premier’s Literary Award.

This was followed by The Ivanov Trail, the story of the spy scare in Canberra.

Then in 1991 the brilliant and universally critically acclaimed biography Patrick White — A Life was released by Random House in Australia, Jonathan Cape in Britain, and Random House in the USA. This biography of the Novel Prize winning novelist won seven major Australian awards.

In 1994 Patrick White — Letters was published in Australia followed by publications in the UK and USA.

The Henson Case, released by Text Publishing in 2008, examined the uproar caused by the withdrawal of some of Bill Henson’s photographs from a Sydney art gallery on the grounds that they may have been obscene.

Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott fought for leadership of the nation. Here, in one volume, are their definitive portraits by Australia’s pre- eminent biographer and investigative journalist. Power Trip shows the making of Kevin Rudd, from the formative tragedy of his life — the death of his father — to his years as Wayne Goss’s right-hand man, his relentless work in federal Opposition and finally his record as prime minister. Throughout Rudd’s life, Marr finds recurring patterns: a tendency to chaos, a mania for control, a strange mix of heady ambition and retreat — and what has until recently been an unbreakable bond with the public. But that bond broke.

In Political Animal, Marr examines the question that Australians are asking of Tony Abbott: what kind of man is he and how will he run this country? Part fighter and part charmer, Abbott is deeply religious and deeply political. What happens when his values clash with his absolute determination to win? That is the great puzzle of a career that began as a wild university politician in the 1970s and found culmination in the prime ministership.

David Marr is the multi-award-winning author of Patrick White: A Life and The High Price of Heaven, and co-author with Marian Wilkinson of Dark Victory. He has written for the Sydney Morning Herald, the Age and the Monthly, been editor of the National Times, a reporter for Four Corners and presenter of ABC TV’s Media Watch. In 2010 he wrote the Quarterly Essay Power Trip: The Political Journey of Kevin Rudd.

Panic is published in Australia by Black Inc. at

Barry Maitland

Barry Maitland’s crime novels feature Detective Chief Inspector David Brock and Detective Sergeant Kathy Kolla as two London-based police investigators.

Crucifixion: Just another day at the office for homicide detective Harry Belltree. Until he identifies the stabbing victim as his own brother-in-law, and journalist Kelly Pool suggests there’s a link between the three incidents. Harry can’t get involved, not officially. That’s why he goes off-grid to investigate. And that’s when things start to get complicated, and very dangerous. For both Harry and Kelly.

The Raven’s Eye: A woman dies in her sleep in a houseboat on the Thames — the apparent cause of death, an unflued gas heater. It all seems straightforward, but DI Kathy Kolla isn’t convinced. Both Kathy and DCI Brock run up against opposition in their investigation.

Prior work
Chelsea Mansions: When Nancy Haynes, an elderly American tourist, is brutally murdered in a seemingly senseless attack after visiting the Chelsea Flower Show, DI Kathy Kolla suspects there is more to the case than first appears. When another occupant of the palatial Chelsea Mansions is murdered hot on the heels of the first — but this time a Russian oligarch — everybody wants to get involved.

Barry’s first Brock and Kolla novel was The Marx Sisters (1994) which was followed by The Malcontenta; All My Enemies; The Chalon Heads; Silvermeadow; Babel; The Verge Practice; No Trace; Spider Trap, and a standalone title, Bright Air. His tenth Brock and Kolla novel was published in 2010: Dark Mirror, a mystery with a focus on the Pre-Raphaelite artist Dante Gabriel Rosetti.

“Comparable to the psychological crime novelists such as Ruth Rendell… tight plots, great dialogue, very atmospheric.” Sydney Morning Herald.

‘Maitland crafts a suspenseful whodunit with enough twists and turns to keep even the sharpest readers on their toes.’Publishers Weekly, USA

‘No one drops so many wonderful threads to a story or lies them so satisfyingly together at the end.’The Australian

Barry Maitland is published in Australia by Allen & Unwin; in the U.K. by Orion and Arciadia Books, and in the U.S. by St Martin’s Press.

Barry Maitland was born in Scotland and after studying architecture at Cambridge University practised and taught in Britain before moving to Australia to take up the position of Professor of Architecture at the University of Newcastle.

Duncan McNab

Duncan McNab, “Getting Away with Murder”, cover.


80 men murdered, 30 unsolved cases

From 1977 to the end of 1986, Duncan McNab was a member of the NSW Police Force. Most of his service was in criminal investigation. The many unsolved deaths and disappearances of young gay men are the crimes that continue to haunt him.

Around 80 men died or disappeared in NSW from the late 70s to early 90s during an epidemic of gay hate crimes. The line between a vicious assault and murder is a slender one and this was a time of brutal attacks on gay men, featuring gangs of young thugs like the ‘Parkside Killers’ and ‘Bondi Boys’, who took to the growing gay rights community with fists and feet.

Even more troubling are incidents in which gay men disappeared and have never been found, or where deaths were initially dismissed by the NSW Police as either misadventure or suicide. We now know that a number of these men were hunted down by gangs and thrown over beachside cliffs near the nation’s top tourist spots.

Investigation of crimes against gay men wasn’t always high on the list of priorities for the police and over twenty years later they are still slow to come to grips with their own dismal track record. The families of the victims, and some journalists, have not given up and continue to push the NSW Police Force for more answers.

