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trans transit lounge, transit, independent press, self publishing, self-publishing, publishing, literary publishing, essay, travel, travel narrative, Melbourne, Australia

transit lounge is an independent press dedicated to the publication of exciting new fiction and non-fiction. We have a particular interest in creative literary publishing that explores the relationships between East and West, entertains and promotes insights into diverse cultures and encompasses diverse genres.

‘Transit Lounge, doing exceptional things with a very high quality list.’ The Melbourne Review

Transit Lounge has made a significant mark on the Australian publishing scene by combining a winning roster of eclectic travel writers and top notch and original fiction .’ The Age
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UNMADE LIST

A WRONG TURN AT THE OFFICE OF UNMADE LISTS

Congratulations to Jane Rawson on A Wrong Turn at the Office of Unmade Lists being shortlisted for the Aurealis Awards 2014 for Best Science Fiction Novel .
Aurealis awards Finalist

MARKHEY

CRAZY LITTLE HEAVEN

Mark Heyward at the sell out launch of Crazy Little Heaven: An Indonesian Journey at the Hobart Bookshop on 16 September. The title is distributed in both ANZ (by New South Books) and Indonesia (by Periplus). The tile is also available as an e-book. The title was recently launched in Jakarta by the Australian Ambassador, Greg Moriarty. A music CD by Mark Heyward is also forthcoming.

EXILE BY ROGER AVERILL WINS WA PREMIER'S AWARD FOR NON-FICTION

Congratulations to Roger Averill on winning the 2013 WA Premier’s Literary Awards Non-fiction Prize ($15,000) for Exile: The Lives and Hopes of Werner Pelz. The title is available from all good bookshops and is also available as an e-book from online retailers.
View Roger Averill speaking at Writers at the Rotunda during the year.

Roger Averill - My Enduring Love Affair with Writing 2.0 Youtube

SALES

Transit Lounge titles are available as e-books from sites including Kobo, Amazon Kindle and others.

Our print books are available from all good bookshops. They can be purchased from this site and are delivered post free within Australia.

New and Recent Releases

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Meatloaf in Manhattan
Robert Power
Trade PB 230mm X 153mm 226pp
RRP: $27.95
All rights: Transit Lounge
Release date: 1 April 2013

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‘As deviously weighty as a good pop song.’ Anson Cameron, author of Stealing Picasso, Nice Shootin’, Cowboy and Silences Long Gone.

In these sixteen tales, Robert Power captures the joys and frailties of seemingly ordinary lives with extraordinary perception and wit. The stories take us from a Manhattan diner to a train station in Vietnam, from the Wild West to small town Australia, in a dazzling display of faith in language and in life.

A man staying in New York pretends to be blind and inveigles his way past the defences of a lonely diner waitress; a child beggar in Vietnam carves a determined path through loss and into the world; a father falls prey to the temptations of the internet; a client discovers his psychiatrists startling secret; and a wife sends a beautiful, but shocking, letter to her husband, the postman.

Each delicious story transports the reader into another world and life with authorial grace and an assured lightness of touch.

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Robert Power is the author of In Search of the Blue Tiger and The Swan Song of Doctor Malloy. He has worked in HIV prevention for many years, travelling to all continents and appearing in all media, both here and abroad. Born in Dublin, Robert now lives in Melbourne, Australia, with his wife and his youngest son. In 2011 he was a winner in The Age Short Story Prize for his story Meatloaf in Manhattan.

 

Click here to read reviews.

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The Yellow Papers
Dominique Wilson

ISBN: 9781921924613
Trade Paperback 256 pp
Rights held: World
RRP: $29.95 AU
Release date: 1 March 2014

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'Dominique Wilson is a wonderful storyteller. Spanning the histories of China and Australia, this tale, woven between tenderness and violence, percolates with alternating emotions until the final page is turned. The research is impeccable, the realism unforgiving.' Brian Castro, award-winning author of Shanghai Dancing and After China.

‘Moving and thought-provoking. An outstanding  novel of originality and psychological depth.’
Julienne van Loon, award-winning author of Road Story and Harmless.

It's 1872 and China - still bruised from its defeat in the two Opium Wars - sends a group of boys, including seven-year-old Chen Mu, to America to study and bring back the secrets of the West. But nine years on Chen Mu becomes a fugitive and flees to Umberumberka, a mining town in outback Australia. He eventually finds peace working for Matthew Dawson, a rich pastoralist.
When the bubonic plague ravages Sydney, Matthew Dawson's daughter returns to her father's property with her son, Edward. But it's a lonely life for a small boy surrounded only by adults, and he soon befriends Chen Mu, forging a friendship that will last a lifetime.

Years later, Edward visits a mysterious and decadent Shanghai, where he falls in love with Ming Li, the beautiful young wife of a Chinese businessman, until invading Japanese armies tear the couple apart. Many years pass before the couple reunite, each scarred by the events of World War II and the Korean War. But will it be only to be torn apart once again?

The Yellow Papers is a story of love, obsession and friendship set against a backdrop of war and racial prejudice.

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Dominique Wilson was born in Algiers to French parents. She grew up in a country torn by civil war, until she and her family fled to Australia. Her short stories have been published nationally and read on ABC Radio, and one of her short stories was made into a short film. She was founding co-managing editor of Wet Ink: the magazine of new writing, and Chair of the Adelaide branch of International PEN. She holds a Masters and a PhD in Creative Writing.

Click here to read reviews.

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Tarab: Travels with My Guitar
(Fully revised and expanded B format edition)
Carl Cleves

ISBN: 9781921924569
B+ Format PB
400pp plus 8pp illustration insert
RRP: $26.00AU
Rights held: World
Release Date: 1 February 2014

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‘By any measure, Cleves deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as Thesiger, Burton and Newby. He is an astute observer, a passionate participant...’ Bruce Elder, Sydney Morning Herald

‘An extraordinary tour of wild times and wilder places. I have laughed, gasped and loved very startling page. ’ Jeni Caffin

From the Sudan to Northern New South Wales, Tarab is an epic, mesmerising tale of high adventure and the search for meaning. Carl Cleves escapes national service in Belgium to live in South Africa at the height of the Apartheid era. So begin the adventures and quests, wanderings and narrow escapes, mishaps and illuminations of a guitar-toting troubadour in his roles as young beat poet, law student, single father, relief worker in India and recording star in Brazil. Cleves’s page turning memoir is no simple music biography, but rather the travel story of an artist’s quest for tarab: a place where music and poetry bestow true bliss upon the lucky one. It’s by turns philosophical, funny, adventurous and insightful.

Fully revised and expanded, this new edition of Tarab is a must read for all lovers of travel literature.
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Carl Cleves was born in Belgium. He graduated in his Belgian Law Studies and was offered a scholarship to study traditional African music with ethnomusicologist John Blackingin South Africa. This started off many years of travel throughout Africa, the Middle East, the Orient, the Pacific Region and South America, guitar in hand, acquiring musical skills and an endless supply of stories and songs. His adventurous life has included stints as an antelope trapper in Uganda, relief worker in cyclone struck India, radio broadcaster in Africa and fisherman in the South Pacific. While living in Brazil he became a popular singer and bandleader. Carl has released five solo albums and another six with Parissa Bouas, a Greek-Australian singer- songwriter who became his wife, under the moniker The Hottentots. His songs have won numerous awards in the categories of folk, world and roots music, including two of the most coveted national Australian Music Awards (Music Oz and the Australian Songwriters Association). Carl currently lives in Byron Bay, Australia.

More at: www.carlcleves.com

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Banana Girl: A Memoir
Michele Lee

ISBN: 978-1-921924-55-2
Trade PB 234mm x 153mm
256pp
All rights available
RRP: $29.95 AU
Release Date: 1 November 2013

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Michele Lee describes herself as the ‘fence-sitting’ middle child in a large Hmong-Australian family. Banana Girl is the explosive and poignant memoir of her rites of passage. Sexy, irreverent and nuanced, Lee isn’t afraid to lay herself and her relationships bare. Intimacy in an on-line world, sexual adventures and Gen Y yearnings, turning thirty as an Asian-Australian woman in inner city Melbourne, and the travails of becoming an artist, all capture Lee’s riveting gaze. The result is a book that is erotic, witty and revealing, a gutsy true story of self-acceptance that takes hold and won’t let go.

‘Banana Girl
confronts with an unusually bare intimacy. Reading it is like stumbling onto the secret diary of a complex and fascinating young woman whose frank observations of the culture she comes from and the one in which she lives enables a personal understanding of both. The conversational tone mimics the shared intimacies of young women so well there are times you want to walk into Michele's world and sometimes shake her for the mistakes she's making, sometimes enjoy with her quietly her tender observations of caged monkeys in back gardens or her half-blinded father struggling with bureaucratic email. A relentlessly readable account of post-colonialism's grandchildren, the messiness, contradictions and joy of a multicultural life.’ Van Badham, author of Burnt Snow: The Book of the Witch

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Michele Lee is an Asian-Australian playwright and author (Hmong specifically). She writes plays about identity, race and otherness. Banana Girl is her first book. She currently lives in Melbourne Australia.
More at: www.michelevanlee.com.au

Click here to read reviews.

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Tide
John Kinsella
ISBN: 978-1-921924-49-1
Trade PB 234mm x 153mm
240pp
All rights available
RRP: $29.95 AU
Release Date: 1 October 2013

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‘These gritty and lyrical stories sting with life and sing with truth.’
Robert Drewe

The coast and dreams of being by the water are never far away in Kinsella’s surprising stories of Australian small town life. They summon in us both longing and fear at the recollection of our own childhoods, families, friends and upbringings. Flight is a possibility. A boy builds a rocket from 44-gallon drums and packing cases, a lone farmer travels to London to glimpse the snow his late mother once spoke of, inseparable mates relocate to the inner city. But the elemental mystery of place, of the country, of the sea, invariably draws them back.

Praise for John Kinsella

‘Kinsella can see into the heart of the country, and the evidence of these taut, complex stories is that what he sees there is both ferocious and unresolved.’ Philip Mead, The Australian
‘There is something of Lawson’s fear and desolation... highly satisfying and affecting.’ Tony Hughes-d’Aeth, Southerly

This significant Australian poet knows how to distil stories to their essence.Verdict: poignant storytelling.  Herald Sun 19 October 2013 

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John Kinsella's most recent volume of poetry is Jam Tree Gully (WW Norton, 2012). His collection, Armour, won the 2012 Victorian Premier's Award for Poetry. His most recent volume of stories is In the Shade of the Shady Tree (Ohio University Press, 2012) which was shortlisted for the Steele Rudd Award. He is a Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge University, and a Professorial Research Fellow at the University of Western Australia. He is poetry editor of Island.

Click here to read reviews.

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What Westerners Have for Breakfast: Five Years in Goa
John McBeath

ISBN: 978-1-921924-484
Trade PB 230mm x 153mm
304pp
RRP: $29.95 AU
Rights held : World
Release date: 1 October 2013

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In the mid-eighties John McBeath and his partner Sue left Australia for India with the dream to open a European-style pensione in an old Portuguese villa in Goa. After several visits to India they had realised that Goa with its European influences, pristine beaches, and laid-back tropical lifestyle was at the start of a tourism boom.

Now told for the first time, this is the alluring true story of what happened: of the locals, expatriates and visitors they befriended, of the colourful, hilarious and sometimes confounding experiences that both enriched and threatened their relationship. Goa rises up from these pages as a seductive and richly rewarding place to live, but jazz writer McBeath isn’t afraid to lay bare the realities. The result is magical: a warm, poignant and bitter-sweet portrait of five unforgettable years.

‘India, sex, death, relationships, expatriates, drugs, bureaucracy, food, antiques and jazz. Master wordsmith McBeath stirs these ingredients into an extraordinarily personal, funny and revelatory account of a tree change gone wrong. What Westerners Have for Breakfast will grab your attention from the first sentence to the last.’
Joel Becker, chief executive of the Australian Booksellers Association

‘A  tropical paradise can drive you crazy. And  Aussie John McBeath, chasing new dreams of doing business  in the old   hippie haven of Goa,  fears just   how  quickly this can happen as he wrangles with  India’s  bungling officialdom and  encounters  the  bizarre and  often  disturbing,  all the   while trying to save  a relationship.  A frank and entertaining memoir told with humour, poignancy and a hint of caution.’
Carlene Ellwood, travel journalist and former News Limited literary editor

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John McBeath was born in New Zealand and came to Australia so long ago that he arrived by ship. A freelance writer, John lives with his wife Mary overlooking the Gulf of St Vincent in Adelaide. For the past ten years he has been a music critic for The Australian and Advertiser newspapers. He has won national prizes for music and travel writing, and enjoyed a life of daedalian variety.Returning after five years in India John managed community radio stations in Cairns and then Alice Springs where he met Mary. The pair moved to Adelaide, in 1996, where they set up a small wholesale business importing coffee beans from Laos. They sold the business after ten years, and since then, John, semi-retired, has concentrated on writing.

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Crazy Little Heaven: An Indonesian Journey
Mark Heyward

ISBN: 978-1-921924-507
Trade PB: 230mm x 153mm
272pp plus 8pp photo insert
Rights held: World
Release date: 1 September 2013
RRP: $29.95

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Foreword by Tim Bowden AM - author, TV and radio journalist, who has described Crazy Little Heaven as ‘The best book on Indonesia I have read.’

When Mark Heyward first went to Indonesia, to teach at a small school in East Kalimantan, little did he realise how life changing his decision would prove to be. Within three years his Australian life would be behind him and he would be travelling, with fellow adventurers, across remote Indonesian Borneo. The story of that remarkable expedition - a true travel adventure - coalesces with the author’s longer journey into the complex heart of Indonesia. It is a journey that spans two decades, that takes the reader from a treasured childhood in Tasmania to a new life in the world’s most populous Muslim nation. Along the way the author travels from one end of the archipelago to the other, from the jungles of Kalimantan to the riots and political turmoil of Jakarta. When he meets and falls in love with Sopan, he must make another life changing decision.

