Australian literature

Watsonia: A Writing Life

$49.99

Out 17 November

Watsonia gathers the fruits of a writing life. It covers everything from Australian humour to America gone berserk; from Don Bradman to Oscar Wilde; from birds and horses to history and politics. Wherever Don Watson turns his incisive gaze, the results are as illuminating as they are enjoyable.

Watsonia displays the many sides of Don Watson: historian, speechwriter, social critic, humourist, biographer and lover of nature and sports. Replete with wit, wisdom and diverse pleasures, this comprehensive collection includes a wide-ranging introduction by the author and several previously unpublished pieces. No other writer has journeyed further into the soul of Australia and returned to tell the tale.

Loving Country

$45.00

Loving Country is a powerful and essential guidebook that offers a new way to travel and discover Australia through an Indigenous narrative. In this beautifully designed and photographed edition, co-authors Bruce Pascoe and Vicky Shukuroglou, in consultation with communities and Elders across Australia, show travellers how to see the country as herself, to know her whole and old story, and to find the way to fall in love with her, our home.

Featuring 18 places in detail, from the ingenious fish traps at Brewarrina and the rivers that feed the Great Barrier Reef, to the love stories of Wiluna and the whale story of Margaret River, there is so much to celebrate. This immersive book covers history, Dreaming stories, traditional cultural practices, Indigenous tours and the importance of recognition and protection of place. It offers keys to unlock the heart of this loving country for those who want to enrich their understanding of our continent, and for travellers looking for more than a whistle-stop tour of Australia.

In Loving Country, Bruce and Vicky hope that all communities will be heard when they tell their stories, and that these stories and the country from which they have grown will be honoured. Readers are encouraged to discover sacred Australia by reconsidering the accepted history, and hearing diverse stories of her Indigenous peoples. It is a roadmap to communication and understanding, between all peoples and country, to encourage environmental and social change.

Repentance

$32.99

‘But then we all love this place, don’t we, in our different ways?’

It’s the summer of 1976, and the winds of change are blowing through the small town of Repentance on the edge of the Great Dividing Range. The old families farmed cattle and cut timber, but the new settlers, the hippies, have a different perspective on the natural order and humankind’s place in the scheme of things. Soon everything will be disturbed. Either the old growth is coming down or the loggers have to be stopped. And although not everyone agrees on tactics, noone will escape being drawn into the coming confrontation.

A tale of a country town and its rhythms, Repentance is also the story of modern Australia at one of its flashpoints, told tenderly and beautifully through the eyes of characters you won’t forget.

Lucky’s

$32.99

Lucky’s is a story of family.
A story about migration.
It is also about a man called Lucky.
His restaurant chain.
A fire that changed everything.
New Yorker article which might save a career.
The mystery of a missing father.
An impostor who got the girl.
An unthinkable tragedy.
A roll of the dice.
And a story of love – lost, sought and won again (at last).

Factory 19

$32.99

We’re told that the future will be brighter. But what if human happiness really lies in the past?
Hobart, 2022: a city with a declining population, in the grip of a dark recession. A rusty ship sails into the harbour and begins to unload its cargo on the site of the once famous but now abandoned Gallery of Future Art, known to the world as GoFA.

One day the city’s residents are awoken by a high-pitched sound no one has heard for two generations: a factory whistle. GoFA’s owner, world-famous billionaire Dundas Faussett, is creating his most ambitious installation yet. He’s going to defeat technology’s dominance over our lives by establishing a new Year Zero: 1948. Those whose jobs have been destroyed by Amazon and Uber and Airbnb are invited to fight back in the only way that can possibly succeed: by living as if the internet had never been invented.

The hold of Bezos, Musk, Zuckerberg and their ilk starts to loosen as the revolutionary example of Factory 19 spreads. Can nostalgia really defeat the future? Can the little people win back the world? We are about to find out.

Infinite Splendours

$32.99

The incandescent new novel from the acclaimed Miles Franklin winner author of The Eye of the Sheep and The Choke.