This is the story of a unique time in our history when social change, politics, devastating disease and police culture collided, and you could literally get away with murder.

Cover, Roger Rogerson, by Duncan McNab
Cover, Roger Rogerson, by Duncan McNab
‘This is a wicked individual.’ — former detective Michael Drury, The Australian


On 20 May 2014, former New South Wales police officers Roger Rogerson and Glen McNamara murdered student Jamie Gao in cold blood. Both have been found guilty of murder and possession of 2.78 kg of ice, and sentenced to life imprisonment.

But this wasn’t Rogerson’s first trial or conviction. Once one of the most highly decorated police officers in New South Wales, he was dismissed from the police force in 1986, and jailed twice.

That was just the tip of the iceberg.

This is the eye-opening account of Rogerson’s life of crime — policing it and committing it — and reveals the full story of one of the most corrupt and evil men in Australia, and the events that led inexorably to the chilling murder of Jamie Gao in storage unit 803.

‘a poisoned, evil little man’ — a former detective inspector

mcnab-waterfront-cvr IT’S BEEN OVER TWO CENTURIES SINCE THE FIRST CROOKS ARRIVED ON AUSTRALIA’S WATERFRONT. BUSINESS IS STILL BOOMING … Ever since the First Fleet dropped anchor, Australia’s ports have been a breeding ground for many of Australia’s most notorious criminals, and a magnet for local and overseas crime syndicates.

From the rum trade of colonial times to modern-day drug smuggling and alongside the rise and dominance of waterfront unions, a criminal element has always found ways to survive and thrive. After a century of Royal Commissions, reports, denials and crackdowns, crime and wrongdoing in Australia’s ports remains organised, entrenched and incredibly profitable.

In Waterfront, investigative journalist and former police detective Duncan McNab chronicles the larger-than-life characters who have populated Australia’s docks, wharves and ports — and lifts the lid on the crime, politics, violence and corruption that has always been present on Australia’s waterfront.

mcnab-outlaw-bikers-cvrOutlaw Bikers in Australia

Australia has a special place in the history of outlaw motorcycle gangs, boasting the highest per capita membership in the world, and a biker culture where bombings, drive-by shootings, arson, beatings and murder are regular occurrences.

From the clubs’ beginnings in the swinging sixties, their entry into the amphetamine market in the 1970s, through to the 1984 Milperra Massacre that made world headlines, to the Sydney airport brawl between the Hell’s Angels and Comancheros and the brutal murder of Anthony Zervas, Outlaw Bikers in Australia tells how these “one per cent deviants” grew to dominate the recreational drug market and became major players in the international outlaw biker scene.

This is the dramatic true story of the rise and rise of Australia’s outlaw motorcycle clubs, illustrated with twenty photos, many in full colour.

Australian / New Zealand Rights: Pan Macmillan Australia


mcnab-rentakill-cvrDuncan’s book Killing Mr Rent-a-Kill tells the gripping biography of an underworld assassin who associated with some of Australia’s most infamous felons and became dangerously close to many of the most powerful and corrupt police operating at the time. Christopher Dale Flannery was believed to be responsible for up to a dozen murders, most of which he was never tried for. Exposing the double-crossings, brutal gangland wars and bloody reprisals of Sydney’s dark underbelly, this is the true story of Flannery — known as “Mr Rent-A-Kill” — as it has never been told before.

Australian / New Zealand Rights: Pan Macmillan Australia. Cover photograph: The Age Archive

Mission 101

In late 1940 a group of five young Australian soldiers set out on a daring classified mission. Leading a small force of Ethiopian freedom fighters on an epic trek across the harsh African bush from the Sudan, the Australians entered Italian-occupied Ethiopia and began waging a guerrilla war against the 250,000-strong Italian army. It was the first campaign organised by the soon-to-be-legendary Special Operations Executive, and one of the most successful guerrilla actions of the entire war. One of the young Australian soldiers was Duncan McNab’s uncle. Using a combination of fascinating research and personal anecdotes, McNab tells the little known story of Mission 101, and how a small group of Australians helped to free a nation.

Dead Man Running

In 2008 Duncan joined forces with investigative journalist Ross Coulthart to write Dead Man Running, an exposé of the world’s most feared motorcycle gang: The Bandidos. Dead Man Running was published by Allen and Unwin in 2008 and became an instant best-seller.

Above the Law

In this book, the news just gets worse. Above the Law takes an unflinching look at the world’s most successful criminal empire and one that is growing in power, reach and ruthlessness. It exposes outlaw motorcycle gangs as a sophisticated, bloody and brutal international criminal franchise that operates with impunity in plain sight of law enforcement and the public.

The Usual Suspect, a biography of notorious crime figure Abe Saffron, was published by Pan Macmillan in 2005.

The Dodger, based on the life of notorious ex-policeman Roger Rogerson, was released by Pan Macmillan in late 2006.

A former detective in the NSW police force in 1986, Duncan McNab moved into sleuthing for criminal defence cases and the corporate world, then worked as a producer/journalist for television programs like 4 Corners and Sunday, and in the print media as well.

Mark McKenna


‘This big, dramatic and intellectually enthralling book will surely become a landmark in Australian biography. Mark McKenna… cross-questions the reputation of the teacher, the family man, the drinker and the historian; as well as Clark’s extraordinary later incarnations as prophet, political Cassandra, bush mountebank and genuine visionary. He… finally establishes Manning Clark as one of the key figures in the new assertion of Australian cultural identity in the mid-twentieth century, alongside Patrick White and Sidney Nolan.’ – Richard Holmes

Mark McKenna’s biography of historian Manning Clark was recently published by Melbourne University Press: An Eye for Eternity: The life of Manning Clark.