Evocative and beautiful, yet often questioning, and always revealing, Crazy Little Heaven is both a love story and an unforgettable journey into Indonesian culture and geography - a hymn to this ’sweet disappearing world’.

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Born in Tasmania, Australia, in 1957, Mark Heyward has spent the last twenty years living, travelling and working in Indonesia. He now lives with his wife and two children in Lombok. Mark currently works as an international education consultant. In his spare time he writes, makes music, and takes long walks in the hills.

Click here to read reviews.

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Love & Terror on the Howling Plains of Nowhere
Poe Ballantine

ISBN: 978-1-921924-521
Trade PB: (139.7mm X 228.6mm) with flaps
320pp
Rights held: ANZ
Release date: 1 September 2013
RRP: $29.95

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A compelling memoir of true crime and a charming portrait of small town life. Simultaneously published in Australia and US.

Foreword by Cheryl Strayed, bestselling author of Wild.
Related documentary directed by Dave Jannetta forthcoming.
For fans of Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood, John Berendt’s In the Garden of Good and Evil and Helen Garner’s Joe Cinque's Consolation.

At age forty six years US author Poe Ballantine ends his nomadic lifestyle and brings his beautiful wife from Mexico to Chadron, Nebraska, and becomes a father to a son who may be autistic. His neighbor, a math professor at Chadron State College, disappears and three months later is found burned to death and tied to a tree in the woods. What happened to him? Was it murder? Suicide? Poe and a cast of memorable characters from Chadron aim to find out.

‘A spellbinding story of a good man who died mysteriously and a moving memoir of uncommon grace.’ Cheryl Strayed

‘Poe Ballantine is the most soulful, insightful, funny, and altogether luminous
“under-known” writer in America. He knocks my socks off, even when I’m barefoot.’ Tom Robbins

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Poe Ballantine currently lives in Chadron, Nebraska. His work has appeared in The Atlantic Monthly and The Sun Kenyon Review. In addition to garnering numerous Pushcart and O. Henry nominations, his work has been included in The Best American Essays. His other books include Things I Like About America and Decline of the Lawrence Welk Empire.

Click here to read reviews.

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Hard Times
Jack Mercer
Afterword by Brett Pierce

ISBN: 9781921924477
Trade PB: 230mm x153mm  368pp plus 8pp illustration insert
All rights: Transit Lounge
$29.99AU

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‘In the spirit of A. B. Facey’s A Fortunate Life, Jack Mercer’s Hard Times is the true story of the author’s amazing adventures. In 1911, growing up in an Ararat pub, he faces the terror of a violent stepfather and a mother who barely acknowledges his existence. But one thing keeps him sane: a plan to run. And once he starts running a page turning story begins. From early Werribee, Sydney, life aboard a Norwegian barque, Chile, Patagonia and Buenos Aires, to working as an elevator boy in New York and riding the trains as a tramp in Virginia, Jack Mercer’s hard times and wonderful times capture our every attention.’

Recently discovered and brought to light by his grandson, Brett Pierce, this gem of a book is true travel adventure, vivid history, and a poignant story that asserts the essential need to believe in oneself.

‘The book begins with an escape and gains momentum through pages that manifest the geographical scope and richness of Patrick Leigh Fermor and the wild energy of Jack Kerouac. The sad thing is there will be no more Jack Mercer books, but we should be thankful that Hard Times found its way into the light, one of the heretofore unplucked gems of Australian literature.’ Patrick Holland, author of The Mary Smokes Boys and Riding the Trains in Japan

Jack Mercer was born in 1896 in Archdale, Victoria as John Christopher Levy. He spent his early years in Archdale and Ararat. He fought in the First World War in the Canadian branch of the Royal Flying Corps, surviving two crashes. After the war he worked in a variety of roles in Canada, USA and Latin America before his appointment as manager of British American Bye-Products in Australia in 1934. He lived his working years in Prahran and retired to McCrae in Victoria, just near the lighthouse. He remained an occasional world traveller for most of his life. 1896-1976.

Brett Pierce is a grandson of the author. He lives on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria and works in overseas aid and development. His work, and perhaps an inherited wanderlust, have taken him to around sixty countries

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Shark
Terry Jaensch

ISBN 9781921924460
Trade PB: 64pp
All rights: Transit Lounge
Release date: 1 July 2013
$20AU

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Shark reaffirms the originality and depth of Terry Jaensch’s poetic vision. Here are poems that explore the territories of childhood, human relationships and the natural world, but never with anything less than an unsettling sense of what it means to be operating from the margins or entering the unspoken core. At once witty and affecting these poems of love and suffering are superbly honed, rigorous and above all emotionally resolute.

‘If it's possible to fall in love with someone from their words alone, consider me smitten. Jaensch's poems are captivating, thrilling and devastating. They're somehow, at once, both vulnerable and muscular, sexy and embarrassing, scorchingly funny and guttingly sad, completely queer and wholly universal. If I didn't know any better, I'd suspect Jaensch wrote these poems just to knock the wind out of us all.’  Benjamin Law, author of The Family Law and Gaysia

‘Reading Jaensch’s poems is like being haunted by beautiful ghosts - a bunch of unquiet souls who have the lightest of touches, even when they’re grabbing you by the throat.’
Kristin Henry, author of All The Way Home

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Terry Jaensch is an Australian poet/actor and monologist. His first book of poetry Buoy (FIP) was shortlisted for the Anne Elder Award by the Fellowship of Australian Writers. He has worked as Writer-in-Community, Poetry Editor (Cordite) Artist-in-Residence, Dramaturge, Artistic Director of the 2005 Emerging Writers’ Festival, poetry teacher and in a variety of arts/community and local government programming positions. In 2004 he wrote and recorded 15 monologues based on his childhood in a Ballarat orphanage for ‘Life Matters’ ABC Radio. He was awarded an Asialink residency in Singapore where, with poet Cyril Wong, he co-authored the volume Excess Baggage & Claim (Transit Lounge). He has won awards including the Melbourne Poet’s Union International Poetry Prize, the Victorian Writers’ Centre Poetry Slam and was on the winning team of the Melbourne Writers’ Festival Poetry Slam. His work has been anthologised, most recently in Out of the Box: Contemporary Australian Gay and Lesbian Poets (Puncher and Wattmann) and published in journals nationally and in the US, Germany, Japan, Singapore and India. His poems have been translated into Korean, Bengali, Russian and interpreted as classical Indian dance. In 2011 he presented at the Seoul International Forum for Literature as part of an Australia/Korea poetry exchange facilitated by Asialink and Cordite. He has trained as an actor, having studied at the Herbert Berghof Studio and Stella Adler conservatory in New York.

Click here to read reviews.

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The New Angel
Ali Alizadeh
AUS $27.95 NZ: $32.99 B format pbk with gatefold cover
ISBN 9780980461619
In store: 1 June 2008
Rights held: World


'You know what this poem means Bahram? It's about love, and loneliness. The reed is cut off from the other reeds. So it wants to return, but it can't. So it cries instead, and every time someone blows into the reed flute, it's the sad song of the reed's loneliness that makes people cry, the sad story of its loneliness and yearning for love.'

The New Angel is the moving story of Bahram and Fereshteh (Persian for 'angel') growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution and the Iran-Iraq war. At its centre this is a love story between two adolescents at odds with the society in which they live and of the ways in which our lives can be changed forever by external events over which we have no control. The author lived in Iran until the age of 14 before immigrating to Australia. The result is a novel that is hugely evocative and that indirectly conveys through story the destructive impact of fundamentalism on the individual.

Alizadeh writes superbly of the pains and beauties of adolescence and the devastating ways in which catastrophic events can shape out thoughts and actions. Bahram and Fereshteh capture our hearts, and ultimately break them. The New Angel engages and disturbs the reader as it moves with suspense and purpose towards its startling climax.

"Alizadeh is a rare writer. He expresses his contemporary thinking in a beautiful, lyrical prose as well as in the poetry of the past. The New Angel  is at once provocative and enjoyable, an explosive debut novel that is destined to divide opinion."
- George Papaellinas, author of Ikons and No.

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Ali Alizadeh was born in Tehran in 1976 and migrated to Australia in 1991. He graduated with Honours in Creative Arts from Griffith University, Gold Coast and holds a PhD in Professional Writing from Deakin University, Melbourne. He has taught at universities in Australia, China, Turkey and United Arab Emirates, and has also worked as street performer, hair-wrapper, and delivery driver. He is a writer of poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, drama and literary criticism. He is a lecturer in Literature and Creative Writing at Monash University, Melbourne.

More at: Ali Alizadeh Bio

 

australia council for the arts
This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.

Click here to read reviews.

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Keeping Faith
Roger Averill
$29.95 AU  Trade Paperback
ISBN 978-0-9805717-5-2
Instore : 1 February 2010
Rights held: World

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In Keeping Faith the innocence and certainties of childhood are delicately tested against the realities of adult life. Josh and Gracie grow up in a working class world centred on the values of faith and family. Both cherish their father, a lay preacher, and their mother, but for Josh the complex secrets, doubts and subtleties of the world do not allow for certainty. In adulthood he works as a labour ward attendant, his younger sister Gracie as a nurse on a remote mission station in Papua New Guinea. While Josh’s conviction falters, the unfailing faith of his sister leads to tragic consequences. As events move between 1975 and 1994, between a family drama in outer suburban Melbourne and a tribal rebellion in Melanesia, faith and doubt become entwined.

In the spirit of the work of Tim Winton, Keeping Faith is a remarkable debut novel about the beauty and disappointments of childhood, family and belief, about losing faith and finding love.

‘Subtle and finely crafted. A novel of intellectual and emotional intensity.’
 Steven Carroll, author of The Time We Have Taken

Click here to read reviews.

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Roger Averill is the author of the novel, Keeping Faith, and a travel memoir, Boy He Cry: An Island Odyssey, which featured on Radio National’s First Person. His third book,  Exile: The Lives and  Hopes of Werner Pelz was the non- fiction winner in  the Western Australian Premier’s Literary Awards 2013 and was shortlisted for the New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards.

Click here to read reviews.

 

australia council for the arts
This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.

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The Edge of Bali and other writings
Inez Baranay

ISBN 9781921924194
Transit Lounge PB 368pp 230mm x 153mm
Rights: World
Publication date: 1 July 2012
RRP $29.95 AU, $39.99 NZ

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Three people travel to Bali for very different reasons.

Marla is well read in Bali’s culture; she distrusts false ideologies, orientalism and tourism. To her surprise she finds the echoes of a golden age and a passionate lover. Nelson, a young woman from Sydney returns in the hope of reuniting with her Balinese boyfriend, but encounters the unexpected. Tyler, a New Yorker searching for a lost friend, enters a world of mystery and intrigue.

All three are on the edge, unsure of whether they should stay in Bali any longer, but are increasingly drawn into the heart of this complex and alluring island.

Through subtle storytelling and compelling characters, Inez Baranay unravels the exotic, ways of knowing and the culture of tourism, in one of the world’s favourite destinations.

Twenty years on from its initial release, The Edge of Bali has a renewed pertinence and relevance, exploring as it does, with great prescience, the relationship between Bali and the West, in all its beauty, darkness and hope.
For the first time, the novel is accompanied by the author’s non-fiction writings on Bali.

A story of travellers ‘who flock to the third-world to look for meaning, religion, spirit, beauty – all the things that amid our wealth and technology of the modern world, we have lost … this is a book full of contemporary dilemmas, clearly and keenly expressed by Baranay’s characters.’ Gabrielle Carey, Australian Book Review

‘Baranay writes evocatively of the Bali landscape, raising serious questions within vivid description. New myths jostle with the old.’ S.K. Kelen, Sydney Morning Herald

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Inez Baranay has published ten books of fiction and non-fiction, most recently Always Hungry. Her previous novels With The Tiger and Neem Dreams and the non-fiction sun square moon: writings in yoga and writing were first published in India, where Inez has been many times over the last thirty years. Early novels were collected in the omnibus reprint Three Sydney Novels and non-fiction includes Rascal Rain: a Year in Papua New Guinea.

Inez has also published essays, stories, reviews and travel pieces; some can be read online. She recently completed a memoir and continues to work in prose and screenplay forms. trans

In Australia, India, USA and Europe, Inez has lectured on writing issues and taught creative writing in universities, schools and community groups, given many readings and talks, been a guest at conferences, seminars and festivals, and been a resident at various international writers’ centres. She currently lives in Istanbul.

More at  www.inezbaranay.com

Photographer: Melissa Hobbs

Click here to read reviews.

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We All Fall Down
Peter Barry

9781921924187
Transit Lounge PB 336pp 230mm x 153mm
Rights: All Rights ex US and UK
Publication date: 1 May 2012
RRP $29.95 AU, $39.99 NZ

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We All Fall Down is a vivid and compelling narrative of middle class friends and families, relationships and the contemporary workplace. Kate and Hugh Drysdale, like many couples, buy a house that stretches them to the limits financially. Hugh looks at the soaring property market, the fact he’s earning a good salary, and all the signs of a booming economy and believes everything will be fine. And it is, until the advertising company he works for hits a rough patch: two major pieces of business walk out of the door, and a new creative director from the UK is brought in.
Set in Sydney when world economic instability is beginning to bite, this is very much a book of our time. Peopled with unforgettable characters, it is a disturbing, but affecting portrait of family, the workplace, and the costs of playing, or not playing the game.

‘A novel that speaks to the heart of our culture, and a gripping account of one man's fight for his soul. Both honest and compassionate, it turns an unflinching gaze on the world in which we try to find meaning, at work and in love.’ Michael McGirr
'After taking the literary world apart with I Hate Martin Amis et al , Peter Barry turns a clinical eye on the world of advertising, and the result is dazzling.' Peter Salmon

Click here to read reviews.

australia council for the arts
This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.


