Biography

Chasing the Light

$35.00

A rare, controversial, and totally no holds barred memoir from one of Hollywood’s greats.

In this powerful and evocative memoir, Oscar-winning director and screenwriter, Oliver Stone, takes us right to the heart of what it’s like to make movies on the edge.

In Chasing The Light he writes about his rarefied New York childhood, volunteering for combat, and his struggles and triumphs making such films as Platoon, Midnight Express, and Scarface.

Before the international success of Platoon in 1986, Oliver Stone had been wounded as an infantryman in Vietnam, and spent years writing unproduced scripts while taking miscellaneous jobs and driving taxis in New York, finally venturing westward to Los Angeles and a new life.

Stone, now 73, recounts those formative years with vivid details of the high and low moments: we sit at the table in meetings with Al Pacino over Stone’s scripts for Scarface, Platoon, and Born on the Fourth of July; relive the harrowing demon of cocaine addiction following the failure of his first feature, The Hand (starring Michael Caine); experience his risky on-the-ground research of Miami drug cartels for Scarface; and see his stormy relationship with The Deer Hunter director Michael Cimino. We also learn of the breathless hustles to finance the acclaimed and divisive Salvador; and witness tensions behind the scenes of his first Academy Award-winning film, Midnight Express.

PRAISE FOR CHASING THE LIGHT

“Riveting.” – The New York Times

“Raw, savagely honest, as dramatic as any of his movies.” – Mail on Sunday

“A tremendous book – readable, funny and harrowing.” – The Sunday Times

“He provokes outrage. He stirs up controversy. He has no respect for safe places. Oliver Stone is larger than life. Chasing the Light says it all.” – Sir Anthony Hopkins

Rising Heart

$34.99

Author event: Aminata Conteh-Biger in conversation with Juliet Rieden


One woman’s astonishing journey from unimaginable trauma to becoming a power for good.

In 1999, Sierra Leone was in the midst of a brutal civil war where mindless violence, vicious amputation and the rape of young enslaved women were the everyday weapons of bloody conflict.

It was also where rebel soldiers snatched the young Aminata Conteh-Biger from her father’s arms, then held her captive for months.

After she was released, the UNHCR recognised that her captors still posed a serious threat to her safety. So, still in her teens, she was put on a plane and flown to Australia to start afresh as a refugee in a land she knew nothing about.

It is here that she has proudly built a life, while never allowing her trauma to define her. Yet it was a near-death experience she suffered during the birth of her child that turned her attention to the women of Sierra Leone – where they are 200 times more likely to die while having a baby than in Australia.
So she set up the Aminata Maternal Foundation, then returned to the land of her birth to help. This is her story.

Read an extract of the book in the Sydney Morning Herald

PRAISE FOR RISING HEART

‘Aminata knocked me out at our first meeting in Sydney some years ago…courage shining through as she spoke of some of her experiences in Sierra Leone. Her story, Rising Heart, will never leave you; searing, powerful, disturbing, hopeful.’ – The Hon. Dame Quentin Bryce AD CVO

‘The spirit of Aminata’s story will stay with you long after you finish reading. Rising Heart has refuelled my sense of perspective and purpose. Aminata’s courage in sharing this intensely personal story is rewarded with the power of inspiring hope. Thank you, Aminata, for sharing.’ – Yael Stone, actor and activist

Sad Mum Lady

$29.99

‘If people knew how bad this was,’ I said to a friend two weeks after the birth, nipples flashing red like emergency lights under my dressing-gown, ‘they would be sterilised on their thirteenth birthdays.’

It sometimes feels like there’s a rule for parents: if you’re going to say anything mildly unhappy about parenting, you must also be at pains to stress that it is all worth it. What joy! What wonder! How lucky we are! But then there’s the crying. And the body horror. The tearing and the leaking. And the crippling isolation. And the sleep deprivation. And somehow a dead rat in the cubbyhouse and the endless judgement of peers and neighbours and the internet.

But fear not. Ashe Davenport is here. And she’s not afraid to say it’s fucked. Unapologetic and frank, Sad Mum Lady navigates the joys of motherhood in ways that will be familiar, hilarious and essential reading for parents and non-parents alike. Savage, true and deeply relatable – finally, a book that resists the sanitised, acceptable face of parenting. You might not feel better, but at least you’ll feel less alone.

Top End Girl

$32.99

A deadly memoir about being bold, black and brave in work, life and love.

‘Sharing my story is important … I think it is true that you don’t aspire to be what you cannot see. I would like this book to show you that you can push yourself to do things you never dreamed you would do.’

As a young Larrakia Tiwi girl Miranda Tapsell often felt like an outsider. Growing up, she looked for faces like hers on our screens. There weren’t many. And too often there was a negative narrative around First Nation lives, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women especially. As she got older, Miranda stopped expecting others would help change things and set about doing something herself. Combining her pride in her Aboriginality and passion for romantic comedies with her love of Darwin, the Tiwi Islands and the Top End, Miranda co-wrote, produced and starred in the box office hit Top End Wedding.

In this engaging memoir, Miranda shares the path she took to acting and how her role in The Sapphires and then in Love Child inspired her to create a film about coming back to family and culture. And, it would turn out, that as she was writing her romantic lead she was also conjuring up some magic that saw a real-life love ignite. This deadly, ballad-loving rom-com nerd also asks us all to open our minds and our hearts to the importance of country and culture, In doing so, Miranda shows us how we will all be richer for it.