Currently a Research Fellow at the Australian National University, Mark McKenna is an outstanding historian, and author of The Captive Republic (Cambridge University Press, 1996) and Looking For Blackfellas’ Point: An Australian History of Place (University of NSW Press, 2002) which won the Australian Cultural Studies Prize 2002; the NSW Premier’s Award for Non-Fiction 2003; and the NSW Premier’s Award (Book of the Year), 2003.

Helen MacDonald


London, 1868: visiting Australian Aboriginal cricketer Charles Rose has died in Guy’s Hospital. What happened next is shrouded in mystery. The only certainty is that Charles Rose’s body did not go directly to a grave.

Written with clarity and verve, and drawing on a rich array of material, Possessing the Dead explores the disturbing history of the cadaver trade in Scotland, England and Australia, where laws once gave certain officials possession of the dead, and no corpse lying in a workhouse, hospital, asylum or gaol was entirely safe from interference.

Helen MacDonald is the author of the critically acclaimed Human Remains, which won the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award (History) and was short listed for the Ernest Scott History Prize. She is a Senior Fellow at The Australian Centre in the School of Historical Studies at the University of Melbourne.

Steven Miller

Steven Miller: Dogs in Australian Art


A New History of Antipodean Creativity

Dogs in Australian Art looks at Australian art through the lens of dog painting, showcasing over 150 masterworks that illustrate the deep bond between Australians and their best friends. Steven Miller’s whimsical text argues that all the major shifts which occurred in Australia art, and which have traditionally been attributed to the environment or historical factors, really occurred because of dogs. His book is also a study of how the various dog breeds have been depicted from colonial times until the present.
Steven Miller is head of the Research Library and Archive of the Art Gallery of New South Wales. He has published widely on art, with his book on Australian culture between the two world wars (Degenerates and Perverts) winning the NSW Premier’s Australian History Award in 2006. He lives in Sydney and is the proud owner of Finbar, a Welsh Terrier.

Amanda Lohrey

“I woke with a gasp. And lay in the dark, open-mouthed, holding my breath. That feeling… that feeling was indescribable. For a moment I had felt as if I were falling… falling into bliss.”

lohrey-kline-cvr All his life, Richard Kline has been haunted by a sense that something is lacking. He envies the ease with which others slip into contented suburban life or the pursuit of wealth. As he moves into middle age, Richard grows angry, cynical, depressed.

But then a strange event awakens him to a different way of life. He finds himself on a quest, almost against his will, to resolve the ‘divine discontent’ he has suffered since childhood. From pharmaceuticals to New Age therapies to finding a guru, Richard’s journey dramatises the search for meaning in today’s world. This audacious novel is an exploration of masculinity, the mystical and our very human yearning for something more. It is hypnotic, nuanced and Amanda Lohrey’s finest offering yet – a pilgrim’s progress for the here and now.

lohrey-bovary-cvrAmanda Lohrey’s Reading Madame Bovary is her first collection of short fiction. A woman finds her everyday life engulfed by vivid fantasies, a businessman explores new ways to deal with his rage, a young woman is stuck on a boat with a bunch of delinquents, a diary is discovered, a commune goes wrong…

World rights: Black Ink. Contact:  Sophy Williams


Vertigo: This beautifull written novella tells the story of Luke and Anna, who decide they no longer want to live in the city and seek refuge in a sleepy settlement on the coast. There they build a new life amid the beauty and danger of the natural world. But the country is not what it seems from a distance as they begin to realise once they are faced with the dangers of the environment.

World rights: Black Ink. Contact:  Sophy Williams

In 1995 Amanda’s novel Camille’s Bread was published to high critical acclaim by HarperCollins. It won the Victorian Premier’s Prize for Fiction and the Gold Medal of the Australian Literature Society, and has remained in print since publication.

‘A novel about love and noodles, dreams and responsibilities. A contemplative, wry and tender book.’ — Philippa Hawker, Marie Claire


Her 2004 novel The Philosopher’s Doll focuses on a modern dilemma: a married couple have to choose whether they should have children, and if so when? In a short but complex novel about the timeless conundrum of free will, Amanda explores the postmodern condition of hi-tech affluence where there is such a thing as too much choice. Or is it only the illusion of choice?

Amanda Lohrey is one of Australias leading literary fiction writers. She has published five novels: The Morality of Gentlemen, The Reading Group, Camille’s Bread (which won the Australian Literature Society’s Gold Medal), The Philosopher’s Doll (Penguin, 2004) and Vertigo. She has also written two Quarterly Essays, Groundswell and Voting for Jesus. In 2012 she was awarded the PAtrick White Literary Award.

Kate Lilley

Kate Lilley’s first book of poems Versary was published by Salt Publications in Cambridge, England:

Photo of Kate Lilley by John Tranter

Her second collection is Ladylike, published by the University of Western Australia Press in 2012. A critic in The Australian had this to say:

Her poems present a refreshing and valuable world of slant humour, bright fragments and deeply-considered oddities, with subtle hints of suffering redeemed. As a reviewer recently remarked, this book “consolidates the emergence of a strong voice in Australian poetry.”