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I Hate Martin Amis et al.
Peter Barry
978-0-9808462-01
$29.95 Trade Paperback
All rights: Transit Lounge ex US and UK

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A Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards Unpublished Manuscript First Prize Winner

‘Dark and troubling, distressingly funny. It is one of the best debut novels I’ve read. Peter Barry is a massive talent. Exciting, original and dangerous.' - Wayne Macauley, author of Blueprints for a Barbed-Wire Canoe.

It is 1995. Milan Zorec, an aspiring yet rejected novelist, travels from England to Bosnia to join the Serbian forces as a sniper in Sarajevo, in the final months of the longest siege in history. He’s determined to find a story that no publisher will be able to damn with the words, ‘I feel I’ve seen this before.’ In doing so Milan journeys from innocence into the slow burning grip of darkness. Among his fellow snipers, the lost souls who make up Ratko Mladic’s army, Milan gains the ammunition to write his masterpiece – the novel that hasn’t been written before. Alternating between London and Sarajevo, I Hate Martin Amis et al is a chilling, blackly humorous novel that will appeal to both lovers of the word and anyone who’s fallen short of their ambitions. Peter Barry’s stunningly original, award winning debut isn’t just about literary failure, though. It’s a compelling portrait of the dreamer, and bores down into the very centre of things – why we write, why we read, how we might live in these, the strangest of times.


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Peter Barry was born in England. He now lives and works in Melbourne, Australia and has done so for many years.

Click here to read reviews.

 


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Small Indiscretions: Stories of Travel in Asia

Felicity Castagna
978-0-9808462-4-9
$29.95 Trade Paperback
In store: 1 August 2011
All rights: Transit Lounge

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A traveller becomes a Monroe impersonator in the casinos of Macau. An obsessive son of Australians living in Jakarta confronts his strange rituals. A young woman is trapped in the boredom of her father’s ministry in exotic Borneo. A daughter defies her mother and travels to Bali. Castagna’s twenty stories range across countries: including Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos and China, deftly exploring the relationships of parents and children, lovers and enemies, the transient and the resident. In the spirit of Rattawatt Lapacharoensap’s Sightseeing, Castagna’s fiction powerfully captures the landscapes and cultures of Asia and the intriguing interactions of Westerners with it.

Praise for Felicity Castagna’s stories
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‘… a haunting lyrical story about a doomed love affair between two young Australians drifting through Indonesia for very different reasons. Next takes us inside the damaged psychological landscape of two young lovers when leaving is the only thing you can do.’
Frank Moorhouse and Sally Breen, Josephine Ulrick Literature Prize

Falling in Macau by Felicity Castagna takes death as its sub-text. Castagna skilfully weaves the motif of ‘falling’ into the events of an evening in a sleazy night-club in Macau. The alienation of an Australian entertainer named Maggie is sensitively and convincingly portrayed so that the twist at the end, though shocking, slots in to become the last piece of the jigsaw puzzle.’
Julie Kearney, M/C Reviews

‘In a handful of pages, Castagna evokes a troubled individual, a complex set of family relations, a cultural milieu, and a terrible tragedy … a talent to watch.’
James Halford M/C Reviews

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Felicity Castagna was born in Sydney but has spent a large portion of her life travelling and living elsewhere. She teaches, writes, is actively involved in community arts and is currently a doctoral candidate at The University of Western Sydney. Her work has been produced for ABC Radio National and Triple J and is widely published in journals and anthologies. She has been the recipient of a Qantas Spirit of Youth Award and a Josephine Ulrick Literature Award and has received writing fellowships from the Varuna Writers' Centre and Olvar Wood.

Click here to read reviews.


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In-human
Anna Dusk
$29.95 AU Trade Paperback
ISBN 978-0-9805717-3-8
Instore: 1 April 2010

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In-human is a snarling, glittering creation, a funny, yet disturbing story of transformation set in Oatlands, Tasmania. The irrepressible Sally Hunter is turning into a werewolf. As a string of killings takes place we are drawn into her sensual, visceral and highly charged world. The way she embraces her change into a powerful beast challenges us to confront our own lusts and capacities for violence, while the small town setting and the people in Sally’s world ring with a disarming truth. Dusk’s bone-deep understanding of her characters, and the chilling narrative set in motion a complex fugue of memory and confrontation that builds to a shattering climax. Described as a cross between Catcher in the Rye and Buffy, this is a heady mix of horror and reality. Dark, poignant and oddly affecting, In-human is destined to make waves and attract fans.

‘Strangely surreal and nightmarishly real – a powerful new tale  for the 21st century.’
Antoni Jach , author Napoleon’s Double and The Layers of the City

‘Welcome to Oatlands, Tasmania, home of the femme-werewolf apocalypse. Sixteen-year-old Sally Hunter is seriously pissed-off and she’s turning into a powerful ‘monster dog’, a werewolf with one hell of an appetite for flesh –human or animal – and a growing sexual appetite to match. A lot of people are disappearing, gruesomely murdered or eaten, but who is responsible for all the carnage?  In what frequently reads like prose poetry, Dusk imagines herself right through every aspect of the anguish of ‘transformation’ and beyond, tackling a number of taboos as she goes: menstruation, sexually violent women, cannibalism, nihilism – to name a few. Her paintings, featured in the book’s cover artwork also depict a disturbing, confronting story of the awakening of what lies within. She’s been inside the guts and psyche of ‘the beast’ and portrays its heightened sensory perceptions, its lust for the kill, its pain, its joys, its dreams. There are moments of distilled beauty and home truths here but this is no simplistic, pretty coming of age story. Horror fans accustomed to dark humour and unrelenting rampages of gore should enjoy but the squeamish, those offended by details of bodily functions, graphic violence, sex or obscenities, probably won’t.’
Paula Grunseit, Bookseller & Publisher February  2010

Anna Dusk lives in Melbourne, Australia. She grew up in the Midlands, Tasmania.

More at www.annadusk.com

Click here to read reviews.

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'India Vik'
Liz Gallois
AU$29.95 tpb
ISBN 0-9750228-2-2
In store: July 2006
Rights held: World



"Unlike many who write of India, Liz Gallois is not interested in nostalgia, even if some of her characters suffer from that condition.  The India she offers us in India Vik speaks in many voices, is acutely observed and deeply felt.  This highly evocative collection of interlinked stories is a wonderful introduction to the work of a new writer and the unexpected worlds that await the modern traveller."
- Sophie Cunningham, author of Geography.

Travel to India and be changed forever.

Delicately spiced with humour this is an intriguing work of fiction, by an exciting new talent, where sexuality, loss and yearning are always simmering just beneath the surface.

From Chennai to Sydney Liz Gallois captures both Indians and Westerners in new and unexpected guises, their relationships teetering on the edge, or caught at odds by the allure and the chaos of the subcontinent.

In moments of tenderness or lust Jill croons, 'Davood, my little toy boy.' He likes her cool touch on his cheek, smoothing the soft down. He shaves, but so far the desired bristles refuse to sprout.


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Liz Gallois is a fiction writer and sessional worker for the Mental Health Review Board who lives in Melbourne, Australia. Her work has been published in Australian literary magazines and was an Age Short Story competition winner in 2004. She has lived in France but has had a longer relationship with India that started with reading E M Forster's A Passage to India. She has made many visits to India and hopes soon to settle for some months or years in the seaside city of Pondicherry in Tamil Nadu.

Click here to read reviews.



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The Darkest Little Room
Patrick Holland

9781921924248
Transit Lounge trade paperback
272pp
Rights: World
Publication date: 1 September 2012
RRP $29.95 AU 39.99 NZ

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‘The darkest little room in the world is the human heart,’ she said at last. ‘Even yours, perhaps, has black secrets that you would never let into the light.’

Patrick’s Holland’s haunting new novel arises from his experiences in Indochina. An atmospheric literary thriller, it tells the story of a foreign journalist living in Saigon who, shortly after reporting on a murdered girl washed up in Saigon River, is approached by a foreigner describing a brothel known as ‘the darkest little room in Saigon’.  The mysterious man shows him a photograph of a beautiful woman covered in wounds and the journalist investigates, not only out of suspicion that women are being maltreated, but also in  the hope of finding someone from his past.

Rich in setting and characterisation, and pure in voice, The Darkest Little Room explores the elemental dilemmas of being an outsider, the nature of desire, and the risks of loving, especially in a world where no one is who they seem.

 A page turning, tightly wound mystery from the author of The Mary Smokes Boys and Riding the Trains in Japan.

‘Thriller, love story, a journey of redemption … this is both a stunning page-turner and an investigation into the dim caverns of the human heart and soul that bears comparison to Graham Greene and Joseph Conrad. Holland’s writing is spare, gripping, and unexpectedly flares like the burning of Vietnamese paper money, as the book describes, for the ghosts of the unloved dead. Here is humour, menace and beauty effortlessly combined in a novel of genuine power. Holland is, quite simply, one of the best prose stylists working in Australia today.’ Matthew Condon

‘Tense, troubling and beautifully rendered, this remarkable novel proves that the darkest little room is indeed the human heart. Patrick Holland has joined the ranks of the adventurer novelists and enhanced his growing reputation.’ Michael Robotham

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.

Click here to read reviews.

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The Mary Smokes Boys

Patrick Holland
New b-format edition
9781921924132
AU$24.95 PB 256pp
200 x130mm
All rights: Transit Lounge ex North America
In store: 1 September 2011

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Longlisted for the 2011 Miles Franklin Award
‘The Mary Smokes Boys is a gem. The writing is absolutely terrific and the characters distinct and deftly revealed. And the story is a heart wrecker.’
Barry Lopez, Winner of the American Book Award

Grey’s mother dies giving birth to his sister Irene and he prays that she will be returned to him so he might protect her from the world as his father did not. This prayer, Grey believes is answered in his sister Irene. He becomes obsessed with protecting her purity and innocence while befriending the wild boys of the small town of Mary Smokes − horse-handlers and fox hunters and part-time timber workers – members of a small, vanishing tribe who find themselves caught between an old relationship with place and a new one that is exemplified by the highway that threatens their town.

The Mary Smokes Boys is heart-rending and unforgettable, a suspenseful story of horse thieves and broken promises, of love and tragedy, of the fragility and grace of small town life and how one fateful moment can forever alter the course of our lives.

 ‘Patrick Holland's beautiful, beautiful novel is a tale that transports you through its realisation of place and its genuinely affecting story of love (for brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers). And yes, for a language as pure and magical as I have read in a long time … A major work.’  Martin Shaw, Readings Newsletter

‘One of those books, one of those straight-to-the-heart, life-changing books.’  Krissy Kneen, author of Affection


‘Barely a scene or image is wasted ... He weaves Hemingway's blunt sentences and carved dialogue with the old fashioned storytelling of a folk tale imbued with the dark romance of a Nick Cave ballad.’
Jo Case, The Age

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Patrick Holland lives in Brisbane, Australia. He has worked as a horseman in Maranoa district and in Oueensland’s far northwest. He has travelled widely throughout Asia and has studied languages at Qingdao University and Beijing Foreign Studies University, and at Ho Chi Minh Social Sciences University in Vietnam. His novel The Long Road of the Junkmailer (UQP) won the Queensland Premier’s Award for Best Emerging Author. His second novel The Mary Smokes Boys was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin and Age Book Awards. He is also the author of Riding the Trains in Japan: Travels in the Sacred and Supermodern East (Transit Lounge) and The Source of the Sound (Hunter).




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After Love
Subhash Jaireth

97819219243255
Trade PB 230 x 153mm, 304pp
All rights: Transit Lounge
Release date: 1 October 2012
RRP $29.95

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A haunting novel of love, betrayal and redemption, set in India, Russia and Italy.

Vasu, a young Indian student of architecture, arrives in Moscow in the late 1960s. He falls in love with Anna, an archaeologist and an accomplished cellist, yet his romanticism about the Soviet Union clashes with her experience. He goes back to India to design a village for a
co-operative of coffee farmers, but he cannot forget Anna and on his return they marry. Anna wants to leave Moscow but isn’t keen to go to India. They decide to go to Venice where Vasu has been offered a teaching position. In Italy their life unravels when Anna mysteriously disappears without a trace. Years later, Vasu discovers a painful but wonderful truth.

A beautifully written story full of music and emotions that moves with ease across continents, After Love is destined to touch the hearts of readers everywhere

Praise for Subhash Jaireth’s previous works

‘offers revelation …reveals a unique insight.’ Canberra Times

‘ultimately about the mystery of creation itself, the silence from which all things come.’ John Hughes

‘a lucid and pungent distillation of desire, longing and loss.’ Judith Beveridge

Subhash Jaireth was born in a small town in Punjab, Northern India. Between 1969 and 1978 he spent nine years in Moscow studying geology. He has published poems in Hindi, Russian and English. His book To Silence: Three Autobiographies was published by Puncher & Wattmann in March 2011 and has recently been performed as theatre piece. He lives in Canberra, Australia.

Click here to read reviews.

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Vinyl Inside
Rachel Matthews
AUS$29.95 Trade pbk
ISBN 9780975022894
In store: 1st December 2007

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You're destined to fall in love with this quirky, bittersweet story of Elsie and Sterling and caravan park life in the ‘80s.

What happens when the daughter you thought you would never see again turns up twenty years later? Dania's arrival at Splashes Caravan Park in search of her mother forces the novel's loveable characters to face the reality of their lives and to come to terms with the nature of regret.

Brimming with delicious pop-culture references, this a story told with great warmth, humour and respect. Vinyl Inside is by turns hilarious, moving and unforgettable; a novel that allows us to feel affection for our past innocence and to ponder what has been lost and gained.