Lawrence Loman is a bright, caring, curious boy with a gift for painting. He lives at home with his mother and younger brother, and the future is laid out before him, full of promise. But when he is ten, an experience of betrayal takes it all away, and Lawrence is left to deal with the devastating aftermath.

As he grows into a man, how will he make sense of what he has suffered? He cannot rewrite history, but must he be condemned to repeat it?

Lawrence finds meaning in the best way he knows. By surrendering himself to art and nature, he creates beauty – beauty made all the more astonishing and soulful for the deprivation that gives rise to it.

Infinite Splendours is an extraordinary novel, incandescent with love and compassion, rich in colour and character. The power and virtuosity of Laguna’s writing make it impossible for us to look away; by being seen, Lawrence is redeemed.

And we, as readers, have had our minds and hearts opened in ways we can’t forget.

Trust

$32.99

She breathes deeply, trying to quell the rising sense of panic. A detective came to her home, drugged her and kidnapped her. She tries to make sense of it, to imagine alternatives, but only one conclusion is possible: it’s the past, come to claim her.

Martin Scarsden’s new life seems perfect, right up until the moment it’s shattered by a voicemail: a single scream, abruptly cut off, from his partner Mandalay Blonde.

Racing home, he finds an unconscious man sprawled on the floor and Mandy gone. Someone has abducted her. But who, and why?

So starts a twisting tale of intrigue and danger, as Martin probes the past of the woman he loves, a woman who has buried her former life so deep she has never mentioned it.

And for the first time, Mandy finds denial impossible, now the body of a mystery man has been discovered, a man whose name she doesn’t know, a man she was engaged to marry when he died. It’s time to face her demons once and for all; it’s time she learned how to trust.

Set in a Sydney riven with corruption and nepotism, privilege and power, Trust is the third riveting novel from award-winning and internationally acclaimed writer Chris Hammer.

Song of the Crocodile

$32.99

Darnmoor, The Gateway to Happiness. The sign taunts a fool into feeling some sense of achievement, some kind of end- that you have reached a destination in the very least. Yet as the sign states, Darnmoor is merely a gateway, a waypoint on the road to where you really want to be.

Darnmoor is the home of the Billymil family, three generations who have lived in this ‘gateway town’. Race relations between Indigenous and settler families are fraught, though the rigid status quo is upheld through threats and soft power rather than the overt violence of yesteryear.

As progress marches forwards, Darnmoor and its surrounds undergo rapid social and environmental changes, but as some things change, some stay exactly the same. The Billymil family are watched (and sometimes visited) by ancestral spirits and spirits of the recently deceased, who look out for their descendants and attempt to help them on the right path.

When the town’s secrets start to be uncovered the town will be rocked by a violent act that forever shatters a century of silence.

Full of music, Yuwaalaraay language and exquisite description, Song of the Crocodile is a lament to choice and change, and the unyielding land that sustains us all, if only we could listen to it.

Honeybee

$32.99

Find out who you are, and live that life.’

Late in the night, fourteen-year-old Sam Watson steps onto a quiet overpass, climbs over the rail and looks down at the road far below.

At the other end of the same bridge, an old man, Vic, smokes his last cigarette.

The two see each other across the void. A fateful connection is made, and an unlikely friendship blooms. Slowly, we learn what led Sam and Vic to the bridge that night. Bonded by their suffering, each privately commits to the impossible task of saving the other.

Honeybee is a heartbreaking, life-affirming novel that throws us headlong into a world of petty thefts, extortion plots, botched bank robberies, daring dog rescues and one spectacular drag show.

At the heart of Honeybee is Sam: a solitary, resilient young person battling to navigate the world as their true self; ensnared by loyalty to a troubled mother, scarred by the volatility of a domineering stepfather, and confounded by the kindness of new alliances.

Honeybee is a tender, profoundly moving novel, brimming with vivid characters and luminous words. It’s about two lives forever changed by a chance encounter — one offering hope, the other redemption. It’s about when to persevere, and when to be merciful, as Sam learns when to let go, and when to hold on.

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