Graham Lang


Failed writer Frank Cole can barely remember Lettah. When his family left Zimbabwe, their beloved servant was gradually forgotten. Now, forty years on, Frank has been set a mysterious task in his mother’s will: he must find Lettah and deliver her bequest. As he pieces together Lettah’s fate, Frank begins to see the new Zimbabwe – and himself – in the delicate chemistry between meaning and hope.

Graham Lang was born in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. He is the author of Clouds Like Black Dogs and Place of Birth, which was longlisted for the Sunday Times Prize, South Africa’s premier literary award.

An accom­plished artist, he has exhibited widely and taught art in both Australia and South Africa. Graham has lived in Australia since 1990.

His website:

Susan Kurosawa


Susan is an award-winning travel editor and columnist at The Australian newspaper.


Her debut novel Coronation Talkies was published by Penguin in 2004. This is a rollicking 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 interested in the British Raj.

A UK edition was released in 2007.

Susan is currently working on a sequel to this book, which is also contracted to Penguin.

Rights available: US and translation.

Malcolm Knox

One of Australia’s most highly acclaimed and versatile writers,
Malcolm Knox
has published many books.

The Wonder Lover : cover image
The Wonder Lover : cover image

What’s the worst thing that can happen to a man with three secret families? He falls in love.

This is the story of John Wonder, a man with three families, each one kept secret from the other, each one containing two children, a boy and a girl. As he travels from family to family in different cities, he works as an Authenticator, verifying world records, confirming facts, setting things straight, while his own life is a teetering tower of astonishing lies and betrayals. The Wonder Lover is a stunning novel that again and magnificently confirms Malcolm Knox as one of our brightest stars, an imaginative tour de force that ranks alongside the best work of Nabokov, Amis, Ireland and Carey.

‘It is a compulsive and thrilling read, a dazzling achievement. There is a word that should be used very rarely but I believe is absolutely right for this book: The Wonder Lover is superb.’ — Christos Tsiolkas, author of The Slap.

knox-b-w-cvrBradman’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

knox-m-the-life-cvrNovel: The Life

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. 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. knox-the-life-aust-cvr200wThe Life has been published by Allen and Unwin in Australia and Allen and Unwin/ Atlantic Books in the UK.

‘(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… Malcolm Knox is one of the best novelists writing in the world today.’ — Christos Tsiolkas

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

Prior Work

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.

He is the author of eleven previous books including the novels Summerland, Adult Book, winner of a Ned Kelly Award, and Jamaica (Random House Australia, 2007) 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.

“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

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

knox-never-cvrNever a Gentlemen’s Game

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.

World Rights: Hardie Grant

Catriona Menzies-Pike: The Long Run

No one ever expected Catriona Menzies-Pike to run a marathon. She hated running, and was a hopeless athlete. When she was twenty her parents died suddenly — and for a decade she was stuck. She started running on a whim, and finally her grief started to move too.

Until very recently, it was frowned upon for women to run long distances. Running was deemed unladylike — and probably dangerous. How did women’s running go from being suspect to wildly popular? How does a high school klutz become a marathon runner? This fascinating book combines memoir and cultural history to explore the rich and contradictory topic of women and running.

Anne Kennedy

kennedy-costume-cvrAnne Kennedy is a New Zealand author. Her new novel is The Last Days of the National Costume which is about illicit love, sewing, blackouts and Belfast.

It is narrated by the seamstress GoGo Sligo, who is one of the funniest, wisest observers of all time — with a unique and spellbinding voice. 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.

Rights: US; UK/Translation: c/- Wenona Byrne at

Anne Kennedy’s 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.

Margo Kingston

kingston-nhjHer 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.

Margo Kingston is a Canberra-based journalist for the Sydney Morning Herald.

Neil James

Neil James and Harold Scruby, with Illustrations by Alan Moir

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.

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.

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.

Writing at Work

Here Neil James talks about his book Writing at Work:

‘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… careers. I’d also like to see… 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 a hundred years ago, having been at the heart of education for centuries.’

Lyn Hughes


Lyn’s fourth novel, Flock (HarperCollins Australia, 2011), 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.

Prior work

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.

Her first two novels were The Factory (1990), shortlisted for the National Book Council’s New Writers’ Award, and One-Way Mirrors (1993).

Lyn was born in Wales in 1952, and spent eighteen years in South Africa before settling in Australia in 1982.
You can visit her web site here:

Sarah Hopkins

This Picture of You

Martin and Maggie, a judge and an artist, have forged a life together for thirty-seven years. They have a son who is a successful lawyer and a grandson to dote on. Life is good, comfortable, familiar.

But one day Martin leaves a family lunch and drives to a suburb miles away, to a particular house in a particular street, where an accident triggers a chain of events…

World Rights: Allen and Unwin

Prior work

Sarah’s 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.

The Crimes of Billy Fish: 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.

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.

Karen Hitchcock

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 was 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 “life writing”.

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.

Australia and New Zealand rights: Pan Macmillan

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.

Vicki Hastrich

A new author with a great gift for humour and characterisation.

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.

Henri Mallard


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.

Prior work
Vicki’s 2001 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. Swimming with the Jellyfish was published by Simon & Schuster Australia in 2001.

Photo: Henri Mallard, Building the Sydney Harbour Bridge,1930s.