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Rachel Matthews grew up in Shepparton, Victoria. She is a graduate of Deakin University (Bachelor of Arts), the University of Melbourne (Diploma of Education) and RMIT's Professional Writing and Editing diploma course. She teaches VCE English and Media studies at the Distance Education Centre Victoria, a government school that provides flexible learning for students who can't attend mainstream classrooms. She is also a tutor at RMITS’ Creative Media department and  is completing a PhD  at Victoria University, her second novel.  An earlier version of Vinyl Inside was commended in the 2003 Australian Vogel awards.

"Rachel Matthews's novel is as warm as a caravan park barbecue grill, with characters that encourage the reader to keep inserting the twenty cent pieces. A terrific, compelling debut."
- Tony Wilson, author of Players.

"Vinyl Inside is my kind of book. Genuinely affectionate, authentic and funny."
- Tom Gleisner, author of Molvania and The Warwick Todd Diaries, screenwriter of The Dish and The Castle.

"An earthy tale sprinkled with pathos and humour."
- Rosalie Ham, author of The Dressmaker.

"Rachel Matthews has fashioned a book that is full of marvelous characters and warmth, humor and wisdom. The eighties were a lot of fun after all."
- William McInnes, author of A Man's Got to Have a Hobby.

australia council for the arts
This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts,
its arts funding and advisory body.

Click here to read reviews.

 


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A History of the Great War: A Novel
Peter McConnell
AUS $29.95 B format hbk
ISBN 978-0-9750228-8-7
In store: 1st December 2007
Rights held: World

It is 1914 and Bairnsdale, Australia, is filled with the news of a war in far off places. Ida Hallam, a young shop assistant, has fallen in love with Ralph Mitton a land surveyor, but Ralph is caught up in the romance and adventure of fighting for his country. Ida envies his freedom, but when he returns wounded and troubled she begins to understand something of the nature of what he has experienced. Years later Ida's sons go off to fight in the Second World War.

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Peter McConnell has a sharp understanding of the detail and sweep of history, of Australia's connections with the East and of how world events impact on the daily life of the individual. A History of the Great War is a gentle, strangely haunting novel set in small town Victoria. Imbued with sadness, moments of happiness and quiet courage it is the moving story of one woman's innocent life; of love, family and loss. Like a dream steeped in reality it is not easily forgotten.

A truly Australian novel. ‘The pyramids themselves would turn to dust in the end.'

"The soul of the book is Ida's tapestry, onto which she stitches every image of importance from the years of her century, gently correcting the madness of "great events" with her own infinitely modest appraisal. World history seems small beside the statement Ida wrings out of huge disasters and tiny joys."
- Chester Eagle, author of Mapping the Paddocks, House of Trees and Mozart: A Memoir.

"Powerful in its artful simplicity. A History of the Great War gives voice to an 'ordinary' life."
- Jeff Sparrow, author of Communism: A Love Story.

australia council for the arts
This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts,
its arts funding and advisory body.

Click here to read reviews.

 

 


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Lemniscate
Gaynor McGrath
$26.95 AU Trade paperback
416 pages
ISBN 9780980461633
In store: Late November 2008
Rights Held: World

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One woman's adventurous search for love, meaning and connection.

In the '70s travel scenes of Afghanistan, India and Thailand, Elsie discovers adventure, friendship and freedom. After three years she returns to her welcoming and loving family in suburban Australia where time seems to have stood still. Disenchanted with the dreary conventions of authoritarian and Catholic Adelaide she becomes a restless spirit torn between the call of family and the world. An ever-searching series of relationships and relocations ultimately takes her as single parent to live on the Greek island of Paros, until tragedy unexpectedly reconnects her with Australia and the complex truth about love and family. This is a deeply affecting, sprawling, beautiful novel about finding one's way in life and the world.

Lemniscate: a line that travels continuously outward as it travels continuously inward.

"The odyssey of a spirited, brave and curious young woman on the 1970's ''hippie trail'' through Asia and a journey of self-discovery in a changing Australia, Lemniscate is also a tender love story, a vivid and lyrical evocation of place, and a close observation of families and society. Full of colour and character, it is an intriguing, unusual and gripping book which straddles the fertile ground between novel and autobiography with great ease."
- Sophie Masson.

"Utterly absorbing. It's a long time since I've read a novel that has engaged me so fully. McGrath takes her readers on a journey that is at once deeply personal and global. I not only cared about her characters, but by the final page I cared more for the world."
- Justin D'Ath.

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Gaynor McGrath grew up in Adelaide. She currently lives on the northern tablelands of New South Wales, Australia, where she works in a Rudolf Steiner school, and writes and gardens at very opportunity.

Click here to read reviews.



 

 

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Madame Bovary's Haberdashery
Maurilla Meehan

ISBN 978921924415
Trade paperback 230mm x153mm   272pp
All rights: Transit Lounge
Release date: 1 April 2013
$29.95 AU, $39.95 NZ

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Also available as an e-book

Zac, a translator of Flaubert, can’t believe his luck. He ends up sleeping with Odette, a beautiful but capricious ceramic artist, and her best friend, Cicely, a talented knitter and author of an erotic novel. As well as an interest in Madame Bovary the three share a brief ménage à trois. That is, until things unravel in unexpected ways, Cicely adopts the logical detection methods of a Miss Marple, and we come to know the delightful Miss Ball and her haberdashery.

In a plot that plays with the conventions of the mystery, and delightfully subverts one of its treasured finales, this delicious novel is not afraid to be literary and fun and sexy all at once. Award-winning novelist Maurilia Meehan deftly pays homage to both Christie and Flaubert, while also creating a true original: the first in a series of delightful page-turners for lovers of noir, passion and great literature.

Praise for Maurilia Meehan
 ‘She brings it off with panache … repays a slow attentive read, however light her bracing prose may appear.’  Cath Kenneally, Sydney Morning Herald

‘There’s something of the Elizabeth Jolley in her mix of the strange and the proper.’ Michelle  Griffin, The Age

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Maurilia Meehan is the author of four critically acclaimed novels − Fury, The Sea People, Adultery, and The Bad Seed. She had been shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award, The Age Fiction Prize, The Australian Vogel Award and has also won the State of Victoria Short Story Award. Her work has been translated into French, German and Chinese.

More at: www.mauriliameehan.com

Click here to read reviews.

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The Asking Game
Rose Michael
AU$29.95 tpb
ISBN 9780975022863
In store: May 2007
Rights held: ANZ

Sydney, 2020—‘the city of water'. Alice's life is about to change in ways she could never have imagined. Alice, or Eve as she was once known, is hired to expose Eternity, the cult that was founded outside the small desert town where she was born. With Drew, the boy from upstairs, who may be spying on her or watching over her, she begins a dream-like road trip into the dead heart of Australia where the past unravels into the future with exhilarating speed. Why did her sister Lucy leave her and what is it that happened between them? Who was her mother? Questions are asked. Their answers haunt and unsettle. At its heart The Asking Game drives us to ask ourselves who we really are. Childhood, sibling rivalry, science and identity are all explored in a bold, tautly woven debut—‘a stylish thriller with literary sensibilities'. If you're addicted to psychological thrillers or speculative fiction, or if you loved The Time Traveller's Wife for its sharp psychological truths and complex emotions, you'll want to read The Asking Game.


'They moved from mirror to mirror as the ground gradually sloped away until, by the time they reached the last mirror, their faces were swimming in the polished surface at nearly the same height. And staring out at them were two sets of identical eyes: blue-grey black-grey steel-grey stone. Both girls paused mid-step. Eve noticed for the first time that her eyes were divided into slices of grey and blue and black. And so were Lucy's. Their eyes were identical. Not just like each other: absolutely identical. They looked into their own eyes, and into each other's, and couldn't tell them apart.'


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Rose Michael is a thirty-four-year-old Australian journalist and academic. The Asking Game was a runner-up in the 2002 Allen & Unwin/Vogel award for an unpublished manuscript – where it was described as ‘well-written, well-structured, complex and clever', as a ‘very sophisticated, well-paced thriller with literary sensibilities' and as ‘a compelling, ambitious and ultimately convincing piece of near-future Australian sci-fi' – and edited extracts have been published in Griffith REVIEW 4, Best Australian Stories 2004, Island and Muse. Ex-editor of Australian Bookseller & Publisher and the Weekly Book Newsletter, Rose is currently working on her next novel: The Art of Navigation – an extract of which was runner-up in this year's Ditmar/Conjure awards.

Click here to read reviews.

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Las Vegas for Vegans
A.S. Patrić

9781921924309
Trade PB 230 x 153mm plus gatefold, 224pp
All rights: Transit Lounge
Release date: 1 October 2012
RRP: $29.95

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From Las Vegas to Melbourne, from Europe to a doomed airplane in mid-flight, from a seedy motel to the local bookstore, the true setting of these stories is the human heart.  A son spends the day at work having left his father dying on the kitchen floor, a woman finds herself unexpectedly alone in a hotel room in Rome, Kafka watches the last journey of the famous Swimmer as he disappears into the Danube, a father abandons his family, yet mysteriously turns up three days later at the Mirage Inn on the edge of Simpson Desert. A. S. Patrić’s characters are searching for possibilities, truth and lies, the revelations of shadows, and the strange light that shines between tall buildings. Las Vegas for Vegans  is original, assured, beautiful storytelling of exceptional craft, brimming with humour and compassion.

Praise for Las Vegas for Vegans and A.S Patrić

‘A. S. Patrić is one of our most daring new writers. Las Vegas for Vegans shows how daring he can be. It is a wonderful book.’  Wayne Macauley

‘Patrić chisels out his stories like a master craftsman, chipping and honing and smoothing away the edges and splinters of reality, leaving us with small, beautifully formed objet d'art on the page.’
John Birmingham

‘From our most abject impulses to the lightest moments of cool urban surreal – Las Vegas for Vegans is a collection to both move and astonish.’  Jessica Au

‘A.S. Patrić is one of the most exciting writers in Australia.’ Ryan O’Neill

‘A mammoth talent, and, without hyperbole, A.S. Patrić name should often be used when referring to great Australian contemporary writers.’ Overland

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A.S. Patrić is the winner of the 2011 Ned Kelly Short Story Award and the 2011 Booranga Short Story Prize. His debut book, The Rattler & other stories, was published to wide acclaim in 2011. Best Australian Stories 2010 featured his work and he has also been published in The Sydney Morning Herald, Meanjin, Overland, Southerly, Quadrant and many other literary journals. Alec is also a bookseller living in bayside Melbourne with his wife and two daughters.

Click here to read reviews.

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The Swan Song of Doctor Malloy
Robert Power

ISBN: 978-1-921924-42-2
Trade paperback 230mm x153mm   336pp
All rights: Transit Lounge
Release date: 1 May 2013
$29.95 AU, $39.95 NZ

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A novel of psychological precision, social and political observation and Hitchcock-like suspense.
 
London-based scientist Anthony Malloy has made a discovery that will hugely benefit global health. A pharmaceutical company is keen to market his invention of the single-use syringe, but its backing comes at a terrible price. What ensues entangles Anthony in a web of intrigue and blackmail that has unforeseeable and surprising consequences for him and the women in his life: his radical sister, his musically gifted daughter and his soon-to-be-ex-wife. His dilemma-fuelled and conscience-ridden journey takes him from London to Vietnam and Thailand and then on to Chicago and Bogota.

With characters that we care about, an original and daring premise, and an assured lightness of touch, this is taut, engaging fiction from the author of the critically acclaimed In Search of the Blue Tiger.

‘Robert Power has created a beautiful, richly imagined book. Gripping and compelling. A 21st century tale of risk, resolution and redemption.’
Charles Palmer, writer and film director. Credits include the BBC thriller 'Death in Paradise', as well as 'Dr Who', 'Miss Marple', 'Poirot', 'Larkrise to Candleford'.

Click here to read reviews.

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In Search of the Blue Tiger

Robert Power
9781921924163
Trade paperback 336pp
AU 29.95
All rights: Transit Lounge
In store: 1 March 2012

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‘This is a marvellously surprising and rewarding work. By turns precociously clever and darkly disturbing, 11 year old Oscar Flower’s quest for the mythical blue tiger takes the reader on a transformative journey that challenges one’s expectations.’
Liam Davison, author of The White Woman and The Betrayal.

Eleven year old Oscar Flowers is on a quest to make sense of the strange world of adults that surrounds him in the seaside town of Tidetown. The bizarre behaviour of his parents and great aunt impels him to search for the blue tiger, a powerful and beautiful animal that will save his family from themselves. Mrs April, the town’s librarian, helps Oscar in his pursuit of knowledge and generously shares her great love of books with him. A deep and wondrous friendship develops. Yet as Oscar falls under the influence of his peers, the fishmonger’s peculiar twin daughters, Perch and Carp, he becomes embroiled in a dark crime of vengeance with seemingly disastrous consequences.

Hugely positive and an imaginative tour de force In Search of the Blue Tiger  is at once a celebration of books and reading, an affecting love story between a widowed  town librarian and a lonely troubled child and a gripping testament to the way that any of us can move beyond the mistakes of our past to a new beginning.
Shortlisted for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards

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Robert Power has worked in HIV prevention for many years, travelling to all continents and appearing in all media, both here and abroad. Born in Dublin, Robert now lives in Melbourne, Australia, with his wife and his youngest son. In 2011 he was a winner in The Age Short Story Prize for his story Meatloaf in Manhattan.

IF you missed Robert Power‘s recent radio interviews you can catch them here:

ABC 774 Conversation Hour with Jon Faine
3CR Published or Not 23 May 2013

Also catch the video produced by the Burnet Institute:
International Health Specialist Launches Harm Reduction Novel

australia council for the arts
This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.

Click here to read reviews.

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A Wrong Turn at the Office of Unmade Lists
Jane Rawson

ISBN 9781921924439
Trade: 230mm x 153mm  320pp
Release date: 1 June 2013
$29.95AU

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It is 1997 in San Francisco and Simon and Sarah have been sent on a quest to see America: they must stand at least once in every 25-foot square of the country. Decades later, in an Australian city that has fallen on hard times, Caddy is camped by the Maribyrnong River, living on small change from odd jobs, ersatz vodka and memories. She's sick of being hot, dirty, broke and alone. 

Caddy's future changes shape when her friend, Ray, stumbles across some well-worn maps, including one of San Francisco, and their lives connect with those of teenagers Simon and Sarah in ways that are unexpected and profound.

A meditation on happiness – where and in what place and with who we can find our centre, a perceptive vision of where our world is headed, and a testament to the power of memory and imagination, this is the best of novels: both highly original and eminently readable.

‘I thoroughly loved this book. I know so much more about the present and the future. Melbourne looks great as a ruined tropical mega shanty town − I can't wait. This must be the first of a new genre-or it’s the wrecking of a few old ones. Film-like, dream-like, life-like. Funny, and charming.’   Dave Graney , author of 1001 Australian Nights

‘A free-range and funny apocalyptic time-space road trip, with James M. Cain, J. G. Ballard, and Tom Robbins all fighting for the wheel.’

Steven Amsterdam, author of Things We Didn’t See Coming and What the Family Needed.

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Jane Rawson grew up in Canberra. During years as a travel editor and writer, mostly for Lonely Planet, she dawdled around the streets of San Francisco, Prague and Phnom Penh and left smitten. These days she lives in Melbourne's west and edits the environment and energy section of The Conversation, an independent news website. She likes cats, quiet, minimal capitalisation, and finding out that everything is going to be OK.

Click here to read reviews.

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The English Class
Ouyang Yu
978-0-9805717-8-3
$32.95 Trade paperback
400 pages
In store: 1 September 2010
All rights: Transit Lounge

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‘an utterly authentic story which deepens our understanding of both Chinese and Australian culture, an epic journey across languages and cultures, recounted with all Ouyang Yu’s compelling honesty and passion.’ Alex Miller

‘The English Class gives us a vividly remembered China that has changed beyond recognition and a protagonist whose life is equally full of twists and turns. But more than that it’s a book of language, creatively used, explored, challenged. How do we make sense of things, how do we live, how do we express ourselves, in this unruly, unreliable, irrepressible medium? Ouyang Yu asks those questions like no one else, and the experience is surprising, exhilarating and moving.’  Nicholas Jose

At the end of the Cultural Revolution in China in the late 1970s Jing, an educated youth (zhishi qingnian) who has spent a few years as a peasant in the countryside, becomes a truck driver in a provincial shipyard. He manages to teach himself English in adverse circumstances while driving his truck, eventually passing the examination to get into the English Class at Donghu University. There, he meets with classmates from vastly different cultural backgrounds and falls in love with Deirdre, the estranged partner of Dr Wagner the English teacher. This engaging and masterful novel explores the aspiration of many to migrate to English speaking countries. Like much of Ouyang’s work it subtly deconstructs the mechanisms of colonialism against an increasingly vibrant Chinese economy. The vivid fictional life of a Chinese truck driver who aspires to the western life is beautifully and evocatively realised.

The English Class is a triumph, a novel at once wise, brave and entertaining.

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Ouyang Yu obtained his BA in English and American Literature from Wuhan University and his MA in Australian and English literature at East China Normal University in Shanghai before moving to Australia in early 1991. He has since published 52 books of poetry, fiction, non-fiction, literary translation and criticism in English and Chinese languages. His books include his award-winning novel, The Eastern Slope Chronicle (2002), his collections of poetry, Songs of the Last Chinese Poet (1997) and The Kingsbury Tales (2008), his translations in Chinese, The Female Eunuch (1991) and The Man Who Loved Children (1998), and his book of criticism, Chinese in Australian Fiction: 1888-1988 (USA, 2008). Some of his recent publications include On the Smell of an Oily Rag: speaking English, thinking Chinese and living Australian (Wakefield, 2008), a book of creative non-fiction, and The Kingsbury Tales: a novel (Brandl & Schlesinger, 2008), a book of poetry. In 2009, five of his books were published in China, including a translation into Chinese of The Masterpiece by Anna Enquist, a Dutch novelist. The author acknowledges the invaluable support of the Australia Council in the writing and development of his major new novel, The English Class. He lives in Melbourne, Australia.

More at:  www.ouyangyu.com.au

australia council for the arts
This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.

Click here to read reviews.

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New and Rediscovered
Vicki Viidikas

Edited by Barry Scott with a foreword by Kerry Leves
$29.95 Trade paperback
304 pages Includes illustrations by the author
ISBN: 978-0-9805717-6-9
Instore: 1 May 2010

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For the first time New and Rediscovered makes available some of Vicki Viidikas’ previously unpublished writing and drawings alongside a comprehensive selection of her previously published poetry and prose. A ravishing collection of short stories and poetry from an iconic and hugely talented writer. Includes an extract from her unpublished novel Kali and the Dung Beetle

‘Vicki Viidikas’ work enacted what Keats called “soul-making”; allowing her lines to speak straight to the reader’s heart. Her writing contains the peril of experience and yet miraculously her vision is optimistic –sparkling with “the spirit in speech.” This fine edition from a major writer is a gift to Australian literature, a book for all the senses and seasons, its unique writing charges at the core of intimacy, offering an orphic  explanation of a complex earth.’  
Robert Adamson

‘Her writing is strong and honest and she needs no tricks or games.’
Anne Summers

‘Tremendous talent.’ Christina Stead

‘A fiction writer of genius.’ Michael Wilding

‘But if this collection stands as testimony to her themes, it also witnesses her range – from the turbulent passionate broadsides of Four Poems on a Theme to the uproarious street-comedy of Greasy Copper and the Adventure.’ Kerry Leves

Vicki Viidikas was born to an Estonian father and an Australian mother on 25 September 1948 in Sydney, New South Wales. She was educated at various schools in Queensland and Sydney until the age of fifteen when she left school to work at a series of casual jobs, including a stint at Abbey’s bookshop in Sydney. At age sixteen she began writing, and never stopped. Writing became her passion and her life. In 1967 ‘At East Balmain’ became her first poem to be published. Four books which comprise both fiction and poetry followed: Condition Red (1973), Wrappings (1974), Knabel (1978) and India Ink (1984). All met with critical acclaim and over time Viidikas has become a much anthologised and influential writer. In 1975, Stephen Wallace directed a twenty-five minute film entitled Break Up from the short story ‘Getting it all Together’ published in Wrappings. Robyn Archer recorded Vicki’s poem ‘O Woman of the Moon’ for her 1977 album The Wild Girl in the Heart. During her writing career Vicki travelled widely and lived in India, on and off, for more than a decade. Her interest in Indian life and culture and the Hindu religion was reflected in her writings, particularly India Ink: a collection of prose poems written in India (1984). She continued to write prolifically through the eighties and nineties up until her untimely death on the 27 November 1998.

australia council for the arts
This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.

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Vicky Swanky Is a Beauty
Diane Williams

9781921924200
Transit Lounge hardback 128pp
Rights: ANZ
Publication date: 1 July 2012
RRP $23.95 AU

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‘Diane Williams is one of the true living heroes of the American avant-garde. Her fiction makes very familiar things very, very weird.’ Jonathan Franzen

‘Let’s hear it for the magnificent Diane Williams, one of the wittiest and most exacting writers of our time. Her fictions are fervid endorsements of terrible, joyous life. But that’s not quite right, because like all great literature, they are life. Well you figure it out. All I know is this book is an amazement, composed with a stricture that guarantees splendor.’ Sam Lipsyte

‘Williams’s book is populated with heartbreak, affairs, and death, and however mystifying passages can be, the author has a sly humour that cuts through everything else. Equal parts satisfying, mysterious, thoughtful, and quick.’
Publishers Weekly

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Diane Williams is the author of six previous books, and the publisher and founding editor of the literary annual NOON. She has taught at Bard College, Syracuse University, and the Center for Fiction. She lives in New York City.

Click here to read reviews.


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Let Me Tell You Something About That Night: Strange Tales
Cyril Wong
Illustrations by Jason Wing
$24.95 AU HB
ISBN 978-0-9805717-1-4

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Be warned. Mothers should not read these stories to their children, even though they might contain a lonely elf, a talking moon, a butterfly that wants to be a rabbit, or a boy who was born with a flower as an unfortunate appendage. Hovering within the realm of fables, myths and fairy tales, here are unlikely bedtime stories that are best read on a dark, stormy night, and at the risk of wounding the soul.

 
“Cyril Wong is proving himself to be a prose stylist of a calibre that threatens to outdo his poetry, with words so poignant and heartfelt, and a narrative drive
that’s often direct and bold yet breathtaking in its fragile beauty.”
—Gerrie Lim, author of Invisible Trade and Inside the Outsider


“… his work expands beyond simple sexuality … to embrace themes of love, alienation and human relationships of all kinds.” —TIME (Asia)

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Cyril Wong is the author of seven poetry collections, including tilting our plates to catch the light (firstfruits 2007) and Excess Baggage & Claim (Transit Lounge 2007). He has received both the Singapore Literature Prize (2006) and the National Arts Council's Young Artist Award for Literature (2005) in his country. His poems have appeared in Chinese Erotic Poems (Everyman's Library 2007) and Language for a New Century (W. W. Norton 2008), as well as in journals like Atlanta Review and Poetry International. He is presently on a Ph.D. research scholarship for English Literature at the National University of Singapore. www.cyrilwong.org

 


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Jason Wing is an International contemporary artist with Cantonese and Aboriginal heritage. Wing has a visual Arts degree from Sydney College of the Arts Sydney Australia and a Graphic design Degree from Sydney Graphics College, Sydney Australia. Wing is represented by ARC 1 Gallery in Melbourne. For more information please visit www.jasonwing.net

Click here to read reviews.

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Iran: My Grandfather
Ali Alizadeh

$29.95 Trade paperback
256 pages
ISBN: 978-0-9805717-4-5
Instore: 1 May 2010
Rights held: World

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A vanished, tattered black and white photograph, taken in Tehran in 1946. The image of a sombre and inscrutable middle-aged man called Salman Fuladvand, a lieutenant and controversial police chief under Iran’s second last king. It is the memory of this photograph that begins Ali Alizadeh’s story of his grandfather Salman’s life, spanning Salman’s youthful devotion to the advancement of his country and the emancipation of Iranian women, his conflicts with the shahs, his wrongful imprisonment, and his eventual embracing of Sufi mysticism.
Iran: My Grandfather is a rare mix of narrative, memoir, history and personal exploration. It recounts Iran’s journey from progressive idealism to the ravages of tyranny, imperialism and religious reaction. It is a testament to the mistakes of the past and the present, an examination of family and identity, and an interrogation of the meaning of home and belonging. As Alizadeh writes, this story is ‘a thread to show the path out of the labyrinths’.

‘Iran, My Grandfather is a work of recovery, resistance, and affirmation. I think one can say without risk of hyperbole that it is one of the most remarkable texts ever to have been published in Australia.’ John Kinsella

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Ali Alizadeh is a novelist, poet and translator. His first novel The New Angel (Transit Lounge Publishing, 2008) was chosen as The Age newspaper’s Fiction Pick of the Week in July 2008, and was described as a “harrowing but brilliant debut novel” in The Sunday Tasmanian and “an important novel” in The Sydney Morning Herald. Ali’s poetry has been included in anthologies such as The Penguin Anthology of Australian Poetry (2009), The Best Australian Poetry 2009 and The Best Australian Poems 2008. His most recent collection of poetry, Eyes in Times of War, was published by Salt Publishing in 2006. Ali’s translations of poetry from Persian to English include the classical Sufi odes translated with Kenneth Avery in Fifty Poems of Attar (2007) .

Ali was born in 1976 in Tehran and immigrated to Australia in the early 1990s after experiencing the Islamic Revolution and the Iran-Iraq War. After completing high school in Brisbane and a BA at Griffith University, Gold Coast, he moved to Melbourne where he received his PhD in writing from Deakin University. He has worked as street performer, researcher, proofreader, and has taught writing and literature at universities in Australia, China, Turkey and United Arab Emirates. He lives with his wife Penelope and son Jasper.

australia council for the arts
This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.

Click here to read reviews.

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Exile: The Lives and Hopes of Werner Pelz
Roger Averill

9781921924217
Trade PB 368pp and 8pp illustration insert
Rights: World
Publication date: 1 August 2012
RRP $32.95 AU

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Like the best true life adventures, the story of Werner Pelz is stranger than fiction. Forced to flee Nazi Germany for being Jewish, he was then interned in England for being German. Shipped to Australia on the notorious HMT Dunera, he spent two years in internment camps in Hay and Tatura. After returning to Britain, his life evolved into a spiritual quest that led him to become an Anglican vicar, to author popular books (including God Is No More), to frequently appear on the BBC, and to become a Guardian columnist. Decades after his wartime Australian exile, he returned to teach Sociology at La Trobe University, continuing his search for a new way of thinking, a new mythology.

In the mid-1980s, a young university student, Roger Averill, was taught by this quietly charismatic man. The two developed an unlikely friendship, one that was to last until Werner’s death, after which Roger’s research unexpectedly revealed a deeper dimension —a personal life filled with familial drama, pain and poignancy.

Both memoir and biography, Exile: The Lives and Hopes of Werner Pelz is a compelling account of a remarkable man’s life-long search for a truth unbound by orthodoxy. It is also a lyrical evocation of an abiding friendship in which a teacher and a student share the lessons of love and loss, discovering that while the questions they ask have no answers, the act of asking them creates a meaning of its own.