Margaret Harris

Margaret Harris
Margaret Harris

Margaret Harris held positions in the Department of English, University of Sydney, including the Challis Chair of English Literature, from 1969 to 2007. Since 2007, she has been Director of Research Development, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, at the University of Sydney.

Her major research projects have in common intensive investigation of the manuscripts of creative writers. Her research in Victorian fiction has established new interpretations of the careers of two major authors, George Eliot and George Meredith, based on original analysis of their unpublished writings such as notebooks and diaries, and knowledgeable and imaginative commentary on their novels. These contributions to the field were put into circulation initially in scholarly editions of previously unpublished writings, as well as of editions of each writer’s novels. Both The Journals of George Eliot (1998, with Judith Johnston) and The Notebooks of George Meredith (1983, with Gillian Beer) expand the published corpus of the work of the author, and provide insight into the creation and production of the work.

The Hanging Garden, cover image
The Hanging Garden, cover image
Professor Harris has published also on Australian authors, notably Christina Stead, in articles and a major collection of letters, Dearest Munx: The Letters of Christina Stead and William J. Blake (2005). She is currently engaged in an ARC-funded project on Patrick White in collaboration with Elizabeth Webby, which includes an edition of his working notebooks and publication of an unfinished novel, The Hanging Garden, in 2012, the centenary of White’s birth.

Christine Harris


Christine is a prolific and popular author for young readers.

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.

harris-rl2dr-cvrRaven 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

Prior Work:
Her young adult novel, Foreign Devil (Random House, 1999), won an Aurealis award for best novel in the horror genre. Random House published her collection of witty anecdotes Oddballs in 1998 and have also 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.

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 .

Amanda Hampson

The French Perfumer
by Amanda Hampson
Amanda Hampson, 'The French Perfumer', cover

‘Shorthand typist required by English speaker in the South of France. Live-in, full board plus salary commensurate with experience.’

Iris Turner, an unworldly young Englishwoman, arrives in the French Riviera to take up a secretarial role for the mysterious Hammond Brooke. Living in a small, exclusive hotel among eccentric and unpredictable aristocrats and struggling to gain her employer’s trust, she soon realises that nothing is as it seems.

Initiated into the mysterious world of perfume, she finds herself entangled in a web of intrigue and deception. Gradually discovering the truth, she gains a new understanding of the meaning of love, loyalty and betrayal.

By the bestselling author of The Olive Sisters, this is a captivating and evocative novel full of surprising twists and turns.

Praise for Amanda Hampson:

‘Beautifully written…a cross between literary and popular fiction, this is a book that would appeal to a wide audience.’  — Coast Living

‘Perfect pacing and well-drawn characters make this novel an engaging and moving read.’  — New Idea

‘You won’t want to put it down so make sure you have plenty of time to sit, relax and enjoy.’  — Italianicious

‘A warm, richly told story…a lovely heart-warming read’  — Manly Daily

Amanda Hampsonhampson-olive-100

The Olive Sisters


Two For the Road

“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, 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.

hampson-twoTwo 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.

Anne Gorman: The Country Wife

gorman-wife-cvrIn the tradition of Sara Henderson’s From Strength to Strength, comes a powerful true story of heartbreak and triumph.

When she is five, Anne Gorman’s family disintegrates. After thirteen pregnancies and the death of two children, her devout Catholic mother has a breakdown and Anne and her younger sisters are placed in a convent. Struggling to survive a childhood marred by fear and uncertainty, Anne sees education as her lifeline to freedom. After graduating from university, she’s set to take on the world.

But her plans come unstuck when she falls in love. Marrying a farmer and becoming a mother of five was a life she never imagined. Yet in this alien landscape she finds love and a sense of belonging. When her husband becomes gravely ill, Anne has to find the courage to keep the farm and her family afloat.

Against a backdrop of dramatic historic change, from the shadow of war to the rise of feminism, an uncertain young girl grows into a woman of substance.

Here’s part of a recent review of the book:

The Country Wife, Anne Gorman, tells a great Australian story; by Shaunagh O’Connor
in The Weekly Times, March 04, 2015 12:00AM

OF all the life stories ever written down in homes across Australia, it takes a special one to catch the eye of a publisher. Anne Gorman’s memoir is one of the lucky ones to reach publication and The Country Wife is a story worth sharing.

Gorman, born in 1934, doesn’t tell of fame, fortune or outrageous misfortune but rather a simple life story of the joys and hardships that are part of the human condition and how she navigated them. Born the 11th child of a loving and comfortable family of 13 siblings in Sydney, Gorman’s childhood world fell apart when she went away to a convent boarding school at the age of five after the breakdown of her mother, who had experienced the death of two of those children.

Gorman was rescued from the regimented, loveless institution after her mother’s recovery, but at the same time experienced the death of her beloved father.

Gorman writes honestly and thoughtfully of life during World War II and being evacuated to the Blue Mountains to escape the Japanese invasion of Sydney. She tells of repeated sexual assault at the hands of her teenage brother six years older than her, and of her inability to tell anyone what was happening, of studying social work at university where she graduated as a social worker and then a meeting with a farmer in his 30s, Bruce Gorman, from Yerong Creek, south of Wagga Wagga. The Gorman romance led to marriage, five children, a life on the family property and involvement in all aspects of rural community life.

When her husband is diagnosed with stomach cancer she enters the realm of carer and the roller-coaster of hope offered by second opinions and drugs and the despair of a progressive illness.