‘Werner Pelz emerges from these pages as a figure of genuine contemporary cultural importance, immense integrity and warmth, and yet sometimes bewildering flaws.  Much more than a biography, Exile is one of the most deeply moving and beautifully crafted books I have read in a long time. It is a remarkably tender memoir of a cross-generational friendship, a reflection on the ethics of biographical writing, a work of cultural and intellectual history, and ultimately an unforgettable exploration of the connections between the way we live and die.’
Richard Freadman, author of This Crazy Thing A Life and Shadow of Doubt

‘When I was a young priest working in Glasgow in the 1960s I was troubled and stimulated in equal measure by the writings of Werner Pelz. This affectionate account of Pelz’ life has helped me understand why both my reactions were appropriate.  Werner Pelz was a haunted genius whose lifelong struggle for meaning and belonging illuminated the darkness that too easily engulfs the human condition.  This book beautifully captures his grace and complexity.’ Richard Holloway, author of Leaving Alexandria

Click here to read reviews.

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Boy He Cry: An Island Odyssey
Roger Averill
$29.95 AU, Trade Paperback
ISBN 9780980461671
In store: 1 March 2009
Special early release for Writers at the Convent Festival 13-15 February
Rights Held: World

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Two young Australians arrive unannounced on a remote Melanesian island and ask its residents if they can live with them for a year. Granted this request, cut off from the outside world, living without electricity, telephones, running water, two-way radios or even access to an ocean-going boat, Roger Averill and his anthropologist partner adapt to life in a subsistence culture and find themselves overwhelmed by the generosity of their hosts. Treacherous sea voyages, cyclones, a drug-induced psychotic episode and encounters with maverick American missionaries all add to the adventure. As the health of the couple steadily deteriorates from repeated bouts of malaria, their relationships with the islanders intensify to form deep and lasting bonds. In this way, amidst stories of love and detective magic, shape-changing witches, playful tree sprites, dwarf’s hair and a dead merman, the most amazing transformation in Boy He Cry remains the way these people from vastly different cultures start out as total strangers but quickly become friends, even family.

Rare, precious and beautiful, Boy He Cry is a spiritual odyssey into the heart of a remote culture.

"Roger Averill's book will bring back memories, often amusing ones, for anyone who has had the experience of being suddenly transplanted into the established life of a very alien society. Differences of "custom", and struggles with language, frequently lead to comedy, which in turn can lead to affection."
- Randolph Stow, author of The Merry-Go-Round in the Sea and To the Islands.

"A lucid, tender tale, a journey that brings our humanity home to us."
- Chris Eipper, author of Dieback.

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Roger Averill is the author of the novel, Keeping Faith, and a travel memoir, Boy He Cry: An Island Odyssey, which featured on Radio National’s First Person. His third book,  Exile: The Lives and  Hopes of Werner Pelz was the non- fiction winner in  the Western Australian Premier’s Literary Awards 2013 and was shortlisted for the New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards.

Click here to read reviews.


 
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Under The Huang Jiao Tree: Two Journeys in China
Jane Carswell

Memoir/Travel/Spirituality
ISBN: 9780980571721
TPB $29.95 AU $39.99 NZ 272 pages
In store: 1 October 2009
All rights: Transit Lounge

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‘This is a wonderful story of mid-life opportunity. Jane Carswell is a courageous woman and a spirited writer. Her book is a warm invitation to us all to risk a deeper kind of journey.’ Michael McGirr, author The Lost Art of Sleep, Things You Get For Free, and Bypass.

In mid-life Jane Carswell leaves her seemingly tranquil New Zealand life, her family and friends, to teach English in Chongqing, China. Her journey into the unknown epitomises the ache so many of us feel in our own lives for new challenges and personal understandings. Under the Huang Jiao Tree is a reflective, amusing and absorbing book about living and working in China, and the profound impact the experience has on the author’s search for connection and community. Carswell writes beautifully and entertainingly of China, of its people and her surprises and setbacks, but where her memoir stands alone is in its description of her own search for a spiritual life and practice. On her return to her Western life she becomes drawn to the teachings of St Benedict, and all at once the reader realises where the purity of her writing springs from: a deep well of calm, silence and belief.

‘Jane Carswell’s account of a year teaching in a Chongqing middle school combines an acute eye for detail with a succinct style that transforms ordinary sights into insights, eloquent and sometimes startling, even for those familiar with China. Her empathy with her Chinese colleagues, her enjoyment of encounters with strangers, her patience with difficult situations create a human story few could resist. Courageous interludes of self-revelation turn this book into the double journey of experience plus introspection that makes it delightfully unique.’
Professor Emeritus Bill Willmott CNZM, Former National President, New Zealand China Friendship Society

Click here to read reviews.
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Born in England, Jane Carswell received all her schooling at St Margaret’s College, in Christchurch where she now lives. Other homes were in Dunedin, Perugia (where she studied Italian) Waikari, Leeston and Chongqing (where she taught English). After piano lessons with Jessie Cook until she was 25, Jane began a lifelong career in teaching music. She has also worked with publishers, booksellers, lawyers, accountants, historians, real estate agents and artists. She is a Benedictine oblate, is married, and has a son and daughter, a 1912 straight-strung Bechstein piano, a split-cane fly rod, and small grandchildren who are teaching her ballet. She is a regular visitor to Australia.

 

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Playing House

Amy Choi
9781921924170
Trade paperback 256pp
$AU 29.95
In store 1 April 2012
All rights: Transit Lounge

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Playing House is a rare pleasure – a warm and humorous memoir in three parts that subtly reveals what it means to create a family. Firstly working and travelling in Europe, then settling in inner city Melbourne and becoming caregivers to  Lydia − a troubled teenager who tests the limits of friendship − and lastly parenthood and returning to visit  family in  Hong Kong. At its heart it is a story of an enduring relationship between an Asian-Australian and an Australian.

Playing House is elegant and insightful, the sort of book that makes you realise love can be uncomplicated and it’s the people you surround yourself with and the blessings in disguise that make life sweet.

‘A unique, moving and human memoir of love, family, travel and cats.’ Mark Dapin

‘Amy Choi’s voice is sassy, smart and spirited as she guides you through places exhilaratingly foreign and yet comfortingly familiar.’ Alice Pung

Click here to read reviews.

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Amy Choi was born in Melbourne in 1975. She has worked as a counter hand, in customer service, as an usher, foster carer, freelance writer and columnist. She lives in country Victoria with her partner and two children. You can visit her at www.amychoirevival.blogspot.com.

australia council for the arts
This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.


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Tales from the Cancer Ward

Paul Cox
978-0-9808462-3-2
$29.95 Trade Paperback
In Store : 12 April 2011
All rights: Transit Lounge

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‘At a certain point in illness care is the only thing we have. Care for those we love, care for ourselves.’ Roger Ebert (US film critic and screen writer.)

‘To be vulnerable is to live.’ In Tales from the Cancer Ward renowned filmmaker Paul Cox celebrates the beauty and fragility of life. The unexpected message of illness that he is delivered leaves him feeling utterly alone and with no alternative but to confront his own mortality, to question the separation of the spirit and the body, and to navigate what is truly essential in this world. As John Larkin writes in his introduction, Paul Cox’s story ‘demonstrates the resilience of the human body and spirit, the power of positive thought over fear, what is possible, even when the odds seem almost impossible, and the life-saving blessings of modern medicine. ‘
At times dark, at times intense, this is ultimately a book filled with light, and hope, and life. The return letter that Cox has written to himself and his readers is a precious answer, a true homecoming.

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Born in Holland and settled in Melbourne, Paul Cox is an auteur of international acclaim. He is one of the most prolific makers of films in Australia, with numerous features, shorts and documentaries to his name. He is the recipient of many awards, special tributes and retrospectives at film festivals across the world. His acclaimed  works of cinema include Man of Flowers, A Woman’s Tale, Innocence and The Diaries of Vaslav Nijinsky.

Click here to read reviews.

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Adventures of a Compulsive Traveller
Dominic Dunne

9781921924316
Trade PB 288pp 230 x 153mm, 320pp
All rights: Transit Lounge
Release date: 1 November 2012
RRP $29.95

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Journalist Dominic Dunne’s travels have rarely been ordinary, despite his best intentions. He has been travelling all his life, from the time his parents started their annual pilgrimage to the opal fields of Lightning Ridge. Since then he has trekked all over Australia and to some 60 countries, spending his life trying to satisfy his insatiable appetite for travelling, an addiction that has taken him to wonderful and sometimes dangerous places where he has met all manner of people. In this book Dominic uses insight and wit – and a good dollop of gossip – to capture the highlights (and lowlights) from destinations the world over. Dominic takes readers backstage with Nana Mouskouri in Greece and in search of the ghosts of Elvis Presley in Mississippi. He escapes marauding Americans at Noël Coward’s Jamaican sanctuary, crosses cranky guards in North Korea,  rubs shoulders with Hillary Clinton in Washington and solves a life-long mystery in Zimbabwe. And he meets his namesake, the best-selling American author Dominick Dunne, with whom he forges an enduring friendship.

“Dominic Dunne has had a surfeit of quirky travel experiences, and amazingly, has lived to tell the tale. Now would someone please confiscate his passport?'  Pamela Stephenson-Connolly 

“Funny, exciting and weird. I‘m so jealous of his adventures.”  Jane Caro

“You certainly know how to write!”  The other Dominick Dunne

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Dominic Dunne is an award-winning journalist who has worked on major newspapers including The Australian. He started his career as a cadet reporter on The Courier-Mail in Brisbane in 1984 and later moved to Sydney to be News Limited’s interstate correspondent. He was recruited by Qantas Airways to work as Assistant to the CEO and in 2004 relocated to Washington DC where he was employed by the Australian Embassy as a communications consultant before returning to Sydney. Dunne and his twin brother were born in Brisbane in 1966 and raised with their five siblings on the Sunshine Coast. He is a keen traveller, having visited more than 60 countries, and has written about many of them. Adventures of a Compulsive Traveller is his first book.

More at www.adventuresofacompulsivetraveller.com

Click here to read reviews.

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'Emails From The Edge: A Journey Through Troubled Times'
Ken Haley
AU$32.95 tpb
ISBN 0-9750228-3-0
In store: August 2006
Rights held: World

"Powerful and compelling, an extraordinarily moving account of one man's journey through Asia, Europe and within."
- Garry Linnell, Editor-in Chief, The Bulletin.

He's been expelled from Syria on suspicion of terrorism, encountered ‘Osama bin Laden' in a Tehran bazaar, been dragged from the Hungarian parliament in handcuffs and interviewed with the editor-in-chief of al-Jazeera, all during a remarkable two-year journey by wheelchair across Eurasia. Walkley Award-winning journalist Ken Haley's travels take in 41 countries and, post-September 11, turn him into an eyewitness to the ‘war on terror' from the other side of the frontline.

In Emails from the Edge he portrays life in the Middle East as it really is, not as the media portray it, and draws an intriguing parallel with his own life. With great humour, and not a hint of sentimentality, he lays bare his darkest times, when he plunged over the precipice into madness, and reveals the wanderlust that led him to the heart of the world's hot spots.

Few have written so well about their own descent into insanity, a world at war and the beauty of travel.


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Ken Haley is one of Australia's most widely travelled authors. To date he has visited 109 countries, 57 of these on his own two feet, and 52 in a wheelchair. He became a paraplegic in 1991, but as far as Ken is concerned the only difference this has made is that he now observes the world from a sitting position. A journalist by profession his experiences include stints on the foreign desk of The Times, Sunday Times and The Observer in London, the Gulf Daily News in Bahrain and the Oman Daily Observer. He has also worked at The Age, Melbourne, and as a newspaper sub-editor in Athens, Hong Kong and Johannesburg. He currently lives in Melbourne.

Click here to read reviews.

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'Sing, and Don't Cry: A Mexican Journal'
NEW EDITION
Cate Kennedy
$27.95 AU Trade paper back
304 pages
ISBN 9780980461640
Publication date 1 November 2008
Rights Held: World

Sing, and Don't Cry is Cate Kennedy' s sensual and touching evocation of her time spent working as a volunteer in small town Mexico. The people she comes to love in Tequisquiapan, and their gusto for celebration, pilgrimage and family, force her to cast a penetrating light on her own Western values and ways. 'What is truly essential, and who is truly poor?' asks Kennedy in a book that also challenges the reader to care more for his or her world. Described as 'a travel book with a social conscience' this essential memoir, from the award–winning fiction writer and poet, is funny, warm, yet ultimately disarming.

"If you're sick of being eaten to death by little stories about interest rates, then Cate Kennedy's big story of working as an Australian volunteer in a credit cooperative in Mexico is the solution. This tale of cross cultural discovery is wide-eyed and funny, unflinching and alive. It says a lot about Mexico but even more about Australia."
- Michael McGirr, author of Bypass.

"an eloquent portrait of how lived experience can inform and alter a person's intellectual and spiritual alignment ... a profound and evocative document of a particular place."
- Kate McFadyen, Australian Book Review.

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Cate Kennedy has won many awards for her poetry and short fiction, including The Age short story competition, the HQ Short Story Prize, and the Vincent Buckley Award for her first collection of poetry Signs of Other Fires (Five Islands Press, 2001). Cate is also the author of the internationally acclaimed short story collection Dark Roots (Scribe 2007). She works as a writer and editor and lives in north east Victoria, where in summer the landscape looks a little like Central Mexico, if you blur your eyes.

Click here to read reviews.

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My Life in the Sea of Cars: A Letter from Arnhem Land
James Murray
Essay/Memoir/Environment
$29.95 AU Trade paperback
ISBN 9780980461688
In store: 1 April 2009

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James Murray recounts nine days walking in the remote and beautiful landscapes of the Northern Territory, yet his Letter from Arnhem Land is much more than a book about bushwalking. A delicate hymn to the wilderness of Northern Australia, My Life in the Sea of Cars is a heartbreaking journey of personal exploration and self discovery, and a passionate argument for a new way of living. The ways in which rampant consumerism, and an obsession with the motor car have become so entrenched in people’s lives is explored through relationships, memory, culture, identity and the meditative act of bushwalking. When Murray candidly reveals his own family secrets and likely ancestry his book takes on yet another dimension. Totally original, and heartbreakingly honest, Murray asks us the difficult, awkward questions that will not go away. Where has our culture gone so wrong?

"An original and provocative book, part stream of consciousness, part epiphany, part treatise and part heartfelt lament for a consumerist, car-addicted society which leaves such a trail of devastation in its wake. Murray's unflinching eye takes in the fallout left by the wrecking ball of unquestioning materialism, and his observations are acute, honest and at times uncomfortably spot on. He plumbs these assumptions from the car-less, people-less tranquility of a solitary nine-day bushwalk, and we are there with him every step of the way: across remote gorges and into creeks, on escarpments and past rock drawings, listening to his impassioned arguments, ideas and insights, the recounting of old conversations and new possibilities, breakdowns and breakthroughs. It's a rich, intriguing, candid mix – Murray is one hitchhiker I would definitely pick up."
- Cate Kennedy, author of Dark Roots, Sing and Don’t Cry and The World Beneath .

James Murray was born in Melbourne, grew up in Queensland, has travelled widely, and now lives in Darwin with his two children. He plays music, he bushwalks and, if he can find someone to give him a decent game, he enjoys chess. My Life in the Sea of Cars is his first book.

Click here to read reviews. 

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Jenny’s Coffee House: After Yenni
Eugenia Jenny Williams
Autobiography
$29.95 AU Trade Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-9805717-0-7
In store: 1 May 2009

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In May 1969 seven assisted migrants stepped out of the plane that had touched down in a strange place called Hobart. Jenny Williams, the author of Yenni, was one of those adults. From this time on little of what Jenny and her family knew was of any use to them. Like newborns they had to learn to exist in a different world. From factory to restaurant work, to new relationships, Jenny’s Coffee House takes the reader into the rich heart of a hard working family searching for their niche in life. Full of the drama and humour of a life fully lived (love, disappointment, separation and triumph), this is an evocative and compelling book. Much like the author herself, Jenny’s Coffee House is inspiring, honest and real. Hobart shimmers and enchants, Europe is never far away, while Jenny welcomes us all like best friends into her world.

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Eugenia Jenny Williams is the author of Yenni: A Life Between Worlds (Pluto Press 2002). In 2006 that book was voted one of the fifteen best loved and read books in Tasmania. Born in Kosice, a city now in the Slovak Republic, Jenny and her family illegally escaped Soviet occupied Czechoslovakia in 1968. After living in Vienna they arrived in Tasmania in 1969. During 39 years in Australia Jenny has worked as a washer upper, a factory worker, a laboratory analyst , and the proprietor of three successful businesses including Jenny’s Coffee House.

To contact the author email: wbj@bigpond.net.au

Click here to read reviews.

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The Well in the Shadow: A Writer’s Journey through Australian Literature
Chester Eagle
$29.95 Trade paperback
384 pages
ISBN: 978-0-9805717-7-6
Instore: 1 June 2010

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Award-winning Australian author Chester Eagle journeys through Australian literature offering engaging essays on the works of writers including Miles Franklin, Patrick White, George Johnston, Beverley Farmer, Helen Garner and Alexis Wright. As Eagle says in his introduction:  ‘The essays are not introductory. I consider them rather as a sharing of one writer’s reflections with the thoughts of readers who are looking for something new to add to their thinking. What the fellow-writer has to offer is the insight that comes from having also been at the heart of the risky business of creating and imagining. Writers can see what other writers are up to because they face the same problems and use the same tricks.’ These entertaining essays are linked by the essential notion of what it means to be a writer in Australia, and as such offer up valuable insights into our literature and country.

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Chester Eagle has written novels (Four Faces Wobbly Mirror, 1974 and Wainwrights' Mountain, 1997), essays (Benedictus 2006), portraits of Australian life (Hail & Farewell: an evocation of Gippsland, 1971; Mapping the Paddocks, 1984; and Play Together, Dark Blue Twenty, 1985), and much more besides, including, recently, several collections of opera librettos (Love in the Age of Wings & other operas, 2003; and The Sun King & other operas, 2007). His earlier books were published by Heinemann, Wren, McPhee Gribble and Harper Collins. More recently he has published privately under the on-line Trojan Press imprint. Now, for his latest collection, a set of essays on Australia's literary tradition, he has joined with Transit Lounge publishing. His writing and publishing career began in 1971 and is still moving forward.

australia council for the arts
This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.

Click here to read reviews.

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Riding the Trains in Japan: Travels in the Sacred and Supermodern East

9781921924293
PB, 210 x135mm, 240pp
All rights: Transit Lounge
Release date: September 2012
RRP: $26.00

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New B+ format edition includes bonus essay, Cuong.

Arriving late in Kyoto Patrick Holland cannot find a room for the night. Homeless and disorientated and in a place where loitering is not encouraged his only solution is to ride the trains. The train journey becomes a thread in book that journeys on rivers in Saigon, mountains in the Chinese Himalaya, lost cities of the Silk Road, mist-swathed cemeteries in Japan and the flat plains of Australia, and subtly questions the nature of travel and identity through reflections on place, mortality and the changing Asian landscape.

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Patrick Holland lives in Brisbane, Australia. He has worked as a horseman in Maranoa district and in Oueensland’s far northwest. He has travelled widely throughout Asia and has studied languages at Qingdao University and Beijing Foreign Studies University, and at Ho Chi Minh Social Sciences University in Vietnam. His novel The Long Road of the Junkmailer (UQP) won the Queensland Premier’s Award for Best Emerging Author. His second novel The Mary Smokes Boys was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin and Age Book Awards. He is also the author of Riding the Trains in Japan: Travels in the Sacred and Supermodern East (Transit Lounge) and The Source of the Sound (Hunter).

australia council for the arts
This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.

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Waiting for a Wide Horse Sky

Elaine Kennedy
9781921924101
AU$29.95  Trade PB
230 x 153mm  288pp
All rights: Transit Lounge
In store: 1 September

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One woman’s unexpected story from South Korea. An exhilarating true tale of friendship, danger, and the possibility of new beginnings.

The plight of migrant factory workers in South Korea leads Katoomba-based author Elaine Kennedy to question her own motives for travel and working in Daegu. Heartbreaking and surprisingly intimate, Kennedy’s memoir is full of true drama and incident. This is a ‘stranger than fiction’ story that compels like the best written novels. The reader is drawn deeper and deeper into the beauties, mysteries and injustices that surround and disturb the author, while Kennedy’s undercover fight to assist those who have come to Korea without her own privileges is tense and gripping. This original, warm and suspenseful story is peopled with wonderful characters and rings with the passion and authenticity of truth.

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Elaine Kennedy grew up in Sydney’s eastern suburbs and was involved with music and performance from an early age. Later that interest led to teaching high school Music and English. She has subsequently worked overseas for government-initiated programs in Japan, Korea, China and the UK. While working in Korea in a teacher training institute she was introduced to migrant factory workers who were being exploited by their employers and lived under harsh conditions for little pay. In trying to help them and seek justice for them this book began to form and to take on an importance as a story that needed to be told.

More at: WideHorseSky.wordpress.com

Click here to read reviews.

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Ma Folie Française (My French Folly)
Marisa Raoul
AUS $29.95, NZ: $32.99 Trade pbk
ISBN 9780980461626
In store: 1 August 2008
Rights held: World

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'I once lived in a place far, far away. A land where "les folies", were a regular and standard occurrence. Where each day presented new challenges and endless temptations sought to ruin me.'

Marisa Raoul has travelled with her European parents, worked as a flight attendant for an international airline and moved house more than once. She isn't one to be perturbed by new challenges or foreign destinations. However, when she falls in love with a Frenchman, Jean, and they decide to take up residence in a quiet, south-western corner of France, life turns out to be an exciting adventure – so bizarre and such a 'folie'. In her delightful memoir she takes us to the heart of her 'medieval' B&B, with incidents full of Gaelic humour and eccentricity. A quiet 'tree-change' turns outs to be a hilarious, surprising and romantic romp, which lasts a decade.

Ma Folie Française is a book for anyone who has ever wanted to fall in love with a foreign country. Charming, passionate, and inspired it will make you want to follow your dreams, pack up your life, and shift to France.

"Marisa Raoul has written a vivacious contemporary tale of life love and dreaming. It is a sheer joy to read."
- David Rankin.

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Marisa Raoul was born in Sydney to an Italian father and English mother. Her mixed heritage led to her intense passion for travel, foreign languages and diverse cultures. She spent her sixteenth year living in Rome and travelling throughout Europe with her parents.

Most of her early professional life was spent working in the Sales department of Qantas Airways, then onto Cabin Crew where she met her husband. She has travelled to 25 countries.

Marisa left Australia in 1991 to reside in France for a ten-year period where she ran a successful Bed and Breakfast and worked as an Interpreter and English teacher for the 'Limoges Chamber of Commerce and Industry'.

On her return to Australia, she became involved in the field of Indigenous Arts. She moved to Alice Springs where she worked within that field and on her return to the east coast, continued to promote this art as a freelance consultant.

She now writes full time from her home in Tasmania. She specialises in the fields of children's novels and non-fictional adult works. She also enjoys writing freelance articles for various magazines and community newspapers.

Click here to read reviews.

marisaraoul@hotmail.com

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Single White Female in Hanoi

Carolyn Shine
978-0-9808462-2-5
$29.95 Trade Paperback
In store: 1 July 2011
All rights: Transit Lounge

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‘Beautifully written and very funny, the perfect combination of Hanoi, sexual taboo and gender politics.’ Emily Maguire (Bestselling Australian author)

'Original and quirky, a warm-hearted and very funny tale of noodles, sexual longing and cultural misunderstanding in the new Vietnam' Mark Dapin (Journalist, columnist and author)

Sydney-based musician Carolyn Shine moves to Hanoi virtually on a whim, expecting to find romance and available culture. She’s in for some big surprises.  Funny, warm and engaging, her travel memoir introduces us to a cast of memorable Vietnamese characters as well as her fellow foreigners searching for love and adventure. From teaching English, sub-editing a propaganda news sheet, to forming a blues band, against the backdrop of a world seemingly alive with the promise of romance, this is a beguiling evocation of Hanoi and its people: pungent, earthy and sensual.

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Carolyn Shine studied Fine Arts and Linguistics at the University of New South Wales  and went on to become a musician, songwriter and music educator. As a freelance writer she has been published in various publications, including the Sydney Morning Herald.

She moved to Hanoi on a whim in 2002, expecting available culture and romance. Her disappointment propelled her to seek satisfying answers to questions on culture that until then she’d never dared ask.

Tragically Carolyn Shine lost her battle with ovarian cancer on March 10, 2012. She had just celebrated her 47th birthday.

Click here to read reviews.

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Shanti Bloody Shanti: An Indian Odyssey

Aaron Smith
9781921924118
Transit Lounge PB 256pp 135 x 210mm
AU$25.95  
Rights: All Rights ex US and UK
Publication date: 1 November 2011

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 ‘Aaron has a rare gift for storytelling and is one of the most brilliant bestsellers-in-waiting out there today.’ Tahir Shah, bestselling UK travel author.

Fleeing his shady Australian past, Aaron Smith travels to India and encounters a murder mystery, witnesses the tragic death of a friend, dodges terrorist attacks and a revolution and befriends a colourful cast of fellow characters fit for a Bollywood flick. More than just a funny and warm ‘coming of (middle) age’ travel adventure Shanti Bloody Shanti allows the reader to sink into the paradox and beauty of India without drowning in sentiment. It’s a bit like Sarah Macdonald’s Holy Cow but more dramatic or Gregory David Robert’s Shantaram but laugh out loud funny.

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Aaron Smith is an ex-punk rocker and one-time policeman on the Australian television series Blue Heelers, a theatre and script writer, and ex-first world drop out who lived in the favelas of Rio di Janeiro. He works as a freelance journalist writing for a number of Australian and international publications, including most recently Australian Geographic, AG Outdoor, Australian Traveller, Forty Degrees South and The Mercury. Aaron also appears regularly on ABC Radio 936 to talk about travel. He is completing a Masters in Journalism at the University of Tasmania where he lives with his hard-headed no-nonsense Brazilian wife.

Click here to read reviews.

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The Comfort of Water: A River Pilgrimage

Maya Ward
9781921924286
Trade PB 210mm x135mm, 336pp
All rights: Transit Lounge
Release date: September 2012
RRP: $28

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Fully revised B+ format edition of the true story of a pilgrimage from the sea to the source of Melbourne’s Yarra River.
Shortlisted for Our Story, National Year of Reading

The Comfort of Water: A River Pilgrimage, Maya Ward’s lyrical exploration of her river as it winds through the city and the wild is a revelation, a testament to the fact that the greatest of worlds are often at our doorstep. Its author understands the power of the natural world to transform lives, and writes about the connection between a river and the self with humility, humour, and a clear-headed wisdom.

The telling of her own journey and that of her fellow walkers is seamlessly woven together with ecological and cultural history, the revelation of the pilgrim’s path and the unknowable depth of Aboriginal myth. Through trekking this Wurundjeri Songline, this ancient, ever-renewing river, she discovers rich possibilities of belonging, and shares how a river can nourish the passion and resilience required to transform our world. ongline, Maya learns, and teaches us, to think like a river. She has written not just an account of a river walk, but a sacred geography of a river.’
Mark Tredinnick

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Maya Ward was born in and has lived most of her life in Yarra River country. She is devoted to exploring this wonderful place, while working variously as an urban designer, permaculture and environmental educator, public art designer, musician, performer, festival director, poet and writer. She now divides her time between inner-city Brunswick and planting trees on her block by the Yarra in Warburton.