After Bruce’s death Gorman decides it is up to her to continue work on the farm while raising her children, all still at school. A worthy tale of city girl turned accomplished country resident.


Mabel Lee

Mabel LeeAfter a distinguished academic career in South-east Asian studies at Sydney University, Mabel Lee turned to literature.

HarperCollins Australia published her translation of Gao Xingjian’s novel 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.


Gao Xingjian: Nobel Prize


Nobel Prize for Literature 2000

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.

Following links from the  SAMPLES page above, 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.

“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

Susan Fraser: Déjà Vu

Susan Fraser 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. fraser-dejavu-cvr

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 policeman 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 Fraser 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.

Will Elliott

lliott-the-pilgrims-cvrThe Pilgrims: Eric Albright is a twenty-six-year-old journalist living in London. That is to say, he would be a journalist if he got off his backside and did some real work. But this luckless slacker isn’t all bad — he has a soft spot for his sometimes-friend Stuart Casey the homeless old drunk who mostly lives under the railway bridge near his flat.

Eric and Case haunt the arch, waiting for the door to reappear. And when it does, both Eric and Case choose to go through… to the land of Levaal, a world between worlds. A place where a mountain-sized dragon with the powers of a god lies sleeping beneath a great white castle. In the castle, the sinister Lord Vous rules with an iron fist, and the Project, designed to effect his transformation into an immortal spirit, nears completion. But Vous’s growing madness is close to consuming him, together with his fear of an imaginary being named “Shadow.” And soon Eric may lend substance to that fear.

An impossibly vast wall divides Levaal, and no one has ever seen what lies beyond. But otherworlders Eric and Case, known as pilgrims, possess powers that no one in either world yet understands, and soon the wall may be broken. But… What will enter from the other side?

The Pilgrims is no ordinary alternate-world fantasy; with this first volume in The Pendulum Trilogy, Will Elliott’s brilliantly subversive imagination twists the conventions of the genre, providing an unforgettable visionary experience.

Prior Works
Will Elliott was born in Brisbane, Australia. His debut novel, The Pilo Family Circus, co-won the Aurealis Award for best horror, the Golden Aurealis for best novel, and the Australian Shadows Award. “This is a first novel of real promise. At his best, Elliott writes with a power commensurate with the originality of his vision. It is not just that he has unusually nasty visions to put on the page, but he has the ability to make us share them” Times Literary Supplement.
?Nightfall: Journey into a strange and atmospheric world and enjoy this wildly entertaining story. Intensely written, dark and brooding, the bizarre, grotesque and magical characters will lead you into the depths of the imagination to confront the nature of storytelling and reality, love and loss.

elliott-inside-cvrInside Out: Mason has no qualms about getting his hands on Denton’s inheritance, even if it means disposing of Denton — permanently. But Mason doesn’t bank on the characters ‘inside’ Denton: Mr Scott, who runs the logic department; Dream Master, the enigma creating Denton’s dreams; Len, who enjoys inventing nightmares; and Wetpatch, who runs amok with Denton’s libido. They realise that something is very wrong… and they will do whatever it takes to save him.

“This is a funny, clever book that is postmodern without being pretentious and meta without being contrived” — Bookseller and Publisher

Paul Dillon


There are so many questions that need answers, but how do parents start talking to their kids about alcohol and drugs? Asking ‘Are you taking drugs?’ won’t do it — that approach won’t give teenagers the information they desperately need to keep themselves and their friends safe.

Teenagers, Alcohol and Drugs has been written in response to the stories Paul Dillon has heard over 25 years in drug and alcohol education. It gives answers to the questions he has been asked by young people and their parents, and also includes solutions to the many scenarios he has heard about from anxious teenagers who haven’t known what to do when things went bad.

This book shows parents how to talk to their children in a way that is respectful and reasonable, non-threatening and non-judgmental. It will help them understand the issues their children are facing, and show them how to help their kids negotiate a minefield of misinformation and social pressure in a calm and sensible way — to tell them what they really want and need to know about alcohol and drugs.

Rights: Spain, Ediciones Medici

Michelle Dicinoski

dicinoski-michelle-2012Michelle has found the love of her life — and now she just wants to get married and live happily ever after.

The only problem is, she’s in love with an American woman, Heather, and neither Australia nor America recognises same-sex marriage. What to do? For Michelle, the answer is clear: go to Canada and get hitched there.

This is the deep, funny, heartwarming and brave story of that trip. Along the way, Michelle reflects on why anyone would want to get married anyway, on the power of acceptance, and on the startling ghost stories in her family.

World Rights: Black Inc, 2013

Michelle Dicinoski writes non-fiction and poetry. Her second book, Ghost Wife: A Memoir of Love and Defiance, was published by Black Inc. in March 2013. Her poetry collection Electricity for Beginners was published in 2011. Her poems and essays have appeared in anthologies, newspapers and journals including the The Best Australian Poems, The Australian, and Meanjin.

Michelle has a PhD in creative writing from the University of Queensland, and received a Marten Bequest Travelling Scholarship for 2012-2013. She lives in Melbourne.


Luke Devenish

The Secret Heiress

A fabulous fortune. Beautiful, identical twins… Dark shadows fall across the golden summer of 1886.

Naïve country girl Ida Garfield longs to escape the farm. When Miss Matilda Gregory, the elegant mistress of Summersby House, offers Ida employment as a housemaid, Ida leaps at the chance. Yet it’s not for her servant’s skills that she’s wanted. It’s her inquisitiveness.

devenish-secret-cvr But before Ida starts her first day, Miss Gregory is found dead. Fearing her one chance of bettering herself lost, Ida goes to the funeral, hoping that someone else from Summersby will still want her.

Someone does. Handsome blond Englishman Mr Samuel Hackett is the late Miss Gregory’s fiancé. He expresses a keen need for a housemaid — and a friend. But Miss Gregory’s will brings to light an extraordinary deception and a terrible wrong from the past. Summersby has a secret heiress, whose name is also Matilda Gregory, a strange, ethereal girl with an irrevocably broken memory. Who is this mysterious heiress, and why is Ida bound forever to the truth?

devenish-luke-100dpiIt is 44 BC and the rival powers of Rome are driving the Republic to a violent end. A soothsayer foretells that the young Tiberius Nero, if he is wed to his cousin, the darkly beautiful Livia Drusilla, will sire four kings of Rome. Fuelled by ambition, Livia devotes her life to fulfilling the prophecy. No crime is too great when destiny beckons.

So begins a murderous saga of sex, corruption and obsession at the dawning of the age of emperors.

devenish-den-cvr-100dpiDen of Wolves brings to life the great women of Imperial Rome — Livia, Julia, Antonia and Agrippina — women who relied on their ambition, instincts and cunning to prosper. In this first book of the dramatic new series Empress of Rome, Luke Devenish superbly recreates these outstanding women who lived in such monstrous times.

The second in the series is… Nest of Vipers. Rome is bathed in blood as the Emperor Tiberius is tormented by drug-fuelled terrors of treason. The innocent are butchered while the guilty do evil in darkness. None is guiltier than the Emperor’s devoted and deluded ‘son’, Sejanus.

devenish-vipers-cvrIn this city of poison three beautiful women are locked in a lethal rivalry… Rome is a nest of vipers, and Livia, the one true Empress of Rome, is hell-bent on wreaking her vengeance… Nest of Vipers is the second volume in the gripping Empress of Rome series.

Rights: Den of Wolves was published in Australia and New Zealand by Random House in 2008, and has also been sold into Turkey, Spain and Russia. It is the first book in a trilogy commissioned by Random House.

The author: Luke Devenish is a writer for television and theatre, and a lecturer in screenwriting. He lives with his partner in central Victoria, Australia. Den of Wolves is his first novel. Visit his website:


Robert Dessaix

‘Dessaix is one of perhaps three Australian writers whose
every appearance in print is a not-to-be-missed event’

Sydney Morning Herald

‘Dessaix is some kind of national treasure because he represents with a kind of Helpmann-like elegance and virtuosity
the side of our sensibilities we publicly repress’

— Peter Craven, Australian Book Review

‘Dessaix writes with great elegance, with passion,
compassion and sly wit’
— John Banville

One Sunday night in Sydney, Robert Dessaix collapses on a Darlinghurst pavement, and is helped to his hotel by a kind young man wearing a T-shirt that says FUCK YOU. What follows are weeks in hospital, tubes and cannulae puncturing his body, as he recovers from the heart attack threatening daily to kill him. While lying in the hospital bed, Robert chances upon Philip Larkin’s poem ‘Days’.
What, he muses, have his days been for?
What and whom has he loved – and why?
This is vintage Robert Dessaix.
His often surprisingly funny recollections range over topics as eclectic as intimacy, travel, spirituality, enchantment, language and childhood, all woven through with a heightened sense of mortality.

“The pleasure and elegance of all Dessaix’s writing is in the language, the erudition, the delicate, often unexpected and lovely connections, and the intimate, conversational voice. Anyone who listened to him during his decade as presenter of the ABC’s Books and Writing program will immediately ‘hear’ him.
What Days are For is an illuminating companion to A Mother’s Disgrace (1994), which recounted Dessaix’s childhood as a much-loved adopted son, his early studies and travels, but mainly his sense of emptiness until he finds his birth mother and a new identity. He notes: ‘I would like to move hearts, not just minds.’ And he does.”

— Agnes Nieuwenhuizen, in The Australian

After teaching Russian language and literature in the 1970s and ’80s, and presenting the ABC’s Books and Writing program for ten years, he became a full-time writer in 1995. He lives in Hobart.

His autobiography, A Mother’s Disgrace, was published by HarperCollins in 1994.

Robert’s best-selling novel Night Letters was published to great success in Australia, U.K. and the U.S.A. as well as being translated into German, French, Italian, Dutch, Finnish and Portuguese. This was followed by Corfu, released by Scribners in the UK in 2001 and in the Netherlands by Muelenhoff.

Twilight of Love followed, which highlighted Robert’s fascination with Russia and in particular Russian writers. He is a fluent Russian speaker and his doctoral thesis was as study of the author Ivan Turgenev. In Twilight of Love he revisits the Europe he experienced more than twenty years ago and follows the footsteps of Turgenev. Robert weaves together Turgenev’s time in the nineteenth century, his own Soviet experience, and Russia as it is today. Released at the Melbourne Writers’ Week in 2004 by Pan Macmillan, it was also published in the UK by Simon and Schuster and in the US by Shoemaker and Hoard.

dessaix-as-i-was-cvrRobert’s next book (Pan Macmillan 2008) was Arabesques, based on the life and travels of Nobel Prize winning author André Gide. Part travel, part memoir, Arabesques explores Robert’s fascination with Gide’s attempt to find a balance between his homosexual desires and an almost puritanical core.