More at www.mayaward.com.au

Click here to read reviews.

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A Long Walk in the Himalaya. A Trek from the Ganges to Kashmir.

Garry Weare
AUS $29.95 tpb
ISBN 978-0-9750228-7-0
In store: 1st October 2007
Rights held: World

Weare's finely rendered story of his five-month trek from the sacred source of the Ganges through the Kullu Valley, Zanskar and Ladakh to his houseboat in Kashmir is remarkably entertaining. The people he meets and travels with are fully-fledged characters that the reader comes to know and care about while the Himalaya, captured in all their variety, cast their spell. It is as if the act of walking allows the author to fully understand all the nuances – spiritual, environmental, social and political – of this inspiring region. A Long Walk in the Himalaya is a book to savour, a book that the reader will return to again and again.

"Garry Weare is enigmatic, funny and he has an enormous conscience. He brings into the story of his Himalayan traverse a succession of vignettes about people's lives that he meets along the way, relevant history, natural history observations and a delightful sprinkling of his inimitable sense of humour. The warmth of his relationships with his old Kashmiri friends and various people from the trekking fraternity adds a wonderful dimension to this journeyman's tale."
- Peter Hillary.

Click here to read reviews.


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Love in the place of rats
Paul Hardacre
AU$22.00
ISBN 978-0-9750228-4-9
In store: 13 March 2007
Rights Held: World

This is poetry that has other poets raving - daring, passionate and quixotic, yet deeply in touch with Australian poetic tradition, Love in the place of rats makes the head spin. The evocative cover photograph by Sam Shmith leads the reader into a reality that is at once global and local; the poet staring down his own ghosts in what is ultimately a hymn to love and Brisbane's West End.

"Love in the place of rats is a vital expression of the bond between poetic consciousness and historical reality, the daily quintessences of love, work and death in language that is sometimes brutal, sometimes beautiful, always alive. Hardacre's primary question is, are we to love with a ‘treacherous and passionate soul', or are we ‘reduced to cheap music'. His poems are an extraordinary answer."
- Peter Minter.

"Love in the place of rats is a fiercely imaginative ride through the tropics of Brisbane and South-East Asia, tanked with picaresque tales of those ‘living the honda dream', and churning with references from Conrad to Luscious Jackson beneath ‘sky like the smiths' and ‘replacement birds'. These rapid-fire poems toppling with abundant observations and often witty asides – ‘religious as anthrax' - breathlessly collide into a constant paean to love, the mysterious centre."
- Gig Ryan.

"These poems sting with an almost breathless urgency yet retain a fragile lyrical pulse. Paul Hardacre strings words into phrases and phrases into strange leaps of association that insist on their own lines of continuity.  Fantastic flashes and everyday references rub fingers and shoulders, and the result haunts and takes the reader on an intimate journey through feelings, memories, emotional travels. Nothing is forbidden."
- Tom Shapcott.

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Paul Hardacre was born in Brisbane, Australia, in 1974. He is the Managing Editor of papertiger media, publishers of the papertiger: new world poetry CDROM, hutt poetry ezine, anything i like art ezine, and the soi 3 modern poets imprint. Since 2004 Paul has spent time in Myanmar, Singapore, Pakistan, Hong Kong SAR, Indonesia, China, New Zealand, Ireland, the Netherlands, the United States, Italy, India, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos PDR, and Malaysia. With his long-time partner, artist and graphic designer Marissa Newell, he currently divides his time between Brisbane, Australia, and Chiang Mai, Thailand. Love in the place of rats is his second poetry collection.

More at: www.paulhardacre.com


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Excess Baggage and Claim
Terry Jaensch and Cyril Wong
AU$22.00 p/b
ISBN 978-0-9750228-5-6
In store Singapore: 5 March 2007
In store Australia: 1 May 2007
Rights held: World

Written in the voices of two gay men—an Australian tourist and a Singaporean local—Excess Baggage and Claim shines with a bright lucidity. What makes this book so startling is not that these poems about difficult self-discovery are sometimes shocking, but that they rise out of darkness, and a sense of dislocation, with such tenderness and courage. This is an extraordinary collection of poetry—a masterful collaboration by Singapore Literature Prize winner Cyril Wong and Australian poet Terry Jaensch.

"These poems are odes to longing and desire, sung at 4am from the back bar of an impossible city where the borders have yet to be created and have yet to be dismantled. This is a shimmering, hard and beautiful collaboration."
- Christos Tsiolkas, author of Dead Europe and Loaded.

"Jaensch's always-deft phrasing and sense of metaphor twists the reader's expectations and compels us to watch more closely; Wong's candid, conversational style reveals the vagaries of faltering relationships and power plays. These characters take the microphone and sing; the confining world of their subculture setting the parameters for the universal lyrics of love and loss."
- Cate Kennedy, author of Dark Roots and Sing, and Don't Cry.

 

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Terry Jaensch is a an Australian poet/actor and monologist based in Melbourne. His first book of poetry, Buoy ( Five Islands Press 2001) was highly commended in the Anne Elder Award by the Fellowship of Australian Writers. He has worked as a Writer-in-Community, Artist-in-Residence, Dramaturge and Artistic Director of the 2005 Melbourne Emerging Writers' Festival. He is widely published in journals (hardcopy and on-line), both locally and internationally. His work has been broadcast on radio and in 2004 he was commissioned to write and record 15 monologues based on his childhood in a Ballarat orphanage for “Life Matters” ABC Radio National. This piece has since been reworked and performed for theatre as “Orphan's Own Project.” He has a background in acting, having studied at the Stella Adler Conservatory and Herbert Berghof Studio in New York. In 2004/05 he was the recipient of an Asialink residency in Singapore.


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Winner of the Singapore Literature Prize (2006), Cyril Wong is the author of five published collections of poetry, including like a seed with its singular purpose (Firstfruits, 2006). His poems have appeared in journals around the world, including Atlanta Review, Fulcrum 3, Poetry International, Dimsum, Poetry New Zealand, Wascana Review and the W.W. Norton & Co. anthology, Contemporary Voices from the East. He was a featured poet at the Edinburgh International Book Festival (UK), the Hong Kong International Literary Festival, the Queensland Poetry Festival (Brisbane, Australia) and the Singapore Writers' Festival. His poems have been adapted to dance, drama, film and music. These collaborations have been presented in various countries, including the 27th Bali Arts Festival and the Magdalena International Festival of Women in Contemporary Theatre (USA, 2005). More at: www.cyrilwong.org

Click here to read reviews.

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In the Hungry Middle of Here
Kent MacCarter
$23.95 AU Poetry
ISBN 978-0-9804616-5-7
In store 1 March 2009

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From a Montana Dimestore in his native America to Phnom Penh to Victoria Street, Melbourne, MacCarter navigates the world, seeking not just the sounds, textures and tastes that characterise its parts, but the emotional sustenance that we all hunger for. This is highly tuned poetry of words and emotions that has us 'drunk and spinning', or smiling at the thought of the various pleasures life has in store for us.

"The poetry of Kent MacCarter maps the city like a drum beating out its sounds, and an eye that knows both its lights and shadows."
- Tony Birch, author of Shadowboxing.

"MacCarter is the poet as energetic globe-trotter. Wherever he finds himself he notices and records objects, atmosphere, people. His poems are crammed with such perceptiveness."
- Chris Wallace-Crabbe, author of Telling a Hawk from a Handsaw.

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A native of the US, Kent MacCarter's adopted home is now Melbourne. Graduating from Melbourne University with a Masters in English Creative Writing in 2006 completed an arc that started with degrees and an early career in Financial Accounting. Having published for some years in Australia and international journals and papers, this collection is his first book.

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Borobudur
Jennifer Mackenzie
$25.95 AU Poetry
ISBN 978-0-9804616-6-4
In store: 1 March 2009

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At the time of the construction of Borobudur in the ninth century, Buddhism had been established in Java for several centuries. Mackenzie’s Borobudur, an exquisite long poem, tells the story of its legendary architect, Gunavarman, and of Indonesia’s mystical monument with cultural understanding, sensitivity and great feeling. Like Gunavarman by the poem’s end, Mackenzie becomes ‘a dot on the horizon’ leaving us stilled in silence.

"Like turning a wonderfully textured and beautifully glazed vessel around and around, the chronology of Jennifer Mackenzie's Borobudur, is progressed while eluding linearity. Her legend of Gunavarman, Javanese Buddhism's almost mythical priest-architect, reminds one of Hesse's Siddhartha with the parallel reality she creates for the book's protagonists. Borobudur is a memorable invention, utterly present as it succours both history and imagination. The poem's tropical atmospheres and correspondingly spiced language, the sumptuous detail and layers of story, girdle the poem as it, in its marvellous stead, encircles the monument which time almost forgot."
- Kris Hemensley.

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Jennifer Mackenzie studied at the University of Melbourne in the early 70's and began writing and publishing poetry. She has a long-standing interest in Asia, travelling to India, Indonesia, Cambodia and China. A fascination with Old Asia led to the Borobudur project, and to a Master's degree on the historical fiction of Pramoedya Ananta Toer. She lived and worked in China for several years, and is currently working on an ongoing literary project set in China and Australia. She has two children and lives in North Carlton.

Click here to read reviews.

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'Love and Wigs'
Poems of Bangkok, Bollywood and beyond
Barry Scott
AU$19.95 p/b
ISBN 0975022806
In store: August 2003
Rights held: World

India, Sri Lanka and Thailand become a stepping off point for inner exploration, deception and understanding. In encounters with people on the road: a movie distributor, tricksters, Indian royalty and rickshaw drivers, Scott fathoms the mysteries of engagement. His verse and prose poetry goes in search of a spirituality that falls between, and beyond, East and West.

Eight quirky b&w photographs accompany the writing.

Barry Scott works as a literary awards and events coordinator for the State Library of Victoria. In 2004 he undertook a three-month Asialink residency in New Delhi. In October 2005 he will be a guest of the Ubud Writer's Festival.

Click here to read reviews.


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New and Rediscovered
Vicki Viidikas

Edited by Barry Scott with a foreword by Kerry Leves
$29.95 Trade paperback
304 pages Includes illustrations by the author
ISBN: 978-0-9805717-6-9
Instore: 1 May 2010

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For the first time New and Rediscovered makes available some of Vicki Viidikas’ previously unpublished writing and drawings alongside a comprehensive selection of her previously published poetry and prose. A ravishing collection of short stories and poetry from an iconic and hugely talented writer. Includes an extract from her unpublished novel Kali and the Dung Beetle

‘Vicki Viidikas’ work enacted what Keats called “soul-making”; allowing her lines to speak straight to the reader’s heart. Her writing contains the peril of experience and yet miraculously her vision is optimistic –sparkling with “the spirit in speech.” This fine edition from a major writer is a gift to Australian literature, a book for all the senses and seasons, its unique writing charges at the core of intimacy, offering an orphic  explanation of a complex earth.’  
Robert Adamson

‘Her writing is strong and honest and she needs no tricks or games.’
Anne Summers

‘Tremendous talent.’ Christina Stead

‘A fiction writer of genius.’ Michael Wilding

‘But if this collection stands as testimony to her themes, it also witnesses her range – from the turbulent passionate broadsides of Four Poems on a Theme to the uproarious street-comedy of Greasy Copper and the Adventure.’ Kerry Leves

Vicki Viidikas was born to an Estonian father and an Australian mother on 25 September 1948 in Sydney, New South Wales. She was educated at various schools in Queensland and Sydney until the age of fifteen when she left school to work at a series of casual jobs, including a stint at Abbey’s bookshop in Sydney. At age sixteen she began writing, and never stopped. Writing became her passion and her life. In 1967 ‘At East Balmain’ became her first poem to be published. Four books which comprise both fiction and poetry followed: Condition Red (1973), Wrappings (1974), Knabel (1978) and India Ink (1984). All met with critical acclaim and over time Viidikas has become a much anthologised and influential writer. In 1975, Stephen Wallace directed a twenty-five minute film entitled Break Up from the short story ‘Getting it all Together’ published in Wrappings. Robyn Archer recorded Vicki’s poem ‘O Woman of the Moon’ for her 1977 album The Wild Girl in the Heart. During her writing career Vicki travelled widely and lived in India, on and off, for more than a decade. Her interest in Indian life and culture and the Hindu religion was reflected in her writings, particularly India Ink: a collection of prose poems written in India (1984). She continued to write prolifically through the eighties and nineties up until her untimely death on the 27 November 1998.

australia council for the arts
This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.

Click here to read reviews.

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Self Translation
Ouyang Yu

9781921924279
PB 210x135mm 256pp
RRP $25.95
Rights: World
Publication date: 1 September 2012

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‘in the river
before the eye
on the heaven beneath the feet’

Poems first written in Chinese but now presented in both Chinese and English, Self Translation is arguably Ouyang Yu’s most lyrical and resonant collection of poetry to date. The verse inhabits China and Australia in spirit and the natural world in both nations. Mellow and beautiful, yet questioning of the experience of moving between cultures, these are poems that provide a perfect companion to Ouyang’s award-winning novel The English Class. They feel at once Chinese and Australian in the intuitive and often indefinable elements that provide a path between two places.

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Ouyang Yu was born in Huangzhou, China. Since arriving in Australia in 1991, Ouyang has commenced an extraordinarily prolific literary career as a poet, critic, translator, editor and novelist. His award-winning fiction includes The Eastern Slope Chronicle (2002) and The English Class (2010). He is also well known for his fine command of poetic craft and his poems have appeared in numerous literary journals and newspapers, and have been frequently anthologised. His first poetry collection, Moon Over Melbourne, was published in 1995, and has been followed by further collections. He lives in Melbourne, Australia.

More at: www.ouyangyu.com.au

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