Robert’s recent collection of non-fiction, As I was Saying, is a swirling conversation with the reader on everything from travel to dogs and cats, from sport and swearing to the pleasures of idleness.

 Rights: various

Genna de Bont


Is it better not to know?

Thirty-five-year-old Wren Fox lives with his mother, Bernie, in a run-down house in country Victoria. They’ve always led a simple life, unperturbed by the knowledge that others find them eccentric.

privacy-de-bont-cvrWhen Wren stumbles across an explicit blog page belonging to his employer’s sister, Madeline Stanley, his straightforward view of life is thrown into turmoil. Wren quickly becomes obsessed with Madeline’s two online journals and, upon discovering that a stalker is involved, finds himself behaving in unexpected ways.

With the knowledge he has covertly gained, he is eventually forced out of his shell and into action in ways he never could have anticipated — ways that will decide his own future and that of the Stanleys.

Rights: World: HarperCollins / Fourth Estate, 2013

The Pepper Gate

For successful artist Mallory Smith, painting has always been an escape — from his lonely childhood, his turbulent relationships with his three wives, and the birth of a daughter with a severe disability. But art is failing him now. The Pepper Gate is a compelling and unpredictable novel about building relationships and deconstructing the past.

Rights: Australia and New Zealand: University of Queensland Press, 2007

Stephen Daisley

Stop Press: 2016: Coming Rain wins the NZ$50,000 Fiction Prize at Ockham NZ Book Awards

Daisley: Coming Rain, cover
Daisley: Coming Rain, cover

The contractor left a letter from their father and a white carton of tailor-made American cigarettes with a big red circle on them. Lucky Strike Toasted plain cut. He would remember his mother holding the carton as she hugged him and told him to do his best. The crinkly sound of the cellophane. The other kids around them like chooks as he tried to say goodbye Mum.

LEWIS McCLEOD has been travelling with Painter Hayes since he was a boy. Shearing, charcoal burning — anything that comes. Painter made him his first pair of shoes. But Lew’s a grown man by the time he and Painter arrive on Drysdale Downs to shear for John Drysdale and his daughter, Clara. And now everything will change.

Stephen Daisley writes in lucid, rippling prose of how things work, and why; of the profound satisfaction in hard work done with care; of love and friendship, and the damage that both contain. Praise for Stephen Daisley’s Traitor:

NZ reviewer Sue Green writes: ‘It is four years since Stephen Daisley’s heartbreakingly beautiful debut novel Traitor. Many of us enjoyed the irony of this Western Australia-based Kiwi winning the $80,000 Australian Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Fiction with what was, at its heart, a very New Zealand story. So it was disconcerting to discover that this much-anticipated second book is wrought by his experience in the harsh environs of rural Western Australia. Shearer, truck driver, sheep and cattle station worker, Daisley, who moved to Australia more than twenty-five years ago, knows and loves this unforgiving country and its people. And it shows. Even such unlovely characters as the violent bigot Painter Hayes are drawn with compassion for a man of his place and time… This is a brutal, unflinching work with moments of shocking violence. Yet it is rendered with the same compassion, the exquisite tenderness and eye for beauty in the harshest places which made Traitor so affecting and memorable.’  — Sue Green, Sunday Star Times, New Zealand

‘One of the best novels I have read in recent years.’ Stephen Romei, Australian

‘A revelation… A rare pleasure.’ Australian Literary Review

daisley-traitor-cvr Gallipolli 1915: A young New Zealand soldier and a Turkish doctor meet in the chaos of battle. When a shell bursts overhead, David and Mahmoud are taken to the same military hospital. There, an unshakeable bond grows between them: naive shepherd and educated Sufi mystic. A bond such that, when the time comes, David will choose to betray his country for his friend.

The savage punishment that follows will break David and make him anew. The compassion he finds within himself will touch the lives of his comrades in the trenches. And later, back in the hill country of New Zealand, it will wrench open the heart of a woman crazed by grief.

Traitor is a story of war, and love how each changes everything, forever. Evoking both brutality and transcendent beauty, Stephen Daisley’s astonishing debut novel will transport the reader heart and soul into another realm.

The author: Stephen Daisley was born in 1955, and grew up in remote parts of the North Island of New Zealand. He served for five years in an infantry battalion of the NZ Army, and has worked on sheep and cattle stations, on oil and gas construction sites and as a truck driver and bartender, among many other jobs. He has university degrees in writing and literature and lives in Western Australia with his wife and five children. Traitor is his first novel.

2011: Traitor has won the Australian Prime Minister’s Prize
2011: Traitor has won the UTS Glenda Adams Award for New Writing in the New South Wales Premiers’ Prize
2016: Coming Rain wins the NZ$50,000 Fiction Prize at Ockham NZ Book Awards

Rights: Australia and New Zealand.

Eva Cox

High-profile feminist economist, and very much in demand as a public speaker and commentator. She delivered the ABC Boyer Lectures in 1995 and her book Leading Women — an examination of he place of women in the contemporary political economy of Australia — was published by Random House in 1996.

Rights: Australia and New Zealand: Random House Australia, 1996

Ross Coulthart

‘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
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…
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 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.’

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.)

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), (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

Katrina Beikoff

Katrina Beikoff

May Tang: A New Australian
May Tang cover

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

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